So you had your 10 day YouTube challenge, which I hope gave you lots of ideas for new ‘listen & learn’ places. Now it’s time for a 50 day challenge! Yes, you read that correctly – 5-0 is 50, to kick off the new decade with the Teatime Titbit: THE GREAT GROW YOUR GRAMMAR CHALLENGE. Grow your grammar (GYG) for short.
No beating about the bush, let’s dive straight into DAY 1 – The language of VERBS. Every field of study has its own language – languages are the same and unfortunately we trainers have the annoying habit of using these words assuming that everybody understands these words.
Verbs are those ‘do‘ words and we conjugate them according to tense etc. The‘ infinitive‘ aka main verb form e.g. ‘to go‘ changes to past tense form ‘went‘(2nd column in your dictionary) and the past participle form i.e. gone (3rd column in your dictionary).
There are also auxiliary aka helping verbs (be, have, do etc), which help to form questions or make up the ‘short answer form‘ or question tags (aren’t you?, isn’t he?, don’t you? Etc).
“I don’t can do that“ is a common mistake I hear, which makes every sense to any learner of English – you need the ‘do not‘ form to make a negative in English. Unfortunately, this rule doesn’t apply to some of the most important verbs in English, i.e. the MODAL verbs – e.g. be able/can/could, must/have to, should/ought to etc. They don’t use the ‘auxiliary‘ verb in the question form either so you get … “Can you stand on your head and …. ?“ “No, I can’t do that.“
Let’s call it a day with verbs! Hope it helped. Unfortunately, that was just the easy bit! Check out tomorrow’s double Tuesday Teasers – Know your grammar terms?
So here’s a little list to recap and help you build your own language of language list.
auxiliary = helping verb (Hilfsverb)
to conjugate (konjugieren, beugen)
infinitive = main verb form (Grundform)
modal verb (Modalverb)
past participle (Zweites Partizip)
question tag (Bestätigungsfrage)
tense = (Zeitform)
to beat about the bush (um den heißen Brei reden), annoying habit (Unsitte), to assume (hier: voraussetzen), according to (gemaß), to (rule) apply (hier: eine Regel anwenden), i.e. (d.h), „Let’s call it a day“ (aufhören), recap (Zusammenfassung),