Again, you make the suggestion that the past perfect is the norm, when it's clear that it isn't. A valid argument would be that the one is more formal and the other less so, but again, leaving students with the impression that grammatically, it's correct/right/the norm, leaves them with a false impression of language.
Here are a few other English idioms/collocations that one wouldn't expect to find in scholarly works but, hey, ya just can't stop progress.
Google scholar exact phrase search
Results 1 - 10 of about 17,600.
sit on it and rotate
Results 1 - 9 of 9.
take a flying leap
Results 1 - 10 of about 511.
give a flying fuck
Results 1 - 10 of about 342
For example, one of my Hong Kong (Cantonese Chinese) students frequently says, upon discovering new information, "Oh, I think you want X" when he wanted something like "Oh, I thought you wanted..." because Cantonese allows context to guide interpretation there, and no tense or aspect information is needed. When I pointed out I would normally use the past tense there.... "Oh, I thought..." he thanked me and asked to be corrected whenever he used a Cantonese style norm in speaking English.
Am I usurping his freedoms, or tying his hands as an artist? No, obviously not. I'm trying to help, and I think I am helping. Learners ask us to hold them to a high standard, and welcome the restraints this naturally imposes upon them. They know they can loosen up later on, after knowing the normative rules as well as we do.
I'm off this bus. I think there's another one coming soon.
I didn't offer the google search as a refutation of your argument. It's just simply not valid grammatically and I firmly believe that a closer look at corpus studies would reveal that.
what the issue is, but ESLs often have bleed through from their mother tongue.
*Do you go to work now?* [for right now]
*What do you eat?* [for right now]
Is this what you mean? If so, then you're hardly tying their hands. You're helping them break mother tongue patterns that have become fused into their English use.
Learners sometimes ask us to "hold them to a high standard" for a very good reason; because they've been misled by false ideas about "correctness" as regards language use.
As teachers, we have to provide students with meaningful explanations of why different structures/collocations are used. Whipping out the correctness card is, to my mind, an impermissable laziness for a teacher.
But this forum is full of questions from students asking about real language, the language of everyday. I know what they're taught abroad, as they go through school and I also know that it leaves them woefully unprepared for the real world.
As The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language says, it leaves them sounding like inexpert users reading out of a book.
Having said that, I don't want you to get the idea that I'm even remotely suggesting you are a bad teacher for I have absolutely no way of knowing, do I? I suspect that you provide excellent tutelage to all your students. You mislead them on some things, as we all do, for language is an immensely complicated venture and none of us is perfect.
But you haven't explained why my analysis of the 3 times involved in the state of affairs and the statement is not valid in your view.No, a google search is not perfect, Lycen. Have you done the number crunching? Cut it in half, cut it down to a quarter. It still shows that there is no valid reason to exclude this collocation [a collection of words] in any register of English. If it's available to native speakers it's available to ESLs.
Also, you seem to be tempted to make ad hominem attacks, by saying "whether you seek to hide them or not, Kon." I'm not hiding in any way. I'm openly supporting my point.
You're missing it.
You and I, along with any native speakers, can change registers knowingly in different social situations. While speaking with less educated friends, I can tone down the grammar like Bill Clinton usually does; when speaking at an academic conference I can respect their norms of speech; when speaking to small children I can simplify my grammar and vocabulary.
Why should learners be prevented from attaining this ability, by not pointing out differences between the registers and their norms? You seem to be saying "if English allows something anywhere, in any situation, it is suitable everywhere." I suspect that most students are after a grasp that is a little less loose than yours.
Last edited by konungursvia; 21-Sep-2009 at 19:28.