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    #1

    Grammer questions

    Hello
    I am applying for a CELTA course. I am unsure of some of the answers to the questions in the application pack. I was hoping to get some help with them. If I can get help with them, I absolutely promise to spend the next 3 months studying hard so that I will be ready for the CELTA course come late June!

    I have to spot the mistake in the following sentences and correct it. Then explain the nature of each error. I understand how to correct the sentence in most cases. I am having trouble with explaining WHY they are errors.

    (a) I have 25 years.
    I am 25 years. ‘ I have’ refers to ownership whereas ‘I am’ means that the subject (I) is presently 25 years.

    (b) Borrow me your pen, will you?
    Lend me your pen, will you? If you use somebody’s pen, YOU ‘borrow’ it and THEY ‘lend’ it. Therefore if you are asking a question you are asking them if they will ‘lend’ the pen.

    (c) I like my coffee too hot.
    I like my coffee hot too. When using ‘too’ before hot it is a degree adverb meaning ‘more than is needed’. Using ‘too’ after hot makes is an adding adverb meaning ‘also’.

    (d) Can you remember me to go to the bank?
    Can you remind me to go to the bank? ‘Remember’ refers to the past and ‘remind’ refers to the future. For example you can remember an event that occurred in the past but you can only remind yourself or others of an event that needs to occur/or will occur in the future.

    (e) I’ve lived there 5 years ago.
    I lived there 5 years ago. ‘Have’ is a present perfect verb and refers to a past happening that somehow relates to the present time. As this the sentence does not relate to the present time, omit ‘have’ and the sentence becomes a past simple form ‘I liv(ed)’.

    (f) I am absolutely agree with you
    I absolutely agree with you. (I am really stuck on this one)

    (g) You must to decide on your destination
    You must decide on your destination. ‘To’ is a preposition of motion, movement, direction, time or ‘receiver’ OR is used before an infinitive. As ‘decide on your destination’ does not fit any of these categories, ‘to’ should not be used.

    (h) She remarked the beautiful scenery.
    She remarked on the beautiful scenery. By using ‘on’ in this manner it is a preposition and means ‘about’. Prepositions can be placed before a noun phrase such as ‘the beautiful scenery.

    (i) It’s not sure it’ll rain today
    I am not sure if it’ll rain today. ‘It’ does not refer to a person so it does not make sense to ‘it’ in this sentence. ‘I’ would be the better pronoun to use. ‘am’ is the verb that is used after ‘I’. Because the subject (I) is not sure if it will rain (it may or may not rain) and ‘if’ introduces a condition that may or may not happen, then ‘if’ is placed before the main clause.

    (j) I’m boring with this exercise
    I’m bored with this exercise. This is a passive sentence and the past participle bor(ed) is used after the irregular verb ‘am’.

    Any help at all will be greatly appreciated. I am using the book 'An A to Z of English Grammar and Usage'. I am starting to panick that I have not applied for the course earlier. I leave for Vietnam in 3 months. HELP


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    #2

    Re: Grammer questions

    (d) Can you remember me to go to the bank?
    Can you remind me to go to the bank? ‘Remember’ refers to the past and ‘remind’ refers to the future. For example you can remember an event that occurred in the past but you can only remind yourself or others of an event that needs to occur/or will occur in the future.


    It can also operate in the present e.g. "May I remind you this is a court of law."

    I am absolutely agree with you
    I absolutely agree with you. (I am really stuck on this one)

    The sentence is half-way between Present Continuous - "I am absolutely agreeing with you", which is colloquial for "I am agreeing with you absolutely" and Present tense, as you have given. Since the phrasing of the first sentence is more colloquial (I'm absolutely agreeing') and this is a formal test of English, it would be better to choose the sentence that you did!

    It’s not sure it’ll rain today
    I am not sure if it’ll rain today. ‘It’ does not refer to a person so it does not make sense to ‘it’ in this sentence. ‘I’ would be the better pronoun to use. ‘am’ is the verb that is used after ‘I’. Because the subject (I) is not sure if it will rain (it may or may not rain) and ‘if’ introduces a condition that may or may not happen, then ‘if’ is placed before the main clause.

