Author Topic: Shrinking skills  (Read 3019 times)

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Offline mike

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Shrinking skills
« on: October 23, 2010, 09:43:24 AM »
I have a question to fellow nonnative English speakers here: Do you have in impression that your English skills are fading, especially the grammar rules?

I can't recall when was the last time I used future perfect tense or inversion. I use know maybe 4 tenses and that's all. I have an impression that I am constantly using less sophisticated and simpler language.

On the other hand my vocabulary greatly improved.

Offline Aindriú

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Re: Shrinking skills
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2010, 09:46:55 AM »
The farther I get from college, the more my English skills are degrading. And I grew up on it! ;D


Use it or lose it. Paperwork and common conversation don't carry the fine eloquence that English has to offer.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 09:48:04 AM by Azurestone »

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Offline jnorm888

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Re: Shrinking skills
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2010, 11:22:12 AM »
I have a question to fellow nonnative English speakers here: Do you have in impression that your English skills are fading, especially the grammar rules?

I can't recall when was the last time I used future perfect tense or inversion. I use know maybe 4 tenses and that's all. I have an impression that I am constantly using less sophisticated and simpler language.

On the other hand my vocabulary greatly improved.

It's pretty common. My English is horrible, and I was born and raised in America. And dipping in and out of various subcultures with slang doesn't help either.

I need to improve my standard English.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 11:25:19 AM by jnorm888 »
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Shrinking skills
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2010, 11:25:50 AM »
I've found that, even among educated native English speakers, almost no one knows how to use the subjunctive correctly.
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Offline Aindriú

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Re: Shrinking skills
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2010, 11:54:17 AM »
I've found that, even among educated native English speakers, almost no one knows how to use the subjunctive correctly.

In what way?


In the South we use it all the time.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 11:54:56 AM by Azurestone »

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Offline Salpy

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Re: Shrinking skills
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2010, 01:16:23 PM »
Well I don't know about the South, but here in the North it's not uncommon to hear "I wish I was there," instead of "I wish I were there."  I think that's the sort of thing that Iconodule is talking about.  The subjunctive is slowly making its way out of English.

Offline Νεκτάριος

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Re: Shrinking skills
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2010, 01:29:49 PM »
I have a question to fellow nonnative English speakers here: Do you have in impression that your English skills are fading, especially the grammar rules?

I can't recall when was the last time I used future perfect tense or inversion. I use know maybe 4 tenses and that's all. I have an impression that I am constantly using less sophisticated and simpler language.

On the other hand my vocabulary greatly improved.

It means that your English is becoming more natural.  In natural conversation it is very rare to use the full range of English grammar.  That is one of the hardest things to teach in the classroom - how to sound natural and use the same register as native speakers in the same situation.  

Offline Aindriú

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Re: Shrinking skills
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2010, 02:34:36 PM »
Well I don't know about the South, but here in the North it's not uncommon to hear "I wish I was there," instead of "I wish I were there."  I think that's the sort of thing that Iconodule is talking about.  The subjunctive is slowly making its way out of English.

Yeah, that's the way I grew up speaking. That's interesting.

Reminds me when I hear guys say "Do you want to come with?". In my nugget, I'm thinking "with..., with..., with...  you? FINISH THE SENTANCE!"  ;D (A sentence structure not used in the South.)
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 02:35:28 PM by Azurestone »

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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Shrinking skills
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2010, 04:51:59 PM »
I have a question to fellow nonnative English speakers here: Do you have in impression that your English skills are fading, especially the grammar rules?

I can't recall when was the last time I used future perfect tense or inversion. I use know maybe 4 tenses and that's all. I have an impression that I am constantly using less sophisticated and simpler language.

On the other hand my vocabulary greatly improved.

If you don't mind another native English speaker chiming in... I have similar experiences to what you and others have said in this thread. As time has gone on, I've forgoten most of the rules for writing. However, while that bookish knowledge has diminished, my ability to intuitively know what to say, and how to say it, has increased. I'd like to think so, anyway!  :D
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 04:52:32 PM by Asteriktos »
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Offline Maria

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Re: Shrinking skills
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2010, 05:07:02 PM »
I've found that, even among educated native English speakers, almost no one knows how to use the subjunctive correctly.

The subjunctive is not used that much in English.

If I were a rich man .... is a song that employs the subjunctive very successfully.

If I were to undertake an exposition of the subjunctive, that song would be a great reference as the subjunctive is most often used in hypothetical cases.
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Offline Maria

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Re: Shrinking skills
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2010, 05:20:58 PM »
I have a question to fellow nonnative English speakers here: Do you have in impression that your English skills are fading, especially the grammar rules?

I can't recall when was the last time I used future perfect tense or inversion. I use know maybe 4 tenses and that's all. I have an impression that I am constantly using less sophisticated and simpler language.

On the other hand my vocabulary greatly improved.

It means that your English is becoming more natural.  In natural conversation it is very rare to use the full range of English grammar.  That is one of the hardest things to teach in the classroom - how to sound natural and use the same register as native speakers in the same situation.  

Using the same register as native speakers is important in establishing rapport. It is called "accommodation."

When we accommodate others, we show them that we are listening. In fact, it is quite natural when we are engaged in a conversation to use accommodation effortlessly. If, for example, I am talking with someone from the Valley who uses like in every sentence, I would also use it without thinking. Like, he like all guys wants to buy like a really expensive new car. This type of sentence, however, would not be found in a scholarly paper unless someone were to give an example of Valley Speak.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Shrinking skills
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2010, 06:43:34 PM »
Well I don't know about the South, but here in the North it's not uncommon to hear "I wish I was there," instead of "I wish I were there."  I think that's the sort of thing that Iconodule is talking about. 

Yes. It's even less common to hear, say, "If it be..." For example, "if the weather be warm tomorrow, we'll go swimming." Interestingly, people with poorer grammar, who are accustomed to saying things like "he do", may unwittingly use the subjunctive properly.

Quote
The subjunctive is slowly making its way out of English.

Not if I can help it!  :)
"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake