I have some questions

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-18, 16:51

LifeDeath wrote:A month ago in my English lesson I needed to put athe proper form of a word in athe sentence "I would hate ___ there". The word was "live" and the form that I chose was "living". The teacher said it was incorrect and that we had to say "to" after "would hate". And I absolutely agree with her, even begginners know such expressions as "would like to do" or "would hate to do". But then I was thinking about what made me choose that strange option. And that's what my question is about.

What do you think, is it at least theoretically possible to say it in that way? Yes, "would hate to do something" is a stableset expression in English. But what if we consider it not as an expression, but as the verb "would" plus the rest of a sentence? I guess that's what I unconsciously did when completing that sentence. I googled "would hate" with different gerunds and found hundreds thousand of examples. Maybe therecan be any's a specific context, where it would work? As I keep reminding myself, a language is not a math, it's usually flexible, depending on a person's way of thinking, register, emotions, mood, etc. So, is it possible in theory? I thought about it, and I gotcame to the conclusion, that when you say "to V", it is just like a common expression. "I'd hate to live there", it is like you picture it as a period, a long one I guess. Like from now, until forever (if one could live forever). And when you say "I'd hate living there" you just put the emphasis on a process of living, no matter how long it will take. Could be rephrased "Living there - that's what I would surely hate".
I tried to create an example, and I guess it would work as a part of a conditionals.
"I hate living there".
"I did hate living there" (I hated living there).
"I will hate living there".
"I would hate living there".
"If we get ourselves to that house, I will hate living there".
"If we got ourselves to that house, I would hate living there".
"If we had got ourselves to that house, I would have hated living there".

So what is your opinion on that matter? What do you think?

It's more than a "theoretical" possibility; all those sentences are idiomatic. Some verbal constructions can only take an infinitive or a gerund, others allow either. Here either is possible. When the subclause is fronted, the gerund sounds more colloquial, i.e. "To live there is something I would hate" sounds very stilted compared with "Living there is something I would hate". (In casual speech, you'd be more likely to hear something like, "Living there--I'd hate that.")

There may be something to the notion that "living" puts more emphasis on the process than "to live", but the distinction is weak at best. At least I don't notice much difference between "I'd hate living there" and "I'd hate to live there". Perhaps other native speakers feel differently.

Note on punctuation: I may have mentioned before that English sets off clauses with commas only when they are restrictive relative clauses. E.g. "That house, which by the way I would hate living in, is for sale." We never use them with clausal complements, e.g. "He told me that he would hate living in that house." That's German usage, not English.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-01-19, 15:10

linguoboy wrote:Note on punctuation: I may have mentioned before that English sets off clauses with commas only when they are restrictive relative clauses. E.g. "That house, which by the way I would hate living in, is for sale." We never use them with clausal complements, e.g. "He told me that he would hate living in that house." That's German usage, not English.

Yes, I guess I was busy. Though I checked what I wrote twice, I didn't notice some mistakes. I'll learn more about punctuation in English. I thought that you can put a comma where you would make an intonational pause if you spoke that. Not according to rules, but according to intonation and your desire to "animate" a text.

And one more interesting question about intonation and pronunciation. You know, there's a Russian teacher, who proudly calls himself an author of a new method of learning English phonetics (and not only). He's even been at some TV programs telling about his methods and experience in learning. His method is a slow and distinct spelling of every sound in a word. And you know, that sounds utterly stupid and idiotic.
This is an example of his work. What do you think about his spelling as a native speaker? So I can learn how to speak myself, but there are people who hopefully believe in such methods to help them improve their spelling. But in my opinion, this is one of the most stupid way of wasting one's time and money.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-01-22, 22:14

LifeDeath wrote:Yes, I guess I was busy. Though I checked what I wrote twice, I didn't notice some mistakes. I'll learn more about punctuation in English. I thought that you can put a comma where you would make an intonational pause if you spoke that. Not according to rules, but according to intonation and your desire to "animate" a text.
Well, you can. But you'll probably get corrected in situations where rule-based punctuation is important. And even when using commas to indicate natural pauses, you won't find many English speakers putting a comma before a clausal complement because it's unusual to pause there.

LifeDeath wrote:And one more interesting question about intonation and pronunciation. You know, there's a Russian teacher, who proudly calls himself an author of a new method of learning English phonetics (and not only that/English/phonetics). He's even been at on some TV programs telling about his methods and experience in learning. His method is a slow and distinct spelling of every sound in a word. And you know, that sounds utterly stupid and idiotic.
This is an example of his work. What do you think about his spelling as a native speaker? So I can learn how to speak myself, but there are people who hopefully believe in such methods to help them improve their spelling. But in my opinion, this is one of the most stupid ways of wasting one's time and money.
His pronunciation has a lot of errors. What he's trying to do is sound out the words, derive the pronunciation from the spelling a few letters at a time. It sounds like he has trouble with some of the consonant clusters.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-24, 16:55

LifeDeath wrote:I thought that you can put a comma where you would make an intonational pause if you spoke that. Not according to rules, but according to intonation and your desire to "animate" a text.

I would go so far as to call that a misconception. In practice, comma placement is extremely rule-based and if you want to show a pause in speech, you often need to find some other means. (Such as an ellipsis. Or a sentence fragment set off with a period.)

LifeDeath wrote:His method is a slow and distinct spelling of every sound in a word. And you know, that sounds utterly stupid and idiotic.

