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  1. 5jj's Avatar
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      • Retired English Teacher
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      • England
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      • Czech Republic

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    #11

    Re: Omitting the word "that".

    I am in two minds about the study of formal grammar in school.

    I was taught very formally and prescriptively at school. As a teacher and as a leaner of foreign languages, I have never regretted my ability to recognise parts of speech, tenses, types of clauses, etc, though I know that many people I was at school with happily forgot everything they learned as soon as they left school.

    Many of us were bored silly by the endless sentence parsing and analysis and the teachers' insistence on our producing a written, and often spoken, English that few of us would ever use in real life. Some of us discovered when we went out into the real world that some of the prescriptive rules we had been forced to follow were already ignored by many 'educated' writers and speakers. Others never discovered this, and still decry the decline of English because rules (artificially devised a couple of centuries ago) are being ignored.

    In a well-intentioned attempt not to stifle budding scientists, historians, writers, etc, who were being harshly penalised for splitting infinitives and other trivia, much of the grammar that was forced on people of my generation and those before us was dropped from the curriculum of the subject of English; mistakes were no longer penalised by teachers of other subjects.

    Unfortunately, in my opinion, they threw the baby out with the bathwater. I don't think it's a mortal sin if someone is not sure of the correct spelling of such words as accommodation or embarrass; I do think it's regrettable that some people leave school believing that "I done it, but you coud of aksed me earlyer" is an acceptable sentence to write in a semi-formal letter. The ability to spell reasonably acccurately and speak and write, in appropriate situations, in a way still generally accepted as 'correct' makes communication much easier.

    I have spoke. Perhaps I should of wrote, "I have wrote".

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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      • Interested in Language
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    #12

    Re: Omitting the word "that".

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I have spoke. Perhaps I should of wrote, "I have wrote".
    Or even "I have writ"

    PS: I realize, of course, that 'writ' is a noun only used for very specific purposes.
    Last edited by charliedeut; 02-Aug-2012 at 11:47. Reason: Added PS
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #13

    Re: Did you learn grammar at school?

    I SO agree with 5jj's comments.

    I actually told my children that I would write them a note to their teachers saying "[Child] has my permission to skip grammar lessons based on my experience that none of what she will learn in this class will ever have any bearing on her ability to live a full life as a professional adult in American society."

    I say that as someone who makes her living writing. I have never yet had someone say "Oh, I really like the way you led from this depending clause into the independent clause with a dual subject, and the way you set off this non-relative clause with em-dashes instead of bracketing commas really makes the sentence sing."

    I do not believe that "underline the entire subject once and the simple subject twice and circle the simple predicate" is a useful way to learn. Although I confess that it's the only way they'll probably see that "One of the boys who lives down the block IS coming" is right and "ARE" is wrong, it's not very engaging.

    I'd rather seem the time dedicated to things like "circling the verb" changed to writing skills, where grammar is taught in context. That is happening in my older daughter's class in high school English, but wasn't as prevalent in elementary school.
    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.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #14

    Re: Did you learn grammar at school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I have never yet had someone say "Oh, I really like the way you led from this depending clause into the independent clause with a dual subject, and the way you set off this non-relative clause with em-dashes instead of bracketing commas really makes the sentence sing."

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      • Student or Learner
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    #15

    Re: Did you learn grammar at school?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    For those of you who find this a strange opening post, this discussion began in a different thread.



    I don't necessarily agree with this. It's true that English has relatively "simple" grammar compared to other European languages (German for one),
    Who says it's more 'simple' to lean German grammar to English? You say that because you know English. But to a German person, they probably consider German grammar easier to lean than English.


    On the note of English grammar. I cannot recall most of which I was probably taught in primary/high school. It's only been the last 18 months that I've begun to really focus on grammar, more so in the past 6 months since going to University.

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    #16

    Re: Omitting the word "that".

    At school teacher forces me and others to study grammar, but I am not intrested in that, because I think we can learn it by reading or listening. For example in school us teacher talks about perfection in English language and I don't agree with my English teacher, because nobody is perfect. I have a friend fron U.K and he does mistakes in his native language. While I was writing this post I didn't think about grammar maybe I did a mistake maybe not =) It's just matter of time when you understand grammar rules.

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