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Grammar trees

Discussion in 'Personal' started by pstbx2, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. pstbx2

    pstbx2 New commenter

    Any one head of this would be interested to know how to create one and use it correctly
    Thanks Sue Williams
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I have heard of it. Now.

    I googled it. It looks to me like a mind-numbingly boring way to learn to communicate clearly in varying contexts. Also probably ineffective for a speaker whose first language is English.
  3. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    I think they're not used so much for learning to communicate clearly but for analysing the grammatical structure of our communications. Users of English tend to be hopeless at that and struggle to identify much beyond nouns and verbs (sometimes not even them... :confused:)
  4. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    wots a noun he says?
  5. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    Wots rong with naming words & doing words!
  6. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    Actually, in that case, I think it's an adjective.
  7. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    On second thoughts, in that case it's a pronoun. (I think... :))
  8. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Reminds me of the hours in the calls when my year 6 used to plow through grammatical exercises from a grammar book..they used to like doing that copying an putting in the correct words...it was so easy to mark as well lol
  9. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    I learnt most of my grammar at school in Latin lessons. Our English teacher tended to focus on other stuff.
  10. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    We had grammar drilled into us in P7!
    racroesus likes this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    A native speaker shouldn't learn by rote. Errors can be corrected. Mind you, an error depends upon context. "I ain't doing that." If you're joshing with a colleague about accompanying them in assembly on a tambourine then it's perfectly acceptable. If you're talking to the HT and declining to do after-school clubs 3 days a week maybe not so much.

    Grammar is as grammar does. Lots of people will never use more complicated grammatical constructions and others will naturally make few errors because of the influence of their parents. Horses for courses.

    The boredom factor for kids whose command of English is excellent is through the roof. And that's a lot of children!
  12. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    I think there's a difference between spoken and written language.

    It's through the former that we tend to learn to use language. "Mistakes" don't matter so long as one's meaning is transmitted effectively because it's ephemeral and there is usually no permanent record of what was said. Also, the immediate responses involved in spoken language mean that you tend to tailor your language to the individual situation. Spoken language is a lot more fluid and creative. It also involves issues of personal empowerment; poeople "own" the spoken language that they use.

    On the other hand, it's a lot more difficult to mark so, in schools, we tend to concentrate more on written language.
  13. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Even spoken language benefits from a good knowledge of how to structure a sentence.
    That's not to say these trees are the way to teach it. I struggle to see sometimes why learning all these terms (almost a language in itself) and being able to identify parts of a sentence at that level helps to improve that knowledge.
    ScotSEN and grumpydogwoman like this.
  14. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    But I think we develop that knowledge naturally by using the language. It doesn't need to be taught in a formal manner.
  15. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It's one of the most common errors amongst native speakers. Perhaps THE most common. @lapinrose

    It has become so widespread that I think it may become the accepted usage within 50 years. In times when writing was the prerogative of the educated the correct usage remained unchallenged.

    Now everyone has a mobile and texts, tweets and blogs that may cease to be the case and 'should of' will overtake the proper form very quickly. The written language is now ubiquitous and there is nobody to correct errors. Consequently the errors will become embedded and normalised.

    What might currently be regarded as demotic English will become SE. This is particularly true since most speakers of English are not English and don't have English as a first language.

    The future of English is in the hands of BRIC. Brazil, Russia, India, China. Such is the pace of change that I might already be behindhand in my analysis of the major players.
  17. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    I think it's an individual thing. Some people find the way language works interesting and can spend many happy hours wandering through dictionaries, exploring etymology and discovering new words. Others couldn't care less (though they're just as able to use language effectively.)

    It's a bit like the difference between people who are fascinated by cars and how they work and people who just want to use the things to get from one place to another.
    ScotSEN likes this.
  18. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    That being said GDW, the source of poor grammar and usage is not attributable to texting and social media abbreviated text-speak. There is no evidence that proves conclusively that there is much cross-over. (See David Crystal's v. John Humphrys' views on this and not the respective publications who chose to represent their respective views).
    I'm with Cute, it's about aptitude. I did well in Latin at school being taught in the same class in the same way as others who did far worse. I certainly was no slogger. Rarely completed work or did homework. I "got" it and It just appealed to me and I could see the patterns in my own and other languages too.
    If there were a formula, (note correct use of the English subjunctive there) someone would have cashed in on it by now.
    Grammar trees are not much use.
    Descriptive grammar alone does not make you a better speaker or writer. Exposure to constant correct usage and enthusiastic teaching by people who really use English correctly and confidently is the key. The new curriculum does not deliver that.
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Yes, I did try to say as much in Post 11. If usage and exposure are important in forming good habits however it makes sense to suggest that constantly hearing 'should of' will have an effect on speakers and listeners. The importance of the earliest years is crucial and it may be that having parents who speak grammatically is the single biggest factor in developing good habits.

    We shall see.

    This is what happened to Latin as it was disseminated throughout the Roman world. It was the alpha-language and adopted by provincials far and wide. This process however resulted in modifications and (almost always) simplifications which would have made Cicero rend his garments. It is widely held to be a linguistic phenomenon that prevails globally.
    ScotSEN likes this.

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