Update: 2012-11-24 06:17 AM +0630


TIL Grammar Glossary


Compiled by U Kyaw Tun (UKT), M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), and staff of TIL (Tun Institute of Learning, http://www.tuninst.net ), from various sources. Prepared for students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, Myanmar. Not for sale.

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Grammar Glossary - C

• CALL • capital letter • cardinal number • case • causative verb • cause-and-effect analysis • CBE style • characters • Chicago style • chronological organization • citation • claim • classification • clause • cliché • climatic organization • clip art • clitic • close pair • clustering • coherence • collaborative learning • collective noun • collocation • colloquial • Columbia style • comma splice (comma fault) • common errors • common noun • comparative • comparison • comparison and contrast • complement • complete predicate • complete subject • complex sentence • compound construction • compound-complex sentence • compound predicate • compound sentence • compound subject • compound verb

UKT Notes
• c'est la vie • common errors in English • compound verb

• conciseness • conclusion • concord • concordancer • concrete • concrete noun • conditional • conditional perfect • conditional statement • conjugation • conjunct • conjunction • conjunctive adverb (adverbial conjunction) • conjunctive mood • connector (connective) • connotation • consonant • construction • continuous verb • contraction • contranym • contrast • coordinate adjective • coordinating • conjunction • coordination • copula (copula verb) • correlative conjunction (correlative) • count noun • courseware • creole • critical thinking, reading, and writing • crossword dictionary • cumulative (loose) sentence

UKT Notes
• que sera sera • SPQR

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From UseE :
is an Acronym for Computer Assisted Language Learning. It is a growing field with a wide selection of applications; reference works, study and research tools, are available as well as plenty of applications targeted at specific English language exams.

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capital letter 

From UseE :
In writing, letters can be written two ways; T or t, for instance. T is a capital letter, or upper case, and t is lower case. Capital letters are used at the beginning of a Sentence and for a Proper Noun.

UKT: Myanmars should note that Burmese-Myanmar (Burmese language in Myanmar script), and the Indic scripts do not use capital letters.

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cardinal number 

From LBH :
The type of number that shows amount: two, sixty, ninety-seven.
Contrast ordinal number (such as second, ninety-seventh).

From UseE :
One, two, three are cardinal numbers and can be written as words or using numerical symbols (1, 2, 3, etc.). Ordinal numbers are first, second, third, etc..

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UKT note :
• cases (for nouns and pronouns):
   1. subjective case (subject case), aka the subjective
   2. objective case (object case), aka  the objective
   3. possessive case, aka the possessive.
• moods or modes (for verbs):
   1. indicative mood, aka the indicative
   2. imperative mood, aka the imperative
   3. subjunctive mood, aka the subjunctive.
The closeness in spelling of subjective and subjunctive is a source of confusion for many students.

From LBH :  
The form of a noun or pronoun that indicates its function in the sentence.
• Most pronouns have three cases:

1. subjective case
   (I, she) for the subject of a verb or for a subject complement.
2. objective case
   (me, her) for the object of a verb, verbal, or preposition.
3. possessive case to indicate ownership, used either as:
   an adjective (my, her) or as
   a noun (mine, hers).
(See p. 293 for a list of the forms of personal and relative pronouns.)

• Nouns use the subjective form (dog, America) for all cases except the possessive (dog's, America's).

From UseE:
Case is used in some languages to show the function of a Noun or Noun Phrase in a sentence by Inflection.
In English nouns have two cases:
     The dog   -- general case
     The dog's  -- genitive case - indicating possession
Personal Pronouns have three cases:
     he   -- subject case
     him   -- object case
     his   -- genitive case
Other languages can have more or fewer cases and many have none.

1. The syntactic relationship of a noun, a pronoun or a determiner to the other words of a sentence, indicated by declensional endings, by the position of the words within the sentence, by prepositions, or by postpositions.
2. The form or position of a word that indicates this relationship.
3. Such forms, positions, and relationships considered as a group.
4. A pattern of inflection of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives to express different syntactic functions in a sentence.
5. The form of such an inflected word.

From AHDEL :
• In traditional grammar, a distinct form of a noun, pronoun, or modifier that is used to express one or more particular syntactic relationships to other words in a sentence.
• In some varieties of generative grammar, the thematic or semantic role of a noun phrase as represented abstractly but not necessarily indicated overtly in surface structure. In such frameworks, nouns in English have Case even in the absence of inflectional case endings.

From GHWW- Univ.Illinois :
Case refers to how nouns and pronouns are used in relation to the other words in a sentence. The three cases are 1. subjective, 2. objective, and 3. possessive.

1. Subjective Case  Subjective case is sometimes called the nominative case. A noun or pronoun is in the subjective when it is used as the subject of the sentence or as a predicate noun. A predicate noun follows a form of the "be " verb, and it renames the subject of the sentence.

I  hope to finish my paper tonight.
Valerie danced in the statewide competition.
He is a clown.
The word clown is a predicate noun.  

2. Objective Case  A noun or pronoun is in the objective case when it is used as a direct object, an indirect object, or an object of the preposition.

Dad prepared the dinner.
Our dog crawled under the fence.
Mom gave us the money.

3. Possessive Case  A noun or pronoun is in the possessive case when it is used to show ownership of an object:

Mom washed Valerie's leotard.
Where did you find her book?

For pronouns:
1. Subjective:  I | you | he | she | it | we | they
2. Objective: me | you | him | her | it | us | them
3. Possessive: my, mine | your, yours | his | her, hers | its | our, ours | their, theirs

  grammar  : One of the forms, or the inflections or changes of form, of a noun, pronoun, or adjective, which indicate its relation to other words, and in the aggregate constitute its declension; the relation which a noun or pronoun sustains to some other word.
     Case is properly a falling off from the nominative or first state of word; the name for which, however, is now, by extension of its signification, applied also to the nominative. -- J. W. Gibbs.
     Note: Cases other than the nominative are oblique cases. Case endings are terminations by which certain cases are distinguished. In old English, as in Latin, nouns had several cases distinguished by case endings, but in modern English only that of the possessive case is retained.

printing : A shallow tray divided into compartments or "boxes" for holding type. Note: Cases for type are usually arranged in sets of two, called respectively the upper and the lower case. The upper case contains capitals, small capitals, accented and marked letters, fractions, and marks of reference: the lower case contains the small letters, figures, marks of punctuation, quadrats, and spaces.

idiom  : in any case -- 1. Regardless of what has occurred or will occur.
in case -- 1. If it happens that; if. 2. As a precaution:
          took along an umbrella, just in case.

     in case of -- 1. If there should happen to be:
          a number to call in case of emergency.

     off (someone's) case  -- No longer nagging or urging someone to do something.
     on (someone's) case  -- Persistently nagging or urging someone to do something.


From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_case 080604

In grammar, the case of a noun or pronoun indicates its grammatical function in a greater phrase or clause; such as the role of subject, of direct object, or of possessor. While all languages distinguish cases in some fashion, it is only customary to say that a language has cases when these are codified in the morphology of its nouns — that is, when nouns change their form to reflect their case. (Such a change in form is a kind of declension, hence a kind of inflection.) Cases are related to, but distinct from, thematic roles such as agent and patient; while certain cases in each language tend to correspond to certain thematic roles, cases are a syntactic notion whereas thematic roles are a semantic one.

Cases in English
Cases are not very prominent in modern English, except in its personal pronouns (a remnant of the more extensive case system of Old English). For other pronouns, and all nouns, adjectives, and articles, case is indicated only by word order, by prepositions, and by the clitic -'s.

Taken as a whole, English personal pronouns are typically said to have three morphological cases: a subjective case (such as I, he, she, we), used for the subject of a finite verb and sometimes for the complement of a copula; an objective case (such as me, him, her, us), used for the direct or indirect object of a verb, for the object of a preposition, for an absolute disjunct, and sometimes for the complement of a copula; and a possessive case (such as my/mine, his, her(s), our(s)), used for a grammatical possessor. That said, these pronouns often have more than three forms; the possessive case typically has both a determiner form (such as my, our) and a distinct independent form (such as mine, ours). Additionally, except for the interrogative personal pronoun who, they all have a distinct reflexive or intensive form (such as myself, ourselves).

