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CamilleVidann
Aug 7th, 2003, 03:40 AM
This thread is for those who wish to improve their English vocab.
There are so many great teachers on this board who surely can teach us non-native speakers some "nice" English expressions.
CC, today, taught me one of the most valuable and intelligent words. I will try and use it whenever the opportunity arises.
So here, you native English speakers (you don't have to be a native speaker as long as you're just as good or good enough) teach us expressions you think are "useful" for us, learners.
Isn't it a great thread??

CC
Aug 7th, 2003, 03:42 AM
Actually, maybe it's best if you don't use that word.

GBFH
Aug 7th, 2003, 03:43 AM
You're right, wanton whore is more fun.

CamilleVidann
Aug 7th, 2003, 03:46 AM
Just post one word or expression with its meaning aside. It doesn't matter how useful, polite, rude, tabooed or whatever it is. I'm sure we all are sinsible enough to tell where and when they should be employed.

CamilleVidann
Aug 7th, 2003, 03:52 AM
Or for those who have any questions about English, you can also ask them here.
My question: what's the difference between "for" and "to" when they are used in a sentence like "it's too difficult to me". Or does it have to be ......... for me?

GBFH
Aug 7th, 2003, 03:57 AM
My sister is better versed...but, "it's too difficult to me," just doesn't sound right. "It's too difficult for me," is the correct way to say it.

oh, also, "wanton" (pronounced WON-ten) means gratuitous and excessive. So, "wanton" whore means you're excessively slutty.

Mase
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:00 AM
Or for those who have any questions about English, you can also ask them here.
My question: what's the difference between "for" and "to" when they are used in a sentence like "it's too difficult to me". Or does it have to be ......... for me?

It has to be 'for me'. You Would say 'Its difficult to me' you wouldnt use the TOO in that sentence. if you wanted to use the TOO, you would say 'Is TOO diffcult for me'--

WHEW HEW, sorry I got BOLD happy....... :o

King Satan
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:00 AM
My sister is better versed...but, "it's too difficult to me," just doesn't sound right. "It's too difficult for me," is the correct way to say it.

oh, also, "wanton" (pronounced WON-ten) means gratuitous and excessive. So, "wanton" whore means you're excessively slutty.
wow, i'm surprised you never used that word with me :eek: :p

GBFH
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:02 AM
wow, i'm surprised you never used that word with me :eek: :p

;)
nah, the expression implies you've *ahem* come through on your inuendos.

CamilleVidann
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:02 AM
What about these sentences?
They all have a girl friend.
They have girl friends.
Do they mean the same?

GBFH
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:04 AM
What about these sentences?
They all have a girl friend.
They have girl friends.
Do they mean the same?

Nope.

"They all have a girlfriend (one word)," means every person has one girlfriend.

"They all have girlfriends (again, one word)," means every person has MORE than one girlfriend.

King Satan
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:05 AM
I used to be good at this kinda stuff. but then i dropped out of school :o

GBFH
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:06 AM
I used to be good at this kinda stuff. but then i dropped out of school :o

You're English is excellent, joe. So shut your trap :p

King Satan
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:07 AM
You're English is excellent, joe. So shut your trap :p
well for someone that didn't go past the 9th grade, it's ok i guess :o lol

CamilleVidann
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:07 AM
Nope.

"They all have a girlfriend (one word)," means every person has one girlfriend.

"They all have girlfriends (again, one word)," means every person has MORE than one girlfriend.


No, I didn't say "They all have girl friends".
I'm comparing the first one with "They (no all) have girl friends."

GBFH
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:09 AM
well for someone that didn't go past the 9th grade, it's ok i guess :o lol

yes indeed ;)

King Satan
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:12 AM
and i never studied during middle school either :o

I thank God he gave me a really good memory, and i was able to pick up things here and there. otherwise, i'd be more fucked than i am now :o lol

Sam L
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:12 AM
Nope.

"They all have a girlfriend (one word)," means every person has one girlfriend.

"They all have girlfriends (again, one word)," means every person has MORE than one girlfriend.
I think they mean the same. That is, all of them have one girlfriend each.

