Author Topic: English doubts thread  (Read 1045 times)

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Offline RaphaCam

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English doubts thread
« on: February 16, 2017, 10:02:13 AM »
Maybe we could open a thread where users, native or not, could ask questions about English. Grammar details, vocabulary, the validity of certain constructions or expressions, etc.

Me first: I saw a headline saying something like "I told a man is tall", in the sense of "I told a man that he is tall". Is this correct?
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 10:32:09 AM »
Where was this headline?  Sometimes headlines might not outright make sense, since it is not always meant to be a "sentence".
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 10:32:47 AM by minasoliman »
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 10:35:24 AM »
Where was this headline?  Sometimes headlines might not outright make sense, since it is not always meant to be a "sentence".
The Daily Wire. I changed the original sentence to makesee it less political for the appropriate board.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

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Offline Opus118

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 11:46:16 AM »
Maybe we could open a thread where users, native or not, could ask questions about English. Grammar details, vocabulary, the validity of certain constructions or expressions, etc.

Me first: I saw a headline saying something like "I told a man is tall", in the sense of "I told a man that he is tall". Is this correct?

No or not necessarily. The headline is so poorly written that one can logically conclude that it is a misprint and there are plenty of possibilities. For example, I'm told a man is taller, but I prefer, I sold a man his tail, and of course there is more.

Perhaps you should get another source for news.

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Offline minasoliman

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 11:53:15 AM »
I told a man "he" is tall?
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Luke

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 11:58:09 AM »
Either that with quotation marks or I told a man that he is tall without quotation marks.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 04:44:15 PM »
A common mistake I see northern Europeans making is where, in a sentence, if the subject is plural, they will make the verb "plural" too by adding "s" at the end. E.g., "For the black hills consists of black souls, souls that already dies one thousand deaths" (from Emperor's song, "I am the Black Wizards")
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Offline Vladislav

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2017, 03:11:19 PM »
Hi bros,
My question is about one song I like. It's "Blue Ain't Your Color" by Keith Urban.
I'm Russian, so please, help me with one phrase. I learned than in English after "it" I have to put "does" or "doesn't". But in the song I hear "It don't match your eyes". Why "don't", not "doesn't"? Is this contraction usual and okay in fluent colloqual English?

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2017, 03:32:01 PM »
Hi bros,
My question is about one song I like. It's "Blue Ain't Your Color" by Keith Urban.
I'm Russian, so please, help me with one phrase. I learned than in English after "it" I have to put "does" or "doesn't". But in the song I hear "It don't match your eyes". Why "don't", not "doesn't"? Is this contraction usual and okay in fluent colloqual English?

No. The demands of metre and rhyme force song lyrics to bend a lot of grammar rules. It's not just pop music that does that, mind you; even opera librettos include a lot of linguistic acrobatics. Song lyrics can be great sources of colloquial vocabulary; much less so when it comes to grammar.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2017, 04:11:02 PM »
Hi bros,
My question is about one song I like. It's "Blue Ain't Your Color" by Keith Urban.
I'm Russian, so please, help me with one phrase. I learned than in English after "it" I have to put "does" or "doesn't". But in the song I hear "It don't match your eyes". Why "don't", not "doesn't"? Is this contraction usual and okay in fluent colloqual English?

Everything Arachne said is correct.  I am going to provide a few more details on this point:

The contractions “it don’t” and “I ain’t”), for example, are bad grammar (the word “ain’t” is always bad grammar, whereas don’t can be used correctly, for example, “We don’t know”); the only people I know of who actually speak like that are hillbillies and country-folk wannabes in the US.  However, in song, and poetry, one is allowed to take “poetic license” and employ certain liberties, and this is particularly common in popular music, although one also encounters it at least once in the songs written by Gilbert and Sullivan, specifically, “The Sun Whose Rays Are All Ablaze” from the famed comic operetta, The Mikado.  In the 19th century and earlier, I believe Cockneys, the less wealthy inhabitants of the City of London and the East End, before improvements in British education, would also use this phrase, and you might possibly hear it among the “Ockers” of Australia (a group akin to American rednecks).

As Arachne pointed out, frequently, considerations of rhyme and meter cause English poetry and song to deviate from the correct grammar expected in prose.  Most English poetry of note tends to rhyme; purely metrical poetry is less popular and often gets translated into modern English as prose (for example, the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and The Green Knight was written in a form of metrical poetry that apparently no longer works, and the version I have was translated into modern English prose, although I personally can somewhat understand Middle English, but not Old English; I can safely say I know more Russian than Old English).

I wish I had more knowledge of regional populations and accents in Russia so I could point out analogies without running the risk of coming across as insensitive or inadvertantly bashing, for instance, a major and respected ethnic minority.  I am a major Russophile, although I am not a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, I visit ROCOR parishes as often as possible.  Last night I attended a lovely all night vigils led by a retired bishop complete with a litia and an annointing of the people with myrhh from an icon.  Any evening I get to address someone as “Vladyka” and/or eat pelmeni or lamb sashlyk is a good evening.  ;) 

God bless you Vladislav, and welcome to OC.Net!  :)
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2017, 04:15:24 PM »
Hi bros,
My question is about one song I like. It's "Blue Ain't Your Color" by Keith Urban.
I'm Russian, so please, help me with one phrase. I learned than in English after "it" I have to put "does" or "doesn't". But in the song I hear "It don't match your eyes". Why "don't", not "doesn't"? Is this contraction usual and okay in fluent colloqual English?

Keith Urban is using colloquial, informal American English. It is not, and it is not intended to be, correct by formal grammatical standards. But you will hear people talk this way in various settings.  What you really should be doing though is getting rid of your Keith Urban crap and listening to good country music. Might I recommend starting with Merle Haggard? Or if you want something newer, perhaps the Turnpike Troubadours?
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 04:26:41 PM »
It's not so much bad grammar as informal grammar. The story of modern formal English is a long one, but the gist is that the many English dialects were combined or suppressed by educators and literatteurs, who also added a bit of Latin rules and vocabulary to the whole -- and, no surprise, not every population adopted the new language at once or wholly. So America and the United Kingdom do still have some shades of the old dialects today, depending where you travel. As a foreigner learning English, you should probably save yourself some trouble and avoid informal English when you can.
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Offline Vladislav

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 01:30:35 PM »
Thanks my friends,

I understood your answers.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2017, 11:39:56 PM »
Now if only I could learn Russian. I'm much too afraid of it to try.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Alpo

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2017, 02:30:04 AM »
For the black hills consists of black souls

Is this incorrect? I thought "the black hills" would compare to third-person pronoun and thus demand -s in the following word.
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Iconodule

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2017, 10:43:22 AM »
The -s is only for third person singular. Usually with third person plural, present tense, one uses the base form of the verb, e.g. they walk, they eat, they pray.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2017, 01:32:58 PM »
The -s is only for third person singular. Usually with third person plural, present tense, one uses the base form of the verb, e.g. they walk, they eat, they pray.

I shouldn't post here before my first cup of coffee. I read "black hills" as a name of some place i.e. as singular.
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline rakovsky

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Re: English doubts thread
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 02:48:50 PM »
The -s is only for third person singular. Usually with third person plural, present tense, one uses the base form of the verb, e.g. they walk, they eat, they pray.

I shouldn't post here before my first cup of coffee. I read "black hills" as a name of some place i.e. as singular.
If it was a name, I think it would be capitalized.

EG. The Black Hills
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 02:50:28 PM by rakovsky »
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