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  1. #1
    chancesz is offline Newbie
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    Default Best way to teach expressions?

    Hi

    What is the best way to teach pre-intermediate students expressions such as

    • I’ve got a cough
    • I’ve got a headache
    • I feel nauseous


    and how would I emphasise the correct use of form and pronunciation?

    I'm a new English teacher and would appreciate any help.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Tuco is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Best way to teach expressions?

    I am not a teacher; I simply couldn't help but poke around. I never did like the expression, "I've got this or that" unless "got" means "received." In your examples, "got" doesn't need a helping verb.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Best way to teach expressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuco View Post
    I am not a teacher; I simply couldn't help but poke around. I never did like the expression, "I've got this or that" unless "got" means "received." In your examples, "got" doesn't need a helping verb.
    I don't understand what point you are making.

    All three of those sentences are natural in British English.
    I've got is a prefectly acceptable alternative to 'I have' in all but very formal English.
    Omitting the auxiliary HAVE in the first two changes the tense.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  4. #4
    Tuco is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Best way to teach expressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I don't understand what point you are making.

    All three of those sentences are natural in British English.
    I've got is a prefectly acceptable alternative to 'I have' in all but very formal English.
    Omitting the auxiliary HAVE in the first two changes the tense.
    All three are perfectly natural in American English as well. The problem is that in America, people don't realize that it is improper grammar.
    I've got may be perfectly acceptable, but that is a discussion of standards. Standard English does not refer to proper grammar; they are separate accounts.
    Omitting the auxiliary HAVE in the first two changes the tense, but that is only evasive action. I'm sure you know that my suggestion was to omit GOT, leaving the sentence, "I have a headache."

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Best way to teach expressions?

    No, that wasn't clear to me at all. When you said that the helping verb for "got" could be omitted I read that as your recommending "I got a headache."

    And I completely disagree that "I've got" is improper grammar.
    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.

  6. #6
    Tuco is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Best way to teach expressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    No, that wasn't clear to me at all. When you said that the helping verb for "got" could be omitted I read that as your recommending "I got a headache."

    And I completely disagree that "I've got" is improper grammar.
    OK Barb. I'm sorry if it wasn't clear to you. Regardless, there are only a couple ways to take my comment. You either omit "have" or "got" and the results are obvious.

    You disagree that it is improper grammar? Well, I may be wrong. May I ask then, in the sentence, "I've got a headache," what does "got" mean?

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to teach expressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuco View Post
    OK Barb. I'm sorry if it wasn't clear to you. Regardless, there are only a couple ways to take my comment. You either omit "have" or "got" and the results are obvious.

    You disagree that it is improper grammar? Well, I may be wrong. May I ask then, in the sentence, "I've got a headache," what does "got" mean?
    'Got', on its own, means nothing in 'have got'. 'Have got' has the same meaning as 'have'. The form with 'got' was regarded as informal and substandard when I was at school fifty plus years ago. There are still people, including me, who do not use 'have got' except in very informal conversation, but most people in Britain regard it as acceptable.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  8. #8
    Tuco is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Best way to teach expressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    'Got', on its own, means nothing in 'have got'. 'Have got' has the same meaning as 'have'. The form with 'got' was regarded as informal and substandard when I was at school fifty plus years ago. There are still people, including me, who do not use 'have got' except in very informal conversation, but most people in Britain regard it as acceptable.
    First, I need to say that I wasn't just unclear initially; I misstated my point. Anyway, "have got" is not a single word, nor is it a compound word. This poses a grammatical problem in the sentence "I've got a headache."

    In defending such constructions, all you are really saying is that once improper grammar is used for 22.4 years, or some other random number, or, after a reputable writer, or 37 reputable writers, or some other random number, makes a given error, it is no longer an error.

    It's like saying, "There's a couple people I want you to meet." If teachers want to teach that as acceptable, I'm just glad I'm out of school. It's what I call Ivoronics. That's Ebonics for white people. The only difference is that when white people make an error for an extended period of time, we call it acceptable. When black people use improper grammar, you label it Ebonics, or street.

    The question remains, is it grammatical. Is it something we would find in a text book. I'll get on the top of a building and scream with a megaphone that it is "OK" to say whatever you want. Can you identify things in terms of what is grammatical?

