Language of language. Verbs 2
Every field of study has it’s own language – languages are the same and unfortunately we trainers have the annoying habit (Unsitte) of using these words assuming (hier:voraussetzen) that everybody understands these words.
So let’s kick off 2018 with some little refreshers of common language jargon starting with verbs.
“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 MODEL verbs – e.g. be able/can/could, must/have to, should/ought to etc. They don’t use the ‘auxillary‘ verb in the question form either so you get …
“Can you stand on your head and …. ?“ “No I can’t do that“
Next up is the secret language of natives, the so-called phrasal verbs. I’ve talked about them a million and one times already, but should you have missed all those blogs and for the sake of completeness, here it is once again.
Let’s start with ‘to cancel‘. Everybody knows the phrase “I‘m afraid, I have to cancel today’s meeting …… ,“ apart from anything else because some people have brought it into German you are even starting to use ‚gecancelt‘ instead of ‘absagen‘.
‘to call a meeting (sth) off‘ is an example of a phrasal verb (verb + adverbial participle – excuse me!!!! – aka a preposition (OFF etc) and sometimes even with another preposition too e.g. (to look up to sb = to admire/respect sb) .
“I’m afraid, I have to call today‘s meeting off“ is another way of saying the same thing but ONLY natives or strong speakers of English would understand, let alone be able to use. Unfortunately, it’s a matter of ‚pure learning..the phrasal verb which goes with the ‘normal‘ English
Finally, here’s a bonus ball for you, you can give your cancelation a reason using a phrasal verb “ ……. because something has come up (dazwischengekommen)“
Tomorrow, there are 5 phrasal verbs to add to your arsenal!