I have some questions

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2018-12-20, 15:54

LifeDeath wrote:When I considered it, I thought mainly of adjectives that people use to describe the way an action is being done.
It can be their estimation, like characteristics:
"He's doing it in a weird way" or "He's doing it weirdly". Other pairs are possible, such as "strange/strangely, odd/oddly, reluctant/reluctantly" and so on.

"He's doing it in a reluctant way" sounds odd. You can be reluctant to do something, but there's not really a en established way of doing something that could be characterised as "reluctant".

LifeDeath wrote:It can also be an obvious objective evaluation about an action:
"He's doing it in a slow way" or "He's doing it slowly". Other pairs are possible, too: "loud/loudly, quick/quickly, accurate/accurately" and so on.

In all of these cases, the adverb is vastly more common than the paraphrase. Like I only found 94,000 Ghits for "in a slow way" and many of these are from dictionary definitions for "slowly".
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Ser » 2018-12-20, 16:28

linguoboy wrote:
LifeDeath wrote:Is there any difference between "to do something in an X way" and "to do something X-ly"? Are these always interchangeable? If not, are there any rules on it or does one simply need to memorize the usages or learn through experience?

Since I can't possibly consider every possible case, I'm just going to go out on a limb and say:
1. They're not interchangeable. (If they were, why have both constructions?)
2. You need to memorise the usages.

As for the differences, I could talk about specific examples, but I don't think I can make any sweeping generalisations.

I think your response is appropriate. It's always a bit painful to hear this, more so when the usage differences are not documented or are only badly documented...

As an aside, the topic of adverb formation used to always amuse me back when I studied Standard Arabic. That language has three ways of forming adverbs:
1) an adjective plus the adverbial suffix -an ("-ly"),
2) a preposition plus a noun ("with X"),
3) a prepositional phrase containing a noun such as "way, manner, form" and an adjective ("in an X way").

There was of course little resemblance to usage in English:

    fast, quickly = بسرعة bi-sur`a ("with speed")
    directly = مباشرةً mubaasharatan ("direct-ly"), بشكل مباشر bi-shakl mubaashar ("with direct form")
    similarly, in a similar way = بالمثل bi-l-mithl ("with similarity")
    in a friendly way = بمودّة bi-mawadda ("with cordiality", curiously mawadda can also have romantic overtones)
    by mistake, accidentally = عن طريق الخطأ `an Tariiq al-khaTa' ("with-respect-to a way of error")
Last edited by Ser on 2018-12-20, 17:13, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2018-12-20, 16:46

"in a friendly way" reminds me of one generalisation you can make: You can't add -ly twice in a row, which means adjectives ending in -ly can't be made into -ly adverbs. So also: "in a cowardly fashion" and not *"cowardlily"; "in a manly way" and not *"manlily", etc.

-ly also tends to be avoided after -ed, especially when it's pronounced /d/ or /t/. So "amusedly" (in four syllables, i.e. /əˈmjuːz.əd.li/), "excitedly", "disgustedly", etc. but I would avoid "annoyedly", "terrifiedly", "charmedly", etc.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2019-01-06, 20:26

Hi everybody. I have a small question for today.
On the internet I've seen a sentence "Good coffee is not all hype". For example, like on this picture. I think I don't fully understand the meaning of it. I read it as "Good coffe is not about hype" which means that the good coffee shouldn't be considered as relating to hype, where "hype" means "a rude and intensive advertisement". But the original sentence has a weird structure, there's no word "about" and I don't understand what the word "all" is supposed to mean here. I've though its meaning here is "at all" and the original sentence reads "good coffee is not hype at all". But I guess I'm wrong. Maybe "not all" here means "partly"? Like the good coffee is hype, but it's also some other things. But in this case, why coffee be hype? Maybe I'm trying to apply an incorrect definition of "hype".

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-06, 23:07

I think you may be. “Hype” is an abbreviation of “hyperbole”, which means “overstatement”. So core to the meaning of “hype” is that the claims are overstated. If you say something is “all hype”, you mean that in reality it is something mediocre masquerading as something superior. So saying something is “not all hype” means that there is some truth to the claims of superiority after all.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Antea » 2019-01-07, 17:53

Hi, is it correct to say “I don’t have any connection to English language ( for example”? Or is it better to say “ I have no connections to it”? Thanks :D

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-07, 17:55

Antea wrote:Hi, is it correct to say “I don’t have any connection to the English language ( for example”? Or is it better to say “ I have no connections to it”? Thanks :D

Both are correct, depending on what it is you're trying to say.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Antea » 2019-01-07, 19:33

linguoboy wrote:
Antea wrote:Hi, is it correct to say “I don’t have any connection to the English language ( for example”? Or is it better to say “ I have no connections to it”? Thanks :D

Both are correct, depending on what it is you're trying to say.


Ah, Ok, thanks, I was trying to explain that most times I learn a foreign language without having any personal connection with it (like living in the country, having family that speak the language, etc). And I was trying to emphasise this fact, like: “I don’t have any connection to Russian ” ( for example)

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-07, 20:11

In that case, I would add "personal" to "connection". Otherwise it sounds a bit odd.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2019-02-16, 13:15

Is it possible to use an indefinite article with proper or real names? I've heard that names may take the definite article when a speaker surprisingly emphasizes a question: "The real Barack Obama? Is he coming here tomorrow?", or something like this. But I've thought of an example when a person compares himself to another known person and uses his name as a metaphor, for example.
Like in this sentence: "I've fallen in love with an actress, but not with her real personality, I'm a Dorian Gray". [*]
That's how I phrase this intuitively, but I'm not sure. What do you think?
I think that no article at all would make it sound as if I'm schizophrenic and thinking than I'm a person who I'm actually not.
I can't sense what "the" would add to the meaning, but supposedly it'd be incorrect too.
Can you think of any other cases when you'd use "a" with names?


