View Full Version : The US usage of 'got'


Blue_UK
03-29-07, 07:22 AM
One thing that slightly bugs me is the usage, particularly in the US but also here in the UK, of the word 'got'.

Now for me, 'got' is the past tense of 'get'. However, it seems a lot of people use 'got' as if it were the word 'have'.

1) "I have a car"
2) "I got a car"
3) "I have got a car"

(From my usage)
1 indicates that the speaker owns a car - no argument here.

2 refers to the instance when the car was actually acquired. To me this implies that the car was acquired recently relative to the time the speaker is talking about and the speaker is drawing focus to the actual event of acquisition.

3 roughly means the same as 1. It actually means 2, but projects the acquisition further in the past.

"I had got a car" would be the usage of '3' when talking about a instance in the past, where the acquisition of the car was further in the past.

Does it annoy anyone else when people say 'got' when they clearly mean 'have'?

S.A.M.
03-29-07, 07:25 AM
I got a robe, you got a robe, all God's children got a robe... :)

Oli
03-29-07, 07:37 AM
I got rhythm...

Blue_UK
03-29-07, 07:43 AM
You got rhythm... when I put you in my long boat and had my cox drum it in to you :p

Nasor
03-29-07, 08:43 AM
3) "I have got a car"

That’s definitely not correct English grammar. The fact that so many people write phrases like that is just another indication that many people have very poor writing skills.

Oli
03-29-07, 08:54 AM
"Gotten" always struck me as a worse abuse than "got"...

Blue_UK
03-29-07, 09:39 AM
"Gotten" always struck me as a worse abuse than "got"...

'gotten' is an alternative form


That’s definitely not correct English grammar.

No, it is. It's normally spoken as 'I've got a car'. You add 'have' before a past tense verb to imply it occurred before something. Obviously both are in the past tense, but one is more past than the other. This matters if you're talking about something that happened in the past relative to something that is already being discussed in the past. For example,
"I was working on a design when my pencil broke. Luckily, I had bought a spare one earlier that day."

Version 3 above is legitimate English.

one_raven
03-29-07, 09:52 AM
3 roughly means the same as 1. It actually means 2, but projects the acquisition further in the past.

Further in the past?
What are you talking about?

It sounds to me like it would be a past participle form (of which, I can't think of a proper usage).

Think of:
I am.
I was.
I have been.

The past participle tense "have been" is not further in the past than the past tense "was".

one_raven
03-29-07, 09:53 AM
No, it is. It's normally spoken as 'I've got a car'. You add 'have' before a past ense verb to imply it occurred before something. Obviously both are in the past tense, but one is more past than the other. This matters if you're talking about something that happened in the past relative to something that is already being discussed in the past. For example,
"I was working on a design when my pencil broke. Luckily, I had bought a spare one earlier that day."

Your understanding of past participles is incorrect.

one_raven
03-29-07, 10:00 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participle

Blue_UK
03-29-07, 10:08 AM
I think you'll find the examples I have given have all been correct English.

Explaining what you meant specifically would have been easier for the both of us.

An article I've found supporting my view that even in the US 'got' as 'have' is sloppy: http://www.wordcourt.com/archives.php?show=2003-12-31

Blue_UK
03-29-07, 10:24 AM
The past participle tense "have been" is not further in the past than the past tense "was".

It is when you render 'have' to 'had'. However, you are right.

"We have got him in custody now" is more correct than "We got him in custody now", this was my *intended* focus of this thread!

Nasor
03-29-07, 10:26 AM
'
No, it is. It's normally spoken as 'I've got a car'. You add 'have' before a past tense verb to imply it occurred before something. Obviously both are in the past tense, but one is more past than the other. This matters if you're talking about something that happened in the past relative to something that is already being discussed in the past.
That's not how anyone uses it. They say "I have got a car," when what they mean is "I have a car." I realize that to a large extent "correct" usage is determined by consensus and how people are actually using the language, but adding "got" after "have" adds absolutely no meaning to the sentence...so why use it?

one_raven
03-29-07, 10:26 AM
You are correct that using "got" as "have" is not just sloppy, but incorrect.
However, what IS incorrect is your understanding of past participle being "further in the past".

Blue_UK
03-29-07, 10:29 AM
Perhaps I have not described as well I should have done.

