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  1. #1
    pljames Guest

    Default English structure

    How can I write in english and know how to write a sentence and not know a verb from a noun. I say what I think and feel and it always comes out all right for me? They are just words but I seem to know what to say structurally (no spell check here). How is this possible? I love to write even tho I do not know the correct grammer is concerning verbs and such. Paul

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: English structure

    Question:
    How can I write in English and not know a verb from a noun?
    Answer:
    I don't see how. Nouns are things. Verbs tell us what those nouns do. Or they tell us something about the state of being of those nouns.
    ~R

  3. #3
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: English structure

    Quote Originally Posted by pljames View Post
    How can I write in english and know how to write a sentence and not know a verb from a noun. I say what I think and feel and it always comes out all right for me? They are just words but I seem to know what to say structurally (no spell check here). How is this possible? I love to write even tho I do not know the correct grammer is concerning verbs and such. Paul
    Paul,

    You're confusing knowing the terms that have been given to these language structures with what you know intuitively/unconsciously. This is a highly crucial distinction that most everyone misses. Most people operate under the mistaken assumption that we actively teach children the grammar of their language.

    Let me give you a parallel. You know how to walk and run but can you describe, in the jargon of kinesiology, the way your muscles move to effect motion. Of course not.

    Can you describe in medical terms, the mechanics of breathing. Again, of course not, but you breath just fine. Allow me to let you in on a little secret; you know virtually all the rules of your language and you knew them, like all children, by about age five.

    Writing is not really language per se and more formal writing is an artificial type of language with, largely, agreed upon "artificial" rules. No one has to actively teach any child their native tongue but all children have to learn how to spell and they also have to learn the mechanics of writing.

    Now, about knowing a verb from a noun. If you go back and look at your writng, you'll see that all verbs, nouns, prepositions, adverbs, adjectives, articles [the bane of ESLs], etc are all in their rightful places. And you think you don't know these things! Not to knock teachers, but you actually know the rules of language waaaaay better unconsciously than your teachers do consciously.

    What your teachers can offer you is very valuable. They can show you the conventions we use for more formal writing. They can help you with the mechanics of writing, which are quite different than those for speaking. They can show you how some perfectly grammatical spoken language is not acceptable for certain types of writng.

  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: English structure

    Excellent post, Riverkid!


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    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: English structure

    Thank you, Ron.

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