GBFH
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:13 AM
No, I didn't say "They all have girl friends".
I'm comparing the first one with "They (no all) have girl friends."

Oh, I'm sorry! lmao, I can speak English, but apparently I'm still lacking in the reading comprehension area.

In that instance, yes, "They all have a girlfriend," and "They have girlfriends," share meanings.

Mase
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:13 AM
and i never studied during middle school either :o

I thank God he gave me a really good memory, and i was able to pick up things here and there. otherwise, i'd be more fucked than i am now :o lol

I would have never guess from the way you speak on the boards that you dropped out in the 9th grade...... ;)

GBFH
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:14 AM
and i never studied during middle school either :o

I thank God he gave me a really good memory, and i was able to pick up things here and there. otherwise, i'd be more fucked than i am now :o lol

Joe, really, I don't know why you left school. I didn't study for the first two and a half years of COLLEGE and I'm almost a senior. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself, babe.

King Satan
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:15 AM
I would have never guess from the way you speak on the boards that you dropped out in the 9th grade...... ;)
well, i was never a moron. i just hated school lol. that place was hell, so i left a bit early lol

GBFH
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:15 AM
I would have never guess from the way you speak on the boards that you dropped out in the 9th grade...... ;)

Har-har! What a backhand you possess, Mase.
sic 'em, Joe!

King Satan
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:19 AM
Har-har! What a backhand you possess, Mase.
sic 'em, Joe!
oh, that wasnt' a compliment? :o:confused:

maybe i am a moron lol :o

GBFH
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:21 AM
oh, that wasnt' a compliment? :o:confused:

maybe i am a moron lol :o

You are NOT a moron.

Mase needs to extract his tongue from the inside of his cheek ;) He was just teasing you, babe.

Vincent
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:59 AM
What a thread!:)
I need everyone's teaching.

Eric_tennis
Aug 7th, 2003, 08:26 AM
Wow,.. this could be very good thread for me. :D

I've had so many things to ask native speaker about English expression,... I can't recall them all now,.. but I will post a lot later if you don't mind. :o

My first question is about 'yes' or 'no'. It could sound dumb question to native speakers,.. but it's quite tricky to me.

When we have a question with negative word such as NOT or NO, it's difficult to non-native speaker.
Do you like tennis? Yes. ==> it means I like tennis)
Don't you like tennis? Yes.
==> it means I like tennis..? :confused:
In my country, Yes (or nod one's head) means I don't like tennis.
No (or shake one's head) means I like tennis.

Tag question like 'Don't you like tennis, do you?' make things worse. ;) Those kind of qeustion was the usual one on my middle school English exam,.. but it was a lot complexer, than the example above.

I heard that in English 'Yes' means affirmative answer always even to the questions with negative words. ( I think it's same in German as well. )
It makes me a lot of confusion cause both language use different logic.
Any comments from native speaker would be appreciated.
:D

gg
Aug 7th, 2003, 11:56 AM
Do you like tennis? Yes. ==> it means I like tennis)
Don't you like tennis? Yes.
==> it means I like tennis..? :confused:
In my country, Yes (or nod one's head) means I don't like tennis.
No (or shake one's head) means I like tennis.

Tag question like 'Don't you like tennis, do you?' make things worse. ;) Those kind of qeustion was the usual one on my middle school English exam,.. but it was a lot complexer, than the example above.

I heard that in English 'Yes' means affirmative answer always even to the questions with negative words. ( I think it's same in German as well. )
It makes me a lot of confusion cause both language use different logic.
Any comments from native speaker would be appreciated.
:D

English is not always very exact and logical and to tell you the truth many English speakers are not aware enough of correct grammar (including me) and wouldn't know whether Yes or No was the correct answer to the question, "Don't you like tennis?"