"I walked home. I bought a piano." (Both events in the past, assumption is walk occurred first as it is described first)
"I walked home. I had bought a piano." (Both in past but the purchase is further in the past than the walk)


(This was a response to a pre-edited post)

*this post has been edited since reply
I wrote it to demonstrate how you would correctly use 'got' in a sentence without drawing focus to what is meant by 'got'. In response to your edit, adding the word 'got' adds nothing yes, but still read the previous sentence.

one_raven
03-29-07, 10:34 AM
Perhaps I have not described as well I should have done.

"I walked home. I bought a piano." (Both events in the past, assumption is walk occurred first as it is described first)
"I walked home. I had bought a piano." (Both in past but the purchase is further in the past than the walk)

That's incorrect.

Read the wiki page I linked to about Participles.

Blue_UK
03-29-07, 10:44 AM
Having read the page, I still don't feel that my previous post is incorrect.

Could you explain?

With "He wasn't hungry; he had eaten" it is clear that man had eaten before the time being referenced with "he wasn't hungry".

Whereas "He ate, drank and wrote poems to entertain his guests" does not imply any ordering. To imply he wrote the poems before one might say "He ate, drank and had written poems to entertain his guests with".

??

leopold
03-29-07, 12:26 PM
One thing that slightly bugs me is the usage, particularly in the US but also here in the UK, of the word 'got'.

i got me some doom wads.

D H
03-29-07, 02:34 PM
That's incorrect.

Read the wiki page I linked to about Participles.

Have I got news for you. "Have got" is perfectly valid English.
Definition number 10 of "get" from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/get):

10 a : HAVE -- used in the present perfect tense form with present meaning <I've got no money> b : to have as an obligation or necessity -- used in the present perfect tense form with present meaning <you have got to come>

My Webster's Unabridged Dictionary has a very detailed note. Some excerpts:

HAVE or HAS GOT in the sense of "must" has been in use since the early 19th century. ... The use of HAVE (or HAS) GOT in the sense of "to possess" goes back to the 15th century. ... These uses are occasionally criticized as redundant, ... but they are well established in all varieties of speech and writing. ...

one_raven
03-29-07, 02:50 PM
What is the proper usage of it?
Does it mean further back in the past?
That's all I've got to say about it. :)

D H
03-29-07, 03:19 PM
What is the proper usage of it?
Does it mean further back in the past?

The use of "have got" adds emphasis. "Have got" is not in the past. It is present or future tense. If you want past, you have got to use had. (Had got sounds icky. Americans use had gotten, although that modifies things a bit.)

In the sense of "possession", it follows the form of has.
Present: Have I got news for you! "Have got" is valid English.
(Note how this is a lot more emphatic than "Have I news for you!")

In the sense of "must", "have got" can be future or future perfect:
Future: You've got to be on time for the show tonight!
Future perfect: English has got to be the hardest language in the world to understand!

Edited to add:
"Have got" is an idiom. There is little sense in idioms in any language.
"Have got to" is a modal. Modals are nasty in any language. Moreover, "have got to" is an idiomatic modal.

G. F. Schleebenhorst
03-29-07, 03:26 PM
One thing that slightly bugs me is the usage, particularly in the US but also here in the UK, of the word 'got'.

Now for me, 'got' is the past tense of 'get'. However, it seems a lot of people use 'got' as if it were the word 'have'.

1) "I have a car"
2) "I got a car"
3) "I have got a car"


They've just forgotten "I've" is what they're really saying, so instead of "I've got" they say "I got". Just many years of ill-education I suppose. They do the same with "seen", although so do ignorant people all over the world.

G. F. Schleebenhorst
03-29-07, 03:27 PM
"I have got a car" and "I've got a car" are exactly the same sentence. "I've" is a contraction of "I have" in the same way as "can't" is a contraction of "can not". I learned that in school when I was 5.

tablariddim
03-29-07, 04:38 PM
If someone is talking or if you are writing dialogue, it is perfectly correct to say, "I've got", because it is a phrase in common use. However, if you are just describing something in the third person then it should not be used.

Example: "They had to get out," NOT "They had got to get out." "They have a car" NOT "They've got a car."

I should know...I'm a kebabologist PhD, BSc and that.

G. F. Schleebenhorst
03-29-07, 05:08 PM
"They've a car" is preferable to "They've got a car?"

D H
03-29-07, 05:31 PM
I should know...I'm a kebabologist PhD, BSc and that.

