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Grammar question
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OneJoelFifty



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 463

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
To be perfectly honest, anyone that would mark that wrong has no business being in a classroom teaching English IMO. It's pedantry to the point of impeding learning. (Very Japanese though Wink Rolling Eyes )


How insulting. I'd suggest that someone who was wrong as to whether or not it was grammatically correct has no business telling others whether they should be teaching.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2594
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hagiwaramai wrote:
Cool Teacher, I think the difference here [in Have you got...? Yes, I have - FH] is that "have" is being used as an auxiliary, which is what are used in Yes or No answers. It's not being used as the main verb. It doesn't mean "have" in terms of possession in this situation.

Are you sure about 'it doesn't mean in terms of possession in this situation'? Do you mean you're holding up the 'perfect' form of the whole rather than the 'present' function (of certainly the auxiliary by itself in the reply)?
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 998
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have received orders from a higher authority (my wife) to stop spending any more time on this thread. So this really is my last word on the matter:

Cool Teacher: I'm afraid you're still confused. In "Have you got. ... Yes, I have." "have" is neither transitive nor intransitive. It's an auxiliary. (What I called a "keyword" in my first post in this thread.) And the fact that "have you ... yes i have" still lingers in certain dialects doesn't really tell us much.

G Cthulhu: I have, in fact, read Wittgenstein, but it was a long time ago and you spelt "language-game" wrong, so I didn't catch on to what was going on. I see where you're coming from now, and I shouldn't have dismissed you as just ignorant. I still disagree with you, though because:

1. I hew closer to Chomsky.

2. I'm paid to teach Standard English. Regardless of my philosophy of language, if I let my students acquire a version of English that doesn't match Standard English I think I'm doing them a disservice. So I'm going to teach them not to say, "Yes, I do." rather than "Yes, I like."

To those who are interested in NGram viewer: Thanks for pursuing it further, and spotting the comma problem. This thread has turned into a real time sink, so I'm not going to go into the matter any further now, but anyone figures out how to handle commas then I'd like to hear about it. Then we can settle the, "Yes, I play." question once and for all.

About context: I don't know why people keep raising the issue of "the context of the original question". The original question was, "Is this grammatically correct?" Not, "How should I mark this?"

To those whom I've insulted: Sorry. I know I've been forthright and argumentative, but none of this is meant as a personal attack. Can we be friends now?
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2594
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I've enjoyed and am still enjoying the thread, and am usually too busy trying to work out what I think and where I stand to take much offence! I just hope you don't mind us continuing on without you, Pitarou (shame your wife isn't up for much Applied Linguistic discussion!).

Quote:
In "Have you got. ... Yes, I have." "have" is neither transitive nor intransitive. It's an auxiliary.

I guess we can only go by exact stated co-text. No object is stated in the reply there (although one is implicit, ellipted), but there are of course many examples of 'have' as an auxiliary (forming perfect tenses) where the verb phrase as a whole has an object (see the examples in e.g. the aux verb part of the online OALD's entry for 'have'). Anyway, a bit too much structural variance involved with the aux patterns to give it a clear/worthwhile transitivity coding. 'Have got' meanwhile is invariably VN i.e. transitive (but unfortunately all those grammar codes aren't displayed in the online version of the OALD).

Quote:
1. I hew closer to Chomsky.

That explains a lot! Laughing Wink

Quote:
So I'm going to teach them not to say, "Yes, I do." rather than "Yes, I like."

Again, 'like' can't function as an auxiliary (and thus more needs an object), so it will appear the more ungrammatical (compared to our 'have' "versus" 'do') in these sorts of short answers.

Quote:
About context: I don't know why people keep raising the issue of "the context of the original question". The original question was, "Is this grammatically correct?" Not, "How should I mark this?"

The context of the original question is ultimately a Q & A exchange regarding "possessing siblings", rather than "an exercise in using exactly-mirroring verb forms". Now, if there were some sort of mechanism at work in the language that always and absolutely constrained the form of each following sentence, in that it forced the speaker to use that form and that form only, then you would be right in saying that the "correctness" was all that mattered. That is quite a big if, however...hence the debate about how to assess the item in question.


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitarou wrote:
Cool Teacher: I'm afraid you're still confused.


You got that right. Confused Smile

Quote:
In "Have you got. ... Yes, I have." "have" is neither transitive nor intransitive. It's an auxiliary. (What I called a "keyword" in my first post in this thread.) And the fact that "have you ... yes i have" still lingers in certain dialects doesn't really tell us much.


I beg to differe Cool I think "keywords" are nice but grammar and logic don't always work together so well. Wink

Quote:
1. I hew closer to Chomsky.


