In American English, collective nouns are always followed by a singular verb, so an American would usually say:. In British English, the verb have frequently functions as what is technically referred to as a delexical verb, i. Have is frequently used in this way with nouns referring to common activities such as washing or resting, e.
In American English, the verb take , rather than have , is used in these contexts, e.
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In British English, the auxiliary do is often used as a substitute for a verb when replying to a question, e. In British English, shall is sometimes used as an alternative to will to talk about the future, e.
In American English, on is always used when talking about the weekend, not at , e. In British English, at is often used when talking about universities or other institutions, e. In British English, to and from are used with the adjective different , e. Below is a table showing verbs which have different simple past and past participle forms in American and British English. Note that the irregular past forms burnt, dreamt and spoilt are possible in American English, but less common than the forms ending in -ed. And while lexical differences are the easiest ones to notice, a knowledge of grammatical and phonological differences can be useful not only for teachers to be aware of, but also to be able to deal with should they come up in class.
The truth is that no language or regional variety of language is inherently better or worse than another. They are just different. Students will often have very firm beliefs on which English they think is better, clearer or easier to understand. While it may be true for that particular individual, there is no evidence to suggest that one variety is easier to learn or understand than the other.
If you are an American English speaker teaching with a British coursebook or vice versa, what do you say when the book is different from your English? The answer here is to point out the difference. The differences are not so numerous as to overload the students and often can be easily dealt with. Accept either from your students then. In most international exams, both varieties of English are accepted. However, while writing for an international exam or writing in English generally students should try to remain consistent.
That means if they favour or favor American spelling and grammar, they should stick to that convention for the whole piece of writing.
Although British and American varieties are the most documented, there are of course many other varieties of English. The decision whether or not to highlight aspects of these Englishes would depend on two factors:. Kerry Maxwell and Lindsay Clandfield provide a selection of useful tips and ideas for recognizing grammatical differences between American and British English.
Author: Kerry G. Maxwell and Lindsay Clandfield Type: Reference material. Adrian Underhill's Interactive phonemic chart!
Talking about the past
This excellent teaching tool can be played full-screen and gives clear audio examples of the English phoneme set. Margaret Sun, 3 Mar pm.
The present perfect is used by educated Americans. Please do not decide this is correct English usage in America. It is not. We lose subtlety of meaning, example: She just went out. Please stop accepting popular usage for the correct usage! Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment.
Hello Margaret, Thank you very much for weighing in on this! Mary was starting school the next week. We were very busy.
English Grammar- Am, Is, Are, Was, Were: Patterns and Examples
Our guests were arriving soon and we had to get their room ready. I'll telephone him. He might have got home early. She's very late. She could have missed her train. I didn't know he was ill. He should have told me. You shouldn't have spent so much money. We use would have and could have to talk about something that was possible in the past but did not happen:. I could have gone to Mexico for my holiday but it was too expensive.
I would have called you, but I had forgotten my phone. They would have gone out if the weather had been better. Your example : "He broke his leg when he was playing rugby", - if we replaced 'he was plaing' by 'he played' ,. Would this mean,for example, that he broke his leg in one of the games which he played in the past? If we use the continuous form was playing then we mean that the accident happened during a game. If we use the simple form played then we only know that the accident happened during the period of his life when he was a rugby player.
Of course, we might expect that it took place during a game because of the context, but the sentence does not explicity tell us that. Could someone, please, explain to me: how we use future tenses when the narration is about the past. Eg: autobiography: He was born [ Other words can we use past, present, and future in a narrative and what are the rules except those mentioned in the article. Is it possible for fiction literature. Thank you! There are several ways to talk about the future in the past - in other words, looking forward from a position in the past, as is often done in biographies.
You could use 'would', for example:. Learning the differences between these two tenses is indeed a challenge, so be patient with yourself. In this case, and in others, both cases can be correct. Which one is better depends on how the speaker sees the situation. Generally speaking, if you use the present perfect, you see the action as somehow touching the present moment. For example, imagine you are sitting at the table looking at the exam results and are feeling disappointed. In this case, you might use the present perfect since the results are affecting you in that moment.
You could also use the past simple, however, and this might make more sense if you felt some kind of distance from your exam results -- it could express that you feel as if there's nothing you can do about the exams or that you want to forget them. I don't know why, but I'm not findings as much as satisfaction in learning German as I Hello amirfd, I'm afraid we don't provide answers to questions like this.