Appeal to authority, and wrong authority at that. Kebabs??? They've got nothin.

Two things you shouldn't do with "have got" are past tense and contradiction. "They've got nothin" is incorrect not because I used "they've got" but because I mispelled nothin' and because I used "have got" in a contradictory sense. It would be perfectly fine if I said "Ahh, kebabs. They've got something that grabs me."

How about "might could"? It is a rare non-native Southerner who can use this phrase properly.

Fraggle Rocker
03-29-07, 10:18 PM
3) "I have got a car"In America we never say that as a simple alternative to the more bookish "I have a car." We would use the contraction: "I've got a car." Although the difference is so subtle that it's really silly to be analyzing it in a discussion of colloquial speech.

You spend the evening with your friends in a bar. You're getting tired of the band playing nothing but 1960s soul music and 1970s disco (perhaps I'm recounting my last experience with a certain band but whatever...). About 1:30am Suzie says, "Hey I just remembered that a really good band is supposed to play at the after-hours club in D.C.. Let's go hear them!" George says, "That's too far to walk and the subway stopped running an hour ago." You say, "Oh crap, we need a car but we all walked here."

Suddenly Vicky walks out of the restroom and says, "I got a car!"

It's just a slangy way of expressing emphasis.

As for the other construction...

The gang in the office wants to go to lunch together. There are six of us. If we could take one car we can get back in the parking lot, but if we take two cars somebody will have snatched one of the spaces by the time we get back. Everybody seems to have a four-seat Japanese car and it looks like we can't go. I suddenly remember that since I have a dentist appointment after work, I drove my car today: A 4000-pound 1980 Mercedes diesel land yacht which will hold six people without too much discomfort. I turn to the gang and proclaim with great solemnity, "I have got a car."

It's something I say to build suspense. Everyone begins wondering just exactly what kind of car I have.
"I have been." The past participle tense "have been" is not further in the past than the past tense "was"."I have been" is called the present perfect tense. Even I would probably not bother making this point on any other forum, but since it's linguistics. :) The past perfect is "I had been." (Grammarians also call this the "pluperfect" but it's the same thing.) The future perfect is "I will have been." The conditional perfect is "I would have been."

The difference between the preterit or simple past tense "I ate" and the present perfect "I have eaten" is not a matter of which activity occurred further in the past. It is the relationship of the activity to the rest of the discourse. The preterit is simply a statement that an activity took place in the past and is completed. The present perfect says that the activity took place in the past but that fact has some impact on the present. "I'm not hungry enough to share that pie with you because I have eaten." "There aren't very many flowers left in my garden because your dog has eaten twelve of them."
In the sense of "must", "have got" can be future or future perfect: Future: You've got to be on time for the show tonight! Future perfect: English has got to be the hardest language in the world to understand!This is not the future perfect. The future perfect of "be" is "You will have been on time."

"You've got to be on time" is just another colloquial way of saying "You have to be on time" which is just a colloquial way of saying "You must be on time." "Have to" and "have got to" are just used as unnecessarily intricate auxiliary verbs.

Sometimes these constructions don't make any sense if you take them word-for-word. Look at the standard French way of asking, "What is that?" -- Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça?" A literal translation goes: "What is that which that is which that?" There's a verb missing!

Athelwulf
03-29-07, 11:22 PM
When I don't care, I'll say "I got blahblah". This is when I'm talking to people face-to-face, especially if it's a friend of mine. I would say this is definitely a feature of English as she's spoke in my area. If I must be formal, I would probably be conscious of the possible error in saying "I got blahblah", and I would circumlocute.


Sometimes these constructions don't make any sense if you take them word-for-word. Look at the standard French way of asking, "What is that?" -- Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça?" A literal translation goes: "What is that which that is which that?" There's a verb missing!

For some reason, I remember that as Qu'est-ce que c'est (ça)?, but then she didn't teach fast enough for me, so she wasn't that great a teacher for me.

valich
03-30-07, 12:33 AM
"I have got a car" is both redundant and incorrect. The addition of the word "have" can imply a past tense that you got the car in the past, while got implies that you have it now. This is definitely very poor incorrect grammar, similar to saying something like "You ain't aren't going there" or "You ain't not going there." Double redundancy: often used in lowclass slang or in Southern dialects.

