1. stonecold
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    stonecold Member

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    Grammar!!!!

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by stonecold, Apr 10, 2009.

    Did you go to school yesterday?

    or

    Did you went to school yesterday? (Which way is the right way to say?)

    She work after school?

    or

    She works after school? When do you add the s after the verb?
     
  2. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    "Did you go to school yesterday?" or "So you went to school yesterday? How come?"

    And neither for the second. As a question, it would read "Does she work after school?" or "Is she working after school?"

    I'm not really sure how to explain when you add an s like that in a question, though I'm sure someone will be about shortly to do so. I just know that neither one of the examples you provided are grammatically correct. And the way you phrased the second "Did you went to school yesterday? Why?" makes absolutely no sense. "Did" is already indicative of a past activity, therefore you don't need to use any more past tense words to set the time. "Did you go?" works better because we have already established that the question being asked refers to a event in the past. Went would only work as a reply...e.g. "I went to school yesterday," or "She went to school yesterday."
    Hope this helps some.

    ~Lynn
     
  3. StrixVaria
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    StrixVaria New Member

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    Did you go to school yesterday?

    The conjugated verb is "did". The other verb (go) is in the infinitive form (minus to), and thus is not conjugated.

    As far as when you add an -s to a verb, you should do that when it's in the third person singular and at no other time. This isn't true of all verbs, but it is of regular verbs.
     
  4. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    So *that's* how you put that rule into words... yay for you doing something I couldn't remember how to do :)

    ~Lynn
     
  5. Okie
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    Okie Member

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    I have to admit, all of the new-finagled big words and such make my head spin. I'm well aware there are names for all of those rules. I can't keep any of them straight. Somehow I can adhere to most of them, but if you ask me why, you get a blank stare in response.

    I would write those sentences as follows:
    Did you go to school yesterday?
    Does she work after school?
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    She works after school?

    ...there's nothing wrong with that, if it's dialog... we often ask a question with what is a statement, grammatically... such as:

    "He did?"
    "You're, kidding, right?"
    "That's all there is?"
     
  7. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    Okie,

    I could see both of your suggestions working well. :-D

    And I agree...a lot of the grammatical rules I follow, I just follow. I don't really think about them too much--I just know when it works and when it doesn't. Weird.

    ~Lynn
     
  8. Mercutio
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    Mercutio New Member

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    stonecold - you add the s to work in "She works after school?" because 'she' is a singular noun and works is a singular verb, and work is a plural verb in "They work after school."
     
  9. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    Yeah, isn't there a grammar rule that says a singular noun takes a singular verb, and a plural noun 'takes' a plural verb?
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is such a rule, and there are times it is acceptable to break it.

    Gender equality issues of society have pressed writers to set aside the grammar rule that masculine pronoun should be used when the gender of the subject is indeterminate. Some writers will say "he or she", others will rabdomly alternate between "he" and "she", still others will pluralize the entire passage to avoid the issue, or jump through hoops to avoid dealing with it. But one grudgingly accepted solution is to use a singular verb with a plural pronoun such as "they."
     
  11. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    That is one rule I often (you may have seen) enforced. I am strongly against 'their' or 'they' as a substitute, and it is wordy or clumsy to write 'he or she' or 'he/she,' respectively.


    While the feminist movement may have begun the plunge into clunky grammar, I think it is, nowadays, an unconscious reaction to write 'they' or 'their'.
    Even I do it, sometimes. (Though I correct myself when I notice)

    No one really CARES, any more, but like the word 'sneaked,' its proper form is so seldom used that it now sounds odd to everyone.

    Sad, sad, sad.
     
  12. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    i have a question for anyone.

    when writing, an i found this when i was posting in an u.k. site. but would you change your wording to fit the site?

    ie sometimes in terms,

    loo - toilet

    learnt - learned

    taking the piss - making fun of

    colour/color

    ..so would you hold those words or adapt to the audience rather than be constantly corrected? do you believe in keeping a bit of yourself in the poem/story or sacrifice for an easier audience read.

    i knew someone who had great word power but she was always picked on for using words others had to look up. it bothered her to write with words that she'd never use only so people would accept it.

    so what do other's do?
     
  13. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    You have to accept that British and American English have some points of difference. Write for whichever audience the piece is aimed at--and be aware that feminist-sensitive language is better for some publications.
    If you're writing a novel, though, I'd say write in the language you are most comfortable with or it will come over as fake. If I was writing for the UK you can be sure I'd write 'taking the piss' etc because it's normal lang use there.
    P.S. I hate seeing stuff like 'elevator' instead of 'lift' by an English writer. Why, why?
     
  14. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    thank you for your thoughts on this matter.

    i agree that you should adjust only what you believe or know that you can express properly.

    i know i could never say 'loo' or use the monies of the U.K. without messing them up so always stuck with dollar and toilet but wanted to know if other writers do the same.

    i remember a writer from India who wrote the most amazingly beautiful poetry and yet i wondered always how much was lost to translation. I used to translate for a living and the translations never perfectly matched. some books i've read were in russian and when i read them changed into english they never held the same.

    but as you said, use what you have knowledge about, but adapt for the readers.

    thank you again
     
  15. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I'd agree--adapt for the audience you're writing about but stay true to yourself.

    I'll have to admit I'm a bit weird and have personally adopted some of the British spellings of words. Like grey--I hate the American gray. I *hate* it. And adding u's to words like colour and favourite. I just think they look cooler...

    ~Lynn
     
  16. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    lol @ cooler, i like that :)

    but yes i do the colour/favourite and such, it was more the terms, i wondered about, how much to keep , how much to let go.

    thank you for your thoughts and that laugh - cooler, yup, thats worth a smile
     
  17. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    :-D

    Well...they do look cooler. ><

    ~Lynn
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's not a matter of the 'site' so much as what your writing is meant to be... if you're writing a book, story, or article for publication, then you do need to consider your target audience/readership and use the culture-appropriate spellings and idioms...

    so, if you want to have a book or article published in the uk, then briticisms are called for [as long as you know them well enough to be correct, if you're not a brit], while if you're not a british writer and you want a us publisher to take on the work for an american readership, you should stick to your american style/voice/spelling...

    if you're only referring to blogs and other kinds of 'reader comments' posts, then just write as you would normally... to do otherwise would make no sense...
     
  19. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    Yes, and thank you, mammamaia (darn that's a lot of m's)

    yes i was more referring to just posting stories in a site actually, but you answered another question for me about writing to publishing agents in another country, so thank you for thinking about to mention that.

    i always comment in my language, lol i'm unclear enough as it is :)

    thank you again
     

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