Simplified illustration of some common case categories
While not very prominent in English, cases feature much more saliently in many other Indo-European languages, such as Latin, Greek, German, Slavic. Historically, the Indo-European languages had eight morphological cases, though modern languages typically have fewer, using prepositions and word order to convey information that had previously been conveyed using distinct noun forms. The eight historic cases are as follows, with examples:

• The nominative case, which corresponds to English's subjective case, indicates the subject of a finite verb:
   The man went to the store.

• The accusative case, which together with the dative and ablative cases (below) corresponds to English's objective case, indicates the direct object of a verb:
  The man bought a car.

• The dative case indicates the indirect object of a verb:
  The man gave his daughter a book.

• The ablative case indicates the object of most common prepositions:
  The boy went with his father to see the doctor.

• The genitive case, which corresponds to English's possessive case, indicates the possessor of another noun:
  A country's citizens must defend its honour.

• The vocative case indicates an addressee:
   John, are you O.K.?

• The locative case indicates a location:
  I live in China.

• The instrumental case indicates an object used in performing an action:
   He shot it with the gun.

All of the above are just rough descriptions; the precise distinctions vary from language to language, and are often quite complex. Case is arguably based fundamentally on changes to the ending of the noun to indicate the noun's role in the sentence. This is not how English works, where word order and prepositions are used to achieve this; as such it is debatable whether the above examples of English sentences can be said to be examples of 'case' in English.

An example of a Latin case inflection is given below, using the singular forms of the word homo (man), which belongs to Latin's third declension.

• homo (nominative) "[the] man" [as a subject] (e.g. homo ibi stat the man is standing there)
• hominis (genitive) "the man's/of [the] man" (e.g. nomen hominis est Claudius the man's name is Claudius)
• homini (dative) "to/for [the] man" [as an indirect object] (e.g. homini donum dedi I gave a present to the man; homo homini lupus Man is a wolf to man.)
• hominem (accusative) "[the] man" [as a direct object] (e.g.hominem vidi I saw the man)
• homine (ablative) "from/with/in/by [the] man" [in various uses not covered by the above] (e.g. sum altior homine I am taller than the man).

Grammatical case was analyzed extensively in Sanskrit, where it is known as karaka. Six varieties are defined by Pāṇini {pa-Ni.ni}, largely in terms of their semantic roles, but with detailed rules specifying the corresponding morphosyntactic derivations:

• agent (kartri, often in the subject position, performing independently)
• patient (karman, often in object position)
• means (karaṇa, instrument)
• recipient (sampradāna, similar to the dative)
• source (apādāna, similar but not equal to the ablative)
• locus (adhikaraṇa, location or goal)

For example, consider the following sentence in Sanskrit. However since Myanmars are more familiar with Pali-Myanmar, I am trying to get the Pali equivalent. I am waiting for response from my peers 080605.:

{roak~hka. paN~Na Bumi. pa.ta.ti.} -- Pali-Romabama
{thic-ping-mha. a.rwak-thi mré-pau-tho. kya.iÉ.} -- Burmese-Romabama

Here leaf is the agent, tree is the source, and ground is the locus, the corresponding declensions are reflected in the morphemes -am -at and -au respectively.

Languages with rich nominal inflection typically have a number of identifiable declension classes, or groups of nouns that share a similar pattern of case inflection. While Sanskrit has six classes, Latin is traditionally said to have five declension classes. Such languages often exhibit free word order, since thematic roles are not dependent on position.

Though English pronouns can have subject and object forms (he/him, she/her), nouns show only a singular/plural and a possessive/non-possessive distinction (e.g., chair, chairs, chair's, chairs'). Note that chair does not change form between "the chair is here" (subject) and "I saw the chair" (direct object). The n-declension is restricted to a few words like ox-oxen, brother-brethren, and child-children, though in Medieval English the s-declension and the n-declension were in stronger competition.

Case and linguistic topology
Main article: Morphosyntactic alignment

Languages are categorized into several case systems, based on their morphosyntactic alignment — how they group verb agents and patients into cases:

 • Nominative-accusative (or simply accusative): The argument (subject) of an intransitive verb is in the same case as the agent (subject) of a transitive verb; this case is then called the nominative case, with the patient (direct object) of a transitive verb being in the accusative case.
• Ergative-absolutive (or simply ergative): The argument (subject) of an intransitive verb is in the same case as the patient (direct object) of a transitive verb; this case is then called the absolutive case, with the agent (subject) of a transitive verb being in the ergative case.
• Ergative-accusative (or tripartite): The argument (subject) of an intransitive verb is in its own case (the intransitive case), separate from that of the agent (subject) or patient (direct object) of a transitive verb (which is in the ergative case or accusative case, respectively).
• Active-stative (or simply active): The argument (subject) of an intransitive verb can be in one of two cases; if the argument is an agent, as in "He ate," then it is in the same case as the agent (subject) of a transitive verb (sometimes called the agentive case), and if it's a patient, as in "He tripped," then it is in the same case as the patient (direct object) of a transitive verb (sometimes called the patientive case).
• Trigger: One noun in a sentence is the topic or focus. This noun is in the trigger case, and information elsewhere in the sentence (for example a verb affix in Tagalog) specifies the role of the trigger. The trigger may be identified as the agent, patient, etc. Other nouns may be inflected for case, but the inflections are overloaded; for example, in Tagalog, the subject and object of a verb are both expressed in the genitive case when they are not in the trigger case.

The following are systems that some languages use to mark case instead of, or in addition to, declension:

Some languages have very many cases; for example, Finnish has fifteen (see Finnish language noun cases) and Tsez can even be analyzed as having 126 cases.

The lemma forms of words, which is the form chosen by convention as the canonical form of a word, is usually the most unmarked or basic case, which is typically the nominative, trigger, or absolutive case, whichever a language may have.

See also: • Agreement (linguistics) • Declension • Grammatical voice • Inflection • List of grammatical cases • Thematic role • Case hierarchy • Differential object marking

End of Wiki article.


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causative verb

From UseE 
Have or get + Noun Phrase + Past Participle

We use the causative when we do not carry out an action ourselves, but are responsible for the action being performed.

She had her car serviced last week.  
She didn't service the car herself, but the car was serviced because of her; she took it to a garage and asked them to do it.


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cause-and-effect analysis

From LBH
The determination of why something happened or what its consequences were or will be. (See pp. 27–28 and 102.)

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CBE style 

From LBH
Either of two styles of documenting sources recommended by the Council of Biology Editors and frequently used in the natural and applied sciences and in mathematics. (For discussion and examples, see pp. 869–76.)

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From LBH
The people in a literary work, including the narrator of a story or the speaker of a poem. (See p. 797.)

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Chicago style 

From LBH
A style of documentation recommended by The Chicago Manual of Style and used in history, art, and other humanities. (For discussion and examples, see pp. 822–31.)

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chronological organization 

From LBH
The arrangement of events as they occurred in time, usually from first to last. (See pp. 43, 83.)

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From LBH
In research writing, the way of acknowledging material borrowed from sources. Most systems of citation are basically similar: a number or brief parenthetical reference in the text indicates that particular material is borrowed and directs the reader to information on the source at the end of the work. The systems do differ, however.
See pp. 710–42 for MLA style,
       pp. 822–31 for Chicago style,
       pp. 841–55 for APA style,
       pp. 869–76 for CBE style, and
       pp. 881–91 for Columbia style for online sources.

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From LBH
A positive statement or assertion that requires support. Claims are the backbone of any argument. (See pp. 143–46.)

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From LBH
The sorting of many elements into groups based on their similarities. (See pp. 27 and 99–100.)