I think the cultural distain for the use of the word "got" is an etiquette issue that must of originated in the unpleasant sound of the word. What are its origins? It is the past participle of get, yet nobody in the upper class proper-etiquette inclined society finds it appropriate. And I was taught to avoid its usage when I grew up in school.

Fraggle Rocker
03-30-07, 06:36 AM
"Get"--at least in America--is fast becoming a noise word with too many meanings, just a placeholder for parsing sentences.

Its primary meaning is not "to have," but "to acquire or seize." Get a life, get some shoes, get the groceries, get an education, get religion, get a dog.

But it also means "to become." Get sick, get well, get rich, get better, get worse, get smart, get funky, get drunk, get stoned, get out of control.

It's also used to form participial phrases in an imperative or progressive mode that "to be" does not convery. Get informed, get shot, get robbed, get educated, get screwed, get run down by a truck.

It also forms idiomatic phrases in which it has no precise meaning. Get along, get together, get away, get around an obstacle, get at the meaning of a word, get with the program, get over a lost love.

Get off on hip-hop music--how about a meaningless juxtaposition of two opposite prepostions? :)

Blue_UK
03-30-07, 08:05 AM
...a past tense that you got the car in the past, while got implies that you have it now...

Does 'got' imply you have it now?

"I got a spoon, but sold it last week"

Clearly there is no spoon.

I am also still certain, that pluperfect and future perfect imply a slight past-wards movement.

For example, for the verb 'to be':
"If you make it to the border, you will be spotted" (future)
"If you make it to the border, you will have been spotted" (future perfect)

Clearly, the second sentence implies that the spotting will be in the past in comparison with the referenced time.

The same is true for the past tense and pluperfect. The pluperfect is more in the past than the referenced time, which is also in the past.

This is a major diversion. I was just trying to share my complete disgust for the phrase "I got such and such". Especially when it's not really the word 'got', it's 'gar(t)'.

D H
03-30-07, 09:56 AM
"I have got a car" is both redundant and incorrect.
Valich alert!

Redundant: No. The use of "have got" versus merely "have" adds emphasis.
Incorrect: No. Look it up ("get" usage). You should have a good dictionary on hand. If you don't, what business have you got posting about proper use of language?


The addition of the word "have" can imply a past tense that you got the car in the past, while got implies that you have it now.

Wrong again. "I've got a car" means "I currently possess a car". Current tense.
"I got a car" is grammatically incorrect.


I think the cultural distain for the use of the word "got" is an etiquette issue that must of originated in the unpleasant sound of the word. What are its origins? It is the past participle of get, yet nobody in the upper class proper-etiquette inclined society finds it appropriate. And I was taught to avoid its usage when I grew up in school.

This last paragraph is disdainful.

Here's a clue: Distain means "to tinge with a different colour from the natural or proper one". Disdain means "to regard or treat with haughty contempt".

Fraggle Rocker
03-30-07, 04:48 PM
"I got a car" is grammatically incorrect.It's an incorrect expression of the meaning under discussion, but it is not a grammatically incorrect construction. "Get" means "to acquire" or "to receive."

I got an ad in the mail for that new mall in Virginia so I went shopping there yesterday.
What did you get?
I got a new hat, 5 CDs and a book.

The whole family got tickets to fly down here for Christmas and they showered little Bobby with presents.
What did he get?
He got a bunch of clothes, some toys and a new bicycle.

The tickets to the Killers concert go on sale Saturday, but I got an e-mail from the 9:30 Club yesterday with the password for the pre-sale today.
Did you get tickets?
Yes, I got four tickets so you and Suzie can go with us.

Medicine*Woman
03-30-07, 06:02 PM
One thing that slightly bugs me is the usage, particularly in the US but also here in the UK, of the word 'got'.

Now for me, 'got' is the past tense of 'get'. However, it seems a lot of people use 'got' as if it were the word 'have'.

1) "I have a car"
2) "I got a car"
3) "I have got a car"

(From my usage)
1 indicates that the speaker owns a car - no argument here.

2 refers to the instance when the car was actually acquired. To me this implies that the car was acquired recently relative to the time the speaker is talking about and the speaker is drawing focus to the actual event of acquisition.

3 roughly means the same as 1. It actually means 2, but projects the acquisition further in the past.

