English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:59 pm UTC

Indeed, it's also worth noting that inconsistencies like "thou art" and "thou beest" aren't necessarily "inconsistent", so much as existing in parallel for the same function. Plenty of things like that happen in contemporary English, e.g., "there is"/"there are" and "if it were"/"if it was". Today attempts to speak old timey can be inconsistent because most modern speakers aren't intimately familiar with older forms of English grammar and in fact might mix and match various periods in the attempt to sound old timey in addition to imperfectly mimicking.

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Postby a1aka3 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:48 pm UTC

Hello - I am here only for myself =)
I want to learn English.
currently I use the translator ....
I hope that I can here in this thread could describe their achievements.
today we have 11.10.2011. study will begin with the teacher privately after 2 h per day 3 days a week (think that is enough?) for 10 days for 3 months.
I hope you will support me because I actually want to be able to communicate anywhere will, then I could say I am a free man. That is why I want to do this.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:06 pm UTC

Hi Wojtek :) . Good luck!
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Anonymously Famous » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:34 am UTC

Hello, Wojtek.

What translator do you use? Do you use Google?

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:31 am UTC

I have a question about the underlined part (it's a text about gamifying e-mail):

"Another possibility is that receivers can anonymously score mails, similar like some discussion websites use user-based moderation systems. On each mail the receiver(s) can up-vote or down-vote, or maybe choose more specific options like "boring", "interesting", "relevant", "I wish you would not have sent this mail", "HTML bloat", "this should not have been marked as important", "Can we please not use mail as a collaborative editing tool?" and so on."

"similar like" is probably wrong.
Usually it's "similar to" ... but this sounds wrong in this sentence, too.
What say them native speakers to this?
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:55 am UTC

I would go with either "similar to how some discussion websites use..." or "similar to some discussion websites that use..."

More nitpickingly, I'd use either "mail" or "e-mails" instead of "mails", since mail is usually a mass noun, and probably use "could" instead of "can". But again, that's just nitpicking.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby firechicago » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:12 pm UTC

Monika wrote:"Another possibility is that receivers can anonymously score mails, similar like some discussion websites use user-based moderation systems.


I would use "much like some discussion web sites" unless the context was extremely formal (like an official statement of policy or a legal document). Another option along Iulus' lines would be "similar to the way some discussion web sites."

"Similar like" while perfectly understandable, is completely unidiomatic to my ear, and would mark the user as a non-native speaker to me.

The difficulty you're running up against is that "similar to" is usually followed by a noun, but you're comparing to an action these web sites take, not the sites themselves, so you need to insert a phrase like "the way that some web sites..." or "the manner in which some web sites..." in order to make it grammatically correct. (For this same reason Iulus' solution, although you hear it somewhat commonly, sounds slightly incorrect to my ear).

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Anonymously Famous » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:19 pm UTC

Iulus's suggestion sounds fine to me. the "how" turns the phrase following it into a functional noun.

I would use "similar to how...," as Iulus suggested, or "much as..."

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:38 am UTC

Thanks :) .


New question: "The cat in the hat" - that cat is not in the hat. It's a cat with a hat, or maybe under a hat. Is it normal to use "in" in that way or does it sound strange to native speakers, too? Is it only so that it works better with the rhyming/rhythm? Is it meant to sound funny?
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:37 am UTC

"In (the/a) X", where X is some kind of garment, is normal as a descriptor. For example, "Look at that guy!" "Which guy?" "The guy in the tuxedo!"
I'm not sure why "in" is the preposition of choice here. Prepositions can get pretty weird at times.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:45 am UTC

"in the X" is definitely idiomatic when X is an item of clothing (or hat or glove etc.) although you might sometimes use "wearing" rather than "in". The only justification I can give is that, beyond their most basic uses, prepositions don't map nicely between languages at all and are often completely divorced from their basic use (particularly in English with its common phrasal verbs e.g. "shut up").
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Grop » Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:41 pm UTC

Even without considering idiomatic phrases, in has some meanings that don't mean inclusion at all. This dictionary gives good examples:

4. (used to indicate limitation or qualification, as of situation, condition, relation, manner, action, etc.): to speak in a whisper; to be similar in appearance.
5. (used to indicate means): sketched in ink; spoken in French.

