“Excuse me, Sir. I wonder if you could help me? I have just been robbed!” – Let’s Study some Grammar!

Do you like studying grammar?

Linguists (and most students of languages) agree that grammar is important while learning a second language. It is how grammar should be learnt that causes a lot of disagreement.

Basically, there are two approaches:
1) Students need explicit grammar instructions, they need clearly defined rules and a number of drill exercises in order to reinforce understanding.
2) Students will finally acquire (rather than learn) grammar simply by extensive exposure to a good grammar model (e.g. the teacher). Krashen’s INPUT HYPOTHESIS describes acquisition as “a subconscious process identical in all important ways to the process that children utilize in acquiring their native language.”
Wait… What is grammar?
Grammar stands for the ability to arrange words of a language into meaningful sentences. Bearing that in mind, it is vital
that speakers of a language follow certain rules in order to maximize communication.
“You don’t need grammar to communicate!” (the nightmare of a language teacher…)
Every now and then there is a student who fervently defies the value of learning grammar. In fact, there is a grain of truth
in that. You probably do not need much understanding of grammar when you urgently need to go to the toilet; the word
“toilet” is enough. You would not say: “Excuse me, Sir. I wonder if you could help me? I have just been robbed!” – the word
“thief” will do. Yet, you would look for something more sophisticated than: “Give me a pay rise!” while the annual
conversation with your boss.
Even though basic communication is likely to take place with no or very limited grammar skill, it seems that grammar
awareness is crucial to experience a language fully and to realize how beautiful in its complexity it may be. You will be
surprised how much meaning and information grammar constructions may carry.
Dear Student, shall we study some grammar together?

Peculiar English

“To be or not to be?” – William Shakespeare

What do you think Shakespeare was exactly thinking about when he was saying these words? Did he only want to (or not) exist? Or is “being” something more than only “existing”? Can it be an action?

Look, recently I had this conversation with my girlfriend:

S: Honey, you are wonderful!

MG: Oh, Stanley! You are so cute.

S: But Honey, do you have any idea how beautiful you are?

MG: Huh…

S: You are the best in the world! One in a million!

MG: Now I understand… Stop playing your games! What’s happening!? You are being too nice… Why are you being so nice to   me? What do you want!?

S: I’m hungry…

Yeah she got me…

Look, when I say: “You are wonderful!” or “You are beautiful.”, I refer to the character of her. It is true that it is rather an opinion than a fact, yet it seems she is fairly unlikely to change from wonderful or beautiful to nasty or ugly – oh, at least I hope so.

On the other hand… When she tells me: “You are being too nice.”, she clearly refers to my behaviour at this moment of history. By no means does she refer to my character, which I will need to reflect upon.

sb is + adjective                             to describe character

sb is being + adjective                    to describe behaviour

Have a look at some exercises in the link:

to be or not to be