"I had got a car" would be the usage of '3' when talking about a instance in the past, where the acquisition of the car was further in the past.

Does it annoy anyone else when people say 'got' when they clearly mean 'have'?

*************
M*W: Yes, emphatically, yes!

1) "I have a car."

When I hear this, I think the speaker is telling me he has a car, he has the use of a car, or he has a car that he has purchased and has had a while.

2) "I got a car."

When I hear someone say this, I don't like it. "I GOT a car,
is grammatically incorrect.

3) "I have got a car."

When I hear this, I hear "I've got a car (with me today so we can go out to lunch). I still don't like it, and I think it's still grammatically incorrect. One might say, "I have already gotten into the car."

I don't know where you live, but in the innercity barrios of gang territory, and based on the Black dialect of Ebonics, I hear all to often, "I gots a car." There is no such word as "gots." I have the urge to kill when I hear this.

Blue_UK
03-30-07, 07:30 PM
Godspeed with you woman. Let no one hold you back on your crusade.

valich
03-30-07, 10:17 PM
Valich Alert!!!:itold:


Does 'got' imply you have it now?

It's ambiguous. "I got a car" can mean that you have it now, or that you obtained it in the past. There are two interpretations of the word "got" in this context; thus, it is not only redundant, but it adds ambiguity: "I got a car yesterday." "I got a car right now." :D

Blue_UK
03-31-07, 06:11 AM
"I got a car right now".

how can you use a past tense verb in the present!!

"You were gay right now!"

Grantywanty
03-31-07, 06:28 AM
What is the proper usage of it?
Does it mean further back in the past?
That's all I've got to say about it. :)

In a sense it does mean further back in the past. Not in absolute terms, but in relative ones. Relative to past simple.

I went to the store. I bought a coke.
I went to the store. I had bought a coke (already) so I just got one of those disgusting hot dogs.

When you want to talk about a past prior to a past you are primarily working in.

Grantywanty
03-31-07, 06:32 AM
[QUOTE=Medicine*Woman;1342367]*************
2) "I got a car."

When I hear someone say this, I don't like it. "I GOT a car,
is grammatically incorrect.
[QUOTE]


I went to the used car lot. I got a car.

I thought you were going to use your mother's car.
No. I got my father's car instead.

Got is fine when used as past simple for 'acquired' 'received'.

If we are talking about speech (or writing about it), got is just peachy for the past.

For the present it's not good.

I've got a car.

With the have/has got is again just peachy.

Fraggle Rocker
03-31-07, 06:52 AM
"I GOT a car," is grammatically incorrect.This is not grammatically incorrect. Please review my previous post. It is simply incorrect usage. There is a difference. Your own statement is downright false, but that doesn't entitle us to accuse you of using English grammar incorrectly.
3) "I have got a car." When I hear this, I hear "I've got a car (with me today so we can go out to lunch). I still don't like it, and I think it's still grammatically incorrect.And you're still wrong. It is not grammatically incorrect. Once again, your statement is incorrect but not grammatically so. "Got" is a legitimate past participle of "to get."
I don't know where you live, but in the innercity barrios of gang territory, and based on the Black dialect of Ebonics, I hear all to often, "I gots a car." There is no such word as "gots." I have the urge to kill when I hear this.Good grief! We all talk that way to our dogs and our babies! The language we hear in our childhood remains a powerful, if unconscious, memory, which is why the most tight-assed spoilsport "authorities" insist on never speaking "baby talk." My dogs pick it up and use it when they talk back to me; "I just gots to have another boney. Please Poppa please?" So I'm not surprised if children pick it up too. Perhaps these homies are simply channeling a fond memory of their childhood. Who is curmudgeonly enough to suppress that?
"I got a car right now". How can you use a past tense verb in the present!Breakdown of grammatical paradigms is a hallmark of English. Otherwise we'd be saying things like, "Thou shalt not..."

Do you always say, "If I were interested...", or do you lapse into "If I was interested..."? Do you always say, "You had better spend more time on your homework," or do you omit the "had"?

It's not as though (notice that "as if" would be incorrect grammar so I hope you never say that) this is a new development. A famous song from the 1930s is titled, "I Got Rhythm."

Hopefully, in a couple of centuries (never "a couple centuries," that would be grammatically incorrect) English will become as streamlined as Chinese, with no inflections for tense, case, person or number. In that ideal world, we'll speak more precisely and say, "I have car in garage," "I buy car last year," or "I bring car to office." (Yes, please please please dump those stupid, useless articles!)