It was so painful I couldn't bear more than a few seconds. I really don't understand what he hopes to achieve with this approach.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-01-26, 15:52

Okay thank you both.
You won't believe but the guy sells his 23 online groop lessons for about 4000$. And if there are people who actually think of buying it, I will not find words to express it.
But okay, I wanted to ask one question. I'd say clarify something. I'm still sometimes confusing the difference between reflexive and common pronouns. Am I right at suggestion that some verbs take only reflexives, and some others? Like "Touch myself", but "Bring me".
"I touched myself, but I didn't feel an injury". Or "I didn't want to go to that party, but I managed to bring me there".
And is it optional after "of"? Like "I'm deeply proud of myself" or "I deeply proud of me"? Or are both possible?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-26, 17:28

LifeDeath wrote:You won't believe it, but this guy sells his 23 online group lessons for about $4000$. And if there are people who actually think of buying itthem, I will not find words to express it.

"Will not" is awkward. "Won't" might work, "won't be able" is a bit better still.

LifeDeath wrote:But okay, I wanted to ask one question. I'd say it's to clarify something. I'm still sometimes confusing the difference between reflexive and common pronouns.

I would call them "non-reflexive", since both sets of pronouns are "common".

LifeDeath wrote:Am I right atto suggestion that some verbs take only reflexives, and some others do not? Like "Touch myself", but "Bring me".
"I touched myself, but I didn't feel an injury". Or "I didn't want to go to that party, but I managed to bring me there".

The last sentence is unidiomatic. If your meaning is "force myself to come", then you could say "bring myself", but a more common way to phrase this would be..."made myself go anyway".

English uses semantic rather than strictly grammatical criteria for determining reflexiveness. That is, in some languages, certain verbs are always reflexive. It's just part of their conjugation, like transitiveness. In English, it depends on the action expressed. So it's "I touch myself" because the subject is acting on their own body. But it's "I feel an injury" (or, better, "I feel injured") because the object is something other than the subject.

So "I brought myself to the party", because the subject is acting on their own person. "Bring me" is possible with a different meaning, e.g. "I brought me some gluten-free chips to the party". This is what is known as a benefactive dative; it indicates that the subject performed the action for their own benefit. (I'm probably going to eat some of those chips I brought.) This is considered a very colloquial usage, but it's widespread in some varieties of English (chiefly American English).

LifeDeath wrote:And is it optional after "of"? Like "I'm deeply proud of myself" or "I deeply proud of me"? Or are both possible?

I would say that only the first is idiomatic. The second sentence makes me expect more is coming. (E.g. "I'm deeply proud of me remembering to bring those". Your teachers and grammar books will tell you this is wrong, that it should be, "...proud of myself for remembering..." or "...proud of my remembering...". But in colloquial speech, there's nothing wrong with using an objective pronoun before a gerund like this.)
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-02-06, 17:26

So as I understand, it's when you use first person pronouns where they are not necessary?
"I'm gonna bring me a cup of tea", so here "me" indicates "I" as an object, to which you are gonna bring a cup of tea. But "I" and the one referred by "me" is the same person. Is that what it is about?
But there are a couple of things that I didn't understand from that article.
The first example is "I nearly stepped on me a dog".
I can't understand why "me" is shifted further from its usual position.
For example: "I nearly brought some water""I nearly brought me some water".
And, correspondingly: "I nearly stepped on a dog" ⇒ "I nearly stepped me on a dog".
Isn't it right? Like she says that she literally almost "put" a part of her body on a dog. (Like "I threw me in the pool", which means "I jumped in the pool")
Or am I wrong? If so, I am really confused.
I don't know how to explain what the original sentence means to me, but I'll try anyway. It's like "step on" is an action which affects the object. The verb doesn't make sense here, but if you replace it, for example, with "incite", it sounds better: "I nearly incited on me a dog" (but maybe more correct "I nearly incited a dog on me").
Another example: "I straightened my arms with a stone above my head. And you know what? I droped on me the stone!"
But anyway, does it mean "I almost stepped on a dog"?

Another sentence that I didn't understand at all is "'I love me some him". Does it mean "I'd love some him" (presence, voice, flesh, ect).

And one more thing that confuses me. It's about my previous question - do we use "me" or "myself" in those grammar elements? It was "me" in all the examples, but I asked a question about the song "Don't Stop Me Now" where there was a sentence "I'm gonna have myself a real good time". Why didn't they use "me"?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-06, 17:52

LifeDeath wrote:So as I understand, it's when you use first person pronouns where they are not necessary?

That's incorrect. Benefactive datives can be used in all persons.

LifeDeath wrote:"I'm gonna bring me a cup of tea", so here "me" indicates "I" as an object, to which you are gonna bring a cup of tea. But "I" and the one referred by "me" is the same person. Is that what it is about?

It depends whether me is being viewed here as an actual indirect object or not. If it is, myself is preferable. Me works best if the meaning is "for my own benefit".

LifeDeath wrote:But there are a couple of things that I didn't understand from that article.
The first example is "I nearly stepped on me a dog".
I can't understand why "me" is shifted further from its usual position.

The article goes on to explain that is a dialectal peculiarity. Most American English speakers who use benefactive datives don't use this same word order.

LifeDeath wrote:And, correspondingly: "I nearly stepped on a dog" ⇒ "I nearly stepped me on a dog".
Isn't it right? Like she says that she literally almost "put" a part of her body on a dog. (Like "I threw me in the pool", which means "I jumped in the pool")
Or am I wrong? If so, I am really confused.

Again, you need to distinguish between an actual transitive or ditransitive usage and a benefactive usage. Threw is a transitive verb, i.e. it requires a direct object. So in the sentence I threw me in the pool, there's no other role me could play. In cases like this, there's a strong preference for reflexive pronouns, i.e. "I threw myself into the pool".

The benefactive dative, on the other hand, is an adjunct used where an additional object is not required. In "I nearly stepped me on a dog", step on is transitive and its object is dog. There's no requirement to put me in that sentence. So it's a true benefactive (or adversative!) dative. A reflexive pronouns would sound very odd here.