  9. #9
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best way to teach expressions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuco View Post
    First, I need to say that I wasn't just unclear initially; I misstated my point. Anyway, "have got" is not a single word, nor is it a compound word. This poses a grammatical problem in the sentence "I've got a headache."
    I don't see why. Nowadays we consider phrasal verbs as single sense units, and have to, ought to, used to, BE going to. BE about to, etc, are usefully considered as single sense units. It's the same with HAVE got.
    In defending such constructions, all you are really saying is that once improper grammar is used for 22.4 years, or some other random number, or, after a reputable writer, or 37 reputable writers, or some other random number, makes a given error, it is no longer an error.
    Yes. What is 'proper' or 'improper' is sometimes so only because certain people with sufficient influence have managed to make it so. The progressive verb forms have not always been acceptable English, but they are now an inegral part of our tense system. 'Hopefully', once considered a barbarism is now part of the language. Many of the 'improper' forms were actually never improper for the majority of native speakers. They were merely labelled so by certain writers who managed to impose their own prejuduces on 'good English' for a time. Examples include the split infinitive, sentence-final prepositions and conjunctions at the beginning of sentences.
    It's like saying, "There's a couple people I want you to meet."
    For me, only 'a couple of' is natural, but that's because I am a British sexuagenarian. If that is now acceptable, especially in AmE, then so be it.
    If teachers want to teach that as acceptable, I'm just glad I'm out of school. It's what I call Ivoronics. That's Ebonics for white people. The only difference is that when white people make an error for an extended period of time, we call it acceptable. When black people use improper grammar, you label it Ebonics, or street.
    At present, there are not enough speakers of such varieties of English using them in mainstream writing, film or television for the 'errors' to be universally accepted. That may change. Some of the words and expressions of the (mainly black) jazz circles of the early part of the last century (including, perhaps 'jazz' itself) have become so fully accepted that people are unaware now that they weee once 'barbarous' and/or incomprehensible.

    The question remains, is it grammatical. Is it something we would find in a text book. I'll get on the top of a building and scream with a megaphone that it is "OK" to say whatever you want. Can you identify things in terms of what is grammatical?
    Well, 'HAVE got' is presented in many BrE ELT course books and noted in all serious grammars. Some writers still label it as 'informal', but that wll no doubt pass. At present, 'I has got' and 'he have got' are ungrammatical. Nobody can say for certain that this will always be so.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  10. #10
    Tuco is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Best way to teach expressions?

    I don't see why. Nowadays we consider phrasal verbs as single sense units, and have to, ought to, used to, BE going to. BE about to, etc, are usefully considered as single sense units. It's the same with HAVE got.
    "A single sense unit." Is that the way it's worded in your grammar? The dictionary? I've also heard the emphasis argument. It seems like people grasp at reasons to make errors "OK." So many times, the real culprit is the contraction. It disguises the error. People don't want to have to think about what they are saying, so they say, let's just use the living language rationale to make this "OK." Fine. You can say, and teach, "I've got a headache." My kids will learn "I have a headache." Your kids can say, "I've got a cold."

    Paul Brians says it like this:

    "(People often say) 'You’ve got mail' should be 'you have mail.'

    The “have” contracted in phrases like this is merely an auxiliary verb indicating the present perfect tense, not an expression of possession. It is not a redundancy. Compare: “You’ve sent the mail. ”

    That’s just great. Compare: “You’ve eaten the mail.” This does not address people’s problem with the statement “You’ve got mail.” Three out of four sticklers agree that most of the time, people say things like, “I’ve got to go now” or “You’ve got beautiful eyes.” In these examples, “got” means “have” and we do indeed see a redundancy, even though:

    get (gt)
    v. got, (gt) got·ten, (gtn) or got get·ting, gets
    v. tr.
    16.

    1. To have current possession of. Used in the present perfect form with the meaning of the present: We've got plenty of cash.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    This definition lends credence to Paul Brian’s point, implying that it is acceptable to use got in the present perfect form with the meaning of the present, and states in no uncertain terms that “got” used as such means “have,” and that “have” needs the helping verb “have.” Let’s see how that would look:
    “We’ve have plenty of cash.”
    OK, I say that’s wrongendofstory-now according to Paul Brian’s logic, “have” is simply an auxiliary verb indicating the present perfect tense, not an expression of possession. The dictionary definition says that in this type of sentence, “got” does mean “to have current possession.” Apparently, the dictionary and Paul Brians disagree. Funny—in this case, I find neither source creditworthy.
    Now look at definition one, and pay attention to the word receive, for it is the definition that allows the AOL catch-phrase to be grammatically correct:
    1.

    1. To come into possession or use of; receive: got a cat for her birthday.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    Paul should have used definition 1 of “get” to prove the sentence grammatically correct; instead he uses definition 16, and then contradicts appropriate use of that definition.


    Yes. What is 'proper' or 'improper' is sometimes so only because certain people with sufficient influence have managed to make it so.
    Changing the meaning of a word is one thing. Changing grammatical rules is something else entirely.

    The progressive verb forms have not always been acceptable English, but they are now an inegral part of our tense system.
    I see no problem with adding a word or verb form to the language. This adds functionality.

    Many of the 'improper' forms were actually never improper for the majority of native speakers. They were merely labelled so by certain writers who managed to impose their own prejuduces on 'good English' for a time. Examples include the split infinitive, sentence-final prepositions and conjunctions at the beginning of sentences.
    The split infinitive and sentence-final prepositions are not in the same league as the conjunction at the beginning of a sentence. If you want to continue a sentence so badly that you begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction, why not just use a comma or semicolon as appropriate to show a pause, or a sharper division between clauses? Beginning a sentence with "but" does not achieve anything that can not be achieved by a semicolon except to trick the reader into thinking a sentence is finish when it really isn't.

    Well, 'HAVE got' is presented in many BrE ELT course books and noted in all serious grammars.
    "Presented"? Is that presented as grammatically correct, or presented (and noted) as usage, but not proper grammar? I would love to know the source and a quote.
    Last edited by Tuco; 27-Jul-2012 at 20:14.

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