However, they would realise that to ask the question with the negative means that the person asking has a reason to think that you don't like tennis. In that situation you would have to add something extra to confirm what you mean. "No I don't" or "Yes actually I do" otherwise there would be confusion. It sounds as if it's the opposite of your language. Your's is probably more logical. I think you may be right that Yes is affirmative. Heck, I'm learning from you. :lol:

Martian Willow
Aug 7th, 2003, 12:12 PM
Yes, I think Camille and Eric are getting confused between grammar (correct usage) and vernacular (common usage), which is understandable. It's like when someone says 'I didn't do nothing': they mean they didn't do something, but what they said was actually the opposite. English is a rather stupid language, and many of the people who speak it are rather stupid also. My apologies on its and their behalf. :)

gentenaire
Aug 7th, 2003, 12:41 PM
Good question, Eric. There's no English equivalent for 'si' in French or 'jawel' in Dutch.

I believe that in some cases, they use 'did too'. (correct me if I'm wrong)

"young man, I told you to tidy your room a hundred times yet you never did" "did too, I cleaned it only last week."

I still think it's easier to stress a positive answer in Dutch though. The absense of a word for 'wel' or 'jawel' is something that I've always found annoying about English. Certain things simply cannot be explained the same way as in Dutch.

Dava
Aug 7th, 2003, 12:44 PM
Thats more of an americanism, you would more likey say "yes I did, I cleaned it last week" or "no, I cleaned it last week".

gentenaire
Aug 7th, 2003, 12:46 PM
Thats more of an americanism, you would more likey say "yes I did, I cleaned it last week" or "no, I cleaned it last week".

That's not the same as our 'jawel'. "I DID do it, dammit" is not quite as strong as our "'k Heb da WEL gedaan, godverdomme."

It's easier to fight with your parents in Dutch ;)



And how do British children fight then? The typical did not-did too-did not-did too fights? (welles-nietes or jawel-nee in Dutch)

Nicoleke
Aug 7th, 2003, 12:49 PM
' Si ' isn' t ' if ' in english ?

Dava
Aug 7th, 2003, 12:50 PM
Im not sure, but putting if in that sentence would not be correct.

gentenaire
Aug 7th, 2003, 12:52 PM
' Si ' isn' t ' if ' in english ?

That's just one meaning. Si can mean different things.

When someone asks, "tu n'aimes pas de tennis?", you'll reply "si" and not "oui" if you want to say you do like tennis.

Colin B
Aug 7th, 2003, 12:56 PM
English is not always very exact and logical

That's true but the great thing about English is that you can make a few mistakes and the chances are, no-one will notice. For instance:

What time is it?
What is the time?
What's the time?

Any of the above will do, or you could be more adventurous with:

Any idea what the time is?
Do you know what time it is?
Have you got the time?
Could you tell me what time it is?

Confused? Don't be. Just try any of them and people will know what you mean. Or try a direct translation from your own language:

(German) How late is it?
(French) What hour is it?

Everyone will know that you're asking the time.

*Whoohoo 1 :) :) :) posts*

gentenaire
Aug 7th, 2003, 01:00 PM
not just English, Colin ;)


Hoe laat is het?
Hoe laat is't?
Welk uur is het?
Welk uur is't?
Weet gij hoe laat het is?
Enig idee hoe laat het is?
Hebt gij een uurwerk aan?
Kunt ge mijn zeggen hoe laat het is?
Weet gij welk uur het is?
Enig idee welk uur het nu is?
Kunt ge mij zeggen welk uur het is?

Dava
Aug 7th, 2003, 01:05 PM
Lol!

gentenaire
Aug 7th, 2003, 01:06 PM
Congrats on your 1 :) :) :) posts, Colin.

Colin B
Aug 7th, 2003, 01:07 PM
And how do British children fight then? The typical did not-did too-did not-did too fights? (welles-nietes or jawel-nee in Dutch)

My children would say, "OH YES I DID!!" emphasising each word (actually, the oldest would say, "Nope; couldn't be arsed")

gentenaire
Aug 7th, 2003, 01:14 PM
the oldest would say, "Nope; couldn't be arsed")

LOL! How British ;)

Colin B
Aug 7th, 2003, 01:23 PM
Congrats on your 1 :) :) :) posts, Colin.

Thanks Tine, it's been a long time coming! :)

Thanks for the lesson in Dutch too. I think French speakers are the worst. If the sentence isn't properly constructed, observing every facet of grammer, pronunciation, gender and 'je ne sais qua', your attempts will be greeted with either laughter or a little performance involving frowns, shrugs, head shaking, staring at shuffling feet and mumbles of "Je ne comprend pas!!"

Thats the main reason we English are so bad at languages: they force us to learn french for three years and when we get the chance to try it out we are met with ridicule, so we never try again. :)

Big Fat Pink Elephant
Aug 7th, 2003, 01:34 PM
ooh this thread is great! :D

CamilleVidann
Aug 7th, 2003, 02:13 PM
Here's another question of mine.
Please explain the difference between the following two sentences in meaning or tell me which one is correct.

Having lost the first set to a 14 year-old girl, Alex decided to retire.

Losing the first set to a 14-year-old girl, Alex decided to retire.

I'm always confused between having done and doing. Do they basically mean the same or is there any definite difference between them? I know in many cases, by adding "having" you can indicate that action has occured before the other one. But guess mostly it's not necessary to clarify that since it's already obvious enough with it or not.

Nicoleke
Aug 7th, 2003, 04:36 PM
That's just one meaning. Si can mean different things.

When someone asks, "tu n'aimes pas de tennis?", you'll reply "si" and not "oui" if you want to say you do like tennis.
Oh ok,that " si " don' t exist in english, I think .....

gg
Aug 7th, 2003, 06:04 PM
Here's another question of mine.
Please explain the difference between the following two sentences in meaning or tell me which one is correct.

Having lost the first set to a 14 year-old girl, Alex decided to retire.

Losing the first set to a 14-year-old girl, Alex decided to retire.

I'm always confused between having done and doing. Do they basically mean the same or is there any definite difference between them? I know in many cases, by adding "having" you can indicate that action has occured before the other one. But guess mostly it's not necessary to clarify that since it's already obvious enough with it or not.

They sound much the same to me :confused:

but maybe it should have the word permanently after retire :devil:

Josh
Aug 7th, 2003, 06:07 PM
Having lost the first set to a 14 year-old girl, Alex decided to retire.
---> Means that the first set is over and Alex lost it to that 14 year old.

Losing the first set to a 14-year-old girl, Alex decided to retire.
---> Means that the set isn't over yet but that Alex is behind and looks like he will lose the set.

At least that's what I make of it :lol:

Kanji
Aug 7th, 2003, 06:10 PM
Josh is right... and in both case, Alex is depressed and decided to retire. Don't do like him kids! The important thing is to participate, not to win. ;)

Dava
Aug 7th, 2003, 06:12 PM
No one of those sentences is active, the other is passive.

In the first Alex loses the first set, so is the active part of the sentence.

In the second Vika has won, and is the active part, so therefore Alex lost.

gg
Aug 7th, 2003, 06:19 PM
No one of those sentences is active, the other is passive.

In the first Alex loses the first set, so is the active part of the sentence.

In the second Vika has won, and is the active part, so therefore Alex lost.

Yikes, can you say that in English :)

Dava
Aug 7th, 2003, 06:19 PM
In the first one, it Alex that LOSES!

In the second Alex loses because OF THE 14 YEAR OLD

Maajken
Aug 7th, 2003, 06:23 PM
Having lost the first set to a 14 year-old girl, Alex decided to retire.

Losing the first set to a 14-year-old girl, Alex decided to retire.

it sounds like the first one means that alex lost the first set and then decided to retire, while the second one implies that she retired "because" she lost the first set

Maajken
Aug 7th, 2003, 06:23 PM
ok dava you beat me to it ;)

CamilleVidann
Aug 8th, 2003, 12:27 AM
What does this sentence exactly mean?

I found the mountain covered with snow.

Does it mean the subject found that the mountain was covered with snow or the subject found the mountain which was covered with snow? or it could mean both?

Dava
Aug 8th, 2003, 12:29 AM
Well it could be both! But I would say the first as if you meant the second we would say "I found a mountain covered with snow". THE implies you where looking for something specific in the first place.

