Just a log (English, Italian)

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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby Ani » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:49 pm

aaleks wrote:I don't know if I should ask it here but I'm really curious - is the phrase "Any more questions?" rude? :roll:

It's well well well again... sorry :oops:


You should definitely ask questions like that here :)

It can definitely be used in a rude, condescending way. If it's a personal conversion, I'd make that assumption unless you had previously asked for an explanation.

It is also the standard phrase to use at the end of a lecture or Q/A session to actually see if anyone has more questions.
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:54 pm

Ani, I forgot to say that it was my question to her :roll: . But I think she overreacted. Or not? :roll:

I'll give a link because it's just funny (then I always can delete it ;) )

https://efl-forum.ru/boards/viewtopic.p ... 080#p43080
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby Ani » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:06 pm

aaleks wrote:Ani, I forgot to say that it was my question to her :roll: . But I think she overreacted. Or not? :roll:

I'll give a link because it's just funny (then I always can delete it ;) )

https://efl-forum.ru/boards/viewtopic.p ... 080#p43080


Haha I like your post. It was a fitting use of the phrase because of her "regardless of effort" made it sort of an obvious stupid question. Truly it wasn't very rude and I think she over reacts because of weak English, love of drama or both :)
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:18 pm

Ani wrote:... because of weak English, love of drama or both :)

Today I won't try to be kind or polite and say that I think it's both Image
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:00 pm

Recently I was googling randomly something about language-learning and came across these two post on Quora
https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-speak-c ... -Bansal-68
https://www.quora.com/Could-you-tell-me ... yn-Allen-6

To be honest, I don't know much about the site, but what they're saying about English grammar is so close to my own experience. And from what I can see on this forum native speakers of English do not really follow the rules non-natives learn from textbooks to a tee. And not only "ordinary" natives chatting on forums, but the same goes for films, and even books. As I've mentioned before I had a very long "silent period" - 4 years (!) - just because I didn't feel the need to communicate in the language, so when I started learning the rules I had already had some pattern/idea in my head how all that works. I had no problem to understand films or books in English, in fact my comprehension was good enough to the point that sometimes I got confused in what language I was watching some series, etc. But I couldn't produce a sentence in English. It's weird, I know :) . I won't repeat the story all over again, I've written it more than once I'm afraid :oops: . The thing is that when finally I learned some of the grammar rules, and started looking at what I was reading or watching in English through the prism of the rules sometimes I got baffled because something just didn't fit. At the same time if I paid attention only to the meaning, without thinking about the grammar rules, everything started making perfect sense with all the nuances in the place. I guess, up to some more or less high level of proficiency that little inconsistency doesn't really matter because the rules work like bicycle training wheels - they help not to fall, but later they start getting in the way and that starts to matter. I don't know how it's for other languages but that's been my experience with learning English.

----
upd. I've thought about it a little more and come to the conclusion that it's probably about the nuances. That is why it doesn't matter probably up to B1-B2 level.
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:56 pm

Ani wrote:You should definitely ask questions like that here :)


@Ani, would it be okay if I PM you some other questions? The sourse of the confusion is the same, so to speak :roll: . I just don't want to post the questions here.
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby Ani » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:58 pm

aaleks wrote:
Ani wrote:You should definitely ask questions like that here :)


@Ani, would it be okay if I PM you some other questions? The sourse of the confusion is the same, so to speak :roll: . I just don't want to post the questions here.


Absolutely :)
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:01 pm

I've been thinking of what I have learned about language-learning, because of this thread of course :) https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =14&t=8979 and it seems there're two things I've learned:
1. It's more effective to communicate with native speakers in your TL than with the people you have the same native language in common. Of course, if the natives are friendly. Being on this forum, reading other people's posts and logs have given me a lot. And one of the things is self-confidence. I can't say that I am self-confident when it comes to English right now but second-guessing and self-doubting are part of my personality so it's not going to change.
2. I can't just say "the job is done" and move on to another language. I keep turning back to English even though someone more reasonable would've put more time in Italian in my case, I think. But it still feels like an unfinished business. The problem is never would feel different... :( Fortunately it's easier to learn Italian after English than English after Russian. Besides, now when I have half-learned one language the process itself has become somehow easy, so I'm sure that if I keep doing something in the language every day I would be progressing.

Speaking of an unfinished business. The Present Perfect :mrgreen: . This time it's not my fault, it's just because I'was reading a thread on the English-learning forum which accidentally veered out to this topic. I think it's just a favorite tense for all English-learners with a language background similar to mine :D . At first I thought to share my thoughts and observations there but than decided I'd rather do it here.

