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HELP! Grammar question
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Bamby



Joined: 13 Oct 2007
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear Stephen,
I may not understand your question correctly, but it seems to me that in "oral English" (i.e. dialogue), all of us often speak in phrases and dependent clauses, especially in response to questions:

"Where's the teacher?"

"In the classroom."

or

"Why did you do that?"

"Because I wanted to."

I think a problem can sometimes arise when students read dialogue, see phrases and dependent clauses being treated as sentences (i.e. beginning with capital letters and having end marks) and can get confused as to what constitutes a sentence in written English (first letter capital, subject, verb, complete thought, end mark.)
In fact, Bamby's confusion may be an illustration of this very problem.
Regards,
John

Nope. All the above examples you gave are complete sentences or statements except "Because I wanted to" and "In the classroom". It has nothing to do with 'first capital letter'. Phrases and dependent clauses are incomplete sentences. Phrases and dependent clauses are never, ever complete. It is always missing something that prevents it from being complete. Whether it needs extra words or even punctuations. Maybe your confusion is that you think sentences are always complete.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9500
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm beginning to lose my patient. It seems that this topic drift into teaching "phrase". I don't need NO one teaching me about simple phrases.


Are you sure you're from the U.S.?

Again, not a personal attack at all, but Johnslat is really very patient and usually quite accurate in what he's posting. The above would seem to indicate pretty clearly that you might want to at least listen to the input of others in the field ... assuming that you're a professional in ELT.
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Bamby



Joined: 13 Oct 2007
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
I'm beginning to lose my patient. It seems that this topic drift into teaching "phrase". I don't need NO one teaching me about simple phrases.


Are you sure you're from the U.S.?

Again, not a personal attack at all, but Johnslat is really very patient and usually quite accurate in what he's posting. The above would seem to indicate pretty clearly that you might want to at least listen to the input of others in the field ... assuming that you're a professional in ELT.

Quite accurate in what? Sentence A and B need commas. Don't try to switch the topic. I don't care about Johnslat patience, no offense. I did not argue his simple phrases he laid out. Since he is so damn smart, he need to rewrite Sentence A and B or add the comma/commas where they belong. End of conversation.
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Bamby



Joined: 13 Oct 2007
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
I'm beginning to lose my patient. It seems that this topic drift into teaching "phrase". I don't need NO one teaching me about simple phrases.


Are you sure you're from the U.S.?

Again, not a personal attack at all, but Johnslat is really very patient and usually quite accurate in what he's posting. The above would seem to indicate pretty clearly that you might want to at least listen to the input of others in the field ... assuming that you're a professional in ELT.

Listen to what input? Others need to listen to me. PUT THE F*CKING COMMA/COMMAS WHERE THEY BELONG OR REWRITE THE SENTENCE! What he wrote is INCORRECT. You can get away with saying "Our lives are together closer and closer", but you damn sure can't write it out that way. It's wrong.
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Insubordination



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 391
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't want to start a new thread but I noticed something curious when listening to a song in class the other day. The song said, "Am I not pretty enough?"

I suddenly realised that I often say Aren't I? rather than Am I not?. Why is this? Is it usual?
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12756
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Insubordination (nice user name),

Yup, it's much more usual to say "Aren't I" rather then "Am I not."
Perhaps the scanning of the song required three beats instead of two.
"Am I not" is more "dramatic" and formal.
Regards,
John
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MO39



Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 1970
Location: El ombligo de la República Mexicana

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
assuming that you're a professional in ELT.


According to a post made this June, Bamby's specialty is Medical Terminology and he/shehas not yet taken a TEFL course.
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SJ
Quote:
Arioch I'll get back to you tomorrow.


Now those are words to strike fear into the heart of any ordinary ESL/TESOL/EFL/TEFL teacher

But I think the thread has reached the lock down point

"

"Aren't" I sounds childish and pouty "Am I Not" sounds more refined. The connotations I feel at least, as a 40 y/o American

A lot depends on the song
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Llamalicious



Joined: 11 May 2007
Posts: 150
Location: Rumah Makan Sederhana

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, no threadjacking. I want to hear more about F*CKING COMMAS!
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guty



Joined: 10 Apr 2003
Posts: 364
Location: on holiday

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I not
is more usual in the north of England

aren't I
would be more usual in the south

How are they used in US or Oz?

I guess they are both equally correct gramatically, whether they sound more pouty or refined is, I believe, in the ear of the beholder.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For tail questions in British English innit's taken over.

I suspect ain't I is still the most usual form for a question, but even in this age of existential doubt first person singular real interrogatives must be fairly rare, no?
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Bamby



Joined: 13 Oct 2007
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insubordination wrote:
Didn't want to start a new thread but I noticed something curious when listening to a song in class the other day. The song said, "Am I not pretty enough?"

I suddenly realised that I often say Aren't I? rather than Am I not?. Why is this? Is it usual?

I had to butt in. Aren't I (Are not I) is incorrect. Am I not is correct. It is never 'I are'; it is always 'I am'. To ask a question instead of "I am" you would say Am I... I hope that is not difficult.
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Bamby



Joined: 13 Oct 2007
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MO39 wrote:
spiral78 wrote:
assuming that you're a professional in ELT.


According to a post made this June, Bamby's specialty is Medical Terminology and he/shehas not yet taken a TEFL course.

My specialty is Medical Terminology. I don't have one of those "TEFL" course certificate. However, I am certified to teach english and I volunteer at local colleges and libraries teaching english to immigrants.
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Bamby



Joined: 13 Oct 2007
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen Jones wrote:
For tail questions in British English innit's taken over.

I suspect ain't I is still the most usual form for a question, but even in this age of existential doubt first person singular real interrogatives must be fairly rare, no?

Ain't is widely spoken in the U.S. It is a dialect but it is use in everyday english. It takes on the negative. Ain't I translate to "Am I not"
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MO39



Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 1970
Location: El ombligo de la República Mexicana

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bamby wrote:


I had to butt in. Aren't I (Are not I) is incorrect. Am I not is correct. It is never 'I are'; it is always 'I am'. To ask a question instead of "I am" you would say Am I... I hope that is not difficult.


According to my Merriam Webster's dictionary, "aren't I?" is the perfectly correct question form of "I am not". Just one of those little irregularities of everyday spoken English that drive our students (and you, Bamby, apparently) a bit bonkers.
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