CamilleVidann
Aug 8th, 2003, 12:45 AM
Imagine yourself teaching English as a 2nd language (meaning you are teaching in a country where English is a foreign language). Provided that your students know the alphabets and a good many words, would you teach them grammar first or put communicative skills first/

CC
Aug 8th, 2003, 12:49 AM
Well it could be both! But I would say the first as if you meant the second we would say "I found a mountain covered with snow". THE implies you where looking for something specific in the first place.

Yeah, sounds like you were going to this particular mountain, and when you arrived you saw that it was covered with snow.

CamilleVidann
Aug 8th, 2003, 08:10 AM
What's the difference between cock and dick?

Nicoleke
Aug 8th, 2003, 11:25 AM
Having lost the first set to a 14 year-old girl, Alex decided to retire.
---> Means that the first set is over and Alex lost it to that 14 year old.

Just a question, I always say " 14 yearS old ". Am I wrong ? Or both are correct ?

Petersmiler
Aug 8th, 2003, 12:45 PM
Just a question, I always say " 14 yearS old ". Am I wrong ? Or both are correct ?

I'm not sure if it is actually grammatically incorrect, but most English speakers would say 'a 14 year old girl'.

However, if it was put the other way round, they would say 'a girl who was 14 years old'.

Not sure if that helps or not!

Oh, and 'cock' and 'dick' are the same!

Martian Willow
Aug 8th, 2003, 12:51 PM
Cock is a male chicken (or any bird). Dick is an abbreviation for Richard. :)

SJW
Aug 8th, 2003, 01:11 PM
ill never have to go to class another day in my life :D;)

CamilleVidann
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:16 PM
Why do some ppl keep on using "then" instead of "than" in sentences like "Justine is better then Kim."

duck
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:30 PM
it's just a mistake imo. 'Than' is always used for comparative sentences. She is taller than her.

'Then' is an indication of time. Only then (ie at that moment) did I realise what had happened.

CamilleVidann
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:31 PM
What's the most offensive expression in English?

duck
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:35 PM
What's the most offensive expression in English?

That's entirely subjective.

CamilleVidann
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:38 PM
That's entirely subjective.

Then, for you what is it?

Keith
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:40 PM
What's the most offensive expression in English?

Calling a woman a "****" is usually offensive.

CamilleVidann
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:41 PM
OK... I will use it to my friend tomorrow.

Keith
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:43 PM
What's the most offensive expression in English?

It's funny. For example, in Germany, if you call someome a dirty pig, that is more offensive than calling them a "goddamn cocksucking mother fucking son of a bitch"

In English, there are so many expressions and ways to communicate your disgust for someone, that it is hard to pick one as the the most insulting.

duck
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:44 PM
I haven't got one. I've had everything said to me and I've said everything back -there is no one word that is more or less wounding than any other. The power of the insult depends on the context and the person insulting you and, of course, on how true it is.

CamilleVidann
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:47 PM
"goddamn cocksucking mother fucking son of a bitch"
The very best English expression I have ever heard.
Can't wait to use it soon!!!

Eric_tennis
Aug 11th, 2003, 06:28 AM
My second question on English.

English has soo many meanings on one vocabulary. Maybe it could be good for implication in poet or something,.. but it's not that clear to foreigners who are learning English.
I guess English has way too little number of vocabulary than other language. And many vocabulary have same form for 'noun' and 'verb' (not to mention an intransitive verb and a transitive verb have same form). If I look up a vocabulary in a dictionary, sometimes its meaning is over a page not to mention it's usage. :eek:
It really make me frustrated to learn English. :o

For example, 'wear' has sooo many meanings as you might know. ;) When I started to learn English, I found it kind of weird for the basic usage of 'wear'
In several languages I know (including my native tongue), they have each verb for 'wear clothes', 'wear glasses', 'wear hat', 'wear ring', 'wear shoes', 'wear ribbon in one's hair', 'wear a beard',.....etc. We use different vocabulary but in English there's only one word simply 'wear'. I think it has definitely different action,..but same word? :confused: And those each 'verbs' are not from those objects(clothes,glasses,hat,ring,shoes,.etc) nor similar form. Those are unique & original verbs,.. but in English both verb and noun have same form or similar form in spell. :eek:
I was wondering this kind of stuff is still frustrating native speakers when they're young & learning their language or they just regards it natural.
:D

Dava
Aug 11th, 2003, 11:14 AM
to wear something can also mean to tire it out, or make it rip etc.

