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Thread: Correct grammer


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    #1

    Correct grammer

    Hello, everybody.
    This is not a quesiton concerning any grammer.
    It is just a general question popped up in my mind.

    How much do native speakers of English understand or use grammer correctly?

    When you read any articles in the newspaper, magazines, and etc. how much can we trust the grammer they use?

    When I hear people speak, I notice people don't always speak correct English. Do they do so deliberately? Or they don't have enough knowledge of grammer? It has been bothering me so much. Being able to speak English fluently doesn't necessarily mean being able to write correct English....

    If you have a question and if you ask any wrong kind of person, you may end up getting not correct information.... How am I supposed to deal with it?


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    #2

    Re: Correct grammer

    True in any language. It is one of the things about learning languages, and persistence is the only answer. Using these forums will help a great deal - you will generally receive a correct answer.


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    #3

    Re: Correct grammer

    Quote Originally Posted by erihime View Post
    Hello, everybody.
    This is not a quesiton concerning any grammer.
    It is just a general question popped up in my mind.

    How much do native speakers of English understand or use grammer correctly?

    Hi Erihime,

    All native speakers of any language intuitively know the grammar of their language and they know it well. Most native speakers of any language do not understand, in an active sense, the grammar of their language.


    When you read any articles in the newspaper, magazines, and etc. how much can we trust the grammer they use?

    The vast majority of material found in written sources is grammatical.

    When I hear people speak, I notice people don't always speak correct English. Do they do so deliberately? Or they don't have enough knowledge of grammer? It has been bothering me so much. Being able to speak English fluently doesn't necessarily mean being able to write correct English....

    The vast majority of speech is grammatical and people do speak following the real rules of English grammar. The rules for speech and the rules for writing differ dramatically. Don't be fooled by the extremely limited descriptions of grammar that you've received as an ESL. They covered but a small portion of the rules of language.

    If you have a question and if you ask any wrong kind of person, you may end up getting not correct information.... How am I supposed to deal with it?
    You're right there, Erihime. The vast majority of teachers who go into ESL have very little training and very little active knowledge of how language works.

    All you can do is keep asking if you're not satisfied with the first answer you receive.


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    #4

    Question Re: Correct grammer

    > Hello, Anglica.
    Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it. What you said has truth in it.
    'persistence'. I totally agree with you. I will keep working on it. Thanks.

    > Hello, riverkid.

    Thanks for the detailed reply. What I need to do is keep working...
    My problems are that some of the questions pop up in my mind are sometimes into details, like preposition, articles and so on... I think I know the general rules for those, there are always exceptions. Also, it is not always easy to explain why this one is correct whereas the other one is not correct. I need to build a very solid foundation, don't I?

    If you don't mind my asking, I would like to ask you the following questions.

    1) I go to my office by my car
    I go to my office by car
    I go to my office in my car.

    To me, all of those sound correct. However, one of my friends told me
    'I looked them up in the dictionary and it gave me the last two examples. how would you know the first example is correct?'
    I didn't know what to answer that question. It sounds correct to me...

    2) Mrs. Hilary Clinton is a Sanate of New York
    Mrs. Hilary Clinton is the Sanate of New York.

    Are both of them correct? By using 'a', does the first sentence imply she is one of 2 sanates of New York? Or if I use 'the', does that mean she is the only one senate representing the state of New York?

    3) The server in our office went down yesterday.

    Can we replace 'in' with 'at' ? If we are using serveral servers, should 'that' be 'a'?

    4) 'I will be happy if you become happy with my gift. I will be upset if you become angry with me if I don't give you any gift?'

    Does this sentence make sense? I hope it does. Am I using too many 'if's?
    If you are to rewrite this, how would you do?

    Questions are pouring over me continuously. All I can do is ask around, right?

    Thanks a million!
    I am so grateful I have found this community.

    eihime with a huge grin!


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    #5

    Re: Correct grammer

    1) I go to my office by my car
    I go to my office by car
    I go to my office in my car.

    The first is stilted; the other two are fine

    2) Mrs. Hilary Clinton is a Senator for New York
    Mrs. Hilary Clinton is the Senator for New York.