LifeDeath wrote:I don't know how to explain what the original sentence means to me, but I'll try anyway. It's like "step on" is an action which affects the object. The verb doesn't make sense here, but if you replace it, for example, with "incite", it sounds better: "I nearly incited on me a dog" (but maybe more correct "I nearly incited a dog on me").

This does not sound better. It sounds worse: incite doesn't have the same meaning as step on and it's not used in this way. (You incite and event or you incite someone to do something.)

LifeDeath wrote:Another example: "I straightened my arms with a stone above my head. And you know what? I droped on me the stone!"

This is a completely different construction! Here you have a verb drop, which is transitive: you have to drop something. So the basic sentence is "I dropped the stone". On me expresses the path the stone takes. It is an adjunct of direction.

A benefactive dative construction would be "I dropped me a stone on him". The me has no other function in that sentence other than to indicate that the action also affected the subject in some way (probably positively, hence the term "benefactive").

LifeDeath wrote:But anyway, does it mean "I almost stepped on a dog"?

It does--in the idiolect of a speaker from southeast Georgia.

LifeDeath wrote:Another sentence that I didn't understand at all is "'I love me some him". Does it mean "I'd love some of him" (presence, voice, flesh, etc.).

That's exactly what it means.

LifeDeath wrote:And one more thing that confuses me. It's about my previous question - do we use "me" or "myself" in those grammar elements? It was "me" in all the examples, but I asked a question about the song "Don't Stop Me Now" where there was a sentence "I'm gonna have myself a real good time". Why didn't they use "me"?

Dialectal variation. (Queen is from the UK, remember.)
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-02-07, 18:33

Thanks! I wonder how many interesting things yet there are in English which I'm not familiar with. Too sad it's never taught in schools or any educational institutions.

linguoboy wrote:It does--in the idiolect of a speaker from southeast Georgia.

Is it sarcastic or true? I think that "step on" means "tread". Like the womam's going to thead the dog lying, for instance, on a floor. But I can't understand using of "me" here, hence the construction calls "benefactive datives", and I don't see how stepping on a dog might be at all benefactive (and it is said to be a real life example), maybe you do?

Here're the sentences that I invented, are they of the same grammar?
"I need to do something for me".
"I need to do me something".

I guess that the first sounds more common. But in both "me" is not necessary. Because if you do not use a pronoun here, it is obvious that you're talking about yourself. If you're talking about someone else, then you have to mention it: "I need to do something for him, he asked me to help him yesterday". Is that right?

And I also have a couple of simple questions. I was abroad last week, and we went to a cabaret. And there on a bar's table I saw a strange note. The Russian option doesn't make absolutely any sense to me. It's like they took words randomly from a dictionary and put them in order. But maybe you will understand the English option? It doesn't seem to mean anything to me, but I'm not sure in my English. Well it's not really important, but just interesting what they wanted us to know.

linguoboy wrote:"Listen", on the other hand, is already processive. So it's not really necessary to draw attention to the ongoing nature of it unless you really want to stress this for some reason. For that reason "I don't wanna be listening to you right now" sounds both emphatic and very colloquial.

I found a video where a guy says "you're not listening" at 0:47. Does it sound idiomatic here? Are there any reasons to use progressive? What would you use?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-07, 19:04

LifeDeath wrote:Thanks! I wonder how many other interesting things yet there are in English which I'm not familiar with yet. Too sad it's never taught in schools or any educational institutions.

linguoboy wrote:It does--in the idiolect of a speaker from southeast Georgia.

Is it sarcastic or true? I think that "step on" means "tread". Like the woman's going to tread the dog lying, for instance, on a floor.

In my experience, tread is never used this way outside of fixed expressions (e.g. tread the boards, a metonym for being an actor). You would tread upon a dog. (Though step on is far more common.)

linguoboy wrote:But I can't understand using of "me" here, since the construction is called the "benefactive datives", and I don't see how stepping on a dog might be at all benefactive (and it is said to be a real life example), maybe you do?

"Benefactive" is something of a misnomer. As I mentioned above, "adversative dative" is used for those cases where the effect on the subject is negative. Really, it just serves to show that the agent is affected by the action, too, just to a lesser degree than the patient.

linguoboy wrote:Here're the sentences that I invented, are they of the samesimilar in grammar?
"I need to do something for me".
"I need to do me something".

I guess that the first sounds more common. But in both "me" is not necessary. Because if you do not use a pronoun here, it is obvious that you're talking about yourself. If you're talking about someone else, then you have to mention it: "I need to do something for him, he asked me to help him yesterday". Is that right?

If you just say, "I need to do something", it's completely up in the air who will be affected by this action.

If you say, "I need to do me something", it implies that you will benefit, but you may not be the primary person affected. Colloquially, "Can you do me something?" means "Can you do me a favour?" But this could be something which primarily affects the person spoken to, like quitting smoking.

"I need to do something for me" implies that you are the primary if not sole beneficiary. For instance, "When I get bored with routine, I take it as a sign I need to do something for me: dye my hair, get a new piercing or new tattoo, a complete day off with my friends." Only one of those examples even involves other people.

LifeDeath wrote:And I also have a couple of simple questions. I was abroad last week, and we went to a cabaret. And there on a bar's table I saw a strange note. The Russian option doesn't makes absolutely anyno sense to me. It's like they took words randomly from a dictionary and put them in order. But maybe you will understand the English option? It doesn't seem to mean anything to me, but I'm not sure inwith my English. Well it's not really important, but just interesting what they wanted us to know.

This is what is known as "Engrish". It makes no sense to me either, but the Chinese is grammatical and says, "Please put the water glass back in its original place. Thank you for your cooperation." So I assume that is the original and the other versions are bad translations.

