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Question relevant to EFL in UK

 
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gugelhupf



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 575
Location: Jabotabek

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 9:46 pm    Post subject: Question relevant to EFL in UK Reply with quote

Guys, I teach in standard British English, but always regard correctly constructed US/Can language as perfectly acceptable.

Where I am a bit confused is the status of the participle "gotten" in US grammar. Is it good grammatical practice to write "I have gotten your address from the website", for example?

This jars a bit to my Sussex ear, but so long as it is 'good' grammar then who am I to complain. Can anyone recommend an up to date US grammar text?
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lajzar



Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Posts: 647
Location: Saitama-ken, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No answers from me I'm afraid. But you might have more responses posting on a forum where US speakers are more plentiful. For a variety of reasons, mostly due to the nature of the job requirements and visas, US speakers dont tend to frequent this forum.
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gugelhupf



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 575
Location: Jabotabek

PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I agree this is not the best forum in which to seek advice from speakers of US English!

However, in the light of recent events in this forum, I was desperate to post something - anything! - here that was relevant to EFL otherwise I would have posted this query in the general discussion forum.

There are a few North Americans who read this forum so maybe they can help.
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leby26



Joined: 30 Jan 2004
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there,
Alright - I'm not a pro by any means, and I'm not American - I'm Canadian - but in my opinion, the phrase "I have gotten your ...." sounds awkward, I agree. I would have said instead "I got your ...." but I don't know how typical that may be or whether its written in a grammar handbook that way. I hope that someone out there may be able to help a bit better :)
All the best
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saudade



Joined: 11 Feb 2004
Posts: 48
Location: Campinas, Brazil

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I actually am an American (or, as JohnSlat would say, USAsian). My understanding is that "have gotten" is actually correct, although I have to admit that the particular phrase you gave as an example sounds a little weird. This is otherwise known as the "get passive"...

Her cookies always get eaten
Her cookies are always getting eaten
Her cookies got eaten
Her cookies were getting eaten
Her cookies have gotten eaten
Her cookies had gotten eaten
Her cookies will get eaten
Her cookies are going to get eaten

This is from Grammar Dimensions....
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12435
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 12:52 am    Post subject: Have you got it? Reply with quote

Dear suadade and leby26,
First of all, I'm not a proponent of using USAer, USAian or USAite. When asked where I was from in Saudi Arabia, for example, I'd usually answer:

"I'm from the United States."

But this was almost inevitably followed by a "Huh" from the questioner, so I'd end up saying:

"I'm American."

But here a good web page on some of the British/American English differences:

http://esl.about.com/library/weekly/aa110698.htm

It includes this:

"The Verb Get

The past participle of the verb get is gotten in American English. Example He's gotten much better at playing tennis. British English He's got much better at playing tennis. "

But here's where I see a problem occurs:

"Possession

There are two forms to express possession in English. Have or Have got

Do you have a car?
Have you got a car?
He hasn't got any friends.
He doesn't have any friends.
She has a beautiful new home.
She's got a beautiful new home.

While both forms are correct (and accepted in both British and American English), have got (have you got, he hasn't got, etc.) is generally the preferred form in British English while most speakers of American English employ the have (do you have, he doesn't have etc.)"

As you can see, "have/has got" in British English can be either the present perfect simple OR the present simple.
Regards,
John
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saudade



Joined: 11 Feb 2004
Posts: 48
Location: Campinas, Brazil

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My apologies for alluding to an opinion you never had, johnslat. I'm going to have to look before I allude.

Thank you for the web link, and for the explanation. Both were very helpful. These kinds of questions are coming up more and more for me, so that site should prove useful.
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gugelhupf



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 575
Location: Jabotabek

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice, people. I mark a lot of academic work written in English from overseas students studying biology, and while I will always point out errors in their English I don't want to penalise perfectly valid grammar.

Unfortunately, some of my colleagues still scribble red ink over anything remotely transatlantic despite the University's policy of accepting either British or American English.

When tracts of American English appear in the essays of Brit students, however, this is usually the sign of "copy & paste" plagiarism and we have all become quite skilled at plugging bits of sentences into Google and finding out where errant undergraduates have filched their writings!
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1434

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 7:30 pm    Post subject: Got and gotten. Reply with quote

I tell students that if they're planning taking a British exam, they should use the participle "got." Likewise with British spellings ("flavour", "centre" etc). If they're taking an American exam, they should amend their grammar/spelling accordingly.
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Will.



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 783
Location: London Uk

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you the consistency with one or the other is of most importance. When there is an intrusion of one variant into the other the inconsistency sticks out like a sore thumb to a native speaker and is more annoying than a bad accent, mispronunciation, etc.
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paisleyavenger



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 19
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2004 12:56 pm    Post subject: gotten what? Reply with quote

being australian, i use british english rather than american english (if i can so bluntly define the two for purposes of this discussion) ...

being a teacher i would not accept 'gotten' as an english word. other variations are fine - have got, will get, etc.

instead of gotten, find an appropriate synonym ... or change the tense.

i don't have a problem with most variations in english: color/colour, etc ... but i agree that the word 'gotten' just sounds ugly.
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zorro



Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 68
Location: in anticipation of euro2004

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just out of interest gugelhupf, what have been the latest events on this board that made you feel inclined to submit this thread??

i think that most of the recent threads have been related to efl.
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gugelhupf



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 575
Location: Jabotabek

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zorro wrote:
just out of interest gugelhupf, what have been the latest events on this board that made you feel inclined to submit this thread??

i think that most of the recent threads have been related to efl.


If you look at the page header you'll find that the original post was made in February. At that time there was a paucity of EFL-related discussion going on here thanks to a regular troll who inhabits Dave's. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then.
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zorro



Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 68
Location: in anticipation of euro2004

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh right. cheers for clearing that up.
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