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See • apodosis • main clause • principal clause

From Lonsdale 1899 p003
{wa-kya. kaN~ða.} -- A group of words containing a noun or a word or words equivalent to a noun, and a verb, that makes sense but not complete sense by itself is called a clause: in Burmese it is termed {wa-kya. kaN~ða.}. (A footnote adds: {kaN~ða.} means 'a part', 'a portion'; {wa-kya. kaN~ða.} = 'a part of a sentence'.). The following is the example given by Lonsdale:

The sentence is made up of two clauses: and

UKT: note the example chosen by Lonsdale. Written a decade after the deposition of King Thibaw who had mercilessly killed many of his own half brothers and sisters, Lonsdale had chosen as an example of a sentence which had reflected the sentiment of the times.

From LBH
A group of related words containing a subject and predicate.
• A main (independent) clause can stand by itself as a sentence.
• A subordinate (dependent) clause serves as a single part of speech and so cannot stand by itself as a sentence.

     We can go to the movies. -- main clause
     We can go if Julie gets back on time. -- subordinate clause

A subordinate clause may function as
• an adjective
     The car that hit Fred was speeding  
• an adverb
     The car hit Fred when it ran a red light
• a noun
     Whoever was driving should be arrested
(See pp. 275–79.)

From UseE
A clause is a part of a sentence that usually contains a Subject and a Verb. It is usually connected the other part of the Sentence by a Conjunction. It is not a complete sentence on its own.

A group of words containing a subject and a predicate and forming part of a compound or complex sentence.

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See • trite expressions.

From UseE:
A cliché is a Phrase that is used excessively and has become a bit meaningless and even irritating. Examples:

• Always look on the bright sight of life
• To be or not to be
• Live and learn
• Live and let live
• C'est la vie
• Que sera, sera
• What goes around comes around
• Don't worry, be happy !

UKT: What is cliché in the US is not necessarily so in Myanmar.

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climactic organization

From LBH
The arrangement of material in order of increasing drama or interest, leading to a climax. (See pp. 44, 85.)

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clip art 

From LBH
Drawings and icons available on word processors, CD-ROMs, and the Web, generally used to embellish documents. (See p. 212.)

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UKT: "clitic " is not listed in AHTD

From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clitic 080610

In linguistics, a clitic is a grammatically independent and phonologically dependent word. (Wiki-fn01). It is pronounced like an affix, but works at the phrase level. For example, the English possessive -'s  is a clitic; in the phrase the girl next door’s cat , -’s is phonologically attached to the preceding word door  while grammatically combined with the phrase the girl next door, the possessor.
   Clitics may belong to any grammatical category, though they are commonly pronouns, determiners, or adpositions.

• A clitic that precedes its host is called a proclitic.
   e.g. English: an apple
• A clitic that follows its host is called an enclitic.
   e.g. Latin: Senatus Populus que Romanus ("Senate people- and Roman" = "The Senate and Roman people") (SPQR)
• A mesoclitic appears between the stem of the host and other affixes.
   e.g. Portuguese: Ela levá-lo-ia. ("She take-it-COND" = "She would take it.")

A final type of clitic, the endoclitic, splits apart the root and is inserted between the two pieces. Endoclitics defy the Lexical Integrity Hypothesis ( Lexicalist Hypothesis) and so were long claimed to be impossible, but evidence from the Udi language suggests that they do exist (Wiki-fn02).Endoclitics are also found in Pashto (Wiki-fn03). In addition to Udi and Pashto, endoclitics are reported to exist in Degema (Wiki-fn04).

Properties of clitics
Some clitics can be understood as elements undergoing a historical process of grammaticalization (Wiki-fn05):

lexical item → clitic → affix

According to this model, an autonomous lexical item in a particular context loses the properties of a fully independent word over time and acquires the properties of a morphological affix. At any intermediate stage of this evolutionary process, the element in question can be described as a "clitic". As a result, this term ends up being applied to a highly heterogeneous class of elements, presenting different combinations of word-like and affix-like properties.
   One characteristic shared by many clitics is a lack of prosodic independence. A clitic attaches to an adjacent word, known as its host . Orthographic conventions treat clitics in different ways: Some are written as separate words, some are written as one word with their hosts, and some are attached to their hosts, but set off by punctuation (a hyphen or an apostrophe, for example).
   Although the term "clitic" can be used descriptively to refer to any element whose grammatical status is somewhere in between a typical word and a typical affix, linguists have proposed various definitions of "clitic" as a technical term. One common approach is to treat clitics as words that are prosodically deficient: they cannot appear without a host, and they can only form an accentual unit in combination with their host. The term "postlexical clitic" is used for this narrower sense of the term.
   Given this basic definition, further criteria are needed to establish a dividing line between postlexical clitics and morphological affixes, since both are characterized by a lack of prosodic autonomy. There is no natural, clear-cut boundary between the two categories (since from a historical point of view, a given form can move gradually from one to the other by morphologization). However, by identifying clusters of observable properties that are associated with core examples of clitics on the one hand, and core examples of affixes on the other, one can pick out a battery of tests that provide an empirical foundation for a clitic/affix distinction.
   An affix syntactically and phonologically attaches to a base morpheme of a limited part of speech, such as a verb, to form a new word. A clitic syntactically functions above the word level, on the phrase or clause level, and attaches only phonetically to the first, last, or only word in the phrase or clause, whichever part of speech the word belongs to (Wiki-fn06).  The results of applying these criteria sometimes reveal that elements that have traditionally been called "clitics" actually have the status of affixes (e.g. the Romance pronominal clitics discussed below).
   Clitics do not always appear next to the word or phrase that they are associated with grammatically. They may be subject to global word order constraints that act on the entire sentence. Many languages, for example, obey " Wackernagel's Law", which requires clitics to appear in "second position", after the first syntactic phrase or the first stressed word in a clause:

• Czech: Kde se to stalo? ("Where REFL that happened" = "Where did that happen?")

Several clitics appearing in the same position (sharing the same host) form a "clitic cluster". The relative order of clitics in a cluster is usually strictly fixed (just as affixes appear in a strict order within a single word):

• Czech: Nechtěli jsme vám ho dát. ("NOT-wanted 1PL to-you it give" = "We didn't want to give it to you.")
• Polish: Ty widział byś go jutro. ("you saw-COND-2sg him tomorrow" = "You would see him tomorrow.")

Clitics in English
English enclitics include:

• The abbreviated forms of be :
¤ ’m in I’m
¤ ’re in you’re
¤ ’s in she’s

• The abbreviated forms of auxiliary verbs:
¤ ’ll in they’ll
¤ ’ve in they’ve

• To express the possessive of a phrase:
¤ ’s in the girl next door’s cat

English proclitics include:

• a - in a desk
• an - in an egg
• the - in the house

The contraction n’t  as in couldn’t  etc. has been shown to have the properties of an affix, rather than a syntactically independent clitic (Wiki-fn07). In English, clitics must be unstressed, but not as a full word cannot be unstressed.

• I have not done it yet.
• I’ve not done it yet.
• I haven’t done it yet.
• I’ven’t done it yet. (dialectal non-standard)

Stress also prevents cliticization as follows:

• I don’t know who she is. (*I don't know who she’s.)
• Have you done it ? —Yes, I have. (*Yes, I’ve.)
• He’s not a fool. — He is a fool! (*He’s a fool!) cf. He’s not a genius, either.

