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  1. heimerdinger's Avatar
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    #1

    Lightbulb some sticky point on English structure

    - Subjunctive. Barely used, but important to take into account for formal language. "The court demanded she be there".
    - rregular plural or singular. When you hear "People is crazy", that person is foreign. Sports teams are plural, too. This is sometimes confusing. "Spain are calling up Diego Costa for this World Cup" sounds bizarre until you realize Spain here is not the country, but the football team.
    - Prepositions. The freaking most difficult point. A change might be lethal for whatever you might try to convey. Whenever any mistake on this creeps in you get automatically spotted. I can't think of an example, but you get the idea.
    - Adverb position. When you talk about places, time, manner, etc, is there an order to arrange the sentence? Some argue there is... I will not get into this for lack of technical knowledge.

    Are there any other sticky points? Please let me know. Thanks!
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 26-May-2017 at 21:19. Reason: Enlarged font to make post readable

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    #2

    Re: some sticky point on English structure

    One issue is the many differences between varieties of English. To pick two items from your list, the subjunctive is still widely used in American English, and we don't say "Spain are playing Portugal tomorrow (we use the singular). As a learner you have to choose which variety to learn.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #3

    Re: some sticky point on English structure

    Quote Originally Posted by heimerdinger View Post
    - Subjunctive. Barely used
    The present subjunctive is rarely used in British English, but the past subjunctive is alive and well in if I were sentences. However, the present subjunctive is used regularly in AmE.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: some sticky point on English structure

    The subjunctive is also widely used in AusE. I suggest that everyone at least learn to recognise it.
    However, I would not suggest that everyone learns to recognise it.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: some sticky point on English structure

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    we don't say "Spain are playing Portugal tomorrow (we use the singular). As a learner you have to choose which variety to learn.
    In British English, we can use both, though the plural is more common. I think being aware of these minor differences, and there are many, is as important as learning which variety to learn.

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: some sticky point on English structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    However, I would not suggest that everyone learns to recognise it.
    No, M'lud, but I would suggest that nearly everyone learns about it at some stage.

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    #7

    Re: some sticky point on English structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    No, M'lud, but I would suggest that nearly everyone learns about it at some stage.
    I think this kind of learning is limited to people who are interested in English.

    (I read Piscean's post in American English, in which he is proposing that most people do in fact learn about the subjunctive eventually.)
    I am not a teacher.

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: some sticky point on English structure

    Quote Originally Posted by heimerdinger View Post

    Are there any other sticky points? Please let me know. Thanks!
    Articles! Certainly for speakers of languages which don't use articles, this is a nightmare. Even for speakers of languages which do use articles, English seems to present unique problems.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  9. Piscean's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: some sticky point on English structure

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    (I read Piscean's post in American English, in which he is proposing that most people do in fact learn about the subjunctive eventually.)
    My use of 'Mlud' was intended to suggest (!) that a British barrister was addressing a judge. S/he was putting forward the claim (conventionally phrased as a suggestion) that most people do learn about the subjunctive eventually. I am not sure if that is what you meant by 'propose'.

    For the purist:

    I suggest that everyone learn .... means (roughly) Everyone should learn ... ;
    I suggest that everyone learns ... means (roughly Everyone does learn ... .

    The problem in BrE is that many people would use the second in both situations.

  10. heimerdinger's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: some sticky point on English structure

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    One issue is the many differences between varieties of English. To pick two items from your list, the subjunctive is still widely used in American English, and we don't say "Spain are playing Portugal tomorrow (we use the singular). As a learner you have to choose which variety to learn.

    Yeah, that's right. This is only my opinion. My English is just at learner level.... Thank for advices xD

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