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:"Listen", on the other hand, is already processive. So it's not really necessary to draw attention to the ongoing nature of it unless you really want to stress this for some reason. For that reason "I don't wanna be listening to you right now" sounds both emphatic and very colloquial.

I found a video where a guy says "you're not listening" at 0:47. Does it sound idiomatic here? Are there any reasons to use progressive? What would you use?

1. Yes.
2. Because the simple present--"You don't listen"--would imply the action is habitual (i.e. "You never listen").
3. Same.

When it comes to aspect, there's a big difference between being the main verb in a sentence and being part of an infinitive construction. If the speaker were using want--as in the earlier example--I would expect "You don't want to listen" rather than "You're not wanting to listen" or "You don't want to be listening".
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-02-10, 18:19

Okay, thanks.
linguoboy wrote:This is what is known as "Engrish".

It is strange that they say "corruption of the English language by native speakers of some Asian languages." because I think it's not only in Asian countries that English is being corrupted sometimes.

So I've got a couple of questions still about the progressive tense.
The first one is from my first question again:
linguoboy wrote:
LifeDeath wrote:3.I heard a phrase from "Home Alone". It was "what else can we be forgetting?". What is it? Is there a rule about using Be+Ving? Can I say, for example: "I don't wanna be listening to you right now"(I don't want to listen to you right now)?
Again, it's a question of emphasis. The progressive draws attention to the fact that the action is happening right at the moment of speaking. "Forget" is usually thought of a punctual verb. Saying "What can we be forgetting?" frames it as a process that is taking place at the moment of speaking: We haven't completely forgotten (because there's still time to remember what it was and take care of it), but pretty soon we will have and it will be too late to do anything.

I was remembering your answer and something seemed strange.
I'm not sure if it will work in your browser but I found the video, the full movie, and at 24:58 the guy says "What else can we be forgetting?". But the thing is, they are not in the house yet, so they do not possibly have time to remember and take care of something that they forgot.
And now that I've become better at English, I also don't understand why he used progressive. The action is completely in the past and done with, I guess that "What else could we forget?" or "do/did we forget"? is the only possible option here. What do you think about it?

Another example is from the Queen song "Made in Heaven", which is "I'm having to learn to pay the price".
Okay, maybe I can undertsand when you put some common verbs like "forget" in the progressive form, but "have" as a part of the expression "have to" being used progressively is something beyond my range of understanding. I also remember that you said that Queen use [*] archaic and, if I'm not mistaken, complex forms of the language. But how can you explain "I'm having"? The only case where I think "have" might be gerundized is where it's used as an object or subject in a sentence: "Having to learn it was what I really hated! I really hate being forced to do something especially when I have no choice".
But here it's used just as the present progressive tense! "I am having". Why was it done? Does it sound grammatical to you?

* I want to clarify something. The common rule that I learnt many years ago says that if the main verb in a sentence is in the past, then all others should be put in the past too. Just a common sequence of tenses. But sometimes it sounds alright to me if I keep the verb in the present form. I think it can be done with habitual actions, with something that never changes (or for a long period of time).
If I say "you said that Queen used" I think it means that they did it only in the moment when you "said" +- some time.
If I say "you said that Queen use" I think it means that Queen always "use", and you just noted it then simply by "saying".
Another couple of examples:
"He said the sun was big" - it tells us about his impression, thought on the size of the sun.
"He said the sun is big" - just a well known fact, and he just pointed it out.
"He said people were stupid" - there were some people that they discussed in the moment of speaking who were stupid.
"He said people are stupid" - he expressed the thought that people of the world are stupid creatures, he didn't mean any specific people.
In simple words, I guess that "was" is used to say about something that is importan right in the moment when a statement is being made. We keep present tense to generalize things, to say about something eternal.
Are my thought correct or not? What do you think?

PS: Wherever you'd try to use the present after "he said", "he thought", etc; the Russian teacher would say that you are completely wrong, and it should be the past.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-10, 18:33

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:This is what is known as "Engrish".

It is strange that they say "corruption of the English language by native speakers of some Asian languages." because I think it's not only in Asian countries that English is being corrupted sometimes.

I've seen instances where the definition of "Engrish" has been broadened to include examples from elsewhere (including Russia!), but the term was coined to describe non-idiomatic and ungrammatical usages from Japan and only gradually expanded.

(I'll have to look at your other questions later.)
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-02-11, 17:37

linguoboy wrote:I've seen instances where the definition of "Engrish" has been broadened to include examples from elsewhere (including Russia!), but the term was coined to describe non-idiomatic and ungrammatical usages from Japan and only gradually expanded.

And I think that's what I usually do, too.

linguoboy wrote:I'll have to look at your other questions later

Will be waiting with interest. The first question is especially interesting for me.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-13, 16:25

LifeDeath wrote:I'm not sure if it will work in your browser but I found the video, the full movie, and at 24:58 the guy says "What else can we be forgetting?". But the thing is, they are not in the house yetany more, so they do not possibly have time to remember and take care of something that they forgot.

And now that I've become better at English, I also don't understand why he used progressive. The action is completely in the past and done with, I guess that "What else could we forget?" or "do/did we forget"? is the only possible option here. What do you think about it?

Actually, I think, "What else could we have forgotten?" is possible as well, although this use of the perfect is more characteristic of UK English.

The way I read the scene, they're thinking of forgetting as an ongoing action as opposed to a one-time event. This isn't unusual in English; consider the common phrase, "I keep forgetting", which is used when there's something you're trying to stay conscious of but you repeatedly fail.