Clitics in Romance
In the Romance languages, the articles and direct and indirect object personal pronoun forms are clitics. (UKT: Go back to where you came from.) In Spanish, for example:

• las aguas [laˈsaɣwas] ("the waters")
• lo atamos [loaˈtamos] ("it tied-1PL" = "we tied it")
• melo [ˈdamelo] ("give me it")

According to most criteria, in fact, the pronominal clitics in most of the Romance languages have already developed into affixes (Wiki-fn08).
   There is still some debate as to whether or not this change from clitic to affix has occurred with French subject pronouns. Subject pronouns, especially, are still considered clitics as they force a topicalized reading of a coindexed XP (Wiki-fn09).
   Some dialects of Portuguese (such as that spoken in Portugal) allow clitic object pronouns to surface as mesoclitics (Wiki-fn10):

• Ela levá-lo-ia ("She take-it-would" — "She would take it").
• Eles dar-no-lo-ão ("They give-us-it-will" — "They will give it to us").

Further examples
In the Indo-European languages, some clitics can be traced back to Proto-Indo-European: for example, *-kwe is the original form of Sanskrit {sa.} (UKT: to check with peers), Greek τε, and Latin -que.

• Latin: -que and, -ve or, -ne (yes-no question)
• Greek: τε and, δέ but, γάρ for (in a logical argument), οὖν therefore
• Russian: ли (yes-no question), же (emphasis), то (emphasis), не "not" (proclitic), бы (subjunctive)
• Dutch: 't definite article of neuter nouns and third person singular neuter pronoun, 'k first person pronoun, je second person singular pronoun, ie third person masculin singular pronoun, ze third person plural pronoun
• Plautdietsch: "Deit'a't vondoag?": "Will he do it today?"
• Czech: special clitics: weak personal and reflexive pronouns (mu, "him"), certain auxiliary verbs (by, "would"), and various short particles and adverbs (tu, "here"; ale, "though"). "Nepodařilo by se mi mu to dát" "I would not succeed in giving it to him". In addition there are various simple clitics including short prepositions.
• Swedish: Definite articles are attached to the end of the nouns (enclitic), like in the other Scandinavian languages. Examples: "en pojke" "a boy", "pojken" "the boy", "pojkarna" "the boys"; "en flicka" "a girl", "flickan" "the girl"; "ett barn" "a child", " barnet" "the child"
• In Old Norse, the definite article is expressed in the enclitic "-inn" eg. alfrinn "the elf" dvergrinn "the dwarf" and haukrinn "the hawk".

Examples of some non-Indo-European languages are shown below:

• Japanese: all particles, such as the genitive postposition (no) and the topic marker (wa).
• Korean: The copula 이다 (ida) and the adjectival 하다 (hada), as well as some nominal and verbal particles (e.g. , neun) (Wiki-fn11). However, alternative analysis suggests that the nominal particles do not function as clitics, but as phrasal affixes (Wiki-fn12).
• Luganda: -nga attached to a verb to form the progressive; -wo 'in' (also attached to a verb)

Wikipedia references  

Wiki-fn01 SIL Glossary of Linguistic Terms: What is a clitic? Wiki-fn01b

Wiki-fn02 Harris, Alice C. (2002). Endoclitics and the Origins of Udi Morphosyntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199246335. Wiki-fn02b

Wiki-fn03 Craig A. Kopris & Anthony R. Davis (AppTek, Inc. / StreamSage, Inc.) Endoclitics in Pashto: Implications for Lexical Integrity (abstract pdf) Wiki-fn03b

Wiki-fn04 Kari, Ethelbert Emmanuel (2003). Clitics in Degema: A Meeting Point of Phonology, Morphology, and Syntax. Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa. ISBN 4872978501. Wiki-fn04b

Wiki-fn05 Hopper, Paul J.; Elizabeth Closs Traugott (2003). Grammaticalization, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80421-9. Wiki-fn05b

Wiki-fn06 Zwicky, Arnold (1977). On Clitics. Bloomington: Indiana University Linguistics Club. Wiki-fn06b

Wiki-fn07 Zwicky, Arnold M.; Geoffrey K. Pullum (1983). "Cliticization vs. inflection: the case of English n't". Language 59: 502–513. Wiki-fn07b

Wiki-fn08 Monachesi, Paola; Philip Miller (2003). "Les pronoms clitiques dans les langues romanes", in Danièle Godard (ed.): Les langues romanes: Problèmes de la phrase simple (in French). Paris: CNRS Editions, 67–123. ISBN 978-2-271-06149-2. Wiki-fn08b

 Wiki-fn09 De Cat, Cécile (2005). "French subject clitics are not agreement makers" (PDF). Lingua 115: 1195-1219. ISSN 0024-3841. Wiki-fn09b 

Wiki-fn10 Gadelii, Karl Erland (2002). "Pronominal Syntax in Maputo Portuguese (Mozambique) from a Comparative Creole and Bantu Perspective" (PDF). Africa & Asia 2: 27-41. ISSN 1650-2019. Wiki-fn10b

 Wiki-fn11  Chae, Hee-Rahk (1995). "Clitic Analyses of Korean "Little Words"" (html). Language, Information and Computation Proceedings of the 10th Pacific Asia Conference: 97-102. Wiki-fn11b

 Wiki-fn12 James Hye Suk Yoon. Non-morphological Determination of Nominal Particle Ordering in Korean. Wiki-fn12b

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close pair 

From UseE
Two words where there sounds are very similar are called a CLOSE PAIR, like SHIP and SHEEP, etc.

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From LBH
A technique for generating ideas about a topic: drawing and writing, you branch outward from a center point (the topic) to pursue the implications of ideas. (See p. 25.)

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From LBH
The quality of an effective essay or paragraph that helps readers see relations among ideas and move easily from one idea to the next. (See pp. 45 and 80.)

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collaborative learning 

From LBH
In a writing course, students working together in groups to help each other become better writers and readers. (See pp. 66–69, 243–52.)

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collective noun 

See • noun.

From UseE
A collective noun refers to a group of people, animals or objects as a group; family, company, etc.. When a collective noun is used in the singular, the verb can be either Singular or Plural.

The company has decided to open ten new outlets.
The company have decided to open ten new outlets.

The police are here.
'police' has no singular form

If a singular verb is used then the noun is seen as a single entity. If a plural verb is used, then the noun is seen as consisting of a group of individuals.

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From UseE
When words are used together regularly, rules are formed about their use not for grammatical reasons, but because of the association. 'Black and white' appear in that order because of collocation; they are always in that order and to put them the other way around seems wrong. For the same reason we 'make a mistake' when we 'do a test'. The reason for using these verbs with these is that we always do; this is collocation

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colloquial or colloquial language

From LBH
The words and expressions of everyday speech. Colloquial language can enliven informal writing but is generally inappropriate in formal academic or business writing. See also formal and informal. (See p. 561.)

From UseE
Colloquial language is informal language that is not rude, but would not be used in formal situations. It is less unacceptable than Slang and Swear Words.

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Columbia style 

From LBH
The humanities or sciences style of documentation recommended by The Columbia Guide to Online Style. (For discussion and examples, see pp. 881–91.)

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comma splice (aka comma fault)

From LBH
A sentence error in which two main clauses are separated by a comma with no coordinating conjunction. (See Chapter 18.)

* The book was long, it contained useful information. -- comma splice.

The book was long; it contained useful information. -- revised
The book was long, and it contained useful information. -- revised

comma fault n. 1. Improper use of a comma to join two independent clauses. Also Called comma splice .

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common errors 

See • Standard English • Common Errors in English in my notes.

Excerpt from Common Errors in English
by Paul Brians, Professor of English, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-5020 www.wsu.edu/~brians/index.html
   What is an error in English?   The concept of language errors is a fuzzy one. I'll leave to linguists the technical definitions. Here we're concerned only with deviations from the standard use of English as judged by sophisticated users such as professional writers, editors, teachers, and literate executives and personnel officers. The aim of this site is to help you avoid low grades, lost employment opportunities, lost business, and titters of amusement at the way you write or speak.
   But isn't one person's mistake another's standard usage?   Often enough, but if your standard usage causes other people to consider you stupid or ignorant, you may want to consider changing it. You have the right to express yourself in any manner you please, but if you wish to communicate effectively, you should use nonstandard English only when you intend to rather than fall into it because you don't know any better.

