Language English Study Thread - Polish your forums communication skills!

n8starr

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I don't have exact references at this point, but I have been taught (a long time ago, around 12-13 years, so the conventions may have changed) that "He's older than me." would be grammatically incorrect. "He is older than I am" is the more complete form, and the "am" is usually discarded, making "He is older than I" the more grammatically correct form.
This is true, how we were taught in elementary school is that it isn't grammatically correct if you can't flip flop the subject and object and still have a working sentence. For example:

He is older than I. (Grammatically correct)
He is older than me. (Conversationally correct)

I am older than he. (Grammatically correct)
Me is older than he. (Grammatically & conversationally incorrect, since "me" is not a subject pronoun)

Most people in conversation will use the grammatically incorrect one, and in fact it sounds kind of weird and makes you sound old or too formal if you use the grammatically correct one.
 

steelwingcrash1

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This is true, how we were taught in elementary school is that it isn't grammatically correct if you can't flip flop the subject and object and still have a working sentence. For example:

He is older than I. (Grammatically correct)
He is older than me. (Conversationally correct)

I am older than he. (Grammatically correct)
Me is older than he. (Grammatically & conversationally incorrect, since "me" is not a subject pronoun)

Most people in conversation will use the grammatically incorrect one, and in fact it sounds kind of weird and makes you sound old or too formal if you use the grammatically correct one.

I believe this is what we call as "Purism" which is a sin (well, not really a sin nor a crime, but I like to call it that way) against daily, effective communication/conversation.

Purism is the desire that an idea/item remain true to its essence and free from adulterating or diluting influences (Wikipedia). In conversation, purism applies when one speaks with great reference to grammar rules as stated above.

However, it hinders the real idea behind conversation. As long as the message of the source is completely understood by the receiver, then effective communication already took place.

The above quoted already served as a very good example.

We know through rules that "He is older than I," holds the correct grammatical rules. But, "He is older than me," has been accepted recently because it basically holds the same meaning. Since the meaning of the message has been delivered successfully (we understand its meaning even though it holds incorrect grammar), thus, it can be accepted as an everyday language for conversation.

If you are a purist, though, you should stick with "He is older than I."

Here is another good example that we are very familiar with:


Jean: Good morning! May I please speak with Anna?
Anna's mother: Oh, hello there. Wait a minute, I'll call her.
(After a couple of minutes)
Anna: Hey, Jean. It's me! What's up?

If you are a rigid follower of grammatical rules (aka conversational purist), you would rather say, "It is I!" But that would totally sound extremely prissy and formal, though. Who on the 20th century would speak "It is I," on the phone? You sound more like a creature-in-hiding and then quickly jumping onto the screen, "It is I!"

The bottom line of this very long post is that, it does not matter whichever you use AS LONG AS your message/idea has been delivered clearly.
 

steelwingcrash1

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^ shouldn't that fall under Advertisements?
 

phio_chan

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^ I think it's a spammer. Only one post with such content is usually a spammer. :)

Anyhow, I don't realize that there's an English study thread here! :O
My question might not be very related, but I want to know anyway. XD Based on your experience, what is the best way (or you can say more than one way) to expand your vocabulary? :)
 

Charlie

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^ I think it's a spammer. Only one post with such content is usually a spammer. :)

Anyhow, I don't realize that there's an English study thread here! :O
My question might not be very related, but I want to know anyway. XD Based on your experience, what is the best way (or you can say more than one way) to expand your vocabulary? :)

Nice question Phio chan~. Well, lets see....

I would say enamor yourself with the given language or subject.
If it's about English, then I would watch movies or documentaries. Then again, the same method should apply to any. Others might read books or music. Choose whatever is the best method for yourself.
 

blai

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I completely agree with Charlie. Read books in English, watch movies in English (English subtitles if you want to for spelling improvements). But most important of all, to learn a language you need to talk the language and become accustomed to it. I learned more French during my time in Paris then I did during my time watching Taxi, Belle or reading my textbooks. Learn by doing is most likely the best advice I can give you. Find an interactive way to embrace the language. :)

Now, talking about expanding the vocabulary alone, I would ask you to read a book, hands down. Why? Simple, books are more descriptive than a movie or a song could ever be. The vocabulary in a book, preferably a longer novel, fantasy if you might, is on a completely different level than the discussions you hear in a movie. Perhaps you could combine your reading with a sound book. That way you can read new words, learn their contexts and meanings while hearing them correctly pronounced.
 