The first thought is that there's actually no general rule that works a real life. It's possible to draw some general conclusion but I realized that for me as a learner it makes things more confusing. I don't know, and I would like to know if these phrases have something in common in the meaning for native speakers, but for me as a learner it distorts the picture when I'm trying to explain them all trough the same logic. The phrases:
1. Where've you been? 2. It's been ... years since... 3. What you have done!
The first I hear in series all the time and only situation when they use the past simple (was/were) I can recall is something like "Where were you at the night of the murder?". :roll:
The second simply indicates the time frame. And probably "I have beem learning English for 6 years" falls in the same category with a very slight difference that the "-ing" ending is hinting that it's an ongoing situation - I'm still learning English. At least it's how they explain it in textooks. The third is something like an accusation, rebuke, reproach, etc. And usually the deed is known, as well as when it happened. This usage of the tense probably even goes against the rule itself but of course I might have misunderstood it. Also I didn't find anything in the rules that could explain why natives usually stress the "have" part. I can feel why, maybe even explain it to myself, but nothing that I've read about the tense explains that moment. I remember that there's was a time when I saw the "have/has/had" like some feature, accessory to the part which really conveys the meaning.

Uhmm... I'm afraid I failed to explain what I meant. :( The point is that I don't think that generalisation is good when it comes to such confusing things like the present perfect. Something like that...

P.S. I've decided that it's okay to write long posts again. Sorry :)
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:52 pm

I'd continue my grammar/anti-grammar thinking. I realized that writing my thoughts down like that helps me to understand the grammar topics better.

First this
1. Where've you been? 2. It's been ... years since... 3. What you have done!


To illustrate somehow why it's confusing to me I'll try to translate these phrases into Russian, plus give comments on comments.
1. Where've you been?
The thing is that in Russian both phrases - "Where've you been?" and "Where were you...?" - mean the same - "Где ты был?"/"Где вы были?"

3. What you have done!
The same as #1 both - "What you have done" and "What did you do" in Russian mean literally "Что ты сделал"/"Что вы сделали". Or less literally heeding more to the meaning/situation/context "Что ты натворил!", "Что ты наделал!"

So in my native tongue in these two cases there's no difference between the past simple and the present perfect. When you have to choose what tense to use you need to look for a context and here all the problems begin. In the #1 is not too complicated because of the time frame - you need it to use "Where were you.." But the question is why in many other situations when a time frame is still implied it's "Where've you been?" anyway. I can guess the why using common sense but I can't recall something clear enough about it in the rules.

The #3 is worse. I can try and fit "What you have done" into the rules. I think this would be fit perfectly
"When we use the present perfect, there is a connection with now. The action in the past has a result now"
But how about "look what you did!"? The result is kind of in plain sight. As I've said before I can feel the difference but had I been looking at the both through the prism of the rules I would've had two questions: a. why in the first example it's the present perfect when we probably even know when and where the deed occurred? b. why in the second example is in the past simple form when we're speaking about the result? I don't need answers, I'm just trying to illustrate how a non-native's brain works and why it's so confusing.

But speaking of questions I have one. I can't figured it out yet. In the Murphy's grammar book they say:
"When we say that 'something has happened', this is usually new information"
What's this about? Or it's the British version of English grammar and I'm more used to the American way of speaking?
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:33 pm

to continue :D

I took a closer looke at this
But speaking of questions I have one. I can't figured it out yet. In the Murphy's grammar book they say:
"When we say that 'something has happened', this is usually new information"

and realized that it's practically the first thing they say about the Present Perfect. It seems like this is really something specifically British. They mention this agian a couple of times through out the units about the tense, and almost the last thing in that book about the Present Perfect is: "We use the present perfect to give new information. But if we continue to talk about it, we normally use the past simple" To be honest I think that they speak too much about the usage that one would more likely meet only in one version of the English language. I know that book is written by British author but still I'm as an English learner want to see more information about things that more or less common for British, American, Canadian, and Australian English, and that it's been highlighted somehow. Also, I think, that that "new-information" thing is a bit ill-formed and misleading. But that's one of the most popular (text)book about English grammar.
Btw, the best explanation I've ever read about present perfect v past simple is this https://www.verbling.com/articles/post/ ... ca55a11572
I'd like to see something like that in textbooks.

And a bit a side note, or something like that. I once asked a question here about what is the present perfect more - present or past? https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =17&t=7550 And summing up, the answer was - present. At the time that was what I thought myself. But now I've started to wonder if for a native speaker without any language-learning background it's the past, or both, or maybe neither. I mean even though technically it's present, psychologically it might be not exactly the present.
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