Hi jws (there has to be a better way of addressing you than that! ;) ), I'm glad you like my photos.
Originally Posted by jwschang
I have to say, I am impressed with your knowledge of English and English grammar - you put me to shame
If you do come to Dalian in the spring, let me know, and we can hook up for a beer. :D
Hi Shane and TDOL
Originally Posted by shane
The J's for Justin, the WS is my Chinese name = Wen Seung (Hanyu Pinyin = Wen Xiong, wen as in word or writing, xiong as in male).
I grew up with English (as a big number did in Singapore and Malaysia). In singapore, it has always been English as the instruction medium. In Malaysia, it was changed to Malay, as a result of which the standard of English has fallen very sharply. We had good teachers of the language; I'm not in touch with the situation now (ain't a student nomore!) but in Singapore it's still good, I think.
Not as a compliment but the truth, Shane, your Chinese would be much better than mine. My grand-dad came from Guangdong province in the south, and I spoke mostly Cantonese (it has six tones, compared to Putonghua's four). Until about three years ago, my Putonghua was pretty poor. In 1995, when I made my first visit to China, I needed an interpreter at a meeting!!! Now its not too bad, but very little still when it comes to writing.
I have this kind of glad feeling when I see foreigners visiting China, and perhaps more so where they go there to teach English. I think it can build a lot of bridges between people. It'd be good, for example, if TDOL as a teacher could visit China and we'll all have a beer on Shane in Dalian!
When I read JNSummer's postings, I thought of what my friends in China tell me: Some of the school kids (as young as 12 or 13) can be pretty unruly, and the really difficult ones (including girls) can even beat up their local teachers. Some are spoilt and arrogant, because, say, their dad is some government official or big-short. I understand that this was more prevalent in the North than in the South. I hear that things have improved vastly over the last decade.
I'm pleased to report that I've never run into any situation like the one you have described!! ;)
Originally Posted by jwschang
Please pardon the interruption, but the phrase is big shot. (You could also say head cheese, but that has a different flavor to it.)
(Sorry for the interruption, but that is about the only kind of contribution I can make to this thread.)
[Edited to note that JWS's phrase was probably a typo anyhow.]
Yea, can't be big and short at the same time, unless sideways. :)
Originally Posted by RonBee
He was a big-short person: 4 feet tall and 310 pounds.
Re: The Hidden Evidence: The Past Family
The main verb 'have seen' is not compatible with "for the past week", which is where you and I agree.
Yes. It's perfectly fine. :D Have you checked the verb's semantic structure? The use of the participle 'stayed' is synonymous with 'been', meaning existed, which expresses continuity in the past, and the reason it's compatible with 'for the past week'.
I doubt that. "For the past week" is a member of the Past Family, which are compatible with Present Perfect:
Ex: They have stayed in this hotel for the past week.
== The structure is perfectly alright. :o
Contiunuity is inherent in the word "stay", no matter its form. Be it a verb "to stay" or a participle "stayed". 'stayed' is compatible with "for the past week" because both express inherent continuity.
Would you have another example or examples? Id like to continue testing whether compatibility is related to contunity or not.
Well, not necessarily. Just because a given speaker, native or non-native, feels there is no difference between, say, "I ate" and "I have eaten" doesn't prove they are the same. That is, the similarity is apparent only. Both actions ended, finished, are over. They seem similar, don't they, but they aren't.
That's a very good point. Consider,
Agreed. I may see no difference, someone else may see or mean a difference.
Alex: Have you eaten yet today?
Sam: Yes. I ate today.
'have eaten' and 'ate' appear to be synonymous. :D
Ain't that the gawd's honest truth! However, the present definition hasn't come close to covering the 'gist', as Shun's examples attest to.
1. I think most (all??, including scientific ones?) definitions will have limitations. If we apply the Pareto Principle, it may be good enough that the definition covers the main gist; I think it cannot be completely comprehensive. Exceptions, specific contexts, etc will have to be dealt with by qualification, illustrations, etc.
Yup. Been there, done that! Teachers, like books, don't have all the answers. That's why it's often a good idea to tell students as much as we know. Tell students, "Hey, here's the gist so far." Problem is, the present definitions don't get the gist right.
2. Trouble is, many students like "clear" rules, so the teacher is hard-pressed on this, to avoid confusing the student.
I agree. Learn as you go. Learning is but a process.
3. I try to keep it simple (where possible) and "stupid". If the learner can first learn to use the language WITH mistakes but generally correctly, then the refinement comes later and gradually. Some educators may disagree with this viewpoint, like saying old habits die hard.
Big shot, head cheese, top dog, head honcho, numero uno, what else?
Originally Posted by RonBee
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