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phio_chan

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That is true. And to be honest, I've done all of that. A lot before. Watching movies, reading novels, listening to music... Especially music. I tried to listen, find out what the singer said before checking the lyrics. Sometimes, when I'm on super diligent mode, I'll go check the meaning of words I'm not familiar of in the dictionary. But I rarely use it in everyday life, for example, in speaking like this. Mostly because the context does not need me to use very complicated words, but sometimes because I forget that I actually know some other words with similar meaning. And so I seem to not having too big vocabulary, while I actually have learned more words than I know.

For example, I've learned about "despite" and "in spite of" since years ago, but I've just used it lately, though it's not much as well. I had a hard time understanding their difference back then, but once I used it, I understood it instantly. But I tend to use "although" or "though" in a sentence instead of those two words. :P

But I suppose all I can do is read more, watch more, listen more, so I'm getting used to those new words? :)
 

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Well, since we're talking about english on a forum which has manga in it's name. How do you think, has manga/anime influenced your english skills? More than that, what about MH? Did they improve after starting to post here or not?
 

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That is true. And to be honest, I've done all of that. A lot before. Watching movies, reading novels, listening to music... Especially music. I tried to listen, find out what the singer said before checking the lyrics. Sometimes, when I'm on super diligent mode, I'll go check the meaning of words I'm not familiar of in the dictionary. But I rarely use it in everyday life, for example, in speaking like this. Mostly because the context does not need me to use very complicated words, but sometimes because I forget that I actually know some other words with similar meaning. And so I seem to not having too big vocabulary, while I actually have learned more words than I know.

For example, I've learned about "despite" and "in spite of" since years ago, but I've just used it lately, though it's not much as well. I had a hard time understanding their difference back then, but once I used it, I understood it instantly. But I tend to use "although" or "though" in a sentence instead of those two words. :P

But I suppose all I can do is read more, watch more, listen more, so I'm getting used to those new words? :)
So is English your second language?
I never would have guessed. :blink

Anyway, I definitely agree. To expand your vocabulary, definitely read books. But the only way to truly learn a word (and make it stick) is to use it in conversation.
 

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So is English your second language?
I never would have guessed. :blink

Anyway, I definitely agree. To expand your vocabulary, definitely read books. But the only way to truly learn a word (and make it stick) is to use it in conversation.
I think that (nearly) everyone here on MH, who hasn't US/UK/Australia as their flag, have another first language than english. And, yes, remembering grammatics/words is important, but it's useless if you don't actually "use" those words, like here on MH for example :noworry

See, i just wanted to edit this post because i made a grammatical misatake. "I think that (nearly) everyone ... have another first language than english." But then i thought that this only proves what i just wrote above.
 

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That is true. And to be honest, I've done all of that. A lot before. Watching movies, reading novels, listening to music... Especially music. I tried to listen, find out what the singer said before checking the lyrics. Sometimes, when I'm on super diligent mode, I'll go check the meaning of words I'm not familiar of in the dictionary. But I rarely use it in everyday life, for example, in speaking like this. Mostly because the context does not need me to use very complicated words, but sometimes because I forget that I actually know some other words with similar meaning. And so I seem to not having too big vocabulary, while I actually have learned more words than I know.

For example, I've learned about "despite" and "in spite of" since years ago, but I've just used it lately, though it's not much as well. I had a hard time understanding their difference back then, but once I used it, I understood it instantly. But I tend to use "although" or "though" in a sentence instead of those two words. :P

But I suppose all I can do is read more, watch more, listen more, so I'm getting used to those new words? :)
I think there is one thing left for you to do. Read the whole dictionary. :P
I've done that before. Some words stuck and become familiar.
And oh... You should READ MORE novels in English. It's kinda hard to persuade you to read them, you know? Even though you have this friend (meaning me) who has a lot of English e-books, you don't take advantage of it.