Dava
Aug 11th, 2003, 11:14 AM
**** or twat! Your not allowed to say those on TV.

Colin B
Aug 11th, 2003, 11:42 AM
For example, 'wear' has sooo many meanings as you might know. ;) When I started to learn English, I found it kind of weird for the basic usage of 'wear'
In several languages I know (including my native tongue), they have each verb for 'wear clothes', 'wear glasses', 'wear hat', 'wear ring', 'wear shoes', 'wear ribbon in one's hair', 'wear a beard',.....etc. We use different vocabulary but in English there's only one word simply 'wear'.

That's the easy thing about English!

Imagine how hard it is for us when we are learning a foreign language, having to learn all those different words that mean exactly the same thing. Much simpler to know that if you have something on, you are 'wearing' it. You can also say, someone "wears their hair long".

The other thing we don't have is genders for things, so you don't have to learn that a car is female, a washing machine is neuter and a lampost is masculine. The gender thing in other languages leads to great confusion for English speakers. Do you know how many ways there are of saying 'the' in German?

Colin B
Aug 11th, 2003, 11:53 AM
**** or twat! Your not allowed to say those on TV.

Yes, '****' is about the only taboo word we have left. Ten - twenty years ago, people would have been shocked by 'fuck' being used on television but now it's pretty much accepted as a 'soft' word, unless it is spoken by a child.

I have heard '****' on The Osbourns once or twice and also in films such as Trainspotting, but they are obviously shown late at night.

gentenaire
Aug 11th, 2003, 12:09 PM
Do you know how many ways there are of saying 'the' in German?

That's why learning Latin first helps;)

Dutch used to have that too but it disappeared. We still use it in our Flemish dialect though.

Dutch also has genders, 'the' for masculine and female is the same, it's different for neutral. What makes it confusing is that the gender of a word can change if the word is transformed a little. E.g. Dutch word for boy is jongen. The boy is 'de jongen'. If you add a diminutive to the word: -tje, you get jongentje en then the word is neutral, no longer masculine. 'De jongentje' is wrong, you have to say 'het jongentje'. Diminutives are used a lot and it's something I really like about my language.

For simplicity, the entire world should speaks Smurfs ;) What the smurf are you smurfing now, smurf?

Colin B
Aug 11th, 2003, 12:35 PM
That's why learning Latin first helps;)


I was offered the chance to learn Latin at school but the lessons coincided with Engineering, the reason for chosing that school so........

On the subject of gender, I remember finding it strange that the Germans call a car 'him' but a child 'it'!

gentenaire
Aug 11th, 2003, 12:42 PM
On the subject of gender, I remember finding it strange that the Germans call a car 'him' but a child 'it'!

Same in Dutch ;) But if you give 'child' a gender, say boy, what if the child's a girl? And I presume that because you don't have genders in English, the him and it words are solely used to describe persons and things. It doesn't sound so bad in Dutch, doesn't have the conotation.

You could get engineering that early? And what exactly did the subject consist of? I'm an engineer, but it's something I studied at university and I can't imagine what the course 'engineering' would be like.

Colin B
Aug 11th, 2003, 04:20 PM
Same in Dutch ;) But if you give 'child' a gender, say boy, what if the child's a girl? And I presume that because you don't have genders in English, the him and it words are solely used to describe persons and things. It doesn't sound so bad in Dutch, doesn't have the conotation.

The definite article for child is, as with anything else, 'the'. If refering to a boy (in the third person), we say 'him', a girl, 'her' more than one of either or both sex, 'them'. But then I'm sure you knew that as your grasp of English is probably better than that of some English people!