LifeDeath wrote:Another example is from the Queen song "Made in Heaven", which is "I'm having to learn to pay the price".
Okay, maybe I can understand when you put some common verbs like "forget" in the progressive form, but "have" as a part of the expression "have to" being used progressively is something beyond my range of understanding. I also remember that you said that Queen use [*] archaic and, if I'm not mistaken, complex forms of the language. But how can you explain "I'm having"? The only case where I think "have" might be gerundized is where it's used as an object or subject in a sentence: "Having to learn it was what I really hated! I really hate being forced to do something especially when I have no choice".
But here it's used just as the present progressive tense! "I am having". Why was it done? Does it sound grammatical to you?

It absolutely sounds grammatical and this isn't the only case where you'll hear it from native speakers. Other examples:

"I'm having trouble logging into my account."
"I'm having fun now."
"Are you having a heart attack?"
"Are you having a boy or a girl?"

You'll find more examples and some attempts an a general explanation here: https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/hes-having-tense-usage.1707467/.

As for the specific example, it places emphasis on the ongoing nature of the action. Learning to pay the price isn't something which the speaker does once and is completed, it's a part of a continuous process. This is supported by the use of the progressive elsewhere in the lyrics:

"I'm taking my ride with destiny.
Willing[*] to play my part.
[I'm] Living with painful memories.
[I'm] Loving with all my heart."

"I'm having to learn to pay the price.
They're turning me upside down.
[I'm] Waiting for possibilities."

"I'm playing my role in history.
[I'm] Looking to find my goal
[I'm] Taking in all this misery
But [I'm] giving in[**] all my soul."

LifeDeath wrote:* I want to clarify something. The common rule that I learnt many years ago says that if the main verb in a sentence is in the past, then all others should be put in the past too. Just a common sequence of tenses. But sometimes it sounds alright to me if I keep the verb in the present form. I think it can be done with habitual actions, with something that never changes (or for a long period of time).
If I say "you said that Queen used" I think it means that they did it only in the moment when you "said" +- some time.
If I say "you said that Queen use" I think it means that Queen always "use", and you just noted it then simply by "saying".
Another couple of examples:
"He said the sun was big" - it tells us about his impression, his thoughts on the size of the sun.
"He said the sun is big" - just a well known fact, and he just pointed it out.
"He said people were stupid" - there were some people that they discussed in the moment of speaking who were stupid.
"He said people are stupid" - he expressed the thought that people of the world are stupid creatures, he didn't mean any specific people.
In simple words, I guess that "was" is used to say about something that is important right in the moment when a statement is being made. We keep present tense to generalize about things, to saymake statements about something eternal.
Are my thought correct or not? What do you think?

I would say that there's simply variation here. Both "He said people were stupid" and "He said people are stupid" can be used to report that a person said, "People are stupid". I don't perceive any difference in implication between the two sentences.

If you wanted to make clear that a statement only applies to a single instance, you'd use a deictic, such as "there" or "these", e.g.:

"You said Queen used an archaic form there." (No implication that they generally use archaic forms.)
"He said these people are stupid." (Indicates a particular subset of people, not people generally.)

LifeDeath wrote:PS: Wherever you'd try to use the present after "he said", "he thought", etc; the Russian teacher would say that you are completely wrong, and it should be the past.

I can see why they might do that, but that doesn't reflect spontaneous native-speaker usage.

[*] Not an example of progressive. "Willing" is an adjective, here used predicatively.
[**] Typo? I would have expected "it".
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-02-20, 16:34

Okay thank you.
linguoboy wrote:Typo? I would have expected "it".

Yes, I checked through some sources and I found options mostly with "it".

Today I'd want to ask a little bit more about this question of mine.
You know, on our English classes we started learning conditionals. I suppose that I understand the topic very well so I don't think I will have any problems with that; yet there are some things that need to be claryfied.
Now I'll try to sum up the grammar that we are taught about that so you will be able to understand what I'm asking about.

Mainly, there are three types of conditionals in English.

1. Conditional one. "if simple present, ... simple future".
"If you don't go with me I will go alone".
I guess it's just a common and natural way to make a condition, warn about something.

2. Conditional two. "if simple past, ... future in the past".
"If I had some money I would buy that car".
In fact, I was struggling to distinguish the difference between the first two. I think that the second bears a little less confidence. Though I don't have problems using them in real life.

3. Conditional three. "if past perfect, ... future perfect in the past".
"If I hadn't been late to the train station I wouldn't have been late for my work".
I think when you use it, you consider those two actions as being finished in the past from the perspective of the present moment.

And when you mix parts from the second and third conditionals, you may get two types of mixed conditionals.
So on the screen from that question that I provided the link to (orginally from Wiki), it says that "if Ved, ...would have V3" type of mixed conditionals is used when "the condition is not expressed as being limited in the past".
First of all, is that true that it work with habitual actions? Like "If she was shy she wouldn't have approached him on that party". Here her "being" shy is the habitual action. People can't be shy only for a short period of time!
But even if I'm right, I still don't understand why we would need to mix it. I guess that the main thought in a sentence is that she "approached" him in the past. That's what I'm trying to make my listeners understand. Because in the third conditional, or in the mixed, the result is the same, and, what's important, completely in the past.
That said, whether I say "If she was shy she wouldn't have approached him on that party" or "If she had been shy she wouldn't have approached him on that party", the result is the same, she did approach him then, and now they are friends, family, etc.
I suppose that the difference might be that when I say "had been shy" it means that now she is not shy anymore, while "was shy" means that she is still shy, no matter what she did and who she approached. But does that really matter a lot, since what's important is the consequence ? (approaching).
I hope you understand what I mean. In simple words, why would you use that mixed type instead of the common third conditional? If in both the result is the same, and the relust is the reason why you say these sentences at all. What "secret" does the mixed type have, that the third type doesn't?

