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Is my English getting better?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by ernest, May 13, 2005.

  1. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    (Roy @ May 13 2005,12:07)
    Your english has improved from farmer to gangster.
    I hope that some day my English will improve as much as Ernests. It's pretty impressive how much his English improved since a month ago.

    Come on, your English is usually excellent.

    It's ok. But I meant that Ernest really has shown a drastic improvement. That's something that i'd like to see too. Not only in my English though. There are two other languages which I want to improve drastically, namely French and Arabic. My French is terrible, even after living in a French speaking country for two years. In about half a year I will go and live in an Arab country, I've just started taking lessons and so far it's going ok. But I strive to improve my languages as good as I can.
    I meant there's not much room for improvement. I think J should create a new subcategory: a francophone forum. Â That way, those who don't get to practice their French often enough would have an opportunity. As for Arabic, enroll in the US Navy, they're looking for linguists. Â Intensive Arabic courses 24/7...
    I like the idea of a French language board here.
     
  2. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

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    I vote for Ernest as moderator.
     
  3. jmswentworth

    jmswentworth Senior member

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    It has been really bad today. What happened?
     
  4. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    "To what are you referring?"

    Don't end your sentences with prepositions.
     
  5. ernest

    ernest Senior member

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    (jmswentworth @ May 13 2005,09:47) What are you referring to?
    "To what are you referring?" Don't end your sentences with prepositions.
    What are you talking about?
     
  6. Fabienne

    Fabienne Senior member

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    (jmswentworth @ May 13 2005,09:47) What are you referring to?
    "To what are you referring?" Don't end your sentences with prepositions.
    Pffff...
     
  7. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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  8. bachbeet

    bachbeet Senior member

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    English is probably among the most difficult languages to learn. And that is partly due to all the other language influences on it. Causing spelling changes with no apparent logic. The word "weird" is a good example. Runs counter to the rule of "i before e". My Dad came here from Italy and alwys had a hard time spelling correctly. He said he didn't have that problem with Italian because the word is spelled exactly the way it sounds.

    And another confusing anomaly was exposed in this thread. That of the possessive form of "it." Why does it have to be different for that one word than it is for most other words? For example: One can say "Henry's over there." We know it means "Henry is over there." Or, one can say "Is this Henry's?" We know it asks whether something belongs to Henry. We know these meanings from the context. Why does it have to be different with "it?" No sense.
     
  9. bachbeet

    bachbeet Senior member

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    ""To what are you referring?" Don't end your sentences with prepositions. " This is a lousy rule. And rightly criticized by none other than Churchill, who said "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put." [​IMG]
     
  10. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

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    Well, I found it logical once it got pointed out to me. There are two contenders for the form it's: the 'it is' and the possessive it. One had to give way to avoid ambiguity and it was the possessive it that lost the apostrophe. I agree though, why make a special rule for this?

    Have any of you got any more sins that us foreigners regularly commit against English?

    I could suggest inapropriate ordering of words, but it's a bit hard to fix.

    B
     
  11. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Originally Posted by bachbeet,May 16 2005,21:46
    And another confusing anomaly was exposed in this thread. Â That of the possessive form of "it." Â Why does it have to be different for that one word than it is for most other words? Â For example: One can say "Henry's over there." Â We know it means "Henry is over there." Â Or, one can say "Is this Henry's?" Â We know it asks whether something belongs to Henry. Â We know these meanings from the context. Â Why does it have to be different with "it?" Â No sense.
    Well, I found it logical once it got pointed out to me. There are two contenders for the form it's: the 'it is' and the possessive it. One had to give way to avoid ambiguity and it was the possessive it that lost the apostrophe. I agree though, why make a special rule for this? Have any of you got any more sins that us foreigners regularly commit against English? I could suggest inapropriate ordering of words, but it's a bit hard to fix. B
    its is a possessive in the way that his and hers are, and those don't take apostrophes.  It is not a genitive in the way that "Bob's" would be in the sentence "The pen is Bob's."  The "it's" with an apostrophe is a contraction of it is -- in the  same way that "he's" is a contraction of "he is".  I don't see how this is inconsistent with other grammatical rules.  It's pretty simple.  Maybe it's a corollary to the illiterate trend of putting an apostrophe after any plural, particularly plural proper nouns, such as "Those are my Green's [sic]."  Correct spelling:  Greens.  It's a huge pet peeve of mine.
     
  12. Fabienne

    Fabienne Senior member

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    Yeah, "like" he said... [​IMG] If we're talking pet peeves, my current one is the overuse of the progressive when it isn't needed, such as, quoting my secretary: "Are you wanting to talk to Fabienne?" Grrrrrr... About prepositions at the end of a sentence, let's not get too pedantic. And phrasal verbs are exempt.
     
  13. alchimiste

    alchimiste Senior member

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    She forgot "today":
    "Are you wanting to talk to Fabienne, today?"
     
  14. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    she will have been wanting to talk to fabienne. bleh...

    i think that's called the future perfect tense? i can't remember all that grammar from, uh, grammar school.

    she be wantin' to talk to her...all up in there...fo' shizzle.

    (sorry, i'm only on my second glass...i'll try to catch up.)
     
  15. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    (BjornH @ May 16 2005,13:03)
    And another confusing anomaly was exposed in this thread. Â That of the possessive form of "it." Â Why does it have to be different for that one word than it is for most other words? Â For example: One can say "Henry's over there." Â We know it means "Henry is over there." Â Or, one can say "Is this Henry's?" Â We know it asks whether something belongs to Henry. Â We know these meanings from the context. Â Why does it have to be different with "it?" Â No sense.
    Well, I found it logical once it got pointed out to me. There are two contenders for the form it's: the 'it is' and the possessive it. One had to give way to avoid ambiguity and it was the possessive it that lost the apostrophe. I agree though, why make a special rule for this? Have any of you got any more sins that us foreigners regularly commit against English? I could suggest inapropriate ordering of words, but it's a bit hard to fix. B
    its is a possessive in the way that his and hers are, and those don't take apostrophes.  It is not a genitive in the way that "Bob's" would be in the sentence "The pen is Bob's."  The "it's" with an apostrophe is a contraction of it is -- in the  same way that "he's" is a contraction of "he is".  I don't see how this is inconsistent with other grammatical rules.  It's pretty simple.  Maybe it's a corollary to the illiterate trend of putting an apostrophe after any plural, particularly plural proper nouns, such as "Those are my Green's [sic]."  Correct spelling:  Greens.  It's a huge pet peeve of mine.
    you know, the incorrectly applied apostrophe used to be a pet peeve of mine as well, but now i sortof perversely see the appeal of it. sometimes i don't like sullying a pristine proper noun with the addition of an 's', or, heaven forbid, 'ies' or some other pluralization. it just feels kinda wrong, like i'm having my way with someone else's name. Coincidentally, there were 3 Henrys at the conference. Coincidentally, there were 3 Henries at the conference. Coincidentally, there were 3 Henry's at the conference. Coincidentally, there were 3 "Henry"s at the conference. Coincidentally, there were 3 people named Henry at the conference. ok maybe it was a bad example. [​IMG] and then there's the problem of (for e.g.) team names, like the Braves. (never mind the A's.) The Braves are not going to win the Series. The Atlanta Braves is a great team. ...are a great team? [​IMG] Who is the Braves's pitcher? ...the Braves' pitcher? [​IMG] Who's on First?
     
  16. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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  17. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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  18. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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  19. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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  20. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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