    Apart from that, you are right

    3) The server in our office went down yesterday.

    Needs no changes - absolutely fine as it is, even if more than one server is involved.

    4) 'I will be happy if you become happy with my gift. I will be upset if you become angry with me if I don't give you any gift?'

    I will be happy if you are happy with my gift.
    I will be upset if you are angry because I did not give you a gift OR
    It will upset me if you are angry because I did not give you a gift.



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    #6

    Re: Correct grammer

    Quote Originally Posted by erihime View Post

    > Hello, riverkid.

    Thanks for the detailed reply. What I need to do is keep working...
    My problems are that some of the questions pop up in my mind are sometimes into details, like preposition, articles and so on... I think I know the general rules for those, there are always exceptions. Also, it is not always easy to explain why this one is correct whereas the other one is not correct. I need to build a very solid foundation, don't I?

    If you don't mind my asking, I would like to ask you the following questions.

    1) I go to my office by my car
    I go to my office by car
    I go to my office in my car.

    To me, all of those sound correct. However, one of my friends told me
    'I looked them up in the dictionary and it gave me the last two examples. how would you know the first example is correct?'
    I didn't know what to answer that question. It sounds correct to me...

    Hi Erihime,

    The first one sounds correct to you because you're translating from your own language so of course, it sounds natural. But this only shows you the problem with direct translations. Virtually every Japanese student I've ever heard says that, "by my car". It must be in the JHS or SHS textbooks.


    2) Mrs. Hilary Clinton is a Sanate of New York

    Mrs. Hillary Clinton is a Senator from New York.

    Mrs. Hilary Clinton is the Senator from New York.

    Mrs. Hilary Clinton is the Senator from New York.


    Are both of them correct?

    Now they are.

    By using 'a', does the first sentence imply she is one of 2 senators from New York?

    It may or it may not, depending on the circumstances.

    Or if I use 'the', does that mean she is the only [one] senator representing the state of New York?

    It may or it may not, depending on the circumstances.

    3) The server in our office went down yesterday.

    Can we replace 'in' with 'at' ?

    Yes.

    If we are using serveral servers, should 'that' be 'a'?

    I don't see a 'that' in your sentence, Eri.

    4) 'I will be happy if you become happy with my gift. I will be upset if you become angry with me if I don't give you any gift?'

    Does this sentence make sense? I hope it does. Am I using too many 'if's?
    If you are to rewrite this, how would you do it?

    "I'll be happy if you're happy with my gift. I'll be upset if you're angry with me if/because I don't give you any gift?'

    Questions are pouring over me continuously. All I can do is ask around, right?

    Absolutely! Ask away. That's what this site is for, that and to make Tdol a rich man.

    Thanks a million!
    I am so grateful I have found this community.

    erihime with a huge grin!
    ###


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    #7

    Talking Re: Correct grammer

    Hello, Anglica.
    Thank you so much! This is wonderful!
    Thanks for your explanation.
    The articles always give me a headache.
    Books give us basic rules, however it doesn't mean they cover every sentence. (naturally!)

    one question.

    You wrote 'Mrs. Hilary Clinton is a/the Senator for New York'
    riverkid wrote 'Mrs. Hilary Clinton is a/the Senator from New York'

    Are they different in the meaning? If you find it so, could you explain?

    Thanks again!

    erihime

    Thanks again.
    Have a good weekend!

    erihime
    Last edited by erihime; 06-Jan-2007 at 06:15.


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    #8

    Re: Correct grammer

    Hello, riverkid.

    Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it.
    Before I go into details, one question. How much time do we have to be logged in? I wrote a reply and when I tried to post it, the screen said that I didn't log in... So I am re-writing it.

    When I went through your explanation, some questions popped up in my mind again. I hope you don't mind...

    1) 'I go to the office in my car'
    'I go to the office by car'

    Now I know these two are correct. and
    'I go to the office by my car' is not. Could you explain me why?
    Knowing the reason helps me understand it much better and the information I have been given tends to sink in faster.

    Also. I was not translation from Japanese directly. I knew the second sentence is correct, so I thought just adding 'my' would not hurt it. Articles always give me a headache. (I thought the word 'headache' is not countable...) I use determinants instead of articles...