But okay, maybe it makes some sense with habitual actions. But what about instantenious actions?
Like if I say "If she hadn't touched him, he wouldn't have noticed her" it sound pretty common.
But what if I say "If she didn't touch him, he wouldn't have noticed her"? What does it mean to you? It doesnt mean anything to me but I'm really interested in knowing how it differs from the third conditional. Can you sense it?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-20, 17:10

LifeDeath wrote:Today I'd want to ask a little bit more about this question of mine.
You know, in our English classes we started learning conditionals. I suppose that I understand the topic very well so I don't think I will have any problems with thait; yet there are some things that need to be clarified.
Now I'll try to sum up the grammar that we are taught about that so you will be able to understand what I'm asking about.

Mainly, there are three types of conditionals in English.

1. Conditional one. "if simple present, ... simple future".
"If you don't go with me I will go alone".
I guess it's just a common and natural way to make a condition, warn about something.

We learned to call this an "open conditional". The condition is "open" since it hasn't occurred yet. You may still go with me or you may not. The condition and its consequence are both in the future.

LifeDeath wrote:2. Conditional two. "if simple past, ... future in the past".
"If I had some money I would buy that car".
In fact, I was struggling to distinguish the difference between the first two. I think that the second bears a little less confidence. Though I don't have problems using them in real life.

Here the condition is closed: At present, you don't have money. Therefore, you can't buy that car. The condition is in the present and it is counterfactual, i.e. it hasn't been met.

LifeDeath wrote:3. Conditional three. "if past perfect, ... future perfect in the past".
"If I hadn't been late to the train station I wouldn't have been late for my work".
I think when you use it, you consider those two actions as being finished in the past from the perspective of the present moment.

Exactly: Both the condition and its consequence take place in the past. The condition is closed and the whole sentence is counterfactual (i.e. it's not what in fact happened).

LifeDeath wrote:And when you mix parts from the second and third conditionals, you may get two types of mixed conditionals.
So on the screen from that question that I provided the link to (orginally from Wiki), it says that "if Ved, ...would have V3" type of mixed conditionals is used when "the condition is not expressed as being limited in the past".
First of all, is that true that it works with habitual actions? Like "If she was shy she wouldn't have approached him onat that party". Here her "being" shy is the habitual action. People can't be shy only for a short period of time!

Who said anything about time limits? Conditions can be ongoing. If you refer back to the Wikipedia article, you'll see they also talk about something called a zero conditional[*]. The first example explicitly features an ongoing condition:

If you don't eat for a long time, you become hungry.

LifeDeath wrote:But even if I'm right, I still don't understand why we would need to mix it. I guess that the main thought in athe sentence is that she "approached" him in the past. That's what I'm trying to make my listeners understand. Because in the third conditional, or in the mixed, the result is the same, and, what's important, completely in the past.

That said, whether I say "If she was shy she wouldn't have approached him onat that party" or "If she had been shy she wouldn't have approached him onat that party", the result is the same, she did approach him then, and now they are friends, family, etc.

I suppose that the difference might be that when I say "had been shy" it means that now she is not shy anymore, while "was shy" means that she is still shy, no matter what she did and who she approached. But does that really matter a lot, since what's important is the consequence?

Maybe it does! The speaker thought it was important enough to mention. Isn't that enough?

LifeDeath wrote:I hope you understand what I mean. In simple words, why would you use that mixed type instead of the common third conditional? If in both the result is the same, and the result is the reason why you say these sentences at all. What "secret" does the mixed type have, that the third type doesn't?

Because if results are the only thing that matters, why even mention conditions? Why not just say, "She approached him at the party" and leave it at that?

In short, I find your question baffling.

LifeDeath wrote:But okay, maybe it makes some sense with habitual actions. But what about instantaneous actions?

Like if I say "If she hadn't touched him, he wouldn't have noticed her" it sound pretty common.
But what if I say "If she didn't touch him, he wouldn't have noticed her"? What does it mean to you? It doesn't mean anything to me but I'm really interested in knowing how it differs from the third conditional. Can you sense it?

I read the second version as continuing: There are still times when she touches him. Instantaneous actions can be either semelfactive (from the Latin for "single occurrence") or iterative (from the Latin for "again"). You can touch someone once and you can touch them repeatedly over a period of time. Isn't the similar to the perfective vs imperfective distinction in Russian?

[*] BTW, thanks for introducing me to this terminology. I wasn't familiar with it, since it wasn't used in any of the works I learned English grammar from.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-02-23, 17:54

linguoboy wrote:BTW, thanks for introducing me to this terminology. I wasn't familiar with it, since it wasn't used in any of the works I learned English grammar from.

I thought that such terminology has been invented only for teaching English for non-natives. Since some natives that I know have not been familiar with it. And I was kind of surprised when I saw it on Wiki, which I thought was a serious and competent source mainly for native speakers.

linguoboy wrote:I read the second version as continuing: There are still times when she touches him. Instantaneous actions can be either semelfactive (from the Latin for "single occurrence") or iterative (from the Latin for "again"). You can touch someone once and you can touch them repeatedly over a period of time. Isn't the similar to the perfective vs imperfective distinction in Russian?

So I think that the distinction in Russian is that you can understand whether a speaker has surely finished the action he's taking about, or whether it is up in the air whether (too repetitive, don't know how to rephrase) he finished or not.
Here's the example that I asked about and I still have some problems finding a proper form in English.
The past of "can" has typically two forms "мог" and "смог". And both translated as "could".
Let me once more show how it works:

"I мог win one million in the lottery."
"Oh it's great! But you didn't tell, did you win or not?"


"I смог win one million in the lottery."
"Oh it's great! Now you are a millionaire! What are you gonna do with this money?"


Смог - did it, succeeded at something.
Мог - had the oportunity/possibility, but without more context one can't say whether the speaker succeeded or not.

So, it is hard to understand whether "could" bears perfective sense or not. I think that is has imperfective connotation, like:
"I could win one million in the lottery."
"Oh it's great! But you didn't tell, did you win or not?"