Until then, we should all lighten up and let our language evolve.

Blue_UK
03-31-07, 07:20 AM
Why don't we just learn mandarin and be done with it?

Fraggle Rocker
03-31-07, 04:50 PM
Why don't we just learn mandarin and be done with it?Ding hao!

Medicine*Woman
03-31-07, 07:54 PM
'gotten' is an alternative form

No, it is. It's normally spoken as 'I've got a car'. You add 'have' before a past tense verb to imply it occurred before something. Obviously both are in the past tense, but one is more past than the other. This matters if you're talking about something that happened in the past relative to something that is already being discussed in the past. For example, "I was working on a design when my pencil broke. Luckily, I had bought a spare one earlier that day."

Version 3 above is legitimate English.

*************
M*W: The word "had" is not really necessary. It borders on being grammatically incorrect.

Medicine*Woman
03-31-07, 07:57 PM
It is when you render 'have' to 'had'. However, you are right.

"We have got him in custody now" is more correct than "We got him in custody now", this was my *intended* focus of this thread!

*************
M*W: In this case, "got" is not necessary. It should read, "We have him in custody now."

Blue_UK
03-31-07, 08:03 PM
I was trying to give an example of what not to do! Adding 'now' disambiguates the meaning of 'got' implying it should been 'have'.

We can let this thread sink to the depths now.

Medicine*Woman
03-31-07, 08:04 PM
Have I got news for you. "Have got" is perfectly valid English.
Definition number 10 of "get" from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/get):

10 a : HAVE -- used in the present perfect tense form with present meaning <I've got no money> b : to have as an obligation or necessity -- used in the present perfect tense form with present meaning <you have got to come>

My Webster's Unabridged Dictionary has a very detailed note. Some excerpts:

HAVE or HAS GOT in the sense of "must" has been in use since the early 19th century. ... The use of HAVE (or HAS) GOT in the sense of "to possess" goes back to the 15th century. ... These uses are occasionally criticized as redundant, ... but they are well established in all varieties of speech and writing. ...

*************
M*W: While it may be "perfectly valid," I think it sounds more appropriate to say, "I have some news for you!"

If one insists on starting the sentence with "Have I got...," "got" might be colloquially correct, but it probably is more correct to say, "Have I some news for you!" I don't like it that way, because using "Have" at the beginning of a sentence makes puts the sentence on shaky ground. I'd rather hear, "I've got some news for you!"

Medicine*Woman
03-31-07, 08:06 PM
They've just forgotten "I've" is what they're really saying, so instead of "I've got" they say "I got". Just many years of ill-education I suppose. They do the same with "seen", although so do ignorant people all over the world.

*************
M*W: Another pet peeve I have is when I hear, "I done...".

Medicine*Woman
03-31-07, 08:12 PM
"I got a car right now".

how can you use a past tense verb in the present!!

"You were gay right now!"


*************
M*W: "I have my car with me."

Medicine*Woman
03-31-07, 08:24 PM
This is not grammatically incorrect. Please review my previous post. It is simply incorrect usage. There is a difference. Your own statement is downright false, but that doesn't entitle us to accuse you of using English grammar incorrectly.And you're still wrong. It is not grammatically incorrect. Once again, your statement is incorrect but not grammatically so. "Got" is a legitimate past participle of "to get."Good grief! We all talk that way to our dogs and our babies! The language we hear in our childhood remains a powerful, if unconscious, memory, which is why the most tight-assed spoilsport "authorities" insist on never speaking "baby talk." My dogs pick it up and use it when they talk back to me; "I just gots to have another boney. Please Poppa please?" So I'm not surprised if children pick it up too. Perhaps these homies are simply channeling a fond memory of their childhood. Who is curmudgeonly enough to suppress that?Breakdown of grammatical paradigms is a hallmark of English. Otherwise we'd be saying things like, "Thou shalt not..."

Do you always say, "If I were interested...", or do you lapse into "If I was interested..."? Do you always say, "You had better spend more time on your homework," or do you omit the "had"?

It's not as though (notice that "as if" would be incorrect grammar so I hope you never say that) this is a new development. A famous song from the 1930s is titled, "I Got Rhythm."

