Help with English

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

  1. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,373
    Do you hear me?
    Do you listen to me?

    What's their difference in meaning?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    "Are you listening to me" is better, since it means "right now." If you say "Do you listen to me," it means, "in general, whenever we're together."

    The difference:

    "I'm listening to you," means "I am paying attention to what you're saying; I want to hear what you have to say; I consider your communication important."

    "I hear you" (in formal speech) means "I can actually hear and understand what you're saying. The acoustic conditions in this room are satisfactory so my ears are not having any trouble picking up the sounds of your voice." This is something that you might say more commonly on a telephone call. "Yes, I hear you, but the signal is weak so it's not easy to understand you."

    In colloquial speech, Americans sometimes say, "I hear you," to mean, "I understand what you mean and I agree or sympathize."

    Person A, whispering to you: "This meeting is too long. I need a break."

    You, also whispering: "I hear you. My butt fell asleep half an hour ago."
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,373
    1. We did not choose to be born into this world.
    2. We were not born into this world out of our own decision.
    3. We were born into this world without choice.

    Which sentence is better?
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,373
    1. Do you like watching comedy as I do?
    2. Do you like watching comedy as me?

    Are both correct?
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    #1 is better. There are many ways to rephrase this sentence but #3 is pretty awkward. Perhaps "without a choice."

    You could also say, "We didn't have a choice about being born into this world." "We didn't get to choose to be born into this world." "The choice to be born into this world was not ours."
    That's just not good English. There's not exactly anything specifically wrong with it, but it sounds like a foreigner speaking.
    Absolutely not. You have to say "like me," not "as me." In vernacular speech you can even say, "Do you like watching comedy like I do." Properly, that should be "as," but "like" has become acceptable in informal language.

    Don't overanalyze this, since there are other constructions where "as me" is correct. "My brother wears the same size shoes as me."
     
  9. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,373
    1. He comes to the office as early as me.
    2. He comes to the office as early as I do.
    3. He comes to the office as early like me.
    4. He comes to the office as early like I do.

    I think sentence no 1 is the best.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  10. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,629
    It's "comes to THE office", throughout.

    Good English.
    Or it could be "as do I". (Which changes the emphasis on the main subject).

    He comes to the office early, like me.

    He comes to the office early, like I do.
    2 is rather formal, 3 & 4 (as corrected) are more likely to be used in every day speech.

    The difference between 1, 2 & 3, 4 is the emphasis on who is the main subject.
    In 1 & 2 it's comparing him to me. I come to the office early and he does too.
    In 3 & 4 it's about what he does but I also do it, i.e. comparing me to him.
     
  11. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,373
    1. May God bless you with peace.
    2. May God bless you to have peace.
    3. May God bless you to live in peace.

    All are ok?
     
  12. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,373
    1. John is a disciple of Jesus.
    2. John is Jesus's disciple.
    3. John is Jesus' disciple.

    Jesus's or Jesus' ?
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Okay.
    Okay.
    No. This is the same mistake you made earlier.

    It is okay to say "He comes to the office early, like me." But that is not quite the same meaning. This sentence means that you both come in early in the morning, in contrast to the rest of the staff, who like to come in later. It does not mean that you arrive at the same time, just earlier than everybody else.
    Also wrong. Again, you can say, "He comes to the office early, like I do. This has the same meaning as above.
    The Brits usually say "goes to hospital" instead of "goes to the hospital," as we say in America. Do they also say "comes to office" instead of "comes to the office"?

    Yet we say, "goes to school/university," just like they do. Those tiny differences between British English and American English can be exasperating for foreign students.

    I remember in a Monty Python movie, the children were begging their mother, "Can we go to stoning?" In America we would say "to the stoning."