    2) 'Mrs. Hilary Clinton is a/the Senator from New York'

    I need to choose either 'a' or 'the' depending on the circumstances, don't I? If I choose the wrong one, then does the sentence become incorrect?

    Also, Anglika wrote

    'Mrs. Hilary Clinton is a/the Senator for New York'

    Does her sentence have different nuance, even very subtle one?

    By the way, 'Senate' and 'Senator', are they used in differenct context?

    Prepositions and articles are my enemy.

    I appreciate it when you corrected my sentences. It is very useful for me. I love to write, but unless somebody takes a look at it, how would I know what I wrote was grammatically correct or not.

    Again, I would like to express my gratefulness.
    Thanks, riverkid.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    erihime


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    #9

    Re: Correct grammer

    Quote Originally Posted by erihime View Post
    Hello, riverkid.

    Thanks for your reply. I really appreciate it.

    Doitashimashite, Eri san.


    Before I go into details, one question. How much time do we have to be logged in? I wrote a reply and when I tried to post it, the screen said that I didn't log in... So I am re-writing it.

    You should always save a posting in a desktop word document just in case it doesn't go thru. After it's posted you can dump it. That'll save you a lot of time and effort.

    When I went through your explanation, some questions popped up in my mind again. I hope you don't mind...

    Not at all.

    1) 'I go to the office in my car'
    'I go to the office by car'

    Now I know these two are correct. and
    'I go to the office by my car' is not. Could you explain tome why?
    Knowing the reason helps me understand it much better and the information I have been given tends to sink in faster.

    I can't think of any grammatical reason, Eri. About all I can say at this time is that certain collocations just don't go together in some languages while they do in others. I suppose there may actually be a grammatical reason.

    'by [mode of transportation]" is how we normally describe this but we just don't seem to combine it with possessive pronouns. 'by my/his/her car" seems to contain a meaning like 'near my/her/ytheir car".

    "Yoi ichinichi wo" is grammatical Japanese but it just isn't something that is used, right?


    Also. I was not [translation] translating] from Japanese directly. I knew the second sentence is correct, so I thought just adding 'my' would not hurt it. Articles always give me a headache. (I thought the word 'headache' is not countable...) I use determinants instead of articles...

    (I thought the word 'headache' is not countable...) This too sounds like mother tongue interference. Is it?

    "..., to omou."

    While not impossible in English, the normal neutral is,

    "I didn't think that ...".


    2) 'Mrs. Hilary Clinton is a/the Senator from New York'

    I need to choose either 'a' or 'the' depending on the circumstances, don't I? If I choose the wrong one, then does the sentence become incorrect?

    As you well know, 'a/an' is used for a general situation. Using 'a' here could answer, "Who's Hilary Clinton??". It could also mean, "she's one of the senators from NY". Until we know the context of the situation it is hard to describe exactly what article/determiner to use.

    Also, Anglika wrote

    'Mrs. Hillary Clinton is a/the Senator for New York'

    Does her sentence have different nuance, even very subtle one?

    'from' more describes location while 'for' describes who she represents; "for the people of NY"..

    By the way, 'Senate' and 'Senator', are they used in differenct context?

    'Senate' describes the body which includes all 100 [??] senators. 'Senator' means one member of the Senate.

    Prepositions and articles are my nemesis[enemy]. Try using 'nemesis', Eri; it sounds more natural.

    I appreciate it when you corrected my sentences. It is very useful for me. I love to write, but unless somebody takes a look at it, how would I know if what I wrote was grammatically correct or not.

    Again, I would like to express my gratefulness.
    Thanks, riverkid.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Anata mo, shuumatsu wo motteimasu.

    Is that commonly used in Japanese, Eri?


    erihime
    ##

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    #10

    Re: Correct grammer

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    ##

    Hi Riverkid

    I still don`t understand the following sentence :

    Mrs. H. Clinton is a/the Senator from New York.- that means that H. Clinton is from New York.

    but if we say

    Mrs. H. Clinton is the Senator of /for New York.- it means that she represents New York.

    Is this correct ? Can I use "the Senator of..."?

    Thank you.

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