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    • Join Date: Sep 2008
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    #1

    3 questions on English usage

    I would like to double check on three points concerning correctness of the sentence structure. My daughter used it in her school work (esse) and the teacher marked it as "incorrect". I do question this evaluation and would like 2nd opinion.

    1. The sentence "People here are very friendly". Is this wrong? The teacher said that it can ONLY be "People are very friendly here".

    2. The sentence "I'll be back after tomorrow". The teacher said that it can ONLY say "day (month, year, etc.) after tomorrow. Is this right? Personally, I would never say "I'll be back after tomorrow" myself, but it does not mean that it is necessarily wrong... please help!

    3. The esse (it was in a letter form) ended "Your loving daughter, Daria". The teacher rejected this ending saying that it can only be the stndard "truly yours", "sincerely", etc.

    Oksana

  1. #2

    Re: 3 questions on English usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Oksana Romanova View Post
    I would like to double check on three points concerning correctness of the sentence structure. My daughter used it in her school work (esse) and the teacher marked it as "incorrect". I do question this evaluation and would like 2nd opinion.

    1. The sentence "People here are very friendly". Is this wrong? The teacher said that it can ONLY be "People are very friendly here".

    2. The sentence "I'll be back after tomorrow". The teacher said that it can ONLY say "day (month, year, etc.) after tomorrow. Is this right? Personally, I would never say "I'll be back after tomorrow" myself, but it does not mean that it is necessarily wrong... please help!

    3. The esse (it was in a letter form) ended "Your loving daughter, Daria". The teacher rejected this ending saying that it can only be the stndard "truly yours", "sincerely", etc.

    Oksana
    Privet, Oksana! Hello.
    Well, firstly, I must say I am not a teacher of English but just another language appreciator. Besides, I could not resist to try and help out my fellow Russian. I've been living in the US for over 8 years so, hopefully, my language intuition evolved enough to be somewhat useful.

    1. While the second version, "People are very friendly here" is surely more grammatically accurate, I, personally, don't see why we can't say it the way your daughter did. Everybody would understand; the word order doesn't really seem as strict as we, in Russian schools, were taught; even in literature, not just in the spoken English... I wouldn't count it a mistake, anyway.

    2. I, too, think it is incorrect. It is the same as to say "I want home" instead of "I want to go home." For us, Russians, it makes persfect sense to say "I'll be back after tomorrow" or "I want home" but in Englsih, I believe, it sounds like you miss the element that carries the main meaning.
    Anyway, I would count it as a mistake, yes.

    3. I wouldn't agree with the teacher on this one. "Truly yours", "Sincerely" both sound formal; yet for a signature in an informal letter, I see nothing wrong in signing like your daughter did. I, myself, receive letters from my American friends signed, "Your loving, such and such." "Your confused,..." "Your tired..." So it depends to whom you write, I guess... I don't think it is a mistake.

    Well, hope if I didn't help, then at least lifted yours and your Daria's spirits.


    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 7
    #3

    Re: 3 questions on English usage

    Hello NanetteDee!

    The situation is that although I am currently back in Russia, I lived in NY for 22 years - I left Russia when I was 18 and came back at 40. Now, Daria, my daughter, came back with me when she was 9 and she didn't know a single Russian word. So, her first language is English. And while her Russian is fluent now (she is 17), and her English has been developing less rapidly than if she would live in an English-speaking country, it is still her first language and she has a very good natural feel for this language. She reads English books, watches movies, and practices her English enough to prevent it from getting rusty. Now, there is a resentment from her English teacher (right now she is a student in a non-language oriented school), because Daria's English is much better that hers and it makes her (the teacher) uncomfortable. I was always telling her not to embarass the teacher, not to correct her mistakes, be delicate, etc, but there is still tension. The teacher is clearly determined not to allow her to have "5" ("A") in her school record, and this is her last year in school and therefore this grade IS important (the University she want to enter cares about the English grade as one of the acceptance criteria). She continually criticizes her pronounciation, although Daria speaks English like a 100% American. All right, this is not Brittish, but there is no such requirement that it must necessarily be Brittish, and besides, it is a whole lot better than her teacher's heavy Russian accent!

    Anyway, I decided not to just leave it at this now. Perhaps if her teacher will know that parents are watching from behind, she will be more careful. In Daria's esse, I was only questioning the second - "I'll be back after tomorrow". While I would not use such sentence myself, I can't say it is outright wrong either.... I am not an English expert, although I do know it much better than her teacher also. There is no problem with the other two and I know it. I just wanted to get a third party opinion so that I can bring it to the teacher. She gave her "C" for this esse for the above mentioned "errors". My own opinion is nothing in both the terms of expertise and objectivity. And so I want to know that either these are legitimate errors and so I am wrong, or I want to get her grade corrected.

    Thank you very much for your help!

    Oksana


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #4

    Re: 3 questions on English usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Oksana Romanova View Post
    I would like to double check on three points concerning correctness of the sentence structure. My daughter used it in her school work (essay) and the teacher marked it as "incorrect". I do question this evaluation and would like 2nd opinion.

