He learns English hard, does John.

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notletrest

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Teachers, Are the sentences right?
1.He learns English hard, does John.
2. She’s had a hard life, has Ma Parker.
Thanks!
 

BobK

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2's fine (as I think you know). 1 is not.

You could say 'He has a hard time learning English...' or 'He finds learning English hard...'. If he's demonstrative about it, you could say 'He makes hard work of learning English...' or 'he's making heavy weather of learning English...'. The '...does John' is OK, though not formal (and rather dated - my teachers used to say it but my peers don't).

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Barb_D

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Or perhaps you mean he is a diligent student: He studies hard, does he.
 

BobK

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Or perhaps you mean he is a diligent student: He studies hard, does he.
Hmm - didn't think of that. I assumed that notlerest had found sentence 2 (different font) and was trying to use the word in another context invented by him or her, but with 'hard' used in the same sense ('difficult/taxing/arduous...'), successfully matching the rather archaic sentence tag 'has Ma Parker'/'does John'.

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Frank Antonson

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I rather like, "He learns English hard, does John". I certainly understand it. You could add the word "so" before "John", which would add to its "understandability" but detract from its style.
 

5jj

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I rather like, "He learns English hard, does John". I certainly understand it. You could add the word "so" before "John", which would add to its "understandability" but detract from its style.
"He learns English hard, does so John"? That sounds very un-English to me.
 

Frank Antonson

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"He learns English hard, so does John". It's a little like "John learns English hard, yes he does." Perhaps it is unenglish, but so it "That was the most unkindest cut of all".
 

notletrest

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2's fine (as I think you know). 1 is not.

You could say 'He has a hard time learning English...' or 'He finds learning English hard...'. If he's demonstrative about it, you could say 'He makes hard work of learning English...' or 'he's making heavy weather of learning English...'. The '...does John' is OK, though not formal (and rather dated - my teachers used to say it but my peers don't).

b
According to you , it seems to me that the following four sentences are all right.
'He has a hard time learning English, does John.
'He finds learning English hard,does John.
'He makes hard work of learning English,does John.
'He is making heavy weather of learning English,does John.' (of course he=John)
But I don't know why "He learns English hard, does John," is not , and why "She's a hard life ,has Ma Parker," is right.
In my eyes , if the original 2# is right, 1# is right, too.
By the way, the forth sentence of yours “He is making heavy weather of learning English,does John ," putting up a new question, should we change "does" into "is"?
Thank Bobk very much!
 

BobK

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Yes you should. Study collocates with hard, but learn doesn't. That's why your first sentence doesn't work. FA says he would understand it; but I wonder which of these three meanings he would understand:

  • He finds it hard to study...
  • He makes a great effort to study...[but but is hindered or distracted]
  • He studies diligently...[and successfully]
There maybe other meanings to understand. So while some people may quibble with my assertion that it's wrong, it's unquestionably ambiguous (and to be avoided for that reason) ;-)

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Frank Antonson

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The third, I think.

Ambiguity is not always to be avoided. The English of science and the English of entertainment are quite different. Puns are fun, and they are all about ambiguity.

FA
 

BobK

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Sorry :oops: - I assumed this was in the Ask a Teacher forum. All but the most advanced students of ELT want to avoid ambiguity. What you do here is your own business ;-)

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Barb_D

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Sorry :oops: - I assumed this was in the Ask a Teacher forum.

b

Me too! That's what I get for going by "new posts" instead of by forum.
 

notletrest

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Hmm - didn't think of that. I assumed that notlerest had found sentence 2 (different font) and was trying to use the word in another context invented by him or her, but with 'hard' used in the same sense ('difficult/taxing/arduous...'), successfully matching the rather archaic sentence tag 'has Ma Parker'/'does John'.

b
Just as your assumption, first I learned that “ In even more informal style, the operator is sometimes included with postponed identification to some dialects, there may be inversion when the verb is be. . He is a completely idiot, is John. = John is..“ (Quirk, p.1301) It reminds me of the sentence “She’s had a hard life, has Ma Parker.” Then the question comes to me why does Quirk only point out “when the verb is be” and without an example of verb do ?
Please help me ,teachers!Thanks!
 

BobK

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:-? Is that p 1301 Quirk quote right? It should be either 'He is a complete idiot...' or 'He is completely idiotic...'.

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notletrest

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:-? Is that p 1301 Quirk quote right? It should be either 'He is a complete idiot...' or 'He is completely idiotic...'.

b
Sorry , I am so careless. The page is 1310,not 1301.The sentence is :He's a complete idiot, is John. It is not that " He is completely idiotic...."
I feel ashamed for myself!
Thank you, indeed!
 
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