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common noun 

See • noun.

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See • comparison.

From UseE  
The comparative is the form of an adjective or adverb used to compare two things. To create a comparative, remember that with short adjectives add -er to the end, and longer ones use more before the adjective:

The Nile is longer than the Amazon.
-- Long >> Longer

Many students find writing more difficult than reading.
   -- Difficult >> More Difficult

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From LBH
The form of an adverb or adjective that shows its degree of quality or amount.

• The positive degree is the simple, uncompared form:
     gross / shyly  

• The comparative degree compares the thing modified to at least one other thing:
     grosser /  more shyly 

• The superlative degree indicates that the thing modified exceeds all other things to which it is being compared:
     grossest / most shyly  

The comparative and superlative degrees are formed either with the endings -er and -est or with the words more and most, less and least. (See pp. 352–53.)

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comparison and contrast 

From LBH
The identification of similarities (comparison) and differences (contrast) between two or more subjects. (See pp. 27, 100–01.)

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From LBH
A word or word group that completes the sense of a subject, an object, or a verb. (See pp. 260–62.)

• A subject complement follows a linking verb and renames or describes the subject. It may be an adjective, noun, or pronoun:

I am a lion tamer, but I am not yet experienced.
(the noun lion tamer and the adjective experienced complement the subject I).

• Adjective complements are also called predicate adjectives.

• Noun complements are also called predicate nouns or predicate nominatives.

• An object complement follows and modifies or refers to a direct object. The complement may be an adjective or a noun.

If you elect me president, I'll keep the students satisfied.
(the noun president complements the direct object me, and the adjective satisfied complements the direct object students).

• A verb complement is a direct or indirect object of a verb. It may be a noun or pronoun.

Don't give the chimp that peanut .
(chimp is the indirect object and peanut is the direct object of the verb give; both objects are verb complements).

From UseE
A complement is the part of a Sentence that comes after the Verb and is needed to make the sentence complete. The following are the most important types of complement used in English:

• Subject complement:

He's a surveyor.
The Subject is completed by the complement to the verb. This is a Copula Verb.

• Object complement:

She sent him the fax.
The sentence is completed by telling us what she sent to him.

• Adjectival complement:

They'll be happy.
The sentence is completed by the Adjective; this could be extended further,

They'll be happy to see us , etc.

• Prepositional complement:

They talked about what needed doing.
The sentence is completed by the Phrase linked to the verb by the Preposition.

From GGW (Capital Community College, Hartford, Connecticut)
A complement is any word or phrase that completes the sense of a subject, an object, or a verb. As you will see, the terminology describing predicates and complements can overlap and be a bit confusing. Students are probably wise to learn one set of terms, not both.

• A subject complement follows a linking verb; it is normally an adjective or a noun that renames or defines in some way the subject.

A glacier is a huge body of ice.
Glaciers are beautiful and potentially dangerous at the same time.
This glacier is not yet fully formed. (verb form acting as an adjective, a participle)

• Adjective complements are also called predicate adjectives; noun complements are also called predicate nouns or predicate nominatives. See predicates, above.

• An object complement follows and modifies or refers to a direct object. It can be a noun or adjective or any word acting as a noun or adjective.
     The convention named Dogbreath Vice President to keep him happy.
(The noun "Vice President" complements the direct object "Dogbreath"; the adjective "happy" complements the object "him.")
     The clown got the children too excited.
(The participle "excited" complements the object "children.")

• A verb complement is a direct or indirect object of a verb. (See direct object )
     Granny left Raoul all her money.
(Both "money" [the direct object] and "Raoul" [the indirect object] are said to be the verb complements of this sentence.)

The descriptions of complements are based on the glossary of The Little, Brown Handbook by H. Ramsay Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, & Kay Limburg. 6th ed. HarperCollins: New York. 1995. 751. By permission of Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc. Examples our own.

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complete predicate 

See • predicate.

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complete subject 

See • subject.

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complex sentence 

See • sentence.

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compound construction 

From LBH
Two or more words or word groups serving the same function, such as
• a compound subject
     Harriet and Peter poled their barge down the river.
• a compound predicate
The scout watched and waited.
• parts of a predicate
     She grew tired and hungry
a compound sentence
     He smiled, and I laughed. (See pp. 282–84.)
Compound words include nouns and adjectives:
     featherbrain, strip-mining -- nouns
     two-year-old, downtrodden
-- adjectives

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compound-complex sentence 

See • sentence.

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compound predicate 

See • compound construction.

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compound sentence 

See • sentence.

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compound subject 

See • compound construction.

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compound verb

See compound verb in my notes.

From HG (080719)

You construct a compound verb out of an auxiliary verb and another verb. In particular, you may use an auxiliary verb (also known as a helping verb) with the verb in order to create the many of the tenses available in English. In each of the following sentences, the compound verb appears underlined [changed from highlighted]:

¤ Karl Creelman bicycled around in world in 1899, but his diaries and his bicycle were destroyed.
-- The compound verb in this sentence is made up of the auxiliary "were" and the past participle "destroyed."

¤ The book Seema was looking for is under the sofa.
-- Here the compound verb is made up of the auxiliary verb "was" and the present participle "looking."

¤ They will meet us at the newest café in the market.
-- In this example the compound verb is made up of the auxiliary verb "will" and the verb "meet."

¤ That dog has been barking for three hours; I wonder if someone will call the owner.
-- In this sentence the first compound verb is made up of the two auxiliary verbs ("has" and "been") and a present participle ("barking"). The second compound verb is made up of the auxiliary verb "will" and the verb "call."

From Wikipedia

-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_verb 080718

In linguistics, a compound verb or complex predicate is a multi-word compound that acts as a single verb. One component of the compound is a light verb or vector, which carries any inflections, indicating tense, mood, or aspect, [UKT: collectively known as TAM] but provides only fine shades of meaning. The other, "primary", component is a verb or noun which carries most of the semantics of the compound, and determines its arguments. It is usually in either base or conjunctive participial form.

A compound verb is also called a "complex predicate" because the semantics, as formally modeled by a predicate, is determined by the primary verb, though both verbs appear in the surface form. Whether Noun+Verb (N+V) compounds are considered to be "compound verbs" is a matter of naming convention. Generally, the term complex predicate usually includes N+V compounds, whereas the term compound verb is usually reserved for V+V compounds. However, several authors also refer to N+V compounds as compound verbs.

Compound verbs are to be distinguished from serial verbs which typically signify a sequence of actions, and in which the verbs are relatively equal in semantic and grammatical weight.

Thus, there are two classes of complex predicates:

V+V compounds: The true compound verb, where the first verb is a Light verb (LV), followed by a primary or Heavy verb. With a few exceptions all compound verbs alternate with their simple counterparts. That is, removing the light verb / vector does not affect grammaticality at all nor the meaning very much: निकला nikalā '(He) went out.' In a few languages both components of the compound verb can be finite forms: Kurukh kecc-ar ker-ar lit. "died-3pl went-3pl" '(They) died.'

UKT: Rendering Hindi-Devanagari into Burmese-Myanmar: of :
• निकला nikalā  <(He) went out.>
• {ni.ka.la} -->
Personal note: Unfortunately I do not speak Hindi at this time in life (I am 74 -- 080718), so I will have to be content to test the efficacy of Romabama in transcribing Indic languages written in Devanagari into Burmese-Myanmar.

UKT: Concentrating on English <He went out.>:

¤ He goes out.
{thu htwak-thwa: tèý}
literal: (He out go-Ø {tèý}) -- Ø marks "non-past". <out> = {htwak}

¤ He goes in.
{thu wing-thwa: tèý}
literal: (He in go-Ø {tèý}) -- Ø marks "non-past". <in> = {wing} pronounced as IPA /wɪŋ/.