I can't understand Chomsky. Confused

Quote:
2. I'm paid to teach Standard English. Regardless of my philosophy of language, if I let my students acquire a version of English that doesn't match Standard English I think I'm doing them a disservice. So I'm going to teach them not to say, "Yes, I do." rather than "Yes, I like."


Hmmm...but remember no one here said "Yes, I like," I think you brought it up to say we must think it is right if we think "Yes, I have" is right. But we think that's not true Confused Cool


Quote:
To those whom I've insulted: Sorry. I know I've been forthright and argumentative, but none of this is meant as a personal attack. Can we be friends now?


I don't feel at all insulted Very Happy Cool like fluffyhamsteer I have enjoyed the banter and getting the juices flowing and the grey cells working. Cool

Ciao! Cool
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
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Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Teacher wrote:
Hmmm...but remember no one here said "Yes, I like," I think you brought it up to say we must think it is right if we think "Yes, I have" is right. But we think that's not true Confused Cool

Well, there may be a slight risk that a tolerance of the one would lead to the other...but I'd imagine~hope that the greater functional equivalence of 'do' and 'have', versus the lesser functional equivalence of 'do' and 'like', would help militate against that.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This bit in Collins COBUILD English Usage would seem relevant. From its entry on 'Ellipsis':
Quote:
'have' used as a main verb
When you are using 'have' as a main verb, for example to indicate possession, you can use a form of 'have' or a form of 'do' to refer back to it. American speakers usually use a form of 'do'.

She probably has a temperature -- she certainly looks as if she has.
...since the Earth has a greater diameter than the Moon does.


Note that in the second example you do not need to use any verb after 'than'. You can just say 'since the Earth has a greater diameter than the Moon'.


This example (from David Bowker's The Death Prayer, cited in John Algeo's British or American English?), rather less so, but good for a bit of a laugh nontheless. Very Happy
Quote:
'Have you got your own chapel?'
'I do.'
Laverne was baffled by this Americanism. 'I didn't ask to marry you. I asked if you'd got a chapel.'
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joelackey92



Joined: 28 Feb 2012
Posts: 15
Location: Arkansas, y'all.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Haven't" is a contraction of "have not." "Don't" is a contraction of "do not." If the question is if you have any brothers and sisters, answering with, "No, I haven't" would not be right. "Do you have any brothers and sisters?" "No, I don't" would be correct.
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RollingStone



Joined: 19 Jan 2009
Posts: 138

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neither is correct. I have a sister.
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This entire thread reminds me of the discussion I once watched between a ESL teacher and a Phil of Linguistic teacher. The ESL teacher was very "rules based" and simply refused to accept that language is messy and doesn't (indeed can't, by definition and logical necessity) fit any single set of rules. They got quite stroppy when it was pointed out to them that their own dialect (they were from New York) didn't fit US Standard English "rules" and on their argument they weren't, in fact, "speaking English."

You'd really sort of wish that language teachers as a group had more a clue about how languages function, as opposed to arguing about how their particular favoured grammar describes it as working. Confused
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wondder if grammar happens in the barin. Confused
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was rather hoping the COBUILD resource I quoted from would've helped settle the issue - apparently not!
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
I was rather hoping the COBUILD resource I quoted from would've helped settle the issue - apparently not!


Grammars are descriptive, not prescriptive.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
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Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
fluffyhamster wrote:
I was rather hoping the COBUILD resource I quoted from would've helped settle the issue - apparently not!


Grammars are descriptive, not prescriptive.

Quoting a descriptive reference regarding a contested point of usage is hardly prescription. One might as well argue that the COBUILD books are prescriptive simply for being committed to print, distributed, and read much.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 998
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Teacher wrote:
Pitarou wrote:
G Cthulhu wrote:
In what sense do you mean "wrong"? Are you saying that the second option is somehow incomprehensible or outside normal use between the users concerned? As far as I'm concerned, that's the only test of "correctness."


I mean that it's outside of normal usage. That is the sense of the original question, is it not?


Hmmmm....I would have to check that as I don't know this is true. Confused

Go ahead. Knock yourself out.

Quote:
Quote:
Proficient speakers of English give answers that match the form of the question. They do not give "have" answers to "do" questions.


Are you sure? Wink

sigh I thought this thread died a natural death some time ago.

Of course there are exceptions to this rule, and of course there are dialects and historical forms that do things differently. But the original question was not asking about these more specialised areas. This was about basic, mainstream English.

And these days I'm a full-time student on top of my full-time-ish job, so I really don't have time to go into this any further.
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