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English puzzle 1

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ian H, 2 Dec 2018.

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  1. Ian H

    Ian H

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    10year olds homework. I have no idea.

    DACACFB2-01E1-478C-8EA9-77D1103D16B4.jpeg
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    that's quite normal, as you weren't in the class that was taught them this week. I bet if you had the class handouts, you'd have enough of an idea to look it up. I don't recall being taught grammatical rules of English at school, only when studying foreign languages. Most people learn their own language by immersion, not by memorising rules of grammar. Remember that the first duty of a grammarian is to observe how a language is spoken, not to define how it should be spoken.

    I sucked these off the web:

    Relative clauses are clauses starting with the relative pronouns who*, that, which, whose, where, when. They are most often used to define or identify the noun that precedes them. Here are some examples:

    • Do you know the girl who started in grade 7 last week?
    • Can I have the pencil that I gave you this morning?
    • A notebook is a computer which can be carried around.
    • I won't eat in a restaurant whose cooks smoke.
    • I want to live in a place where there is lots to do.
    • Yesterday was a day when everything went wrong!
    and

    The relative pronouns are:

    Subject Object Possessive
    who who(m) whose
    which which whose
    that that

    We use who and whom for people, and which for things.
    Or we can use that for people or things.

    We use relative pronouns:

    after a noun, to make it clear which person or thing we are talking about:

    the house that Jack built
    the woman who discovered radium
    an eight-year-old boy who attempted to rob a sweet shop

    • to tell us more about a person or thing:

    My mother, who was born overseas, has always been a great traveller.
    Lord Thompson, who is 76, has just retired.
    We had fish and chips, which is my favourite meal.

    But we do not use that as a subject in this kind of relative clause.

    We use whose as the possessive form of who:

    This is George, whose brother went to school with me.

    We sometimes use whom as the object of a verb or preposition:

    This is George, whom you met at our house last year.
    This is George’s brother, with whom I went to school.

    But nowadays we normally use who:

    This is George, who you met at our house last year.
    This is George’s brother, who I went to school with.

    When whom or which have a preposition the preposition can come at the beginning of the clause...

    I had an uncle in Germany, from who[m] I inherited a bit of money.
    We bought a chainsaw, with which we cut up all the wood.

    or at the end of the clause:

    I had an uncle in Germany who[m] I inherited a bit of money from.
    We bought a chainsaw, which we cut all the wood up with.

    We can use that at the beginning of the clause:

    I had an uncle in Germany that I inherited a bit of money from.
    We bought a chainsaw that we cut all the wood up with.



    * There is a relative pronoun whom, which can be used as the object of the relative clause. For example: My science teacher is a person whom I like very much. To many people the word whom now sounds old-fashioned, and it is rarely used in spoken English.
     
  4. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    That cannot be true, innit?
     
  5. JohnD

    JohnD

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    It is precisely true.

    Ignorance of this rule has led grammarians into foolish mistakes, such as thinking that in English it is somehow "wrong" to sometimes split an infinitive.

    I know the reason they think that.
     
  6. I don't think I was ever taught grammar at school, I guess that shows in my posts :(
     
  7. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    That is the kind of rule up with which some people will not put.
     
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  8. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    But on the whole, there do have to be rules for grammar, just as there have to be ones for spelling and meaning. otherwise we are all just a bunch of Humpty Dumpties who cannot effectively communicate with one another.

    I imagine grammarians face the same dilemmas as lexicographers - once upon a time they could argue that their role was to describe not prescribe or proscribe, but starting some time ago (long before any of us here were born) there have been a couple of very important innovations which affect the validity of the theory that language just changes and nobody should ever try to resist that.

    Education and dictionaries.

    Once everybody is taught what existing words mean, and how they are spelled and used, and their meaning etc is documented, it becomes a lot harder to say that "wrong" is just "evolution", and much easier and valid to argue that if, for example, 'electrocute' is defined to mean a fatal electric shock then to start using it to mean a non-fatal one is simply wrong, and remains wrong no matter how many people are wrong.
     
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  10. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Indeed.

    A good example of that is the order of adjectives - I wonder how many people, without looking it up, could define it, and yet we all know that saying "a black little dress", or "an old beautiful house" are wrong.
     
  11. transam

    transam

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    I woz good at gramer and spelin at school
    :cool:
     
  12. Electrocute......injure Or kill.Oxford dictionary definition of electrocute.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 3 Dec 2018
  13. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Precisely.

    Your point is?
     
  14. Do you need everything spelling out in words of 1 syllable sheds?
     
  15. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    No - I need you to tell me what your point is when I've said "if, for example, 'electrocute' is defined to mean a fatal electric shock then to start using it to mean a non-fatal one is simply wrong, and remains wrong no matter how many people are wrong" and you quote a dictionary which has decided to redefine a word because people started using it incorrectly.

    MOD: Quit the ridiculous goading.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 3 Dec 2018
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