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The Free Dictionary Language Forums
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009 7:43:34 AM
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Last 10 Posts
Friday, April 3, 2009 2:32:05 PM
English is not my language and, although I am sometimes frustrated by the oddity of its spelling, I do like the creativity of it: you make this funny portmanteau like FANTABULOUS and GUESSTIMATE. The language is just so alive!
Preserving the Forum
Friday, April 3, 2009 2:27:40 PM
Well...today we even have someone trying to sell pills...this is just spamming!
Let's play a game!
Thursday, April 2, 2009 4:47:40 PM
shart (boy...thanks! they do not teach you these words in ESL)
Our Crazy English Language
Thursday, April 2, 2009 4:36:56 PM
Those words that look weird in English (like irregular plurals or verbs) are actually the very old ones. In Indo-european, the language form which, English, German, Russian, Italian, French, etc all came form, the plural and the past tense were obtained by changing a vowel in the middle of the word. From this come man/men, feed/fed and so on. Every language has exceptions to the rules and often the most used nouns and verbs (like to go in English) are the most irregular.
But English is peculiar indeed! There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple, sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.
But what drives crazy those like me for whom English is a second language is the toally random relationship between writing and reading. My language is phonetic one. In Italian, German or Korean, after few instruction you are able to read whatever even if you never heard the word. We do not have a spelling bee because it would not make any sense. Whoever is able to spell whatever.
Ask a native speaker why you say "god bless you' as opposed to 'god blesses you'. They will not know or they will tell you it is an idiom. Well... they are using subjunctive without knowing it!
There is always a reason for the abnormalities in a language but sometimes we are no more able to trace it...
I laugh at you
Thursday, April 2, 2009 8:16:56 AM
If a verb is TRANSITIVE it means that the action can be transferred directly to the object without any preposition, like: I watch you, I offer you, I eat the apple, etc.
if it is INTRANSITIVE you will need a preposition: Lough is intransitive so it requires a preposition: I lough AT you.
English uses preposition to change the verb meaning (phrasal verbs) so you have LAUGHING AT YOU (teasing) as opposed to LAUGHING WITH YOU (sharing the joke), for example.
The tricky part is that a verb that is transitive in English may not be so in French or German or whatever and viceversa so when you are speaking in English as a second language you can sometimes be confused...
usage of "dies"
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 8:16:33 AM
It is called "Historical Present" and it refers to the use of present tense to describe historical events happened in the past. As far as I know it was used by Julius Caesar in De Bello Gallico (about the war against Galois), his report about the war against Celts in what is now France (Gallia). I do not now about other earlier usages.
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