You could get engineering that early? And what exactly did the subject consist of? I'm an engineer, but it's something I studied at university and I can't imagine what the course 'engineering' would be like.
Yes, I did Engineering for 'O'-level (now known as GCSE - the exams we take at 16 years). The syllabus combined practical metalwork and handcrafting (filing, blacksmithing, welding/brazing, machining etc.) with theory of metals (production, properties, practical uses etc) and (pre-IT) technical drawing and design.
It was a good grounding for people going into most fields of engineering, I later met engineers who had left Uni without ever having actually made anything, or even got their hands dirty!

gentenaire
Aug 11th, 2003, 05:58 PM
The definite article for child is, as with anything else, 'the'. If refering to a boy (in the third person), we say 'him', a girl, 'her' more than one of either or both sex, 'them'. But then I'm sure you knew that as your grasp of English is probably better than that of some English people!

Of course, but that's not different in Dutch or German. Once you refer to a child as him or her, it's no longer just a child but a boy or a girl. We'd never actually refer to a child as 'it'. The word 'kind' itself is neutral, so it's preceeded by 'het' instead of 'de', but when pointing towards a child, we'll say him or her, not it.

Yes, I did Engineering for 'O'-level (now known as GCSE - the exams we take at 16 years). The syllabus combined practical metalwork and handcrafting (filing, blacksmithing, welding/brazing, machining etc.) with theory of metals (production, properties, practical uses etc) and (pre-IT) technical drawing and design.
It was a good grounding for people going into most fields of engineering, I later met engineers who had left Uni without ever having actually made anything, or even got their hands dirty!

guilty :o

Well, we did have to prepare and test concrete, but that's about it, I'm afraid :o

Colin B
Aug 11th, 2003, 06:21 PM
All this makes me want to go out and learn another language. Maybe by the end of this thread, you'll have taught me fluent Dutch! LOL.Of course, but that's not different in Dutch or German. Once you refer to a child as him or her, it's no longer just a child but a boy or a girl. We'd never actually refer to a child as 'it'. The word 'kind' itself is neutral, so it's preceeded by 'het' instead of 'de', but when pointing towards a child, we'll say him or her, not it.

So would you say, "The child lost his/her book" or, "The child lost it's book"? Or maybe you'd say "The boy/girl lost his/her book", without refering to them as a 'child' at all?




guilty :o Lol
I dropped out and came up the hard way. I starterd out as a fitter/fabricator, drifted into developement, started designing and building my own stuff and eventually, got other people to make my own designs. I still enjoy getting my hands dirty though.

gentenaire
Aug 11th, 2003, 07:20 PM
So would you say, "The child lost his/her book" or, "The child lost it's book"? Or maybe you'd say "The boy/girl lost his/her book", without refering to them as a 'child' at all?

The former. Him/her refers to the gender of the subject (i.e. the child), not to the gender of the word. So we say, "The child lost his/her book."



I dropped out and came up the hard way. I starterd out as a fitter/fabricator, drifted into developement, started designing and building my own stuff and eventually, got other people to make my own designs. I still enjoy getting my hands dirty though.

Is the title 'engineer' protected? Engineers here usually aren't the people getting their hands dirty, engineers are the ones designing the things, leading the construction, inventing stuff.

Colin B
Aug 11th, 2003, 11:54 PM
The former. Him/her refers to the gender of the subject (i.e. the child), not to the gender of the word. So we say, "The child lost his/her book."
Oh right, if it's the same in German, I must have misunderstood that bit (I can't really blame the teacher, he was German).



Is the title 'engineer' protected? Engineers here usually aren't the people getting their hands dirty, engineers are the ones designing the things, leading the construction, inventing stuff.
It depends. If it's a large team working on a large project, sometimes you have to distance yourself from the practicalities but I don't like it that way.
In 2000 I was working on a project involving the improvement of a production line. The Senior Project Manager was a very clever Engineer but he rarely left his office. Six months and £1.6 Million later, the project ended with no obvious improvement having been made because he couldn't see that his wonderful ideas were totally impracticle.
Because I have worked on both sides, I like to think I'm not above rolling my sleeves up and getting stuck in to the problem (OMG, I'm talking in clichés - it must be time for bed!).

