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A strange question about English

英語を勉強している方のためのフォーラムです。練習のために英語の文章を投稿してもかまわなく、英語の文法・語彙に関する質問をしてもけっこうです。

Re: A strange question about English

Postby tōkai devotee » Wed 09.30.2009 5:48 am

NileCat wrote:Thank you for your quick reply!
Which means, "anyways" was totally natural.
:wink:


そうですね。もし英語の先生の帽子をかぶったら"totally natural"と言えないですけど  :wink:
大丈夫ですよ。

もし"totally natural"と言いたいと、NileCatさんの文書にはanywaysが最初に書いた方がいいでしょう。
例えば、

Anyways, my teacher said in the last class, "Two coffee please".
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby NileCat » Wed 09.30.2009 7:01 am

Thank you very much, tokai-san.

I'm sorry. I carefully fabricated the question.
When I was at school, I learned like this: The only correct answer was:

** Anyway, my teacher said in the last class,"two cups of coffee, please". **

Because grammar required me to do so. And my teachers never told me the truth.
Besides, the word "grammar" itself irritates me every now and then.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammar
If you look for the word "grammars"(plural) in that page, you could find 10 cases...Oh, my goodness!

I suppose many of you who are learning Japanese would share my feelings of desperation.

Thanks, anyways ! :D
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby NileCat » Wed 09.30.2009 9:10 am

すみません。あと1つだけ粘らせてください。

「日本語の文法(U)には、いろいろな種類があることは説明しましたね。
現代文法(U)と古典文法(U)は違いますし、口語文法(U)と文語文法(U)も異なります。
これらの文法(P)を学ぶことは大切です。これらの文法(P)の差を理解し、使い分けて下さい。
さあ、みなさんは既にたくさんの文法(P)を知っているのですから、実際に使ってみましょう。」

日本語の感覚だと、Uが単数(Uncountable)でPが複数(Plural)です。
でも、英語だと違うのでしょうか? 

"As I've explained, there are many variations in Japanese grammar.
Modern grammar is different from classic grammar, and colloquial grammar differs from literary grammar.
It's important to study those grammars. Understand the differences of those grammars.
Now, you have already studied many grammars, let's try to use them."

・・・確かに不自然ですよね? でも、なぜ不自然なのかがどうしてもわからないんです・・・。
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby Hyperworm » Wed 09.30.2009 10:04 am

It looks fine to me :)

"a grammar" and "grammars" (countable and pluralizable) refer to a system or systems of grammar, consisting of many individual grammar points or rules. It's correct to say that two languages have different grammars (=grammar systems). This use is also attested in computing; we talk about the grammars that define the valid ways to combine basic elements in programming languages and file formats etc.

When we say "lots of grammar (uncountable)", it refers to "lots of grammar points (within a language's grammar)"; "a lot of a language's grammar"; "lots of grammatical rules"; etc. There are lots of ways to say it.

So in your last sentence, "many grammars" = "many grammar systems". I hope that's what you intended :)
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby kurisuto » Wed 09.30.2009 10:58 am

NileCat wrote:Uが単数(Uncountable)でPが複数(Plural)です。


Just a little point : don't confuse "singular" and "uncountable", they're not the same. "Grammar" (as in "English grammar", i.e a set of rules or even a book about this set of rules) is singular and countable, or rather, it is a countable word whose singular form is "grammar", and it can be pluralized ; but in another acception, "grammar" refers to a field of study not necessarily related to a single language, in which case it's singular and uncountable.
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 09.30.2009 11:49 am

I think those are different meanings -- "grammar" meaning "A book describing the grammar of a language" is countable, "grammar" meaning "the set of rules for formation of phrases in a language" is not countable.
-Chris Kern
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby kurisuto » Wed 09.30.2009 12:13 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:I think those are different meanings -- "grammar" meaning "A book describing the grammar of a language" is countable, "grammar" meaning "the set of rules for formation of phrases in a language" is not countable.


I'm not sure how it's used in English, but can't you say "I'm a specialist of Japanese and English grammars", or taking the example of NileCat, "it's important to study classic and modern Japanese grammars" ? And if you say "there are different set of rules for each language", saying "there are different grammars" doesn't seem that unreasonable. It seems a bit weird, but maybe it's acceptable ?
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby NileCat » Wed 09.30.2009 12:50 pm

Thanks a million, everyone.
You made me cry with delighted tears...

In many Japanese fora, they usually only say "it's grammatically incorrect because the grammar books say so." And in English fora, they just say "we don't say like that. why? dunno."
I'm not saying that now I understand all of that and can use it properly. It'll take time. But I'm just glad to have found a place at last where many people kindly help me out.
I'm sorry if I seemed a sticky person, because I'm not.
As for me, I don't need the "ultimate definition" or something like that. You always avoid pluralizing the words usually used as uncountable nouns unless it's technically necessary, correct? It was very helpful information for me.

