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  1. #1
    thedaffodils's Avatar
    thedaffodils is offline Key Member
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    Question Re: English is my foreign language

    Hello!

    #1 English is my foreign language.

    #2 English is a foreign language to me.

    I first wrote the first sentence, but I later thought the second sentence sounded natural to me intuitively.

    My questions are as below:

    Q1: Is Sentence 1 right grammatically?

    Q2: If #1 and #2 are correct grammatically, which sentence is more smooth?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 29-Oct-2008 at 16:14. Reason: grammatical error

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: English is my foreign language

    They are both grammatical, but only the second means what you mean. You might use 'my foreign language' in either of these cases:

    • Everyone in a school has to study one foreign language (this is just an example); the school offers say German and French. (My daughter went to such a school. Her foreign language was German.)
    • Someone 'collects' languages. Every year they study a new one. Someone might ask 'What's your foreign language this year?'


    In the plural, the possessive can also be used to mean the number a person speaks: someone who knows I speak several might ask me 'Is Mandarin one of your foreign languages?'



    b

  3. #3
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: English is my foreign language

    Hi BobK,

    Thank you for your help. I've understood.

  4. #4
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: English is my foreign language

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    hello!

    #1 english is my foreign language. it means english is the foreign language i (am studying)(will study).

    #2 english is a foreign language to me. in north america it means 'i understand english very little or not at all.'

    so the two sentences have different meanings. what is your intended meaning?


    i first wrote the first sentence, but i later thought the second sentence sound natural to me intuitively.

    My questions are as below:

    Q1: Is sentence 1 right grammatically?

    Q2: If #1 and #2 are correct grammatically, which sentence is more smooth?

    Thanks!
    2006

  5. #5
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: English is my foreign language

    Hi 2006,

    Thank you for your reply.

    My intended meanings are as below:

    - English is not my mother tongue.

    - I don't live in an English-speaking country. For example, though India is not a native English-speaking country, the English language is one of its official languages. Yesterday, I run into the terms -ESL and EFL. ESL means English as Second Language; EFL means English as Foreign Language. Therefore, I think generally the English of ESL students would be better than that of EFL students.

    - English is just one foreign language I understood. But probably, I knew Japanese. (I don't really understand Japanese. It is just an illustration.)

  6. #6
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: English is my foreign language

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    hi 2006,

    thank you for your reply.

    My intended meanings are as below:

    - english is not my mother tongue. this is a very good and clear sentence.
    - i don't live in an english-speaking country. For example, though india is not a native english-speaking country, the english language is one of its official languages. Yesterday, i run into the terms -esl and efl. Esl means english as second language; efl means english as foreign language. Therefore, i think generally the english of esl students would be better than that of efl students. probably so because they probably live in an english speaking environment.

    - english is just one foreign language i understood. why did use use past tense here? but probably, i knew japanese. (i don't really understand japanese. It is just an illustration.)
    2006

  7. #7
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: English is my foreign language

    2006,

    Thank you for your reply again. Maybe "English is not my mother tongue" is the exact sentence I should say.

    TD: English is just one foreign language I understood.

    2006: why did you use past tense here?
    I should have used present tense for this. Well, English is not my mother tongue. Engish grammar is different to Chinese grammar. Though I mostly understand the rules of English tenses, I make grammatical mistakes now and then if I am not care enough. I can't completely shake off the impact of my mother tongue; and one the other hand, I don't do enough practice.

  8. #8
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: English is my foreign language

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    2006,

    Thank you for your reply again. Maybe "English is not my mother tongue" is the exact sentence I should say. I can't think of a better one.



    I should have used present tense for this. Well, English is not my mother tongue. Engish grammar is different to Chinese grammar. Though I mostly understand the rules of English tenses, I make grammatical mistakes now and then if I am not care enough. I can't completely shake off the impact of my mother tongue; and one the other hand, I don't do enough practice.
    I see. Since you realize that, you have taken the first step towards correcting it.

  9. #9
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: English is my foreign language

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I see. Since you realize that, you have taken the first step towards correcting it.
    Thank you very much for your help, 2006.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: English is my foreign language

    Incidentally TD, it's 'if I am not careful enough'; or 'if I don't take enough care'. I think you got those two mixed up.

    b

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