* Is there an adjective which means "not real personality", so as to describe a person who's acting or pretending on purpose, usually with a positive connotation. I thought of "alter-ego" but I guess that it has a negative connotation, as if one's willing to deceive, be undercover and do something malicious.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2019-02-16, 14:24

Using an indefinite article to genericise a given name is common enough. For instance, I googled "a Barack Obama" and one of the first ghits was "A lot of people have comparisons around him and a Robert Kennedy or a Barack Obama" (in reference to possible presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke).

In this example, you could just as well leave off the "a" without much altering the meaning of the sentence, but in other contexts it would be confusing. Your Dorian Gray example doesn't make sense to me but here you could drop the "a" without anyone worrying about your mental state.

In some cases, the indefinite article doesn't work at all. For instance: "If adversity makes you stronger I think I’m the Hulk at this point". "The Hulk" is the name of the object of comparison and saying "a Hulk" would make it sound like you thought there were multiple Hulks (which there are, but that's beside the point).

There are other quirks to the usage of determiners with names, but the short answer to your question is "yes".
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Antea » 2019-04-02, 16:05

Hello, I have to write a mail to my daughter’s English teacher. Please, could you tell me if there are any mistakes? Thanks

“Good morning,

I am Xxxx mother. As I told you in our meeting of January, my daughter, is willing ( or would like?) to take the school English test in order to join ( to integrate?) next year an anglophone class (it’s called like that, it’s a class with a higher level of English). As we agreed, it would be a great help if you could provide us with a sample of one of this tests for knowing at least the structure and level of the questions. Thanks a lot.

Looking forward to hearing from you.”

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2019-04-02, 16:16

Antea wrote:Hello, I have to write an e-mail to my daughter’s English teacher. Please, could you tell me if there are any mistakes? Thanks

“Good morning,

I am Xxxx's mother. As I told you inmentioned at[1] our meeting of in January[2], my daughter, is willing ( or would like?)[3] to take the school English test in order to join[4] next year an anglophone class next year. As we agreed, it would be a great help if you could provide us with a sample of one of this tests for knowingto give us some idea of at least the structure and level[5] of the questions. Thanks a lot.

Looking forward to hearing from you.”

Notes:
1. "As I told you" has a scolding sound in English.
2. "January meeting" would also be acceptable.
3. "willing" is most often used when it's something the person doesn't actually want to do, e.g. "I'm perfectly willing to listen to his complaint"= "I'd really rather he jumped in the lake".
4. "join" is acceptable, but "take" is more idiomatic, at least in American English.
5. I assume "level" here refers to level of difficulty. In this context, it would be more natural to say "difficulty".
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Antea » 2019-04-02, 16:22

linguoboy wrote:Notes:
1. "As I told you" has a scolding sound in English.
2. "January meeting" would also be acceptable.
3. "willing" is most often used when it's something the person doesn't actually want to do, e.g. "I'm perfectly willing to listen to his complaint"= "I'd really rather he jumped in the lake".
4. "join" is acceptable, but "take" is more idiomatic, at least in American English.
5. I assume "level" here refers to level of difficulty. In this context, it would be more natural to say "difficulty".


Thanks a lot! :D

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Re: I have some questions

Postby Dormouse559 » 2019-04-02, 16:53

linguoboy wrote:3. "willing" is most often used when it's something the person doesn't actually want to do, e.g. "I'm perfectly willing to listen to his complaint"= "I'd really rather he jumped in the lake".

For me, "willing" doesn't have such a strong meaning, unless there's irony involved. Generally, "willing" makes me think that a person is not opposed to doing something, even if they aren't eager. There's an implied conditionality to actually doing the thing, though. Like, "I'm willing to help you (if that's what you want)".

All that being said, I agree that "would like" seems like a better choice in the email. Unless Antea is uncertain that the test is necessary.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Antea » 2019-04-02, 17:37

Dormouse559 wrote:All that being said, I agree that "would like" seems like a better choice in the email. Unless Antea is uncertain that the test is necessary.


I think the test is necessary, as she really wants to try. English is her favourite language and she has been learning it for five years now. So I think she can give it a try, and also because after all, we’re still talking of a primary school level.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby Antea » 2019-04-11, 17:33

How will you say in correct English:

“Next week, will begin Easter holiday”. :hmm:

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2019-04-11, 17:39

Antea wrote:How willdo you say in correct English:

“Next week, will begin Easter holiday”. :hmm:

The most neutral form IMD would be: "Easter holiday[*] begins next week."

If you wanted to preserve the fronting, then "Next week [is when] Easter holiday begins."


[*] Actually, the more common form here is "Easter break" if what you mean is an entire week of no classes coinciding with Easter Week.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Antea » 2019-04-11, 18:03

I understand. Thanks!

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2019-04-11, 18:24

Antea wrote:I understand. Thanks!

"holidays" vs "break" is a UK vs US distinction, in case you didn't know.

In the USA, "Easter holiday" would typically be one day, most likely Easter Monday, and would refer to a day off of work. Some places might also give Good Friday as well (or instead of) Easter Monday, so "Easter holiday" could potentially mean Friday through Monday of Easter Weekend. In speech, you'd most often hear "We have Monday [bzw. Friday] off for Easter." (IME, "Easter Monday" isn't a common term for those who weren't raised in a so-called mainstream Christian denomination.)

In general, it's not common for workplaces or schools to give these days off unless they are religiously affiliated. (Chicago is somewhat unusual in that Good Friday is a city holiday here, but that only means that city schools and city offices are closed.)
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