---------- Post added at 07:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:20 PM ----------

Well, since we're talking about english on a forum which has manga in it's name. How do you think, has manga/anime influenced your english skills? More than that, what about MH? Did they improve after starting to post here or not?
A lot. I read manga in English and watch anime with English subs. New words always appear.
I can't say anything about MH since I've just recently joined. But in other forums, I do improve my skills. Though the people there just laughed whenever I kept correcting my grammatical mistakes.
 

phio_chan

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Well, since we're talking about english on a forum which has manga in it's name. How do you think, has manga/anime influenced your english skills? More than that, what about MH? Did they improve after starting to post here or not?
Like yukihime03 here, yes, a lot. It has influenced me pretty much. It expanded my knowledge, especially since I worked as a proofreader. Sometimes I got lost while checking on a grammar or a vocabulary, and I'd check them out in dictionary. It worked pretty good. :) For MH, I think it expands my skills in writing, more to passive conversation, that is. I even learned that there's a word you called "dudette", LOL~ XD Using English more and more nowadays do improve mine, but at the moment I wish to expand my active skills more than passive, to be honest. Not that I mind though; I accept any kind of learning ways. :D

So is English your second language?
I never would have guessed. :blink

Anyway, I definitely agree. To expand your vocabulary, definitely read books. But the only way to truly learn a word (and make it stick) is to use it in conversation.
Yes, English is my second language. Why would you never guessed that? XD From my country flag, it's pretty much clear that English is not my mother tongue. But I really consider it as one at the moment since I can spend more than half of my day speaking English than Indonesian, haha~ :p

I think that (nearly) everyone here on MH, who hasn't US/UK/Australia as their flag, have another first language than english. And, yes, remembering grammatics/words is important, but it's useless if you don't actually "use" those words, like here on MH for example :noworry

See, i just wanted to edit this post because i made a grammatical misatake. "I think that (nearly) everyone ... have another first language than english." But then i thought that this only proves what i just wrote above.
Yeah, my problem is that mostly I don't have to use that new vocabularies on casual talks like this. No need to use very complicated words, right? As long as I can send my ideas to you, and you can understand it, nothing else really matters. That is why sometimes I find it hard to use new vocabularies as it's kinda hard to stick them to a sentence. :p

I thought "everyone" goes with "has", since it's considered singular? XD *grammar mode on* (Forgive me on that. ^^")

I think there is one thing left for you to do. Read the whole dictionary. :P
I've done that before. Some words stuck and become familiar.
And oh... You should READ MORE novels in English. It's kinda hard to persuade you to read them, you know? Even though you have this friend (meaning me) who has a lot of English e-books, you don't take advantage of it.
I'm not you, dear friend, who has enough spare time and who will use her spare time (if she has some) to do something like that. XD And YOU, of all people, should know that this friend of yours don't really like reading e-books. I didn't even touch my biology e-books yet so far. :3
 

yukihime03

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I'm not you, dear friend, who has enough spare time and who will use her spare time (if she has some) to do something like that. XD And YOU, of all people, should know that this friend of yours don't really like reading e-books. I didn't even touch my biology e-books yet so far. :3
Who says I have enough spare time? Since when do I really have spare time? All I have is time for study and work that I misuse. :P
Be creative. If you don't like to read it via computer, print it. It is hard to get novels in English here and even if I can find it, it's quite expensive. This is the reason why sometime I feel sad about living in Indonesia, because somehow most of the people here don't really care about improving English skills.
 
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phio_chan

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Be creative. If you don't like to read it via computer, print it. It is hard to get novels in English here and even if I can find it, it's quite expensive. This is the reason why sometime I feel sad about living in Indonesia, because somehow most of the people here don't really care about improving English skills.
For God's sake, you've got to be kidding me. How much do you think I should pay if I were to print e-novels? I would rather buy one on bookstore. At any rate, I've been occupied by reading medical textbooks in real life so no thanks. ^^"
 

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I was wondering these days, is there a difference between "while" and "whilst" and if there is, when is each of them used?
 

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Basically, while is a word that functions both as a noun and as a subordinating conjunction (ex. I ate a while before you got here / I ate while you were on your way here). Whilst is a conjunction that's a synonymous to while mostly/purely used in British and Australian English and it shouldn't be used as a noun. In terms of conjunctions whilst is the more formal of the two synonyms and quite frankly isn't used much at all. Kind of like your vs thy but not really. :p
 
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Thanks, Adam! 'Whilst' really sounds more formal.
 

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I was wondering these days, is there a difference between "while" and "whilst" and if there is, when is each of them used?
I don't think there is any differences between them, except "whilst" is an old English words and "while" is the modern one.
 

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^ and the fact that you can't use whilst as a noun. ex. "I ate a while before you got here / I ate a whilst before you got here"

So yeah, it's used in British, it's an older (like thy) word and it can't be used as a noun.
 

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Okay, got it. Thanks for explaining!
 
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