I'll try my best to be helpful for many Japanese learners in this forum, as enjoyable as I can.

EDIT:
日本語は単数・複数・可算・不可算の概念を持っていないわけではないんですよ。それどころか・・・ただ、名詞に複数形という形を用いないことが多いだけです。
Last edited by NileCat on Wed 09.30.2009 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 09.30.2009 2:32 pm

kurisuto wrote:
Yudan Taiteki wrote:I think those are different meanings -- "grammar" meaning "A book describing the grammar of a language" is countable, "grammar" meaning "the set of rules for formation of phrases in a language" is not countable.


I'm not sure how it's used in English, but can't you say "I'm a specialist of Japanese and English grammars", or taking the example of NileCat, "it's important to study classic and modern Japanese grammars" ?


For me that is unnatural; it has to be "Japanese and English grammar" and "classic and modern Japanese grammar". You would also have to say "the grammar of both languages" rather than "both grammars".

It's possible that other native speakers would accept "grammars" as a count noun meaning "the grammar of a language"; the meaning would be perfectly clear in context.
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby kurisuto » Wed 09.30.2009 3:52 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:For me that is unnatural; it has to be "Japanese and English grammar" and "classic and modern Japanese grammar". You would also have to say "the grammar of both languages" rather than "both grammars".

It's possible that other native speakers would accept "grammars" as a count noun meaning "the grammar of a language"; the meaning would be perfectly clear in context.


Thanks for the heads up !

NileCat wrote:I'm sorry if I seemed a sticky person, because I'm not.


Don't know exactly what you meant by "sticky", but I'm quite sure you didn't give us the impression to be so :mrgreen:
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby tōkai devotee » Thu 10.01.2009 12:45 am

Quite often people use the phrase 'sticky person' when they mean 'clingy' or a person who keeps talking about a topic long after the conversation has been resolved, but I'm sure that's not what NileCat-san meant here. Perhaps he meant 'stuffy' as in strictly holding onto rules of grammar etc.

What exactly did you mean, NileCat-san? 日本語で説明してもいいですよ。
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby NileCat » Thu 10.01.2009 12:23 pm

tokai devotee wrote:Quite often people use the phrase 'sticky person' when they mean 'clingy' or a person who keeps talking about a topic long after the conversation has been resolved, but I'm sure that's not what NileCat-san meant here. Perhaps he meant 'stuffy' as in strictly holding onto rules of grammar etc.

What exactly did you mean, NileCat-san? 日本語で説明してもいいですよ。

I meant "sticky jerk" meaning "unpleasant person"... :(
The question I threw was obviously off-topic. The normal usage of the word "grammar" can be defined if I look it up in a grammar book by myself. What I wanted to know was the line between wrong and acceptable. In that sense, I had known that it could be controversial.(with useless information for everyone except for me) That made me feel guilty after reading your kind answers and I, without thinking, burted it out as my excuse. Besides, I realized that my questions could have seemed as if I was throwing doubt on someone's remarks in the forum. For instance, jcdietz03 wrote that "grammars" is illegal and it cannnot be a plural". If I were him and some foreigner who doesn't speak my language well said "I need to point out the exception", WITHOUT having proper knowledge, I wouldn't feel good.
In addition to that, being againt tokai's kind words, I usually try to "stick" to write my posts in English for some weird reason. I use Japanese only when it's convinient for only myself, not for you. It's kind of selfish, isn't it? Especially when I'm asking for an answer from you.
だから、言いたかったことを日本語で言うと、こんな感じです。
「なんか粘着質の嫌な奴に見えたら、ごめんね。他でがんばりますから」 :)
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby tōkai devotee » Thu 10.01.2009 9:03 pm

NileCat wrote:I meant "sticky jerk" meaning "unpleasant person"... :(


Well, I don't think you came across as being unpleasant at all. So don't worry about it, NileCat. And, generally speaking your English is excellent and 99% of the time, we understand what you are trying to say. We are here to help you with your English, not to judge you as a person.
Keep asking any question you like about English,.... in English if you prefer. That's ok!!
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby NileCat » Fri 10.02.2009 11:12 am

Yatta! :D

At the moment, my favorite is the following.
Mr. George W. Bush received a Lifetime Achievement Award by this speech at The Foot in Mouth Awards in 2008.

"I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe – I believe what I believe is right."
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Re: A strange question about English

Postby jcdietz03 » Mon 10.05.2009 9:34 pm

Thank you for that nice Wikipedia link, NileCat-san.
If I were writing that Wikipedia article, it would not say "grammars" once. I do not feel like editing it for the simple reason that some person will come along, think they are better than me, and undo my edit.
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