Hopefully, in a couple of centuries (never "a couple centuries," that would be grammatically incorrect) English will become as streamlined as Chinese, with no inflections for tense, case, person or number. In that ideal world, we'll speak more precisely and say, "I have car in garage," "I buy car last year," or "I bring car to office." (Yes, please please please dump those stupid, useless articles!)

Until then, we should all lighten up and let our language evolve.

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M*W: If we lighten up too much, we'll all be speaking Spanish or maybe in your country Arabic. I understand that language evolves, and I accept that as a positive fact. It depends on who you're talking to, I suppose. When I'm teaching medical students, I use the Queen's English. When I'm talking to my grandkids who are teenagers, I use colloquialisms or current slang like "hood," "crib," "homie," "peace out," "baby daddy," and so on. However, they do know the correct way to speak and write their 'cave' mother tongue--English. I firmly believe in addressing your audience, but that didn't work too well for the Hillster in 'Bama. Politics aside, I would have shot her big white ass on the spot... or maybe I should say, "I's be packin' a piece and be takin' her honky White ass out...". But, then, I'm just me.

Blue_UK
03-31-07, 09:14 PM
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M*W: "I have my car with me."

That's in the present. Perhaps you were trying to agree?!

This thread should sink now. Play the music from Titanic...

Medicine*Woman
03-31-07, 09:25 PM
Why don't we just learn mandarin and be done with it?

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M*W: I think that computerese will be the language of the future. We may eliminate all punctuation and superfluous wording. I'm okay with that. It would be universal. Queen's English could only last for so long.

Medicine*Woman
03-31-07, 09:26 PM
Ding hao!

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M*W: Gung hee faht choy!

Blue_UK
03-31-07, 09:27 PM
Deo gau le lo mo.

Medicine*Woman
03-31-07, 09:28 PM
I was trying to give an example of what not to do! Adding 'now' disambiguates the meaning of 'got' implying it should been 'have'.

We can let this thread sink to the depths now.

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M*W: True. "We have him in custody..." should suffice. (Unless the timing of his detention is in question.).

Medicine*Woman
03-31-07, 09:30 PM
That's in the present. Perhaps you were trying to agree?!

This thread should sink now. Play the music from Titanic...

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M*W: Loved the Irish music! Especially when Rose was dancing in steerage! Absolutely loved that scene!

Fraggle Rocker
04-01-07, 09:42 PM
Gung hee faht choy!I address you in Mandarin and you reply in Cantonese? Please, it's "gong xi fa cai." :)

"Ding hao" is Mandarin for Cantonese "ding ho," "indeed good," an old colloquialism similar to "cool" or "awesome," often seen in the names of dishes in Cantonese restaurants. People from Si Chuan say "yao dei," literally "worthy of desire."

Athelwulf
04-01-07, 10:33 PM
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M*W: Another pet peeve I have is when I hear, "I done...".

And "I seen". I hate it too.

Blue_UK
04-02-07, 08:30 AM
I address you in Mandarin and you reply in Cantonese? Please, it's "gong xi fa cai." :)

"Ding hao" is Mandarin for Cantonese "ding ho," "indeed good," an old colloquialism similar to "cool" or "awesome," often seen in the names of dishes in Cantonese restaurants. People from Si Chuan say "yao dei," literally "worthy of desire."

You didn't understand my comment? It was in bastardised Cantonese.

Medicine*Woman
04-02-07, 11:33 AM
I address you in Mandarin and you reply in Cantonese? Please, it's "gong xi fa cai." :)

"Ding hao" is Mandarin for Cantonese "ding ho," "indeed good," an old colloquialism similar to "cool" or "awesome," often seen in the names of dishes in Cantonese restaurants. People from Si Chuan say "yao dei," literally "worthy of desire."

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M*W: This is WAY outta my league. I give...

Athelwulf
04-02-07, 11:56 PM
"Ding hao" is Mandarin for Cantonese "ding ho," "indeed good," an old colloquialism similar to "cool" or "awesome," often seen in the names of dishes in Cantonese restaurants.

Ding ho chow mein! Totally awesome stir-fried noodles! :D

Fraggle Rocker
04-03-07, 09:24 AM
You didn't understand my comment? It was in bastardised Cantonese.No, sorry. I can barely rate myself at 7 in Mandarin. My Cantonese is about a 4.