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  1. #1
    Billie9274 is offline Newbie
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    English lost its grammatical inflection and a grammatical gender.

    In the course of time, English somewhat lost most of grammartical gender and inflection. Does that make English speakers particularly feel difficult about learning other european languages? Also, how do English speakers feel about those 'special features'?

    I happened to come across the rules of German grammar and how they are so difficult! Always in my mind was the thought that German is way similar to English(same germanic family) and how it would be much easier than other ever verb-changing french and spanish and etc. it wasn't really. Noun changes(5 plural forms), verbs change, of course, and abjective, pronoun and even the articles change too. Compared to that, English seems quite out of a different kind.

    I think I Finally understand what it means to study grammar for a year or so.
    Last edited by Billie9274; 26-Jul-2017 at 22:15. Reason: typos

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: English lost its grammatical inflection and a grammatical gender.

    I don't think that this would occur to the vast majority of native speakers as an issue with English. We get along fine without things like cases for nouns, other than the possessive. I think that many will simply see them as an obstacle when learning languages that have a lot of these categories. We struggle with the complexities of these systems, but possibly a little less so than some Asian speakers who may not have things like plurals and tenses. I don't know what Korean has in terms of these.

  3. #3
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    Skrej is offline Key Member
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    Re: English lost its grammatical inflection and a grammatical gender.

    English is also heavily influenced by French (Anglo-Norman, actually), so many of our nouns and verbs still retain some of their case endings, conjugations, and inflections from Latin via French. Although we don't necessarily carry that case ending or inflection or conjugation through all the forms of number, gender, and person, you'll still see a bit of it in English, although many native speakers may not even realize the reason behind them.

    I didn't find case endings, inflections, or conjugations any more problematic than any other grammatical aspect when trying to learn another language. Something like the Greek aorist tense, the Arabic dual forms, Chinese tonal aspects, and even Korean's multiple levels of speech formality are more challenging to me than something as patterned as case endings or inflections.

    Something like Swahili where you have suffixing and prefixing agglutinations, or Navajo where you can fuse and affix your base verb to construct an entire grammatical sentence out of just a highly inflected verb are far more unfamiliar concepts than mere case inflections.
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  4. #4
    Billie9274 is offline Newbie
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    Re: English lost its grammatical inflection and a grammatical gender.

    Thank you all for your considerate answers. They were mighty helpful to my understanding.

    I guess it's all a matter of being comfortable at those grammatical aspects, especially if a certain language group shares that feature, albeit different in their own.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: English lost its grammatical inflection and a grammatical gender.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    I didn't find case endings, inflections, or conjugations any more problematic than any other grammatical aspect when trying to learn another language. Something like the Greek aorist tense, the Arabic dual forms, Chinese tonal aspects, and even Korean's multiple levels of speech formality are more challenging to me than something as patterned as case endings or inflections.
    I am learning a tonal language at the moment. It is less daunting than I thought, but I imagine people have to understand what I intend to mean by context.

    I am not sure that I would fancy learning this lot of cases:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_grammar#Cases

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