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Grammar question
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Jun 12, 2013, 08:20 AM
 
Which is correct?

1) I plan to go to the beach for digging for clams.

2) I plan to go to the beach to dig for clams.

I know which is correct, but would like to confirm it here. The reason why I ask is because there are two countries where English is not the native language where the people who study there often use the improper form of the verb. I am curious as to why they are taught that way.
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Jun 12, 2013, 08:31 AM
 
Unless the beach is dedicated to clam-digging, it's the second one.

If it is indeed a dedicated clam-diggers' beach, then the phrasing in 1) is cumbersome, at best: "I plan to go to the clam-digging beach" or "I plan to go to the clam-diggers' beach" would be much more succinct.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 08:34 AM
 
Obviously 2) is correct.

The preposition to is paired with a base verb to form the infinitive: to see; to do; to dig.

The preposition for can indicate purpose but it should be followed by a noun: I am going to study for the test.

At a push, you might therefore say, for clam digging but it sounds stupid.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 08:40 AM
 
Great. Confirmed my thoughts, but why would the other countries teach their students the wrong way? English in those 2 countries is mandatory to be taught, but the results are often less than impressive.
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Jun 12, 2013, 08:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Great. Confirmed my thoughts, but why would the other countries teach their students the wrong way?
The construction in 1) sounds distinctly Scandinavian to me, for some reason.

People at school are rarely taught by native speakers, so any inadvertent errors the teacher makes are passed on. Are you absolutely certain that this is the construction the students were taught, rather than one just transliterated from their own language?

Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
English in those 2 countries is mandatory to be taught, but the results are often less than impressive.
As, apparently, are the results in your own country, so if I were you, I'd be very careful where you take it from here…
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 08:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The construction in 1) sounds distinctly Scandinavian to me, for some reason.

People at school are rarely taught by native speakers, so any inadvertent errors the teacher makes are passed on. Are you absolutely certain that this is the construction the students were taught, rather than one just transliterated from their own language?


As, apparently, are the results in your own country, so if I were you, I'd be very careful where you take it from here…
Haha, yes, you got be there but it is late here and I just ran two miles. Believe me, English is my native language.

But yes, at least in one country, students are taught that way.
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Jun 12, 2013, 09:38 AM
 
Which country?

(Also, I don't think it's strictly incorrect - just awkward and unclear.)
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 09:49 AM
 
In certain areas of the US, "for" is inserted into phrases where it's not grammatically needed. Damned if I can find a good example on the interwebs though.

something like:

We are goin' to the stoah, for to pick up some cannin' supplies.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 09:52 AM
 
i plan to dig for clams at the beach.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 10:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
In certain areas of the US, "for" is inserted into phrases where it's not grammatically needed. Damned if I can find a good example on the interwebs though.

something like:

We are goin' to the stoah, for to pick up some cannin' supplies.
That colloquialism, however, is most definitely incorrect grammar, and also certainly not the source of this particular point of confusion.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 10:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Which country?

(Also, I don't think it's strictly incorrect - just awkward and unclear.)
Haha, I do not want to tell. Actually, I am not sure if they are taught this way, but in my job, I have to look at many documents written by the people born in country X, and often find similar mistakes.

Sometimes I read so many documents that I find my English to be getting worse and worse.
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Jun 12, 2013, 10:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
That colloquialism, however, is most definitely incorrect grammar, and also certainly not the source of this particular point of confusion.
I know, I just thought it was a fun fact.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 02:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
I know, I just thought it was a fun fact.
You remind me of a man I once saw on the train whose face, though at first glance in no way unusual, perhaps even handsome, soon appeared ridiculous because it vividly invoked an image of a large salmon flapping on a factory floor.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 02:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Haha, I do not want to tell. Actually, I am not sure if they are taught this way, but in my job, I have to look at many documents written by the people born in country X, and often find similar mistakes.
Well, it's not surprising that certain language natives should make the same mistakes when dealing with a foreign language.

Even if Americans on the whole weren't so absolutely terrible at absorbing melody and pronunciation of foreign languages, you could still usually tell them fairly easily from the grammatical mistakes.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 02:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Well, it's not surprising that certain language natives should make the same mistakes when dealing with a foreign language.

Even if Americans on the whole weren't so absolutely terrible at absorbing melody and pronunciation of foreign languages, you could still usually tell them fairly easily from the grammatical mistakes.
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Jun 12, 2013, 02:59 PM
 
Sorry. My linguistics seminars were in German.

Would you prefer I continue in that language?
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 03:03 PM
 
German.
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 03:10 PM
 
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 03:11 PM
 
I love you Spheric Harlot!
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 03:12 PM
 
Together with Bach, Nietzsche and Goethe!
     
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Jun 12, 2013, 05:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Which is correct?

1) I plan to go to the beach for digging for clams.

2) I plan to go to the beach to dig for clams.

I know which is correct, but would like to confirm it here. The reason why I ask is because there are two countries where English is not the native language where the people who study there often use the improper form of the verb. I am curious as to why they are taught that way.
How about 3) I plan on going to the beach to dig clams.
     
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Jun 13, 2013, 08:10 AM
 
I don't really think it matters which question is grammatical—no one has needed to say this since the 1900s.

