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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Is confusing naming of grammatical rules common in English?

    Swedish is my first language but I'm fluent in English as well thanks to living in such an awesome country. My childhood experience of learning Swedish grammar was plagued by the retarded way our grammar categories were named. So for example infinitive would always have a second name in parenthesis which confused me alot as a child.
    Was this something you native English experienced with your language as well or is this a Swedish issue? I'm starting to think it was just my teachers being unpedagogic but I gotta know for sure.

  2. Moderator
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    #2

    Re: Is confusing naming of grammatical rules common in English?

    Like most Americans for many years, I had only a brief exposure to grammar when I was in school fifty years ago. I was taught sentence diagramming in one or two classes for a few months, but I don't remember any teacher telling me how learning to diagram sentences would ever help me.

    In eighth-grade English (ages 13 to 14), "new grammar" was introduced. I think it was based on transactional grammar. It was only mildly different from the traditional grammar I was taught before and after. The only thing I remember from it was that we now had three kinds of verbs: transitive, intransitive, and seem-type.

    I finally actually gained some understanding of English grammar when I took French in high school. Now that there was a clear purpose to learning grammar — mastering a second language — I had no difficulty learning what was necessary.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Is confusing naming of grammatical rules common in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by JerryTubs View Post
    Swedish is my first language but I'm fluent in English as well thanks to living in such an awesome country. My childhood experience of learning Swedish grammar was plagued by the retarded way our grammar categories were named. So, for example, an infinitive would always have a second name in parentheses which confused me alot a lot as a child.
    Was this something you native English speakers experienced with your language as well or is this a Swedish issue? I'm starting to think it was just my teachers being unpedagogic but I gotta I've got to know for sure.
    Welcome to the forum.

    I can't speak for other countries but very little grammar is taught in the UK, either in schools or at home. I was lucky in that my parents and maternal grandfather are/were obsessed with language so I learnt a lot at home as a young child but I learnt none at all at school. So on that basis alone, I can't say that I experienced the same problems as you did. Like GoesStation, my exposure to grammar at school came mainly from learning foreign languages (in my case, French and German) where grammar plays a much bigger role.

    Out of curiosity, what are these "second names" given to infinitives in Swedish?

    I have a suggestion about your member profile. At the moment, it says that your native language is American English. I think it would be a good idea for you to change that to Swedish as it is, after all, your first language. If you hadn't said that you were Swedish, I would have been very surprised by the errors in your post if I had thought they had been written by a native English speaker.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 03-Sep-2019 at 00:41. Reason: Fixed typo
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Is confusing naming of grammatical rules common in English?

    Like emsr2d2, I grew up in the UK, and attended a state secondary school, where I can tell you that I was taught zero English grammar.

    By the time I finished school, all of the grammar terminology I knew came from studying French and German. I remember on my initial teacher training course referring to what I now call the past simple, past continuous and past perfect as the 'preterite', 'imperfect' and 'pluperfect'.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: Is confusing naming of grammatical rules common in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I remember on my initial teacher training course referring to what I now call the past simple, past continuous and past perfect as the 'preterite', 'imperfect' and 'pluperfect'.
    I had that in school when studying French.

  6. VIP Member
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    #6

    Re: Is confusing naming of grammatical rules common in English?

    You should be aware that the use of "retarded" as a pejorative is frowned upon. Maybe you meant it literally. I'm not sure. Regardless, it is best avoided.

  7. Senior Member
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    #7

    Re: Is confusing naming of grammatical rules common in English?

    In Poland, we are taught almost no grammar. Althought we have a school subject called "Polish", which would suggest it's about (the) language, all we actually do there is read books (literature) and write essays. Everyone knows what nouns and verbs are, and can vaguely remember what adjectives and adverbs are, but that's as far as knowing linguistic terminology goes.

    Contrary to what other users have said above, learning a second language was not much better. I was shown how to "do exercises" and "pass tests" rather than speak the language, or anything about (the) language.

    I believe a large portion of what I've written is on the teachers and the students, though, not the syllabus. If I were a language expert in class with a bunch of brats kids that don't understand why an older guy is trying to show them some weird stuff they'll never find use for, and they'd quite frankly rather be elsewhere, I too would not bother teaching them squat about linguistics, just show them how to pass the test. I think it takes some genuine interest on both sides of the teacher-student relationship to actually teach/learn things, and you won't, realistically speaking, see that before highschool/higher education.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    You should be aware that the use of "retarded" as a pejorative is frowned upon. Maybe you meant it literally. I'm not sure. Regardless, it is best avoided.
    Not a teacher
    ------


    I think the word 'retarded' has lost its original meaning. It's more like a curse word now. If anyone is to be condemned for using it, it should be those who still use it to describe mentally impaired

    EDIT: Of curse, as a curse word, it should not have been used on this family-friendly forum.
    Last edited by Glizdka; 03-Sep-2019 at 21:31. Reason: Thank you, Ems

  8. VIP Member
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    #8

    Re: Is confusing naming of grammatical rules common in English?

    From what I have read about the National Curriculum, grammar seems to have made a comeback in British primary schools.

  9. Moderator
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    #9

    Re: Is confusing naming of grammatical rules common in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    I think the word 'retarded' has lost its original meaning.
    It hasn't. You shouldn't use it.
    I am not a teacher.

  10. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Is confusing naming of grammatical rules common in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post

    EDIT: Of course, as a course word, it should not have been used on this family-friendly forum.
    I know it's a typo, but did you mean to write "curse" or "coarse"?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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