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    #1

    Question

    Hi I need someone to help me out on this one. I need someone to check my answers. I did my best to look up my answers in the Grammar for English books, but I'm not sure if I got it right. What obstacles would a learner have with the following questions?

    1) The winds blew the door open/the road winds quite a bit


    Winds is a Homograph - Dealing with a word that has the same spelling but different pronunciations and meanings. The obstacle would be understanding the difference between the wind (Breeze) and Wind (wrap). The Linguistics Semantics- the meaning of the language may cause an obstacle. The Syntax /structure is also an obstacle as the instructor has to break down not only the individual words, but the phrases "the winds blew" and the "the road winds".

    Noun phrases are also an obstacle. "Quite a bit" could be tricky for the learner. Adverbs of quantity as in how much does the road wind? To what degree? Quite is a gradable adverb. "A Bit" can be confusing, as it is usually associated with the saying "a little bit". But when you join "Quite" with "a bit" the meaning is different. We're saying the road winds very much so. The road is not straight at all, it's the opposite.

    The answers on the exam were invalid/The terrible injury left the man an invalid….
    The word 'invalid' in each sentence places the stress on different syllables even though it is spelled the same. The stress and intonation (in relation to the specific context) can change the function of the word. The meaning of the word changes do to the context of the sentence. Therefore the pragmatics and the context of the words and how they contribute to the overall meaning of the text can be quite misleading. Breaking the passage down about each word is confusing. One would have to teach the meaning of the larger form of text.

    Terrible (adjective) is necessary to better describe the severity of the injury (noun) to better explain why the subject was left (verb) an invalid. The student would not understand the meaning of the language.

    The word Left can be an obstacle, as LEFT has more than one meaning depending on the context in which it is being used. It also has the same spelling and pronunciation. The terrible injury caused harm. The injury was in the past and already happened. It LEFT the man an invalid. This will have to be explained in order to overcome this particular obstacle.

    QUESTION
    2) The fish are ready to eat

    Does this mean the fish are hungry? Or does it mean that they have been cooked long enough and are now edible? How can you ensure your students are understanding the material?

    I didn't attempt this yet. Any thoughts? How would you describe this to students?

    Thank you! Hope someone has time to help

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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      • American English
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      • United States
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #2

    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by porcelain72 View Post
    Hi I need someone to help me out on this one. I need someone to check my answers. I did my best to look up my answers in the Grammar for English books, but I'm not sure if I got it right. What obstacles would a learner have with the following questions?

    1) The winds blew the door open/the road winds quite a bit


    Winds is a Homograph - Dealing with a word that has the same spelling but different pronunciations and meanings. The obstacle would be understanding the difference between the wind (Breeze) and Wind (wrap). The Linguistics Semantics- the meaning of the language may cause an obstacle. The Syntax /structure is also an obstacle as the instructor has to break down not only the individual words, but the phrases "the winds blew" and the "the road winds".

    Noun phrases are also an obstacle. "Quite a bit" could be tricky for the learner. Adverbs of quantity as in how much does the road wind? To what degree? Quite is a gradable adverb. "A Bit" can be confusing, as it is usually associated with the saying "a little bit". But when you join "Quite" with "a bit" the meaning is different. We're saying the road winds very much so. The road is not straight at all, it's the opposite.

    The answers on the exam were invalid/The terrible injury left the man an invalid….
    The word 'invalid' in each sentence places the stress on different syllables even though it is spelled the same. The stress and intonation (in relation to the specific context) can change the function of the word. The meaning of the word changes do to the context of the sentence. Therefore the pragmatics and the context of the words and how they contribute to the overall meaning of the text can be quite misleading. Breaking the passage down about each word is confusing. One would have to teach the meaning of the larger form of text.

    Terrible (adjective) is necessary to better describe the severity of the injury (noun) to better explain why the subject was left (verb) an invalid. The student would not understand the meaning of the language.

    The word Left can be an obstacle, as LEFT has more than one meaning depending on the context in which it is being used. It also has the same spelling and pronunciation. The terrible injury caused harm. The injury was in the past and already happened. It LEFT the man an invalid. This will have to be explained in order to overcome this particular obstacle.

    QUESTION
    2) The fish are ready to eat

    Does this mean the fish are hungry? Or does it mean that they have been cooked long enough and are now edible? How can you ensure your students are understanding the material?

    I didn't attempt this yet. Any thoughts? How would you describe this to students?

    Thank you! Hope someone has time to help
    Just some thoughts on #2.

    The term "ready to eat" can be confusing, but some logic can be applied. When are fish not ready to eat food? We normally use that collocation for food that has been prepared. The other common expression is The XXXX is/are hungry.

    We could argue that the sentence as proposed is an idiom. Normally, in a grammatical senetnce, we would say "The fish are ready for eating/to be eaten."

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #3

    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by porcelain72 View Post
    Hi I need someone to help me out on this one. I need someone to check my answers. I did my best to look up my answers in the Grammar for English books, but I'm not sure if I got it right. What obstacles would a learner have with the following questions?

    1) The winds blew the door open/the road winds quite a bit


    Winds is a Homograph - Dealing with a word that has the same spelling but different pronunciations and meanings. The obstacle would be understanding the difference between the wind (Breeze) and Wind (wrap). The Linguistics Semantics- the meaning of the language may cause an obstacle. The Syntax /structure is also an obstacle as the instructor has to break down not only the individual words, but the phrases "the winds blew" and the "the road winds".

    Noun phrases are also an obstacle. "Quite a bit" could be tricky for the learner. Adverbs of quantity as in how much does the road wind? To what degree? Quite is a gradable adverb. "A Bit" can be confusing, as it is usually associated with the saying "a little bit". But when you join "Quite" with "a bit" the meaning is different. We're saying the road winds very much so. The road is not straight at all, it's the opposite.

    The answers on the exam were invalid/The terrible injury left the man an invalid….
    The word 'invalid' in each sentence places the stress on different syllables even though it is spelled the same. The stress and intonation (in relation to the specific context) can change the function of the word. The meaning of the word changes do to the context of the sentence. Therefore the pragmatics and the context of the words and how they contribute to the overall meaning of the text can be quite misleading. Breaking the passage down about each word is confusing. One would have to teach the meaning of the larger form of text.

    Terrible (adjective) is necessary to better describe the severity of the injury (noun) to better explain why the subject was left (verb) an invalid. The student would not understand the meaning of the language.

    The word Left can be an obstacle, as LEFT has more than one meaning depending on the context in which it is being used. It also has the same spelling and pronunciation. The terrible injury caused harm. The injury was in the past and already happened. It LEFT the man an invalid. This will have to be explained in order to overcome this particular obstacle.

    QUESTION
    2) The fish are ready to eat

    Does this mean the fish are hungry? Or does it mean that they have been cooked long enough and are now edible? How can you ensure your students are understanding the material?

    I didn't attempt this yet. Any thoughts? How would you describe this to students?

    Thank you! Hope someone has time to help
    If you are interested in this subject, you might like the paraprosdokian or "garden path" sentence.

    My favorite is: Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

    see here: Paraprosdokian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and here: List of linguistic example sentences - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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