"No, I didn't, but the next guy after me did."
But you know, the title of the film/book "The Little Engine That Could" is translated in Russian with the perfective form. And it means that it did, whatever is implied (since it's not said in the title), it succseeded at it. If the "мог" was used in the title, I would have needed to read the book to understand if it did what it wanted or not. Moreover, imperfective form bears sort of regret. So when people use it it's typically understood that they lost their opportunities, didn't succseed at something. But okay, let me stop confusing you by writing more and more useless information.



I was reading "The Shining" by "Stephen King" and I decided to record a little part so you could say if I'm getting better at speaking or not.
http://vocaroo.com/i/s1V6vfxN3HNu
The intonation and rhythm is obviously bad and unnatural. I know that it takes many many years to improve it. And I tried to focus more on pronunciation. But still some words are distincly standing out, like "had", "damp". And I can't see what I can do with it.
Here's the text:

"Wendy ran down the hall in her stocking feet and ran down the main stairs to the lobby two at a time. She didn't look up at the carpeted flight that led to the second floor, but if she had, she would have seen Danny standing at the top of them, still and silent, his unfocused eyes directed out into indifferent space, his thumb in his mouth, the collar and shoulders of his shirt damp. There were puffy bruises on his neck and just below his chin.
Jack's cries had ceased, but that did nothing to ease her fear. Ripped out of her sleep by his voice, raised in that old hectoring pitch she remembered so well, she still felt that she was dreaming-but another part knew she was awake, and that terrified her more. She half-expected to burst into the office and find him standing over Danny's sprawled-out body, drunk and confused.
She pushed through the door and Jack was standing there, rubbing at his temples with his fingers. His face was ghost-like. The two-way CB radio lay at his feet in a sprinkling of broken glass.
“Wendy?” he asked uncertainly. “Wendy-?”
The bewilderment seemed to grow and for a moment she saw his true face, the one he ordinarily kept so well hidden, and it was a face of desperate unhappiness, the face of an animal caught in a snare beyond its ability to decipher and render harmless. Then the muscles began to work, began to writhe under the skin, the mouth began to tremble infirmly, the Adam's apple began to rise and fall.
Her own bewilderment and surprise were overlaid by shock: he was going to cry. She had seen him cry before, but never since he stopped drinking… and never in those days unless he was very drunk and pathetically remorseful. He was a tight man, drum-tight, and his loss of control frightened her all over again.
"

Was it understandable?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-02-23, 18:26

LifeDeath wrote:I thought that such terminology had been invented only for teaching English forto non-natives since some natives that I know have not been familiar with it. And I was kind of surprised when I saw it on Wiki, which I thought was a serious and competent source mainly for native speakers.

Wikipedia is aimed at a very broad audience, including both native speakers and L2 speakers.

English is the native language of hundreds of millions of people living in dozens of countries. Not only does each of those countries have its own educational system, but often this is true of each second-order subdivision (e.g.. states in the USA). So you shouldn't expect any kind of uniformity in what native speakers have been taught.

I have taught English to non-natives, but I'm only familiar with a narrow range of teaching materials, none of which used this terminology. There could be a number of explanations for that.

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I read the second version as continuing: There are still times when she touches him. Instantaneous actions can be either semelfactive (from the Latin for "single occurrence") or iterative (from the Latin for "again"). You can touch someone once and you can touch them repeatedly over a period of time. Isn't the similar to the perfective vs imperfective distinction in Russian?

So I think that the distinction in Russian is that you can understand whether a speaker has surely finished the action he's taking about, or whether it is up in the air whether (too repetitive, don't know how to rephrase) he finished it or not.
Here's the example that I asked about and I still have some problems finding a proper form in English.
The past of "can" has typically has two forms "мог" and "смог". And both are translated as "could".
Let me once more show how it works:

"I мог win one million in the lottery."
"Oh it's great! But you didn't say, did you win or not?"


"I смог win one million in the lottery."
"Oh it's great! Now you are a millionaire! What are you gonna do with this money?"


Смог - did it, succeeded at something.
Мог - had the opportunity/possibility, but without more context one can't say whether the speaker succeeded or not.

So, it is hard to understand whether "could" bears perfective sense or not. I think that is has imperfective connotation, like:
"I could win one million in the lottery."
"Oh it's great! But you didn't tell, did you win or not?"

"No, I didn't, but the next guy after me did."

This example isn't ambiguous. Could is being used here with present meaning. (Keep in mind that modals in English function very differently than other verbs.)

I would translate your two sentences in the following manner:

"I could have won one million in the lottery." (The possibility existed but did not come to pass.)
"I was able to win one million in the lottery." (The possibility existed and did come to pass.)

LifeDeath wrote:But you know, the title of the film/book "The Little Engine That Could" is translated in Russian with the perfective form. And it means that it did, whatever is implied (since it's not said in the title), it succseeded at it. If the "мог" was used in the title, I would have needed to read the book to understand if it did what it wanted or not. Moreover, the imperfective form bears a sort of regret. So when people use it it's typically understood that they lost their opportunities or didn't succseed at something. But okay, let me stop confusing you by writing more and more useless information.


LifeDeath wrote:I was reading "The Shining" by "Stephen King" and I decided to record a little part so you could say if I'm getting better at speaking or not.
http://vocaroo.com/i/s1V6vfxN3HNu
The intonation and rhythm is[*] obviously bad and unnatural. I know that it takes many many years to improve it. And I tried to focus more on pronunciation. But still some words are distinctly standing out, like "had", "damp". And I can't see what I can do with itabout that.

I'll have to listen to this later.

