Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Austria
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 134
    #1

    Question Question

    Hi to everyone, my name's Steph, I'm 15,
    I'm from Austria and I'm learning english for 4 and a half years now.
    We have such a stupid english teacher, who doesn't teach us anything. Last time we did a revision on vocabulary and Conditionals.
    So my questions are:
    1. We had to translate a sentence and I wrote: "I can't believe you told your mum." And then the teacher corrected this sentence with "I can't beleive that you told your mum." So, why do I have to write "that"?
    2. We had the first half of a sentece. It was like "If I had met my best friend in the shopping center, we_______" We should have written the second part onto that line. I wrote "......, we would have gone for a coffee." And the teacher wrote "..., we would have gone for a cup of coffee."
    Don't you say "to go for a coffee" instead "to go for a cup of coffee"? Because I think that only coffee sounds much better.
    Thanks in Advance for helping me

  1. #2

    Re: Question

    your teacher is right
    about the first sentense That is a conjunction word that joins words,phrases or sentenses.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Austria
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 134
    #3

    Re: Question

    And what about the "coffee" thing?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Austria
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 134
    #4

    Re: Question

    but if "that" is a conjunction....does that mean that i always have to use it or could i say that sentence without "that"?

  2. #5

    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by steph_333
    And what about the "coffee" thing?
    To be honest with you , I would have said myself "We could have gone for a cup of coffee" if you say it out loud to yourself, it does sound better with "cup of"
    Last edited by Dingal2000; 20-May-2006 at 22:29.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Jan 2005
    • Posts: 131
    #6

    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by steph_333
    but if "that" is a conjunction....does that mean that i always have to use it or could i say that sentence without "that"?
    We often leave out "that" (at least in American English), especially in speaking. In your example, it introduces a noun clause used as the object of the verb "believe".

    I can't believe you did that.
    I can't believe that you did that.

    However, "that" cannot be omitted when it introduces a noun clause used as the subject of a sentence, as in:

    That she doesn't know English well is obvious.

    The example above could be paraphrased as "It is obvious (that) she doesn't know English well. In this case it is possible to omit "that".

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Jan 2005
    • Posts: 131
    #7

    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by steph_333
    And what about the "coffee" thing?
    Coffee, tea, beer, soda, etc. are normally uncountable.
    However, in informal English we often say "a coffee" or "a grape juice" because we are thinking of a cup or a glass and everybody understands this.

    (in a restaurant) "Three coffees and an orange juice, please."


    Evidently your teacher wants you to stick to formal English.


    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Austria
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 134
    #8

    Question Re: Question

    @Dandelion: Would ne1 say "Let's go for a cup of coffee."?
    coz I think that sounds a bit ridiculous........
    And if ne1 says: "I can't believe that you......" Wouldn't that be a little posh?

  3. Ouisch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 4,142
    #9

    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by steph_333
    @Dandelion: Would ne1 say "Let's go for a cup of coffee."?
    coz I think that sounds a bit ridiculous........
    And if ne1 says: "I can't believe that you......" Wouldn't that be a little posh?

    "go for a coffee" is used more in British English. Americans would more likely say "let's go get some coffee." Both of these are informal uses; "let's go for a cup of coffee" is still correct, and doesn't sound out of place in everyday conversation. (For example, a very common American expression is "I'll buy you a cup of coffee.")

    "I can't believe you told your mom ("mum" in British English)" would certainly be the phraseology used by typical 15-year-olds. However, using "I can't believe that" doesn't sound stilted or posh...and is often used either in business situations or in conversation between people that don't know each other well.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #10

    Re: Question

    As a matter of efficiency, native speakers, no matter the language, omit words here and there, in speaking and in writing. They know when, where, and what to omit. But, when it comes assessment and testing, the more you know, the better it reflects your knowledge and understanding.

    These forms are grammatical:

    (Note, words in brackets (...) are optional)
    1. I can't believe (that) you told your mum.
    2. a (cup of) coffee

    "that", an expletive, functions as a conjunction in 1. It joins two clauses. Speakers often omit expletive "that", but it's always there, underlyingly. Adding in "that" tells the assessor that you understand the workings of the grammar. Leaving it out doesn't say anything about what you actually know. The same holds true for "a (cup of) coffee".

    Remember, as a language learner your objective is to gain native-like proficiency, not native-like mimicry. How does an assessor go about determining whether or not a learner knows how the grammar works if the learner omits parts of the structure? Show what you know. After all, it is a test of your knowledge (of grammar).

    All the best.
    Last edited by Casiopea; 22-May-2006 at 03:15.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Question with a Question
    By Kristin in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 29-Jan-2006, 15:26
  2. Answering a question with a question
    By Sarah Shaw-Gray in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 28-Jan-2006, 14:33
  3. Might question tag
    By queenmaabd in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 20-Jan-2005, 03:25
  4. Tag question
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Jun-2004, 10:11

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •