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The English Language

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Tutorials' started by Element of Water, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Element of Water

    Element of Water

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    The English Language


    A tutorial about how to use proper, understandable grammar when writing in English

    Introduction


    As a proud British person and native English speaker, I often get annoyed with people on internet forums writing in horribly broken English. dis is not how englis is rit wit bad gramer n wrds wid lods ov ltrs misng its rly hrd 4 u 2 rid n it rly pis me of. This is how English is written, with good grammar and words written out fully. It’s easy to read and it makes everyone happy. Even things like using apostrophes in the wrong place’s or not using them when you should or forming the past tense wrong, and plenty of other common mistakes, make writing difficult and frustrating to read.
    This tutorial will cover the aspects of the English language, and after you have read this tutorial, you will have no excuse to spk lik dis.

    Even if you are a native English speaker (especially if you’re American. Grrr.), you could still read this tutorial and get something out of it. I’ve seen plenty of English people using apostrophes for plurals.

    Note: This is not a tutorial to teach English to people who know little or no English already.

    Apostrophes


    Apostrophes (‘) are an important part of the English language. They indicate possession and they can shorten words to make your writing less formal. They are not used, along with an “s”, to make nouns plural, or to form the “you” form of most verbs.

    Possession


    The most important use of Apostrophes is to indicate possession. This is easily done. If want to say “The bag which belongs to the woman” or “The bag of the woman”, the way to write this using an apostrophe is, simply, “The woman’s bag”. The person or object it belongs to goes directly after the “The” or “A”, with an apostrophe and an “s” on the end, followed by the “owned” noun.

    Shortening Words


    This does not mean the kind of shortening that makes the writing unreadable. It’s just as much a part of English as in, for example, French, when “Je ai” becomes “J’ai”, etcetera.
    There are only a few word combinations which can be shortened in English, and these are generally subject pronouns (like “I”, “you”, “he”) followed by certain common irregular verbs such as “to be” or “to have”, or when verbs are made negative. Here is a list of every word combination which it is possible to shorten...

    Subject Pronoun + verb

    to be:
    • I am -> I’m
    • you are -> you’re
    • he is -> he’s
    • she is -> she’s
    • it is -> it’s
    • thing is -> thing’s (same for most nouns)
    • we are -> we’re
    • they are -> they’re (this is often written as “there”, which is a completely different word, and is definitely wrong)
    to have:
    • I have -> I’ve (this one’s tricky – you can’t shorten “I have a cow”, but you can shorten “I’ve got a cow” or “I’ve eaten a cow” – it’s only possible to shorten it if used with “got” or for the past tense)
    • you have -> you’ve (like with “I have”, you can only shorten this if used with “got” or past tense)
    • he has -> he’s (“got” past tense only)
    • she has -> she’s (“got” or past tense)
    • it has -> it’s (“got” or past tense)
    • we have -> we’ve (“got” or PT)
    • they have -> they’ve (“got” or PT)
    to be going to (will):
    • I will -> I’ll
    • you will -> you’ll
    • he will -> he’ll
    • she will -> she’ll
    • it will -> it’ll
    • we will -> we’ll
    • they will -> they’ll
    would (I don’t think “would” has an infinitive form...):
    • I would -> I’d
    • you would -> you’d
    • he would -> he’d
    • she would -> she’d
    • it would -> it’d
    • we would -> we’d
    • they would -> they’d

    Negative verbs:

    to be:
    • am not -> (this doesn’t really work, just say “I’m not”. If you must shorten “am not”, some dialects use “ain’t”)
    • are not -> aren’t
    • is not -> isn’t
    • was not -> wasn’t
    to do:
    • do not -> don’t
    • does not -> doesn’t
    • did not -> didn’t
    to be going to (will):
    • will not -> won’t
    to have:
    • have not -> haven’t
    • has not -> hasn’t
    • had not -> hadn’t
    to be able to:
    • can not -> can’t
    • could not -> couldn’t
    would:
    • would not -> wouldn’t
    to ought to:
    • should not -> shouldn’t

    That concludes Apostrophes. And remember, don’t just use them whenever you put an “s” on the end of a word!

    Plurals


    Plurals are not formed with apostrophe-“s”! None of them!

    Regular Plurals


    In order to make the majority of nouns plural, all you need to do is add an “s”. No apostrophes! “Cat” becomes “cats”, “dog” becomes “dogs”, “elephant” becomes “elephants”, “bottle” becomes “bottles”, “Giant man-eating squirrel from Wales” becomes “Giant man-eating squirrels from Wales”. Simplez.

    “X”, “S”, “O” and “I”s


    These are almost the same, only it’s hard to pronounce just a “s” following straight after another “s”. You need a letter in between. That letter is an “e”. “Pass” becomes “passes”, “fox” becomes “foxes”.

    “Y”s


    Don’t ask me why, but “Y”s are special. You replace the “y” with “ies” to make words ending with “y” plural. “Fly” becomes “flies”, “sky” becomes “skies”.

    Irregulars


    We all hate irregular words. They make languages hard. The only thing you can do is learn them all individually, as there are few patterns. Here is a short list of some of the more common ones:
    • child -> children
    • sheep/fish/deer -> sheep/fish/deer

    Verbs


    Verb conjugations in English, compared to most other languages, are relatively easy, but despite this, many people still get them wrong! Sure, there are a lot of irregular verbs, but no more than most other languages...

    Regular Present Tense


    This is the verb “to like” fully conjugated...

