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Thread: Grammar error ?

  1. #1
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Default Grammar error ?

    Hello,

    I have a easy question for teachers, here is it:

    Do you find a mistake in the sentence below:

    "I prefer go to the cinema instead of watching television".

    If you find one can you explain me what is the trouble with this sentence.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Grammar error ?

    "I prefer going to the cinema instead of watching television".

  3. #3
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Grammar error ?

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    "I prefer going to the cinema instead of watching television".
    Hello,

    thanks for your reply, I reckon I have found the mistake. A friend of me tell me that I must write : 'I prefer to go to the cinema...

    I do not understand why the 'to' is so important, maybe you know the answer of this question.

    If you have an idea, I'll take it.

    Thanks.

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    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar error ?

    I can't tell you what your friend mean, but I can tell you that "a friend of mine tells me/told me" is a correction for you.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Grammar error ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I can't tell you what your friend mean, but I can tell you that "a friend of mine tells me/told me" is a correction for you.

    Good afternoon and thanks for your correction.

    I appreciate your time on this matter, but do you believe my first sentence is incorrect, I am talking about the grammar.

    Thanks Barbara.

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar error ?

    Quote Originally Posted by The French View Post
    Good afternoon and thanks for your correction.

    I appreciate your time on this matter, but do you believe my first sentence is incorrect, I am talking about the grammar.

    Thanks Barbara.
    It should be "I prefer going to the cinema..." and, in my opinion it would be better with "to" rather than "instead of".

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    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Grammar error ?

    Quote Originally Posted by The French View Post
    Hello,

    I have a easy question for teachers, here is it:

    Do you find a mistake in the sentence below:

    "I prefer go to the cinema instead of watching television".

    If you find one can you explain me what is the trouble with this sentence.

    Thanks.


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning.

    (1) "Prefer" is one of those verbs that will accept a to-infinitive "to go" or a gerund ("going").

    (2) According to the "rules" (the way native speakers use their language), I may say "I prefer TO READ newspapers" or "I prefer READING newspapers."

    (3) If I say, "I prefer read newspapers," people will lose respect for me.

    (4)In your sentence, probably most people feel that it doesn't matter whether you use "to go" or "going." (Please don't use "go.")

    (5) Sometimes there MAY be a little difference.

    (a) Mr. L. G. Alexander in his Longman English Grammar gives these examples. You may wish to carefully study them:

    (i) I prefer TO WAIT here. (So I will wait here if it's OK with you.)
    (ii) I prefer WAITING here. (I am already waiting here and I want to continue to wait here.)

    Have a nice day!!!

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    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Grammar error ?

    [QUOTE=TheParser;584162]***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hi,

    I have read your answer, but I do not understand why people will lose respect for me if I tell them 'I prefer read newspapers'. Maybe it is about the sense of my sentence but you know I am not English and It seems to me nice.

    I do not disagree with you but I don't see a difference, there is surely one but I cannot see it.

    Thanks for all people who have answered me.

  9. #9
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Grammar error ?

    [QUOTE=The French;584174]
    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hi,

    I have read your answer, but I do not understand why people will lose respect for me if I tell them 'I prefer read newspapers'. Maybe it is about the sense of my sentence but you know I am not English and It seems to me nice.

    I do not disagree with you but I don't see a difference, there is surely one but I cannot see it.

    Thanks for all people who have answered me.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    (1) Thank you for your kind note.

    (2) The word "respect" means different things to different people. It also probably has different meanings in each language.

    (3) The reason you visit this website is that you want to speak "correct" English. You don't want to speak "incorrect" English. Why? Because you want people to understand what you are saying.

    (4) If you had an English teacher, and he said things such as, " I prefer read newspapers," and "He don't like me, " and "I is tired," the students would say: He doesn't know English. They would not "respect" him.

    (5) I am very sorry that you do not understand why "I prefer read " is not "correct" English. I do not know anything about your language. But I think (ONLY think) that MAYBE the problem is that in your language the infinitive is one word. I looked in a dictionary and learned that "lire" in
    French means "to + read." So in your language, you do not have to say "to + lire," The "to" is already inside "lire." But English is different. Often you must actually say (or write) the word "to."

    (6) Please remember that the teachers and non-teachers welcome your questions. If you don't agree or understand, that's OK. Just keep asking until you find someone who can explain it to you in a way that you can understand.

    Have a nice day!!!

  10. #10
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar error ?

    I have no preference for "I prefer reading newspaper to [reading] magazine" over "I prefer to read newspapers over magazines."

    There's no difference to me in "I prefer going to..." or "I prefer to go" when talking about your general preference, but you do need the "to" in the infinitive because you need a noun phrase.

    "Going," as a gerund, gives you a noun. "To go" as an infinitive, gives you a noun phase.

    My prior correction was an "Oh, by the way..." comment since you seem to like to learn nuances in addition to your main questions.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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