[*] In formal registers, plural agreement is required (i.e. "are")
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-03-04, 17:54

Now it turns out that the Russian translation is wrong? Yes I think I know how "could" is used for future events. I just forgot about that usage when I was asking the question. I was taught that it is used like that usually in polite requests: "Could you bring that thing to me?"
Or just about future:
"I don't know if I can do it, I'm afraid too much".
"Well I could do that for you if you want, I'v never been afraid of that".

But what "The Little Engine That Could" is in Russian is "The Little Engine That Was Able (to do something)" or, maybe closer "The Little Engine That Managed to". But now I think that the original sentence has a meaning "The Little Engine That Can (do smth in a future)". So it is strange and unproffesional that they made a mistake in a title, it is not just a part of a big text that might be neglected sometimes. It is the thing that people see first when they hear about a book/movie/cartoon etc.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-10, 23:08

I just thought I'd respond to one of your questions and fix a few mistakes I found but no one corrected you on earlier. :)
LifeDeath wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:What do you mean by a "known word"? A word that you already know?

Yes, is that incorrect to say so?

Not necessarily, but I don't think native speakers usually say that, and it can sound confusing, especially when you specifically mean a word that you know.
I don't really listen to rap music but I was listening to this song just to see the lyrics and maybe pick up some colloquial English. So at 1:53 there's the sentence phrase "to make them feel the feeling that I'm feeling". And I think that he pronounces the "ee" like an "i" (sound). [...]

A "sentence" in English has to be complete with a subject and predicate. (A "phrase" doesn't).

I don't listen to much rap, either! I listened to the part you were talking about, though, and actually think this may be motivated not so much by dialect variation and more by the fact that the vowel is occurring before /l/ and it's common across languages for vowels to be centered in that environment.
But then it seems like noncsense to me. Who and why would need this and why? [...] because he doesn't look, he hears ("listens" may be better here).

what's the difference?

But shouldn't there be here an adjective here? Which means indicating the type of days.? Like "sacrifice your leisurely days"?

(You could also have this all written as one sentence).
I think that "prostitudte" when used as a verb means "to provide service of sex for money".

I would probably say "I thought that...meant..."
It's like someone paysing himself money to himself to have sex solo with himself.

(You could also replace "himself" with "themselves," "herself," etc. or even "themself").

And now regarding your most recent posts:
So I think that the distinction in Russian is that you can understand whether a speaker has surely finished the action he's taking about, or whether it is up in the air whether (too repetitive, don't know how to rephrase) he finished

You could replace the last "whether" with "if." :)

Also, I think I'd say "definitely" rather than "surely" in this context. I'd also say "he finished it," but maybe that's just personal preference on my part.
linguoboy wrote:I would translate your two sentences in the following manner:

"I could have won one million in the lottery." (The possibility existed but did not come to pass.)
"I was able to win one million in the lottery." (The possibility existed and did come to pass.)

You could also say "I managed to win one million in the lottery" for the second one.
LifeDeath wrote:So when people use it it's typically understood that they lost their opportunities or didn't succseed at something.

I think I'd say "and" rather than "or" here (unless I'm understanding LifeDeath wrong. LifeDeath, my understanding is that you're talking about situations where people lost opportunities and, as a result, failed at something. Does that sound about right?).
LifeDeath wrote:I was reading "The Shining" by "Stephen King" and I decided to record a little part so you could say if I'm getting better at speaking or not.
http://vocaroo.com/i/s1V6vfxN3HNu
The intonation and rhythm is[*] obviously bad and unnatural. I know that it takes many many years to improve it. And I tried to focus more on pronunciation. But still some words are distinctly standing out, like "had", "damp". And I can't see what I can do with itabout that.

I'll have to listen to this later.

[*] In formal registers, plural agreement is required (i.e. "are")

Actually, LifeDeath, I don't see a problem with the rhythm per se, and your intonation isn't generally that bad AFAIR, just needs a bit of work sometimes. For example, your intonation in the last two paragraphs was actually pretty good! :) It mostly just sounds like you have a bit of a problem with knowing how to pronounce some of the vowels (which of course is understandable with English :P), which makes it difficult sometimes to tell what you're trying to say (I noticed this at the very beginning of the recording). Also, sometimes, it sounds like you're pronouncing your "ng"s like an "n" (e.g. stocking feet), which sounds a bit odd.

I also didn't find your pronunciation of the word damp too problematic; it's probably just a word you'd need to stress more in this context (the collar and shoulders of his shirt DAMP). I didn't notice any problems with your pronunciation of the word had at all.

Some notes about pronunciation:

1. Make sure that you're always pronouncing "y" at the ends of words like an "ee," not like "i" or ы. :) Same with the "ea" in "dream(ing)." For example, at the very beginning of your recording, you pronounced "Wendy" wrong so it sounded more like "when they ran down..." You pronounced it correctly later in this passage, though.
2. "Didn't" has an "i," not an "ee."
3. The vowel in "look" is short.
4. Pronounce the "ou" in "shoulder(s)," the "o" in "old," and the second "o" in "control" all like the "oo" in "floor."
5. The "ui" in "bruises" should be pronounced exactly like the vowel in "two."
6. The "l" in "half" is silent. "Half" should be pronounced exactly like "haff" (if "haff" were a word). It rhymes with "chaff," "gaffe," and "laugh."
7. When you said "sprawled," it sounded more like "spurled" (which isn't a word).
8. The "u" in "confused" should be pronounced exactly like the word "you" and the (name of the) letter U in English.
9. The vowel in "pushed" sounds too far front. It should be the same vowel as in "look."
10. The "t" in "uncertainly" should not be voiced. It's pronounced like a "t," not like a "d."
11. Pronounce the "h" in "harmless" (безвредный). Otherwise, it sounds like "armless" (безрукий!).
12. The "ai" in "overlaid" should be pronounced like the vowel in "lay." It shouldn't sound like "*overled." :)


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