N+V compounds: A compound with Noun+Verb, converting the noun into a verbal structure; the arguments and the semantics are determined by the N and the tense markers / inflections are carried by the V. This would include English stretched verb examples like take a walk or commit suicide. Often the Verbs participating N+V compounding are also those that participate as LVs in V+V compounds. The N+V compound appears in almost all languages, especially with LVs such as "do", "make" etc., and are sometimes not considered to be a true compound verb.

UKT: Let's compare expressions in Burmese-Myanmar and their equivalents to English-Latin:

¤ She waddles. (She is walking like a duck.)
{thu-ma. Bè:thwa: thwa: tèý}
literal: (She duck-walk walk-{tèý})

¤ He mopes. (He is brooding like a dog.)
{thu hkwé:mheing mheing tèý}
literal: (He dog-mope mope-{tèý})

¤ Weather "damp-chills".  (I am coining this word to suit the Burmese-Myanmar.)
{ra-thi-U.tu. mo:é: é: tèý}
literal: (weather rain-chill chill {tèý})

"Damp-chill" n. is the kind of weather peculiar to the Irrawaddy Delta where I was born.

v. have a spell of cold rainy weather. -- MEDict-348

Compound verbs are very common in all the languages of India, though they are more frequent in the northern Indo-Aryan languages than in Dravidian languages. In addition to Hindi-Urdu and Panjabi, they occur in other Indo-Iranian languages like Persian, Marathi and Nepali, in Tibeto-Burman languages like Limbu and Newari. Also, they are very frequent in Altaic languages like Korean, Japanese, and in Central Asian Indo-European languages Kazakh, Uzbek, and Kyrgyz, and in northeast Caucasian languages like Tsez and Avar.

Conventionally, the English language expresses fine distinctions as to the beginning, duration, completion, or repetition, of an action in the form of compound verbs, using auxiliaries or other lexical mechanisms. Examples here include was starting, had lived, had been seen, etc. (compd-fn01). This usage reduced the need to create complex predicates.

Though V+V compound verbs are rare in English, one may illustrate the form with the example "start reading". In some interpretations, one may consider "start" as a light verb, which carries markers like tense. However, the main part of the meaning, as well as the arguments of "started reading", i.e. answers to questions such as who? (agent), or what was it that he "started reading" (object) are determined by the second, primary verb, "read". Note that "start" also modifies the meaning or the semantics, by focusing on the early part of the "reading". Also note that "start" carries plural/tense markers (they start|he starts reading), whereas "reading" appears in this fixed form, and does not change with tense, number, gender etc.

Whether gerundive forms like "start reading" are compound verbs or not is controversial in English; many linguists prefer to treat "reading" treated as a nominal in its gerundive form. However, the compound verb treatment may have some advantages, particularly when it comes to semantic analysis. For example, in X starts reading Y, the question what did X start is less revealing than what did x "start reading".

English has many examples of N+V compound predicates: see stretched verb.

Sometimes examples from English cited for compound verbs turn out to be serial verbs, e.g.: What did you go and do that for?; or your business might just up and leave.

Compound verbs are very common in Indo-Iranian languages, such as Hindi-Urdu and Panjabi, where as many as 20% of the verb forms in running text may be compounds.

For example, Hindi निकल गया nikal gayā, lit. "exit went", means 'went out', while निकल पड़ा nikal paRā, lit. "exit fell", means 'departed' or 'was blurted out'. In these examples निकल nikal is the primary verb, and गया gayā and पड़ा paRā are the light verbs.

Similarly, in both English start reading and Japanese 読み始める yomihajimeru "start-CONJUNCTIVE-read" "start reading," the vector verbs start and 始める hajimeru "start" change according to tense, negation, and the like, while the main verbs reading and 読み yomi "reading" usually remain the same. An exception to this is the passive voice, in which both English and Japanese modify the main verb, i.e. start to be read and 読まれ始める yomarehajimeru lit. "read-PASSIVE-(CONJUNCTIVE)-start" start to be read.

Quichua-influenced Spanish
Under the influence of a Quichua substrate speakers living in the Ecuadorian altiplano have innovated compound verbs in Spanish:

De rabia puso rompiendo la olla, 'In anger (he/she) smashed the pot.' (Lit. from anger put breaking the pot)
Botaremos matándote 'We will kill you.' (Cf. Quichua huañuchi-shpa shitashun, lit. kill-CP throw.1plFut, तेरे को मार डालेंगे )

Historical Processes and Grammaticalization
As languages change, the vector or light verb may retain its original meaning to different degrees of bleaching, part of the process of grammaticalization. Thus, in the Hindi compound nikal paRā (exit+fall), paRā has almost none of its "fall" meaning, though some of the finality of the fall also is transferred as a perfective aspect. On the other hand, the Japanese "meru" (start) retains a good deal of its independent word meaning even in the compound.

In the long run, it has been suggested that LVs that are particularly frequent, may become grammaticalized, so that they may now occur systematically with other verbal constituents, so that they become an auxiliary verb (e.g. the English verb "be", as in "I am eating", or "had" in "they had finished"), or, after sound change, even a clitic (a shortened verb, as in "I'm"). In particular, some verb inflections (e.g. Latin future tense inflections) are thought to have arisen in this manner.

Wikipedia references
compd-fn01 Compound Verbs compd-fn01b

End of Wikipedia article.

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UKT notes

C'est la vie

IPA [ˌseɪ.læ'viː] Interjection. used to express resignation: used to express philosophical acceptance of the way things are. [Mid-20th century. < French, "that's life"] -- Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P)2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
UKT: The pronunciation given by Encarta is not IPA. I have changed it to IPA.

Go back cest-la-vie-note-b

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Common Errors in English

by Paul Brians, Professor of English, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-5020

What is an error in English?
The concept of language errors is a fuzzy one. I'll leave to linguists the technical definitions. Here we're concerned only with deviations from the standard use of English as judged by sophisticated users such as professional writers, editors, teachers, and literate executives and personnel officers. The aim of this site is to help you avoid low grades, lost employment opportunities, lost business, and titters of amusement at the way you write or speak.

But isn't one person's mistake another's standard usage?
Often enough, but if your standard usage causes other people to consider you stupid or ignorant, you may want to consider changing it. You have the right to express yourself in any manner you please, but if you wish to communicate effectively, you should use nonstandard English only when you intend to rather than fall into it because you don't know any better.

Why don't you cover all important points of grammar?
Other sites do this; mine is dedicated to errors in usage. This is not a site dealing with grammar in general.

I'm learning English as a second language.
Will this site help me improve my English?

Very likely, though it's really aimed at the most common errors of native speakers. The errors others make in English differ according to the characteristics of their first languages. Speakers of other languages tend to make some specific errors that are uncommon among native speakers, so you may also want to consult sites dealing specifically with English as a second language (see http://www.cln.org/subjects/esl_cur.html and http://esl.about.com/education/adulted/esl/). There is also a Help Desk for ESL students at Washington State University at http://www.wsu.edu/~gordonl/ESL/. An outstanding book you may want to order is Ann Raimes' Keys for Writers.

Aren't some of these points awfully picky?
This is a relative matter. One person's gaffe is another's peccadillo. Some common complaints about usage strike me as too persnickety, but I'm just discussing mistakes in English that happen to bother me. Feel free to create your own page listing your own pet peeves, but I welcome suggestions for additions to these pages. First, read the Commonly Made Suggestions page, and if you still want to write me, please do so, after reading the instructions on that page.

What gives you the right to say what an error in English is?
I could take the easy way out and say I'm a professor of English and do this sort of thing for a living. True, but my Ph.D. is in comparative literature, not composition or linguistics, and I teach courses in the history of ideas rather than language as such. But I admire good writing and try to encourage it in my students.

Why do you discuss mainly American usage?
Because I'm an American, my students are mostly American, most English-speaking Web users are Americans, and American English is quickly becoming an international standard. I am slowly reworking the site to take note of American deviations from standard British practice. However, the job is complicated by the fact that Canadians, Australians, and many others often follow patterns somewhere between the two. If the standard usage where you are differs from what is described here, tell me about it; and if I think it's important to do so, I'll note that fact. Meanwhile, just assume that this site is primarily about American English. If you feel tempted to argue with me, click here first.

