Help with English

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Saint, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,373
    How to express a series of actions?
    For example,
    1) I will go to restaurant to eat my lunch first and then go to bank to deposit a cheque and then go to supermarket to buy grocery.

    It sounds weird, right?

    How to make it sound better?
     
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    This is correct but you have more words than you need. It is obvious that you are thinking in Chinese, not English!

    I will eat lunch in a restaurant, then deposit a check in the bank, then buy my groceries in the supermarket.

    You don't need to say "and then," "then" is enough. You don't need to say "first" if you're going to say "then" after it. That is redundant.

    You're putting your sentence together the way you do it in Chinese, because Chinese uses verbs where English uses prepositions. Instead of saying, "I will go to the bank to deposit a check," we can say, "I will deposit a check in the bank." Similarly, "I will eat my lunch in a restaurant," and "I will buy my groceries in the supermarket."

    In Chinese you say, "I eat breakfast, ride bus, attend school." In English we can say, "I went to school on the bus after breakfast." We can use prepositions and conjunctions instead of verbs, and this means that we don't have to put all the actions in the sentence in exactly the same order in which they occurred. Notice that in the second version of the sentence the actions are in exact reverse sequence. This is very difficult to do in Chinese and makes the sentence long and awkward. Your sentences are more likely to be arranged in time sequence, whereas ours are more likely to be arranged by priority.

    In addition, you have completely forgotten about articles. A restaurant, the bank, the supermarket.

    And you're still having trouble with singular and plural, because that does not exist in Chinese. We buy groceries, not grocery.
     
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  5. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    My English is terrible!
     
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  7. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    1. I do not like chemistry, however, I still have to study it because it is part of the course structure.
    2. I do not like chemistry but I still have to study it because it is part of the course structure.
    3. I do not like chemistry, anyway, I still have to study it because it is part of the course structure.
    4. Though I do not like chemistry, I still have to study it because it is part of the course structure.

    Which sentence is the best to express what I intend to say?





     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    These two are both fine. "However" is more formal. In a casual statement like this it would more likely be used in writing than in speech.
    You may hear people talk this way, but it does not communicate very well in writing. The way to transcribe this spoken statement in writing would be:

    I do not like chemistry. Anyway... I still have to study it because it is part of the course structure.

    The "anyway" is thrown out like an interjection, rather than a grammatical part of the sentence.

    The proper way to use this word is:

    I do not like chemistry, but I have to study it anyway because it is part of the course structure.

    "Still" can come before the verb, but "anyway" is usually put at the end of a clause.
    This is not correct. You can use "though" at the beginning of a sentence in colloquial speech, but in writing or more formal speech the complete word "although" is better.

    You could omit "still" since the meaning of the complete sentence was already made clear by starting it with "although." In this case you might choose to use "anyway" for emphasis.

    Although I do not like chemistry, I have to study it anyway, because it is part of the course structure.
     
  9. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    3,373
    God bless you or
    God blesses you?

    Most of the time I heard people say God bless you.

    God is singular or plural?
     
  10. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    3,373
    I watch news on TV, or "in TV" ?
     
  11. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    2,531
    God bless you.

    This is actually a command (or request) from the speaker for God to bless a person.

    ===

    on TV

    the news is literally on the screen of the TV.
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    It's "God bless you." It's a truncation of the imperative mode, "May God bless you." Of course if what you mean to say is that God is actually in the process of blessing someone, then, for example, "God blesses you for being so generous" would be correct. But people usually use this phrase as a plea to God to bless someone.

    People also say "God help you," "God damn you," "God forgive you," etc. Even longer constructions are possible: "God bless the person who built this highway," "God forgive me for what I'm about to do," etc.

    But we don't speak this way if the subject of the sentence is anyone but God. You have to use the auxiliary verb. "May your mother never know about this." "Let John recover from this illness."
    "God" is singular. It's a regular noun and the plural is "gods."

    When used in a general sense, "god" is spelled with a lower-case G. "Thor is a Norse god." "The Egyptians had many gods." "Where is the god of poker when I need him?" "The gods are not smiling on me today." But when it's used in the context of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baha'i, Rastafari, Druze, etc.), since those people believe there is only one god, they consider it his name so they capitalize it, "God."

    Footnote: 1. Even when speaking another language, Muslims usually use the Arabic word for god, Allah, rather than its equivalent in the language they're using. 2. Rastafarians usually call him "Jah," which is a condensed form of one of the Hebrew words for god, "Yhwh," conventionally written in its Latin transcription "Jehovah" with arbitrary vowels inserted (for reasons much too complicated to go into here). 3. The Jews, ironically, don't often use that word except when reciting from the Torah in Hebrew. And they never say Eloh, a cognate with the Arabic word--again unless reading from scripture, or discussing the gods of other religions. They just refer to theirs as God, Dieu, Gott, Bog, etc., depending on the place where they live and the language they speak.
     
  13. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    3,373
    I am clear now, thanks.
     
  14. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    3,373
    Why does my Office spelling checker indicate practise is wrongly spelled?
    It prompts me to change it to practice.
     
  15. wlminex Banned Banned

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    1,587
    . . . .because, your spell-checker must be British or Australian
     
  16. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    3,373
    1. I listen to songs from/on/in radio.
    2. I play music on/in CD player.


    Which preposition is correct?
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Vice versa. "Practice" is American spelling. "Practise" is British. Canadians today generally adopt American English with a few idiosyncrasies; but most of the other officially or unofficially anglophone countries (Australia, NZ, India, South Africa, Hong Kong, Ireland, etc.) still use British spelling and punctuation, if not necessarily the vocabulary.

    Malaysia is just a short boat-ride from Australia, yet as of late it has been doing a lot of business with American companies, hiring American business consultants, and buying American products. So even though the Malaysian people have (probably for generations) become accustomed to Australian/British English, and that may be what their schools still teach, the software they buy might very well be American versions.

    Bootleg software is probably as common there as it is anywhere else, and that is even more likely to be American, just because there's more of it around to make illicit copies from.

    I don't mean to accuse anyone of deliberately acquiring bootleg software. These days it's not always easy to tell the difference.
     
  18. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    3,373
    Isn't it practise is verb, practice is noun?
     
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    on the radio.
    on my CD player. But people more usually say, "I listen to music on CD." . . . . or "on CDs."

    Notice that there is no consistency. With some nouns we use "the," with other nouns we use "my," and with others we use neither. For example, if we're talking about television, we say, "I watch music videos on television." . . . . or, more commonly, "on TV."
    However, there is consistency on this point. We always use "on." For example, "I watch movies on the internet." . . . . or "on my computer," or "on DVD."
     
  20. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    3,373
    Why on the radio?
    The sound comes from the speakers of the radio, we should use "from" instead.
     
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    I think I've already warned you that you will not find logic in English prepositions. Each one has twenty definitions or more. You just have to learn them from experience and by example.

    As I've told you before, prepositions actually carry very little meaning. I have suggested that their only purpose is to help us identify foreign speakers.

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  22. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Judgement or judgment?
    1. My judgement is that today I shall stay at home and study.
    2. My discretion is that today I shall stay at home and study.

    Both means the same?
     
  23. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15017023

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    I saw some grammatical mistakes here, I think:
    1. So faith and confidence are ebbing away.
    2. All have children. (they still have children now)

    BBC seems do not write good English, right?

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