Johnson also deliberately omitted from his dictionary several words he disliked or considered vulgar including bang , budge , fuss , gambler , shabby and touchy , but these useful words have clearly survived intact regardless of his opinions. Several of his definitions appear deliberately jokey or politically motivated.
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Since the 16th Century, there had been calls for the regulation and reform of what was increasingly seen as an unwieldy English language, including John Cheke's proposal for the removal of all silent letters, and William Bullokar's recommendation of a new letter alphabet including 8 vowels, 4 "half-vowels" and 25 consonants in order to aid and simplify spelling. There were even attempts similarly unsuccessful to ban certain words or phrases that were considered in some way undesirable, words such as fib , banter , bigot , fop , flippant , flimsy , workmanship , selfsame , despoil , nowadays , furthermore and wherewithal , and phrases such as subject matter , drive a bargain , handle a subject and bolster an argument.
But, by the early 18th Century, many more scholars had come to believe that the English language was chaotic and in desperate need of some firm rules. He was supported in this by other important writers like John Dryden and Daniel Defoe, but such an institution was never actually realized. Interestingly, the only country ever to set up an Academy for the English language was South Africa, in Thomas Sheridan attempted to tap into the zeitgeist , and looked to regulate English pronunciation as well as its vocabulary and spelling.
His son, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, later gave us the unforgettable language excesses of Mrs. In fact, some works on grammar and rhetoric were published between and , and no less than during the 19th Century. Lowth was the main source of such "correct" grammar rules as a double negative always yields a positive, never end a sentence with a preposition and never split an infinitive. One such peak for the English language was the Early Modern period of the 16th to 18th Century, a period sometimes referred to as the Golden Age of English Literature other peaks include the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th Century, and the computer and digital age of the late 20th Century, which is still continuing today.
Between and , an estimated 10,, new words were coined, about half of which are still in use today. Up until the 17th Century, English was rarely used for scholarly or scientific works, as it was not considered to possess the precision or the gravitas of Latin or French. Thomas More, Isaac Newton, William Harvey and many other English scholars all wrote their works in Latin and, even in the 18th Century, Edward Gibbon wrote his major works in French, and only then translated them into English. Sir Francis Bacon, however, hedged his bets and wrote many of his works in both Latin and English and, taking his inspiration mainly from Greek, coined several scientific words such as thermometer , pneumonia , skeleton and encyclopaedia.
Over time, the rise of nationalism led to the increased use of the native spoken language rather than Latin, even as the medium of intellectual communication. The English scholar and classicist Sir Thomas Elyot went out of his way to find new words, and gave us words like animate , describe , dedicate , esteem , maturity , exhaust and modesty in the early 16th Century.
His near contemporary Sir Thomas More contributed absurdity , active , communicate , education , utopia , acceptance , exact , explain , exaggerate and others, largely from Latin roots. Milton was responsible for an estimated word coinages, including lovelorn , fragrance and pandemonium. Ben Jonson, a contemporary of Shakespeare, is also credited with the introduction of many common words, including damp , defunct , strenuous , clumsy and others; John Donne gave us self-preservation , valediction and others; and to Sir Philip Sydney are attributed bugbear , miniature , eye-pleasing , dumb-stricken , far-fetched and conversation in its modern meaning.
It was really only in the 17th Century that dialects or at least divergence from the fashionable Standard English of Middlesex and Surrey began to be considered uncouth and an indication of inferior class. The word class itself only acquired its modern sociological meaning in the early 18th Century, but by the end of the century it had become all-pervasive, to the extent that the mere sound of a Cockney accent was enough to brand the speaker as a vagabond, thief or criminal although in the 19th Century, Charles Dickens was to produce great literature and sly humour out of just such preconceptions, explicitly using speech, vocabulary and accent for commic effect.
He had a vast vocabulary 34, words by some counts and he personally coined an estimated 2, neologisms or new words in his many works, including, but by no means limited to, bare-faced , critical , leapfrog , monumental , castigate , majestic , obscene , frugal , aerial , gnarled , homicid e, brittle , radiance , dwindle , puking , countless , submerged , vast , lack-lustre , bump , cranny , fitful , premeditated , assassination , courtship , eyeballs , ill-tuned , hot-blooded , laughable , dislocate , accommodation , eventful , pell-mell , aggravate , excellent , fretful , fragrant , gust , hint , hurry , lonely , summit , pedant , gloomy , and hundreds of other terms still commonly used today.
By some counts, almost one in ten of the words used by Shakespeare were his own invention, a truly remarkable achievement it is the equivalent of a new word here and then, after just a few short phrases, another other new word here.