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Re: English as She Is Spiked [English practice]

Postby Monika » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:41 pm UTC

Thanks guys.

New question, this is about hyphenating adjectives.

"This is a channel-agnostic service." I am certain English hyphenates adjectives in front of nouns like this. (Does this vary by English variety, like US / UK?)

However:

"Business services should be channel[-]agnostic." Here I am not completely certain, is this hyphen mandatory, optional, or prohibited? I think it's also mandatory there like in the first example, but I could be wrong.
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Re: English as She Is Spiked [English practice]

Postby PM 2Ring » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:58 pm UTC

Monika wrote:What say them native speakers to this?

Um.

What say the native speakers to this?
or
What say you native speakers to this?


Monika wrote:"This is a channel-agnostic service." I am certain English hyphenates adjectives in front of nouns like this. (Does this vary by English variety, like US / UK?)

However:

"Business services should be channel[-]agnostic." Here I am not completely certain, is this hyphen mandatory, optional, or prohibited? I think it's also mandatory there like in the first example, but I could be wrong.


Formally, it's mandatory in both cases, although leaving it out in the second example isn't as bad as it is with the first one.

I suspect that US English may be a little less strict than Australian or British English regarding this construction.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Anonymously Famous » Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:31 pm UTC

I've seen the hyphen dropped in both cases, but it's pretty mandatory in the first. I think it's also technically mandatory in the second case, but I see it dropped more often in that type of construction.

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Re: English as She Is Spiked [English practice]

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:28 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:
Monika wrote:What say them native speakers to this?

Um.

What say the native speakers to this?
or
What say you native speakers to this?


What say them is correct, although informal and charmingly non-standard.

As an American, I was taught that hyphenation should be done in two instances:

1) In certain fossilized spellings, e.g., "well-informed".

2) When there is an ambiguity due to compound words that you want to be clarified. Say you have the sentence (forgive the wonky word choice) "There are reverse bracket switches in the wall." It's ambiguous if the switches are bracket switches, which are reversed for some reason, or they are switches made with reverse brackets. To disambiguate the first you can write, "There are reverse bracket-switches..." and for the latter, "There are reverse-bracket switches..."

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Re: English as She Is Spiked [English practice]

Postby Derek » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:18 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:What say them is correct, although informal and charmingly non-standard.

I'm pretty sure it's not (though I think it was an intentional mistake). "What do native speakers say to this" would be correct (though "about" instead of "to" may be preferred).

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Re: English as She Is Spiked [English practice]

Postby Monika » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:57 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:
Monika wrote:What say them native speakers to this?

Um.

What say the native speakers to this?
or
What say you native speakers to this?

I think it would be "What do the native speakers say to/about this?"

Monika wrote:"This is a channel-agnostic service." I am certain English hyphenates adjectives in front of nouns like this. (Does this vary by English variety, like US / UK?)

However:

"Business services should be channel[-]agnostic." Here I am not completely certain, is this hyphen mandatory, optional, or prohibited? I think it's also mandatory there like in the first example, but I could be wrong.


Formally, it's mandatory in both cases, although leaving it out in the second example isn't as bad as it is with the first one.

Thanks, that works well with my feeling.
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Re: English as She Is Spiked [English practice]

Postby PM 2Ring » Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:07 am UTC

Derek wrote: (though I think it was an intentional mistake).

I also suspected that it may have been an intentional mistake, but in a thread like this one it's probably a good idea to mark such things with an emoticon.
Derek wrote: "What do native speakers say to this" would be correct (though "about" instead of "to" may be preferred).