    Better to say, the sentence requires a personal pronoun in the nominative, rather than singling out "I".
    Whether 'if' is required is 'iffy'. In the sentence, "He's not sure it'll rain today", it may be wished that it will rain because someone has scattered lawn fertilizer/weed/moss killer, which requires a thorough soaking within 2 days. Hence, if someone is expressing pessimism, the complete sentence might be, "He's not sure that it'll/it will rain today. (You might have to use a sprinkler instead.)

    (j) I’m boring with this exercise
    I’m bored with this exercise. This is a passive sentence and the past participle bor(ed) is used after the irregular verb ‘am’.

    This isn't to do with voice. If you are asked to 'spot the mistake', then I can think of a context in which the sentence as given could be appropriate (hence no mistake!...but the context would not be common).
    Then, the two possibilities are that (i) 'you' has been omitted; "I am boring you with this exercise", said by a frustrated instructor, or (ii) as you have suggested, "I'm bored with this exercise." The frequency of usage of the respective sentences suggests that your option, (ii), is the better.
    (However, since it is open for you to state your reasons, you could thus state ALL your reasoning and logical deduction, and be particularly impressive!)

    THE REST ARE FINE!
    Last edited by David L.; 12-Mar-2009 at 14:27.

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    #3

    Re: Grammer questions

    HI, is this a test for Spanish speakers?

    (f) I am absolutely agree with you
    I absolutely agree with you. (I am really stuck on this one)
    You could explain: unlike in Spanish in English to agree is a verb. It is not conjugated with the verb to be unless you use the continuous tense of course.

    Personally I am absolutely agreeing with you would be very unusual, or even incorrect due to the use of absolutely.

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    #4

    Re: Grammer questions

    It’s not sure it’ll rain today
    I think the mistake here is located in the use of will.

    it's not sure it's going to rain today.

    Why should it not be correct? Unless I am influenced too, in Spanish this sentence would make perfect sense once again.

    However, I would also use I'm not sure....though it's not sure does not sound incorrect to me at all.

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    #5

    Re: Grammer questions

    (g) You must to decide on your destination
    I think your explanation is not correct.

    must is a modal verb and all modals except ought to are used without to!

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    #6

    Re: Grammer questions

    This isn't to do with voice.
    Interestinig use, DAvid, can this be used like this, I mean, is this a common usage?

    I would have said: This has nothing to do with....

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    #7

    Re: Grammer questions

    (j) I’m boring with this exercise
    This is not a passive sentence. Bored (the correct one) is an adjective here.

    to be boring is a personal quality, characteristic
    to be bored a state of mind, a momentary state

    ( in Spanish the difference is made by using ser y estar, I wonder if you can use this "Spanish" reasoning in your explanations??)

    Your explanation is not correct.


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    #8

    Re: Grammer questions

    "This isn't to do with..." is more an objective statement of fact.
    When a person says, "This has nothing to do with..." it is usually used in a sense that is dismissive of what the person has said. It has the implication that the person must be a bit of an idiot for thinking it DID have something to do with it!
    It could be used more 'safely' if you were commenting on yourself: e.g. you are giving a lecture, and go off on a tangent about something, and return to the topic by saying, "But the delightful day we spent with the curator's family has nothing to do with what you come here to learn about, the Ming dynasty porcelain in his museum!) It would be regarded as humourous self-deprecation.

    It can also be used in the manner of:
    "This has nothing to do with you so mind your own business!"
    Last edited by David L.; 12-Mar-2009 at 14:45.

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    #9

    Re: Grammer questions

    Hi, they are the same meaning between : I like my " HOT " coffee too = I like my coffee " HOT " too ?

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    #10

    Re: Grammer questions

    (d) Can you remember me to go to the bank?
    Your reasoning is once again inappropiate.

    The use if different:

    remember something or somebody/ or doing something
    remind somebody to do something

    Remind as a verb can be used in the past: I reminded him to go....

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