Try, "I'm going to Walmart to pick up a can of low carb petrochemical clam-chowder substitute."
     
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Jun 13, 2013, 09:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
You remind me of a man I once saw on the train whose face, though at first glance in no way unusual, perhaps even handsome, soon appeared ridiculous because it vividly invoked an image of a large salmon flapping on a factory floor.
You remind me of an existential joke whose punchline evokes hints of nihilism and 3 stooges.
     
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Jun 13, 2013, 11:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
I don't really think it matters which question is grammatical—no one has needed to say this since the 1900s.

Try, "I'm going to Walmart to pick up a can of low carb petrochemical clam-chowder substitute."
A bit off-topic, but I love Soup Plantation's clam chowder soup. But I think their chicken noodle soup is even better. Thick chunks of white chicken and thick noodles in a clear broth. Yum.
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Jun 13, 2013, 01:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
You remind me of an existential joke whose punchline evokes hints of nihilism and 3 stooges.
...
     
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Jun 13, 2013, 02:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
You remind me of a man I once saw on the train whose face, though at first glance in no way unusual, perhaps even handsome, soon appeared ridiculous because it vividly invoked an image of a large salmon flapping on a factory floor.
I know there must be a cultural misunderstanding here, because I don't believe you're intentionally trying to be offensive.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 01:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I know there must be a cultural misunderstanding here, because I don't believe you're intentionally trying to be offensive.
I wasn't trying to be offensive and sincerely hope that I wasn't offensive. If I was, I apologise.

But sometimes I experience strange synesthetic associations. My boss, for example, looks like he smells like Cheetos. My ex-girlfriend's voice had a strange crumbly-cake quality. And at other times the association is not sensory but imagistic.

Recently, again on the train, my gaze passed over an elderly Korean woman in a fur coat who got on and began casting about for a seat. There was nothing remotely extraordinary about her. But for me she brought with her into the train a sense of afternoon sunlight on the wooden floorboards of an empty attic somewhere in Italy in the 1800s.

And so it was with andi*pandi (and I spelling that correctly?) and the salmon.

I don't know why.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 07:18 AM
 
I have to deal with lots of Indians (from India, not American Indians). They often use terms that are 'old' English. This one comes up a lot : Please do the needful. My French colleagues asked me to translate, and I said that it was bad English. However a quick Google shows that it is widely used, especially by Indians.

The English language is such a bastardisation, that it isn't surprising that there are so many quirks in its usage. I personally have trouble making sure that I use English-UK spellings for words (such as bastardisation/bastardization) since there are more English-US dictionaries online than English-UK dictionaries. Then of course there are the automatic spell checkers.

Something that I noticed in France, 'most' people are very good at explaining the grammatical rules of French, I am hopeless at explaining English grammar rules. Is this because I wasn't taught correctly, or that I messed around too much during Sister Patricia's English lessons? (She did make me appreciate To Kill A Mockingbird and Macbeth though)
Yes, clearly a light hearted joke is the entire problem here. Not the narcissistic ego bukake that is the lounge.
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Jun 14, 2013, 08:14 AM
 
I don't know about the UK but my mother is a teacher and told me that in the 80s in New Zealand (when and where I was born and educated) there was a sort of revolt against the stuffy and schoolmarmish approach to teaching English with an emphasis on grammar which was replaced by programs with more emphasis on descriptive and creative writing.

What this meant in practical terms for a student of my generation was an English teacher in a tiedyed skirt who you called by her first name telling you to, "forget about grammar and just let the creative juices flow."

All well and good—until you arrive at college and discover that while you can pen a first person account of what an orange experiences while it is being eaten you lack a grasp of basic grammar.

I heard that since then there has been a slight shift back towards an emphasis on grammar.

It doesn't surprise me to hear that the French are good at explaining their own grammar because they're classicists and purists when it comes to their own language.

Isn't there some kind of government agency charged with preserving the integrity of the language—such as making up new French words as needed to avoid borrowing from English?

The Chinese and North Koreans do this also. For example, while the Korean word for computer is "컴퓨터" which is pronounced "kom-pyu-tah" the Chinese and North Koreans have coined their own native terms. I believe the word in Chinese for "computer" is jisuanji and means, "electronic brain."

There are literally hundreds of words in Korean that are the same in English: Bus, kiss, taxi, radio, banana, tomato, building, etc. etc.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 08:26 AM
 
I'm going to the beach to share me crabs.
ebuddy
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 11:42 AM
 
Tiresias is on the money. I remember my French teacher declaring to (mostly top-set english students) that we were going to learn about past tense today and not one of us knew what a tense was.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 11:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Tiresias is on the money. I remember my French teacher declaring to (mostly top-set english students) that we were going to learn about past tense today and not one of us knew what a tense was.
I forgot to add that the educational system in New Zealand (not to mention the parliamentary and legal system) was modelled on the UK so if the 80s swing away from teaching grammar was going on down under it might have been going on in the colonial mothership too.
     
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Jun 15, 2013, 09:40 AM
 
Yep. I don't think I have ever used the word infinitive. Until just then. I should really look that word up now.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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