CamilleVidann
Aug 12th, 2003, 07:13 AM
My heart is beating like crazy......

Colin B
Aug 12th, 2003, 10:51 AM
My heart is beating like crazy......
It could be palpitations - take lots of deep breaths CV. ;)

Maajken
Aug 12th, 2003, 08:21 PM
Oh right, if it's the same in German, I must have misunderstood that bit (I can't really blame the teacher, he was German).
it's not the same in german. "the girl has lost her book" in german would be: "das Mädchen hat sein Buch verloren". with "Mädchen" of course being feminin and "sein" masculin. only if it's a long compound sentence and at the end there is a reference to the earlier mentioned "Mädchen", then does the "sein" or "es" (in case of a personal pronoun) change in "ihr" or "sie".

i hope that still made sense ;)

SJW
Aug 13th, 2003, 12:35 AM
why is **** so bad?! it doesnt offend me, then again, nothing really does :)

Colin B
Aug 13th, 2003, 03:12 AM
it's not the same in german. "the girl has lost her book" in german would be: "das Mädchen hat sein Buch verloren". with "Mädchen" of course being feminin and "sein" masculin. only if it's a long compound sentence and at the end there is a reference to the earlier mentioned "Mädchen", then does the "sein" or "es" (in case of a personal pronoun) change in "ihr" or "sie".

i hope that still made sense ;)
So a literal translation would be "The girl has lost his book"?
What if the sentence was, "The child has lost her book"?
And how can 'Madchen' (sorry, cant type umlauts) be neuter (das) when it can only refer to a female?

It's OK, I realise things can't always be literally translated, my original point was that English is a much simpler language to learn because it doesn't assign gender to 'things'.
The reason I gave up learning languages was because I got bogged down in the whole der, die, das, dem, den, genetive/dative case minefield and realised I would never get it right!

Maajken
Aug 13th, 2003, 01:20 PM
So a literal translation would be "The girl has lost his book"?
What if the sentence was, "The child has lost her book"?
And how can 'Madchen' (sorry, cant type umlauts) be neuter (das) when it can only refer to a female?
jonathan is right.. there are lots of words in german ending in -chen and -lein, which are neuter e.g. "the lady" in german is "das Fraulein". "the lady has lost her book" would be "das Fraulein hat sein Buch verloren". when you read it, it doesnt seem to make sense, but it is grammatically correct.
"the child has lost her book" would be "das Kind hat sein Buch verloren". basically it doesnt matter what gender the child has, only the gender of the word "child" matters.

in flemish we have equivalents like -ke, -tje and -je.

Colin B
Aug 13th, 2003, 08:36 PM
I never intended to turn this into the 'Good German Thread' but thanks anyway.
I think I have made my point though: English may seem hard to learn because of all it's inconsistencies but at least you dont have to worry about any gender related stuff!

Doraemon
Dec 18th, 2003, 11:24 AM
What does "I wouldn't have thought bla bla bla.." mean?
How is it different from "I didn't think ...."?

Brαm
Dec 18th, 2003, 12:32 PM
it's not the same in german. "the girl has lost her book" in german would be: "das Mädchen hat sein Buch verloren". with "Mädchen" of course being feminin and "sein" masculin. only if it's a long compound sentence and at the end there is a reference to the earlier mentioned "Mädchen", then does the "sein" or "es" (in case of a personal pronoun) change in "ihr" or "sie".

i hope that still made sense ;)
Actually that "sein" isn't masculine. It's "das Mädchen" so that "sein" is not masculine ;)

:angel:

Maajken
Dec 18th, 2003, 01:52 PM
Actually that "sein" isn't masculine. It's "das Mädchen" so that "sein" is not masculine ;)

:angel:
"sein" is both neuter and masculin. my point was that even though Mädchen refers to sth feminin, it's expressed by a possessive pronoun "sein" that is not feminin...