Why not "go to home"?

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jamiep

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A common error the (Thai) students in my school make is "I go to home". There was a discussion in our teachers room today about explaining this but none of us could come up with a reason why this is incorrect.

You can go to school, go to church etc but you can't go to home. We know it's wrong but can't come up with reason beyond "it just is"

Any ideas?
 

BobK

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Maybe the word "homeward" comes into it.... [Still thinking (is there an icon for that?)...]

b
 

wace

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My guess is that 'home' in the phrase 'go home' takes on an adverbial value, rather like saying 'to go south'. You couldn't possibly say 'to go to south', could you?
 

Raymott

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We know it's wrong but can't come up with reason beyond "it just is"
That's an entirely respectable explanation, and it also happens to be right. :-D
That's just how we say it.
 

wace

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Whose explanation is 'entirely respectable'?
 

engee30

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Whose explanation is 'entirely respectable'?

Jamiep's. :)
Look at the post above yours - there's a box of blue colour containing the previous poster's comments to which Raymott was referring in his post.

Look at this post and what can you see now? Again, there's a blue box, but this time with your comments from your previous post, and I am referring to your post in my post now.
 

wace

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Thanks
that was an 'entirely respectable' (and detailed) reply!
 

engee30

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jamiep

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Thanks for the replies.

Given that some of the students struggle to understand the difference between a noun and a verb when asked, even if they can otherwise communicate fairly well, I'll stick with "just is" for now.
 

ladybird987

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Well, maybe it would be advisable to present them parts of the speech. This could help them a lot. Why don't you compair English with Thai? If they are not advanced enough to learn it in English, it would be easy in Thai.
 

jamiep

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Unfortunately my Thai is nowhere near good enough to make effective comparisons. The languages are radically different so I don't think it would be a goer even if my Thai was better.
 

BobK

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Yes, it would probably be a big risk. But I do think it's quite likely that there's some 'L1 interference' behind this issue.

b
 

jamiep

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I should probably qualify the problem in a specific Thai context a bit more. Initially the problem is to get Thais to use the "to" at all. They say things like "I go market", "I go hospital" etc. Then when you get them to start using "to" you have to tell them that you don't use "to" to talk about when they "go home".

You can see the look of confusion and "but you said" on their faces. The thing is I just can't think of why there is an apparent exception here.
 

Raymott

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I should probably qualify the problem in a specific Thai context a bit more. Initially the problem is to get Thais to use the "to" at all. They say things like "I go market", "I go hospital" etc. Then when you get them to start using "to" you have to tell them that you don't use "to" to talk about when they "go home".

You can see the look of confusion and "but you said" on their faces. The thing is I just can't think of why there is an apparent exception here.
If they have trouble in understanding exceptions to rules, maybe it would be useful to point out a few rule exceptions in Thai (if there are any). Then ask them to explain "why?" This will at least help them understand the concept that the language comes first, and the rules are inferred from the language - not the other around.
 

bhaisahab

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Maybe you should explain that "home" is an indefinite concept whereas "house" is definite so "I am going to my house." would be correct.
 

tzfujimino

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My guess is that 'home' in the phrase 'go home' takes on an adverbial value, rather like saying 'to go south'. You couldn't possibly say 'to go to south', could you?

Sorry to barge in...:oops:
I'd agree with wace, who has pointed out that " 'go home' takes on an adverbial value."

Please allow me to take three adverbs ('abroad', 'here' and 'there') for examples.

go abroad (NOT go to abroad)
come here (NOT come to here)
stay there (NOT stay at there....however, I've heard 'stay in there'...:cry:)

I understand that...prepositions do not precede adverbs.(They do not go together, with some exceptions such as....'Are you in there?'

So...'home', as in 'go home', is used as an adverb, I guess.
But...if...'home' is used as a noun, it might be probably...grammatically OK to say...'go to his home' or 'stay at her home.' Am I correct in saying this?:oops:

I'm not a native speaker of English, so if there's any mistake above...
please correct me....and forgive me...:oops:
 

engee30

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I think you've just hit the nail on the head, tzfujimino. :up:
 

wace

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I'd got there first! Ah!
Just kidding!
 

jamiep

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I think that this is way to complicated to try and explain to the students at my school, with a few exceptions, but at least it's a bit clearer in my head!

Thanks to all who chipped in.

:)
 

ladybird987

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And have you tried making huge posters on right: go to ...(and couple of examples),
on left: go home, go south, go abroad ?
Maybe they will get it intuitively?
 
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