    1. The sentence "People here are very friendly". Is this wrong? The teacher said that it can ONLY be "People are very friendly here".

    2. The sentence "I'll be back after tomorrow". The teacher said that it can ONLY say "day (month, year, etc.) after tomorrow. Is this right? Personally, I would never say "I'll be back after tomorrow" myself, but it does not mean that it is necessarily wrong... please help!

    3. The essay (it was in a letter form) ended "Your loving daughter, Daria". The teacher rejected this ending saying that it can only be the stndard "truly yours", "sincerely", etc.

    Oksana
    The problem is that your daughter's teacher is having to teach strict formal grammar.

    Sentence #1 is fine both ways round, but the teacher's preference is strictly grammatical. Your daughter's way has a slight element of emphasis on the people rather than the place.

    Sentence #2 is also colloquially fine and often heard;it does leave the time of return open. I suggest the teacher is trying to make this point.

    Sentence #3 In an informal letter, the ending is entirely up to the writer. If, however, your daughter was asked to write a formal letter, then the ending does have to follow rules. In that case, a letter to a stranger ends "Yours faithfully"; a letter to a business contact or an acquaintance ends "Yours sincerely" or, in the case of someone known well, "Yours truly".


    • Join Date: Sep 2008
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    #5

    Re: 3 questions on English usage

    Anglika!

    Thank you so very much!!! I just printed out your answer, gave it to my daughter, and made her happy. Now we will see how it will go with the teacher....

    Thanks again!

    Oksana

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    #6

    Re: 3 questions on English usage

    Are you sure she received the "C" because of these errors?

    Be sure to ask how the paper was graded.


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    #7

    Re: 3 questions on English usage

    Absolutely. She brought her work home with teacher's red marks and comments on it.

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    #8

    Re: 3 questions on English usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    The problem is that your daughter's teacher is having to teach strict formal grammar.

    ...
    Sentence #3 In an informal letter, the ending is entirely up to the writer. If, however, your daughter was asked to write a formal letter, then the ending does have to follow rules. In that case, a letter to a stranger ends "Yours faithfully"; a letter to a business contact or an acquaintance ends "Yours sincerely" or, in the case of someone known well, "Yours truly".
    A letter from Daria to her parent must be informal, so there is nothing at all wrong with Daria's valediction. Are you sure, Oksana, that the fault was to write the 'wrong' valediction (perhaps the teacher hadn't met it?), or that the whole letter was wrong (since the question had asked for a formal one)? If an informal letter was acceptable, Daria's version was fine.

    b

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    #9

    Re: 3 questions on English usage

    Ask to see the assignment instructions.

    Was the assignment clear to the student?
    Were there certain things the letter had to contain?
    Was the format correct?
    Were the words spelled correctly?
    Was it written neatly?
    Was it on time?

    P.S. There is nothing "wrong" with a "C" nor should she feel ashamed - learn from the mistakes.


    • Join Date: Sep 2008
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    #10

    Re: 3 questions on English usage

    No, everything was fine except for these three things... This was an informal letter to me and there was no requirement for a formal letter. But... I also got a reply from a friend of mine who is English language professional (I was not sure if he is around and so asked this forum as well as him). I just got a reply from him and the first two questions do support teacher's opinion. Here it is below.


    1. The sentence "People here are very friendly". Is this outright wrong? The teacher said that it can ONLY be "People are very friendly here".

    I agree with the teacher on the first statement. "Here" is an adverb. Adverbs only modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. The way Daria has placed the "here" in her sentence only confuses the grammar. People (subject noun) here (adverb---which cannot modify a noun) are (linking verb) very (adverb-modifying next adjective) friendly (adjective). "Here" can be a noun, and it can be an adjective, but in this case, Daria is clearly using it as an adverb. To wit, it should be used closed to the adjective (not noun) that it modifies.

    2. The sentence "I'll be back after tomorrow". The teacher said that it can ONLY say "day (month, year, etc.) after tomorrow. Is this right? Personally, I would never say "I'll be back after tomorrow" myself, but it does not mean that it is necessarily wrong...


    I think what the teacher is implying is that the sentence is convoluted. Like you said yourself, you would never use this sentence---there is a better way of expressing the idea, i.e. "I'll be back two days from now." "I'll be back the day after tomorrow." Precision in writing is very important, and the wording of the sentence is imprecise. It's arguably correct grammar, but in this case, it would seem to be a syntactical error.


    3. The essay (it was in a letter form) ended "Your loving daughter, Daria". The teacher rejected this ending saying that it can only be the standard "truly yours", "sincerely", etc. what an idiot!


    Clearly, the end of a letter has to reflect the audience. If one is writing to a parent, "Your loving daughter," seems a perfectly reasonable sign-off. Was the letter addressed to a parent? If it was, then the teacher is making mountains of mole hills. If it was not addressed to a parent (which I highly doubt), then of course Daria should not have ended it in that way.

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