Agreed, although that's probably more a question of style rather than of formal correctness. To my ears, the use of "to" is slightly old-fashioned, although such constructions seem to be experiencing a revival.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:23 am UTC

John Leacock, in 1776 wrote:Hark! what say them Tories?—Silence—let 'em speak,
Poor fools! dumb—they hav'n't spoke a word this week,


"What say you" and "What say them" are essentially the same construction.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Derek » Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:26 am UTC

I don't see how. "Them" is objective, "you" can be either subjective or objective, but in this context subjective makes the most sense. I think it's interesting that you found a historical example though, do you know if there is any discussion on this form? I've certainly never seen it before.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby poxic » Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:27 am UTC

Not really.

"What say them" = what are those people over there saying, the ones I'm pointing at?
"What say you" = what are you people saying, you people to whom I am speaking?

It's the same sort of grammar, but a different meaning. Sort of.

/edit: directed to IC.

//later edit to respond to that chap below: OK, I see what you were after.
Last edited by poxic on Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:43 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:37 am UTC

English tends to prefer the objective form of a pronoun, even when it is the subject, except in particular circumstances, immediately preceding the main verb being the most frequent environment.

I meant that they are the same grammatical construction, the pronouns differing only in person.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Aiwendil » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:01 pm UTC

I meant that they are the same grammatical construction, the pronouns differing only in person.


I don't know - personally speaking, I most definitely hear the 'you' in 'what say you' as nominative/subjective. 'What say them' sounds quite wrong (non-standard) to me; I would expect 'what say they'. This may be a matter of dialect.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Lazar » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:15 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:
John Leacock, in 1776 wrote:Hark! what say them Tories?—Silence—let 'em speak,
Poor fools! dumb—they hav'n't spoke a word this week,


"What say you" and "What say them" are essentially the same construction.

But in your example, Mr Leacock is using the deictic construction "them [noun]" which remains common in informal speech today. It doesn't follow that he would have considered "What say them?" a well-formed sentence.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Anonymously Famous » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:38 pm UTC

But the usage that started this also had "them [noun]" ("What say them native speakers"), so the example is a good one.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:56 pm UTC

Have we hijacked this thread to split hairs?

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby skullturf » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:31 pm UTC

In any case, it's probably fair to say that "What say they?", "What say them?", and "What say them people?" would all be quite rare in everyday non-jocular English in 2011.

We'd probably say things like "What do they say?", "What do those people say?", or "What do native speakers say?"

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Cathode Ray Sunshine » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:14 pm UTC

Ok, so I was taught, and apparently this only applies to US English (?), that when you want to write possessive of a word that ends in S, you just add the apostrophe afterward. Example : James' car. Now my question is, you pronounce that as Jameses car right? Because maybe I've been mishearing, but I've seen some instances on tv shows or movies where in situations like that, they just pronounce the word that ends in -S as it would sound naturally, like James car.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby skullturf » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:09 am UTC

I definitely say things that sound like "Jameses car" and "Phyllises desk" and "Borises hat". I suspect that's what the majority of English speakers say too, but I'm not certain.

You'll find that at least some style guides say you should write "James's car" and "Phyllis's desk" and "Boris's hat". I know that aesthetically, some argue for "James's car" and some argue for "James' car". Personally, I have a strong preference for the one with the s after the apostrophe. (My real first name ends in S.)

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Lazar » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:44 am UTC

skullturf wrote:I definitely say things that sound like "Jameses car" and "Phyllises desk" and "Borises hat". I suspect that's what the majority of English speakers say too, but I'm not certain.

You'll find that at least some style guides say you should write "James's car" and "Phyllis's desk" and "Boris's hat". I know that aesthetically, some argue for "James's car" and some argue for "James' car". Personally, I have a strong preference for the one with the s after the apostrophe. (My real first name ends in S.)