    Although in America, it would be a shooting.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Okay.
    Understandable but awkward. We don't speak this way.
    Acceptable but a little unorthodox. I suppose I'm the wrong person to ask about religious speech since I'm not religious.
    Okay.
    Also okay. However, there is potential for a slight difference in meaning. "John is a disciple of Jesus" means clearly that Jesus has more than one disciple. "John is Jesus's disciple" makes it possible that Jesus has only one disciple and John is it.
    This is an exception to the rule about forming possessives. In this single case, it is permissible to write Jesus' instead of Jesus's. This is a very old, traditional way of writing the word, which was retained in the 20th century even though similar forms like Charles' and Jonas' are no longer considered correct.

    However, as an editor I see a trend away from it these days. In the 1980s, American journalists started a fashion to eliminate the S after the apostrophe in all names ending in S. So you'd see headlines like Mr. Jones' Company, Dallas' New Civic Center, or even The New Cutlass' Body Style. (The Cutlass was one model of the Oldsmobile automobile.) Even worse, they extended this to Z: Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Nobel Prize, or His New Song Uses Jazz' Modality.

    The reason for this, of course, is that publishers like to save space in articles so they have more space to sell for advertising. But this practice backfired. People laughed at it and it was very unpopular.

    Today no one writes that way. And since they're adding the S back to all of those possessives, they're also adding it to Jesus's, without realizing that it is a much older and more traditional spelling. Only in the religious writing of some churches will you still see Jesus' -- or in old editions of the Bible.

    I urge you to always write Jesus's with the third S. It is never wrong, even in a situation where Jesus' would be acceptable.
     
  14. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,629
    We go to hospital as a generic thing - it could be any hospital. Going to the hospital assumes there's only one possible hospital. In the case of "the office" it's specifically the office where I work.

    That usage is more probably a colloquialism (Python did like introducing regional accents in "inappropriate" scenarios Ancient Hebrews probably didn't have a Yorkshire accent). I think it possibly derives from the gradual elision of the word "the" - there's an old Yorkshire joke about a man in a newsagent's asking what newspaper names start with "T" and getting the answer Times, Telegraph and T' Observer. In the case of the stoning sentence this would have been originally "going to the stoning", then "going to t' stoning" with "to t'" being somewhat awkward. It would end as "going t' stoning", dropping the more strongly-pronounced "to".
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    We say "go to school/college," even though it's specifically the school/college where our children study. "My kids don't have to go to school tomorrow. They're fumigating the cafeteria after that little incident with the pet ferret and the skunk."

    But it's also used generically. "Their son isn't old enough to go to college. He hasn't even applied to any."

    Same with "church." "Unitarians are just atheists who like to go to church," vs.: "We stopped going to church after our pastor made that rude remark about gays and lesbians."
     
  16. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,629
    Hmm, we say "go to school" too.
    More thought required, there's something worming its way out of my mind on this...
     
  17. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,373
    1. It starts to rain, nevertheless , we continue to play football outdoors.
    2. It starts to rain, in spite of this we continue to play football outdoors.
    3. It starts to rain, we continue to play football outdoors notwithstanding.
    4. It starts to rain, nonetheless , we continue to play football outdoors.
    5. We continue to play football outdoors although it starts to rain.
     
  18. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,629
    Yet... when a parent wishes to discuss their child with a teacher they go to the school to see him.
    Same with your church example: They stopped going to church because of the pastor's comments so they're going to picket the church while he's still the incumbent.
     
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    First off, you must learn to use the present progressive tense, "It is starting to rain," rather than the present indicative tense, "It starts to rain." All five of your sentences are wrong because they're in the indicative rather than the progressive.

    The difference is very difficult to explain, one of those things you have to learn by example rather than being taught. Basically, the present progressive is used for an action that is taking place right now. "I am eating chicken" means that there is a chicken dinner on my plate and a piece of it is in my mouth, right now.

    Whereas the present indicative is used for an action that recurs. "I eat chicken" means that I am not a vegetarian, that chicken is one of the foods that comprises a major component of my diet, and that if you stop by my house any day at mealtime, there's a high probability that you will find me munching on a piece of chicken. But not right now, because lunch time is over!

