In the language realm, there are many tour guides, a great deal of them self-appointed. These are the people who would accost tourists, take them on the routes they deem appropriate, and charge them an exorbitant amount, the price being their self-respect or sanity. Legitimate tours can also be arranged, and these guides have been trained and they are very knowledgeable. Many busses are open to all passengers, while a few are more selective, but they go all around the city and tell their passengers about the streets worth seeing and which ones to avoid.
In yesterday’s post, I came down hard on my fellow grammarians. A friend responded and said if he didn’t correct errors when he heard them, then how are people to learn? Point taken, but I have to consider whether this is done in the context of a classroom or a casual conversation. Students can expect marks in their papers pointing out grammar and sentence construction issues and a correction here or there in classroom discussions can help students. If someone needs help, they know who to go to, especially if these teachers or professors are in their lives. Correcting is a professional’s job.
In a casual conversation, correcting someone can be very alienating, unless they asked for it. Unsolicited advice is never a good idea and no one likes a know-it-all. Continue reading
For language lovers and professionals, it’s easy to get worked up over how grammar skills are in decline. Typical targets of rants include how the young generation can’t write properly, current media such as texting on cell phones and the Internet contribute to bad sentences, or people simply don’t care about grammar. The amateurs, such as the self-appointed grammarians, will go on about how young people don’t handle language as well as the previous generations, whereas the professionals can pick apart the bad verb tenses, the confused antonyms, spelling errors, and misplaced punctuation, if there’s any at all. Since language is something we all use but we all don’t use so well, having mastery of it can make one feel superior. Continue reading
This was originally posted in ShindoTV on July 27, 2010. Here, I give a lesson in grammar and apply it to living, which we don’t always think of, despite our verb tenses reflecting our outlooks on life.
In the future, everything will be perfect, right? That’s not how the future perfect works. Yesterday, I had a difficult time trying to explain this verb tense construction to my students at the language school. All I knew was that I would liked to have liked to have explained this without a hitch.
It’s a verb tense that’s used all the time by native speakers of English. There’s a goal, an expectation, some kind of deadline to meet implied. Here is the basic construction:
Subject + will + have + past participle
Example: Tomorrow, I will have completed all my paperwork.
Subject + be (am/is/are) + going to + have + past participle
Example: I am going to be finished with my project tomorrow.