    • I like
      you like
      he/she/one/it likes (notice the extra “s”. The same rules as with forming plurals apply to adding the s)
      we like
      they like

    As you can see, only the he/she/one/it form deviates at all from the infinitive. How easy can it get?

    Past Tense


    The past tense is formed by either:
    • Subject pronoun + present tense conjugation of to have + past participle of verb
    • Subject pronoun + past tense conjugation of verb
    The former is used to describe a one-off action in the past (something that only happened once). The latter could be one-off, but could also describe a habitual, or recurring action.

    For all regular verbs, the past participles and past tense conjugations are the same. They are formed by adding “ed” to the end of the infinitive, so “kill” becomes “killed”. If the verb already ends with an “e”, just add “d”, so “love” becomes “loved”.

    If the verb ends with a short vowel sound such as “ah” (as opposed to a long vowel sound such as “ay”) followed by a single consonant, usually the same consonant is repeated before the “ed” is added, so “stop” becomes “stopped”, but “reap” simply becomes “reaped”, because “ea” is a long vowel sound.

    If the verb ends with a “y” which isn’t preceded by a vowel, the “y” is replaced with an “i” before the “ed” is added, so “cry” becomes “cried”, but “destroy” simply becomes “destroyed”.

    Future Tense


    The future tense is easy. It is formed with either...
    • Subject pronoun + present tense of “to be” + “going” + infinitive
    • Subject pronoun + will + infinitive (without the “to”)
    You don’t really need to worry about which one you use. It’s hard to explain the difference.

    Irregular Verbs


    Just what everyone loves! I’ll list a few, not including verbs already listed above in the apostrophe section.

    to make:
    • made (past participle)
    • made (past tense conjugation)
    to eat:
    • eaten (past participle)
    • ate (past tense conjugation)
    to drink:
    • drunk (past participle)
    • drank (past tense conjugation)
    to go:
    • gone (past participle)
    • went (past tense conjugation)
    to be (I hadn’t listed the past tense conjugation yet):
    • been (past tense conjugation)

    Conclusion


    That concludes my "tutorial" on the English language. Please note that this tutorial in no way covers every aspect of English grammar, as that would need a huge manual to cover, but it does cover the mistakes most people usually make.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  2. Mulgrim

    Mulgrim

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    wow i didn't think you'd really do it, good job.
     
  3. shiiK

    shiiK

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    Neatly done. The formatting of your tutorial could use some tweaks though - there's a few lists that haven't become lists, and a few of the line-breaks are rather odd. Don't forget people use different resolutions, manually making line-breaks because it is the end of your screen looks ugly for people with broader screens, and even worse for people with narrower ones because they get an extra line-break before a tiny sentence broken off by your manual line-break. Good job though!
     
  4. WherewolfTherewolf

    WherewolfTherewolf

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    For the good of all who are involved in wc3 mapping, someone approve this right away
     
  5. Element of Water

    Element of Water

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    @shiiK
    I haven't manually made line breaks except for new paragraphs. It looks ugly on my screen too... I don't know what's wrong with it.
     
  6. Darkness-4ever

    Darkness-4ever

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    Wow... just... wow...

    I like how the name of the thread has the first 2 letters of ENglish in caps, almost made me think this was for irony.
     
  7. Element of Water

    Element of Water

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    Lol. That was a mistake. I changed the post title as soon as I noticed it, although unfortunately I can't change the actual name of the thread... but whatever, maybe you're right, it could add effect.
     
  8. azlier

    azlier

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    Best tutorial I've ever seen.

    Sadly I don't think it counts as a WC3 tutorial.
     
  9. Element of Water

    Element of Water

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    Thanks :D

    In my defense, there are other tutorials in the Misc section that don't actually directly relate to Warcraft III, such as "Creating an intricate plot for an RPG". This tutorial will certainly help with mapping when it comes to writing tooltips, etc.
     
  10. HappyTauren

    HappyTauren

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    Definitely approvable.
     
  11. ap0calypse

    ap0calypse

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    Awesome.
    I've seen plenty of people who really need this.

    There are a few problems with the BB-codes though (only some list-tags as far as I've seen) and there are a few enters that shouldn't be there (sometimes you use enter in the middle of a sentence, making it a bit confusing).

    That's why the "Misc"-category exists I assume...
    My tutorial about how to create a good description isn't a real warcraft-related tutorial either (though I do mention a few things about in-game descriptions), but it got approved anyway ^^
     
  12. WherewolfTherewolf

    WherewolfTherewolf

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    Ahh I see, Element did this up in NotePad then copy/pasted it here, which causes the annoying random enters
     
  13. HappyTauren

    HappyTauren

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    Only if you enable WORD WRAP. Disable and paste again.
     
  14. Darkness-4ever

    Darkness-4ever

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    Fix the random line breaks in the middle of some of your sentences and this may have a chance at being approved.
     
  15. Element of Water

    Element of Water

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    Fixed all line break stuff by copying it from notepad without word wrap like HappyTauren said, also added a short conclusion.
     
  16. Darkness-4ever

    Darkness-4ever

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    Alright, looks good, wonder if hawk900 will approve.
     
  17. cookies4you

    cookies4you

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    OMFG YOUR BRITISH??!!!


    very good tutorial. you could use this to trick a college boss into allowing you to teach english
     
  18. Element of Water

    Element of Water

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  19. WherewolfTherewolf

    WherewolfTherewolf

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    Someone approve this.....now
     
  20. Darkness-4ever

    Darkness-4ever

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    Quickly pester hawk900 with PMs!!!