    So if you are talking about a football game that is in progress right now, and precipitation that is occurring right now, the proper way to compose your sentence is "Although it is starting to rain, we are continuing to play football."

    If, instead, you are making a general statement about your team's dedication to the sport, you can say "When it starts to rain, we continue to play football." This means that any time it rains, you don't halt the game. This sentence contains no information as to whether you are playing football right now, or whether it is raining right now.

    So, to go back to your question:
    Most Americans do not use the word "nevertheless" in casual speech. We would just say "but we are continuing..."
    Don't use the comma, make it two sentences.
    Nobody uses the word "notwithstanding."

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    "We are continuing to play football outdoors anyway.
    I won't say that nobody ever uses the word "nonetheless," but you must be on the athletic field of Harvard University to hear that word during a football game. "Nevertheless" is very slightly more common, but still pretty unusual in this context. "But" is better. You could also say "yet," which implies that it's really strange for people to play football in the rain.
    This is okay. I would probably say "even though" instead of "although" to stress the fact that my football team is crazier than yours so you'd better be careful when you play against us.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    All of these sentences could be rearranged into the present indicative tense to describe a habit, attitude or conviction, rather than a specific event that is happening right now.

    • 1. When it starts to rain, we nevertheless continue to play football outdoors.
    • 2. When it starts to rain, we continue to play football outdoors in spite of the weather.
    • 3. When it starts to rain, we continue to play football outdoors, the weather notwithstanding. (This is formal. You'd see it in writing but probably never hear it spoken.
    • 4. When it starts to rain, we nonetheless continue to play football outdoors. (Again, this is formal. Most people don't use "nonetheless" in casual speech.)
    • 5. We always continue to play football outdoors whenever it starts to rain.
    Finally... I would omit the word "outdoors." Everybody knows that football is played outdoors, with a few rare exceptions such as the Houston Astrodome.

    (I assume you mean good old American football. I have heard about a couple of strange foreign games that are also called "football," but I have no idea how, where or when they are played. We call them "soccer" and "rugby.")
     
  20. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,373
    I always come across the words nevertheless, nonetheless, and notwithstanding in articles published on local papers.
     
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Sure, but that's journalistic prose. People don't use those words very often in informal speech. I'm sure a major fraction of the American population go to their graves without ever once having used the word "notwithstanding," even in writing.
     
  22. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,373
    1. During the start of Christianity, early Christians did not have a complete Bible to read like we do.
    2. During the beginning of Christianity, early Christians did not have a complete Bible to read like we do.
    3.When Christianity started, early Christians did not have a complete Bible to read like we do.
    4. At the early stage of Christianity, early Christians did not have a complete Bible to read like we do.
     
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    At the start...
    At the beginning...
    This sentence is grammatically correct, as are the previous two with my corrections. However, "start" and "beginning" are not the best words to use for an event as monumental as the appearance of one of the world's dominant religions. We use more evocative words like "the dawn of Christianity," or a more descriptive phrase like "the early years of Christianity."
    This makes it sound like a disease. Although many of us feel that way about Christianity (which I frequently compare to "a cancer epidemic metastasizing across this fragile planet"), if you don't agree with our point of view you might want to use a word with more positive connotations.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    To go into your composition a little more deeply, you should try to avoid using the same word, or two forms of the same word, twice in close proximity, especially in writing. (It may be unavoidable in casual speech because by the time you realize you've done it, it's too late to change the words.)
    • At the dawn of their religion, the early Christians did not have a complete BIble to read.
    • At the dawn of Christianity, Jesus's early followers did not have...
    • At the dawn of Christianity, the religion's early converts did not have...
    And then I would go a little further with this. When you have already made it clear that you're speaking about the time when the religion first came into existence, it's obvious that the members, rituals, legends, etc., were the early ones. You don't need to have a word like "beginning" and a word like "early" in the same sentence. They are redundant.

    When Christianity first came into existence, its followers did not yet have a complete Bible.
     

Share This Page