Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Silly English Language....

"Why do we say 'the alarm goes off' when the alarm actually comes on?" I've been helping a few ESL/NNS students (English Second Language/Non-Native Speaker) with some writing assignments lately, and I noticed that they tend to have trouble with prepositions. Being a native speaker of the English language, I don't often think about how idiosyncratic and idiomatic our language is. (Ohhh, big words!!) As a native speaker, I just know which preposition to use; I don't know why I use a given preposition instead of others, but I still know which one to use. Though I don't particularly like to just tell students the answers to their questions (I prefer to guide them on their search for the answers), I've given up on prepositions. I've resorted to the "It just sounds right, trust me" answer when confronted with questions concerning why we use certain prepositions in certain situations in favor of others....

1 comment:

lb said...

Never use a preposition to end a sentence with.