Does it oppress immigrants and subjugated minorities to insist on the use of standard English?
Language standards can certainly be used for oppressive purposes, but most speakers and writers of all races and classes want to use language in a way that will impress others. It is interesting that in the debate over Oakland, California's proposed "ebonics" policy, African-American parents were especially outspoken in arguing that to allow students to regard street slang as legitimate in an educational setting was to limit them and worsen their oppressed status. The fact is that the world is full of teachers, employers, and other authorities who may penalize you for your non-standard use of the English language. Feel free to denounce these people if you wish; but if you need their good opinion to get ahead, you'd be wise to learn standard English. Note that I often suggest differing usages as appropriate depending on the setting: spoken vs. written, informal vs. formal; slang is often highly appropriate. In fact, most of the errors discussed on this site are common in the writing of privileged middle-class Americans, and some are characteristic of people with advanced degrees and considerable intellectual attainments. However you come down on this issue, note that the great advantage of an open Web-based educational site like this is that it's voluntary: take what you want and leave the rest.

But you made a mistake yourself!
We all do, from time to time. If you think you've found an error in my own writing, first read the "Commonly Made Suggestions" page, then follow the instructions on that page if you still think I need correcting. I've changed many aspects of these pages in response to such mail; even if I disagree with you, I try to do so politely. If you write me, please don't call me "Brian." My given name is Paul.

Paul Brians
Professor of English
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-5020

Paul Brians' home page containing links to many other useful resources.

Some of the material in this site was inspired by the handy little booklet Correcting Common Errors in Writing, by Nancy P. McKee and George P. Kennedy, published by Kendall/Hunt Publishing. Write to them for further information about obtaining copies.

This resource is copyrighted by Paul Brians. Permission is granted to reprint or photocopy it in its entirety or in part for all nonprofit, educational purposes provided that the author is cited and the URL of this page is included. As a courtesy, please notify the author if you copy or link to this material. Because the content changes frequently, and I need to maintain control over the site, requests to create Web mirrors of the site are usually declined.

Internet links: Go to list of errors.
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

