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Just Love Words

Just ♥ Words — prepositional adverbs

Friday, 20 November 2009 11:04

grammar-policeEnglish—what a great language to have fun with!  Here’s a silly little grammatical conundrum for which I have no explanation . . . except that it’s idiomatic.  Nonetheless, rules are rules—and rules must be obeyed.

Don’t You Just ♥ Words?

You can say
Take the garbage out.  —or—  Take out the garbage.
And you can say
Take it out. —but not— Take out it.
___________

You can say
Butter Mom up.  —or—  Butter up Mom.
And you can say
Butter her up. —but not— Butter up her.
___________

You can say
Turn the lights on.  —or—  Turn on the lights.
And you can say
Turn them on. —but not— Turn on them.
  

Verbs and prepositional adverbs—you would think they’re like infinitive verbs—to be or not to be—you’re to never split one of those.  I mean “you’re never to split one.”  (But we all do.)

But prep-adverbs are different from infinitives. If you use a pronoun, you have to split them up”—not  ”split up them.”  Strange.

It's a wonder anyone ever learns English.

 

Just ♥ Words—section

Friday, 15 May 2009 11:13

sectionEnglish—what a great language to have fun with!  Below is a silly tongue-twister.  It’s a hoot when you say it fast.


Don’t You Just ♥ Words?

sects  |  section  |  sex  |  shun

Sects shun sex in this section.

Even harder . . .

In this section, sects shun sex.


I'm a grown woman
— and this is what I do for a living. Feel free to join in the fun. Leave a comment. Can you come up with any?  Think of it as brain exercise.

 

Just ♥ Words—it's all well and good

Friday, 20 March 2009 11:22

good-vs-well3
English—what a great language to have fun with! Here’s a funny quirk that struck my husband Pete—a numbers guy, who gets a kick out of language.

Don’t You Just ♥ Words?

You can say
This is good eating.  —or—  This is eating well.

But not
 This is well eating.  —or—  This is eating good.

Why?


Answer:  The top two sentences seem similar in meaning; after all, we often use “good” and “well” interchangably ... but we shouldn’t.

Actually the sentences have slightly different meanings, which has to do with how the word “eating” functions and the difference between adjectives and adverbs.

This is good eating  =  the food is tasty.
  "Eating" is a noun.
   Good is an adjective and precedes a noun—as in good book.

This is eating well  =  the food is healthy … or expensive & posh.
  "Is eating" is the verb...as in "This—the thing I do—is eat well."
   Well is an adverb and follows a verb.


So much for
niggling rules of grammar.  Is it a wonder anyone ever learns?

 

Just ♥ Words—knew

Tuesday, 13 January 2009 12:13

gnuEnglish—what a great language to have fun with!  Below are several homophones, words that sound alike but have different meanings and often spellings (a few liberties taken, I know).  Thanks for this one to my dear friend Gordon Higgins.


Don’t You Just ♥ Words? 

gnu  |   knew   |  new  |  nu 

Trapped in existential despair,
the new gnu knew he knew nada about nu.

Translation:
The young wildebeest realized he had
no understanding of the Greek letter N.


Great brain exercise.  Got one?  Let us know.

 

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