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  1. #1
    notletrest is offline Senior Member
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    He learns English hard, does John.

    Teachers, Are the sentences right?
    1.He learns English hard, does John.
    2. She’s had a hard life, has Ma Parker.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: He learns English hard, does John.

    2's fine (as I think you know). 1 is not.

    You could say 'He has a hard time learning English...' or 'He finds learning English hard...'. If he's demonstrative about it, you could say 'He makes hard work of learning English...' or 'he's making heavy weather of learning English...'. The '...does John' is OK, though not formal (and rather dated - my teachers used to say it but my peers don't).

    b

  3. #3
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    Re: He learns English hard, does John.

    Or perhaps you mean he is a diligent student: He studies hard, does he.
    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. #4
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: He learns English hard, does John.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Or perhaps you mean he is a diligent student: He studies hard, does he.
    Hmm - didn't think of that. I assumed that notlerest had found sentence 2 (different font) and was trying to use the word in another context invented by him or her, but with 'hard' used in the same sense ('difficult/taxing/arduous...'), successfully matching the rather archaic sentence tag 'has Ma Parker'/'does John'.

    b

  5. #5
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Re: He learns English hard, does John.

    I rather like, "He learns English hard, does John". I certainly understand it. You could add the word "so" before "John", which would add to its "understandability" but detract from its style.

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: He learns English hard, does John.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    I rather like, "He learns English hard, does John". I certainly understand it. You could add the word "so" before "John", which would add to its "understandability" but detract from its style.
    "He learns English hard, does so John"? That sounds very un-English to me.

  7. #7
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Re: He learns English hard, does John.

    "He learns English hard, so does John". It's a little like "John learns English hard, yes he does." Perhaps it is unenglish, but so it "That was the most unkindest cut of all".

  8. #8
    notletrest is offline Senior Member
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    Re: He learns English hard, does John.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    2's fine (as I think you know). 1 is not.

    You could say 'He has a hard time learning English...' or 'He finds learning English hard...'. If he's demonstrative about it, you could say 'He makes hard work of learning English...' or 'he's making heavy weather of learning English...'. The '...does John' is OK, though not formal (and rather dated - my teachers used to say it but my peers don't).

    b
    According to you , it seems to me that the following four sentences are all right.
    'He has a hard time learning English, does John.
    'He finds learning English hard,does John.
    'He makes hard work of learning English,does John.
    'He is making heavy weather of learning English,does John.' (of course he=John)
    But I don't know why "He learns English hard, does John," is not , and why "She's a hard life ,has Ma Parker," is right.
    In my eyes , if the original 2# is right, 1# is right, too.
    By the way, the forth sentence of yours “He is making heavy weather of learning English,does John ," putting up a new question, should we change "does" into "is"?
    Thank Bobk very much!

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: He learns English hard, does John.

    Yes you should. Study collocates with hard, but learn doesn't. That's why your first sentence doesn't work. FA says he would understand it; but I wonder which of these three meanings he would understand:

    • He finds it hard to study...
    • He makes a great effort to study...[but but is hindered or distracted]
    • He studies diligently...[and successfully]

    There maybe other meanings to understand. So while some people may quibble with my assertion that it's wrong, it's unquestionably ambiguous (and to be avoided for that reason)

    b

  10. #10
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Re: He learns English hard, does John.

    The third, I think.

    Ambiguity is not always to be avoided. The English of science and the English of entertainment are quite different. Puns are fun, and they are all about ambiguity.

    FA

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