* abject * about * absorbtion * accede/exceed * accent marks * access * accessory * accept/except * accidently * acronyms and apostrophes * actual fact/actually * adapt/adopt * adultry * advance/advanced * adverse/averse * advice/advise * adviser/advisor * affect/effect * agreeance/agreement * ahold/hold * ain't * altogether/ all together * all * all goes well/augurs well * alliterate/illiterate * alls * allude/elude * allude/refer * allusion/illusion * alot * almost * alright * altar/alter * alterior * alternate/alternative * alumnus/alumni * amature * ambiguous/ambivalent * ambivalent/indifferent * American * amoral/immoral * amount/number * an historic * and also * anecdote/antidote * angel/angle * anxious/eager * any more * anytime * anyways * apart/a part * apostrophes * as follow * as per * aspect/respect * appraise/apprise * apropos/appropriate * artic * as far as * as time progressed * assure/ensure/insure * asterick * as of yet * ATM machine * athlete * athiest * aural/oral * avocation/vocation * awhile/a while * ax * axel/axle * backslash/slash * backward/backwards * barb wire, bob wire * bare/bear * basicly * bazaar/bizarre * begs the question * behaviors * bemuse * beside/besides * better * between * between you and I * beyond the pail * bias/biased * biweekly/semiweekly * blatant * bonafied * born out of * borrow/loan * both/each * boughten * bourgeois * bouyant * brand names * brang, brung * breath/breathe * bring/take * beaurocracy * build off of * butt naked * by/'bye/buy * call the question * callous/callused * Calvary/cavalry * cannot/can not * canon/cannon * capital/capitol * caramel/carmel * carat/caret/carrot/karat * caring * Catch 22 * CD-ROM disk * ceasar * celibate/chaste * celtic * cement/concrete * center around * cents * chai tea * chaise longue * chemicals * Chicano/Latino/Hispanic * chuck/chunk * Church * cite/site/sight * cleanup/clean up * cliché/clichéd * click/clique * close/clothes * close proximity * coarse/course * collaborate/corroborate * Colombia/Columbia * colons/semicolons * commas * compare and contrast * compare to/compare with * complement/compliment * complement/complimentary * comprised of * concensus * concerted effort * conflicted/conflicting feelings * confusionism * congradulations * continual/continuous * contrasts/contrasts with * conversate * core/corps/corpse * could care less * could of/should of/would of * council/counsel/consul * couple/couple of * credible/credulous * crescendo/climax * criteria/criterion * criticism * critique/criticize * crucifiction * currant/current * cut and dry * cut and paste/copy and paste * damped/dampened * data * decimate * deep-seeded * definate * defuse/diffuse * degrade/denigrate/downgrade * deja vu * democrat/democratic * depends * depreciate/deprecate * desert/dessert * device/devise * dialogue/discuss * dieties * differ/vary * different than * dilemma/difficulty * dire straights * disburse/disperse * disc/disk * discreet/discrete * discussed/disgust * disinterested/uninterested * disrespect * doctorial/doctoral * dolly/handcart * dominate/dominant * done/did * double negatives * doubt that/doubt whether/doubt if * doubtlessly/doubtless * dove/dived * downfall/drawback * drank/drunk * drastic/dramatic * drier/dryer * dribble/drivel * drive/disk * drug/dragged * dual/duel * due to the fact that * dyeing/dying * e.g./i.e. * each * earth, moon * ecology/environment * ecstatic * ect. * -ed/-t * -ed/-ing * ei/ie * either * either are/either is * eighteen hundreds/nineteenth century * electrocute * elicit/illicit * ellipses * embaress * emergent/emergency * emigrate/immigrate * eminent/imminent/immanent * empathy/sympathy * emphasize on * end result * enormity/enormousness * enquire/inquire * ensure/insure * enthuse * envelop/envelope * envious/jealous * enviroment * epigram/epigraph/epitaph/epithet * epitomy * ethnic * every * everyday * everytime * evidence to * exact same * exalt/exult * excape/escape * exceptional/exceptionable * exhileration * exponential * expresso * expresses that/says that * factoid * fair/fare * farther/further * fastly * fatal/fateful * faze/phase * fearful/fearsome * febuary * 50's * finalize * firey * first annual * fiscal/physical * fit the bill * flammable/inflammable * flaunt/flout * flesh out/flush out * floppy disk/hard disk * flounder/founder * foot/feet * footnotes/endnotes * for/fore/four * for all intensive purposes * for sale/on sale * forbidding/foreboding/formidable * forceful/forcible/forced * forego/forgo * foresee/forsee * formally/formerly * forward * fortuitous/fortunate * foul/fowl * Frankenstein * frankly * French dip with au jus * from . . . to * from the beginning of time * fulsome * -fuls/-ful * gaff/gaffe * gamut/gauntlet * gaurd * gender * Ghandi * gibe/jibe/jive * gig/jig * gild/guild * god * goes * gone/went * good/well * got/gotten * government * graduate * grammer * gratis/gratuitous * greatful * grevious * grisly/grizzly * group (singular vs. plural) * ground zero * grow * gyp * had ought * hairbrained * hangar/hanger * hanged/hung * hanging indents * hardly * hardly never * hardy/hearty * HIV virus * he don't * heading/bound * hear/here * hearing-impaired * heighth * help the problem * hero/protagonist * heroin/heroine * highly looked upon/highly regarded * him, her/he, she * hippie/hippy * hisself * historic/historical * an historic * hoi polloi * hold your peace/say your piece * holocaust * homophobic * home page * hone in * hors d'oeuvres * hyphenation * hyphens & dashes * hypocritical * hysterical/hilarious * I me myself * -ic * idea/ideal * if/whether * if I was/if I were * ignorant * immaculate conception/virgin birth * impact * impertinent/irrelevant * imply/infer * infact * infamous/notorious * infinite * inflammable * in regards to * in the fact that * incent, incentivize * incredible * incidences/incidents/instances * indepth * Indian/Native American * individual * input * install/instill * instances/instants * intense/intensive * intensifiers * interment/internment * Internet/intranet * interface * interpretate * into/in to * ironically * irregardless * is, is * islams * Isreal * issues * itch/scratch * it's/its * jerry-built/jury-rigged * Jew/Jewish * jewelry * John Henry * judgement * kick-start * koala bear * laissez-faire * large * late/former * later/latter * lay/lie * leach/leech * lead/led * leave/let * legend/myth * lense * less/fewer * liable, libel * libary * light-year * lighted/lit * like * like/as if * like for * likker * listserv * "lite" spelling * literally * lived * loose/lose * lustful/lusty * mantle/mantel * marital/martial * marshall * mass * masseuse/masseur * mauve * may/might * maybe/may be * medal/metal/meddle/mettle * media * Medieval Ages * mediocre * medium/median * memorium * mic * might could * mischievious * misnomer * moral/morale * more importantly * moreso * most always * motion/move * Mount Fujiyama * much differently * muchly * music/singing * mute point * myriad of * myself * nauseated/nauseous * neice * Nevada * nieve * no sooner when * nonplussed * noone * not all that * not hardly * notorious * nuclear * number of verb * numbers * nuptual * of * of ___'s * offense * often * OK * old fashion * old-timer's disease * on accident * once and a while * one of the (singular) * one-dimensional * one in the same * one of the only * only * onto/on to * oppress/repress * orders of magnitude * ordinance/ordnance * Oregon * organic * oriental * orientate * ostensively * over-exaggerated * oversee/overlook * pair (number) * palate/palette/pallet * parallel * parallelled/paralleled * parallelism in a series * paralyzation * parameters/perimeters * parentheses * parliment * passed/past * past time * passive voice * peace/piece * peak/peek/pique * peasant/pheasant * penultimate/next to last * peoples * per * percent decrease * pernickety/persnickety * perogative/prerogative * perse * persecute/prosecute * personal/personnel * personality * perspective/prospective * peruse * phenomena/phenomenon * Philippines/Filipinos * physical * picaresque/picturesque * picture * PIN number * playwrite * plead innocent * please RSVP * plug-in * podium/lectern * pole/poll * point being is that * point in time * pompom/pompon * populace/populous * pore/pour * possessed of, by, with * practice/practise * practicle * pray/prey * precede/proceed * precedence/precedents * precipitate/precipitous * predominant/predominate * predominately * preemptory * prejudice/prejudiced * premier/premiere * premise/premises * prepone * prepositions (repeated) * prepositions (wrong) * prescribe/proscribe * presently * pretty * primer * principal/principle * prioritize * priority * proactive * probably * prone * pronounciation * prophecy/prophesy * prostate/prostrate * protray * proved/proven * purposely/purposively * Q/G * quantum leap * queue * quiet/quite * quote * quotation marks * racism * rack/wrack * ran/run * rapport * ratio * rationale/rationalization * ravaging/ravishing/ravenous * recreate * reactionary/reactive * real/really * realtor * reason because * rebelling/revolting * rebut/refute * recent/resent * redundancies * reeking havoc * regard/regards * regretfully/regrettably * reign/rein * religion * religion believes * reluctant/reticent * remuneration/renumeration * reoccurring * repel/repulse * resister/resistor * retch/wretch * reticent/hesitant * return back * revelant * revue/review * right of passage * Rio Grande River * risky/risqué * road to hoe * rob/steal * role/roll * root/rout/route * sacred/scared * sacreligious * safety deposit box * sail/sale/sell * salsa sauce * same difference * sarcastic/ironic * satellite * say/tell * schizophrenic * sci-fi * sea change * seam/seem * second of all * seen/saw * self-worth * sense/since * sensual/sensuous * sentence fragments * service/serve * set/sit * setup/set up * shall/will * sherbert * Sierra Nevada Mountains * silicon/silicone * simplistic * single quotes * slight of hand * sluff off * snuck * so/very * so fun * social/societal * sojourn/journey * sometime/some time * somewhat of a * sooner * soup du jour of the day * sour grapes * spaded/spayed * stalactites/stalagmites * stationary/stationery * stereo * stomp * straightjacket * straight-laced * substance-free * substitute with * suffer with * suit/suite * summary/summery * supercede * supposably, supposingly * suppose to * surfing the Internet * take a different tact * taken back/taken aback * taught/taut * taunt/taut/tout * tenant/tenet * tender hooks * tentative * than/then * that/which * that kind * theirselves * them * they're/their/there * therefor/therefore * there's * these are them * these kind * these ones * they/their (singular) * think on * though/thought/through * throne/thrown * thusly * time period * times smaller * to/too/two * to home * today's modern society * tolled/told * tongue and cheek * toward/towards * track home * tradegy * troop/troupe * try and * UFO * unconscience * University of Indiana * unrest * upmost * use to * vague reference * various * vary/very * veil of tears * verb tense * verbage * verses/versus * very unique * vicious/viscous circle/cycle * video * vinegarette * viola/voila * vitae * volumptuous * warrantee/warranty * wary/weary/leery * wash * way * ways * weather/wether/whether * weather forecast calls for * Wensday * went/gone * were/where * wet your appetite * what * wheat * whereabouts are * where it's at * whether/whether or not * whilst/while * whimp * whisky/whiskey * -wise * who/whom * who's/whose * a whole 'nother * woman/women * World Wide Web * worse comes to worse * wreckless * writting * Xmas/Christmas * ya'll * ye * yea/yeah/yay * yoke/yolk * your/you * your/you're * you've got another thing coming *

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Supplementary Pages
• The home page for this site. If you missed it, please start here.
• Non-Errors Those usages people keep telling you are wrong but which are actually standard in English.

* split infinitives * ending a sentence with a preposition * beginning a sentence with a conjunction * between vs. among * forward vs. forwards * gender vs. sex * who vs. that * since vs. because * hopefully * momentarily * lend vs. loan * near miss * "none" singular vs. plural * scan vs. skim * regime vs. regimen * off of * gotten vs. got * till" vs. 'til * teenage vs. teenaged * reference vs. cite * endquote vs. unquote * feeling bad * persuade vs. convince * preventive vs. preventative * entitled vs. titled * People are healthy; vegetables are healthful. * Dinner is done; people are finished. * Crops are raised; children are reared. * "You've got mail" should be "you have mail." * It's "cut the muster," not "cut the mustard." * It's "carrot on a stick," not "carrot or stick." * spitting image * connoisseur

• More errors Other strange and amusing word confusions
• Commonly misspelled words.
• This entire resource as a single ASCII text file
• List of commonly made suggestions. Check this before writing.
• Sean Igo's " Garbage In, Garbage Out: Errors Caused by Over-Reliance on Spelling Checkers"

Other Good Resources
• American Heritage Book of English Usage
• On Line English Grammar from St. John's Wood School of English, London. UK speakers of English will find their patterns addressed here.
• Worldwide Words: Investigating International English from a British Viewpoint
• Daniel Kies' Modern English Grammar
• Jack Lynch's Grammar and Style Notes
• Charles Darling's Guide to Grammar and Writing
• Dr. NAD's Prig Page
• Ronald B. Standler's Technical Writing Guide
• World Wide Words: Michael Quinion's Language Pages
• Garbl's Writing Resources On-Line
• English as a Second Language Help Desk at Washington State University
• Non-Sexist Language
• WWWebster Dictionary (Merriam Webster)
• Heteronyms
• Antagonyms
• Hazel Tank's Word Lists - The Way Doctors Talk
• Mindy McAdams' Spelling Test
• William Safire's self-violating "Rules for Writers"

Paul Brians' home page

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