Agreed on both points. I've only noticed people omitting the spoken "es" when reading old poetry, or with the name "Jesus" in ecclesiastical settings.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:22 am UTC

I find that when speaking slowly, I say "Jameses", but when speaking quickly I pretty much just drag out the last sibilant without sticking a vowel there.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Cathode Ray Sunshine » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:03 am UTC

I have a question regarding two verbs. It probably applies to other verbs, but I've only noticed it with these two.

Cast, and Fit.

Now, I don't think I've seen the word casted, but I think it's a valid conjugation no? Let's say I got a part in a tv show, would I say I got cast or I got casted?

With fit, I think it depends on how I'm using it. Because I think The piece fit in with no problem is correct, so it's not fitted, but fit. But I've seen that you get fitted for a dress, for instance. I don't think I'm explaining myself well, I hope you get the idea.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Lazar » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:18 am UTC

Cathode Ray Sunshine wrote:Cast, and Fit.

Now, I don't think I've seen the word casted, but I think it's a valid conjugation no? Let's say I got a part in a tv show, would I say I got cast or I got casted?

With fit, I think it depends on how I'm using it. Because I think The piece fit in with no problem is correct, so it's not fitted, but fit. But I've seen that you get fitted for a dress, for instance. I don't think I'm explaining myself well, I hope you get the idea.

You should say "I got cast" and "The piece fit in". To fit someone for clothing is kind of a separate usage, in which the verb has been regularized; it's correct to say "she was fitted" in that context.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby poxic » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:30 am UTC

"I got cast" sounds common enough, but a bit clunky to me. "I was cast [in the movie]" also sounds odd, but not necessarily wrong, I think. "I was casted" is right out, unless maybe I'm describing how someone tied me to the end of a fishing line and tossed me into a lake (casting via Wiki).

If I were writing it, I would probably rearrange the sentence as "I was given a part in the movie" or something that avoids that construction.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:34 am UTC

There a few verbs that end in /t/ that have no past tense, although there is sometimes regularization of them. A quick Google search suggests about a 10 to 1 preference for "was cast" versus "was casted". Checking COCA or BNC might give you better numbers.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Cathode Ray Sunshine » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:22 pm UTC

Thanks guys. I assume that cast and fit also don't change when in the past participle.

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Re: English as She Is Wrotten [English practice]

Postby Monika » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:47 pm UTC

In school I learned possessive 's like this:
John -> John's house
Hans -> Hans' house
But now I often see:
Hans -> Hans's house
It doesn't even seem to be non-standard, even newspapers do it.
Is this a new rule / change of the rule?
Or is this US American vs. British English usage?

(BTW, did you know John and Hans are basically the same name?)
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Re: English as She Is Wrotten [English practice]

Postby skullturf » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

Monika wrote:In school I learned possessive 's like this:
John -> John's house
Hans -> Hans' house
But now I often see:
Hans -> Hans's house
It doesn't even seem to be non-standard, even newspapers do it.
Is this a new rule / change of the rule?
Or is this US American vs. British English usage?

(BTW, did you know John and Hans are basically the same name?)


I don't have time to research this in detail right now, but my impression and my memory is that both conventions are sometimes used.

The difference might not be as straightforward as a simple US/UK divide -- you might be able to find two widely used style guides in the same country that have opposite preferences.

Here's one to get started.

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/CMS ... ves01.html

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Re: English as She Is Wrotten [English practice]

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:24 pm UTC

Monika wrote:In school I learned possessive 's like this:
John -> John's house
Hans -> Hans' house
But now I often see:
Hans -> Hans's house
It doesn't even seem to be non-standard, even newspapers do it.
Is this a new rule / change of the rule?
Or is this US American vs. British English usage?

(BTW, did you know John and Hans are basically the same name?)


I have always thought of Hans's as being non-standard, but hyper-correct. When I was first taught apostrophes, I was taught that possessives were shown by "'s" and that, for plurals ending in "s" it became " ' ". I was then also taught that it was usual (but not required) to do the same on any word ending in "s".

Incidentally, I believe a similar convention is often used for words ending in "z".
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