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Alex Shepherd
14-12-09, 12:13
Anybody who have a serious problem with grammar or English language can share it here if you want... But I am gonna have many questions to ask for and ready to learn English from ummm (TRF members) :p

Anyway...

The vowel letters as it had been said (A,E,I,O,U and Y)

So we add an to it the first time before the...
Question: We add a or an according to the pronounciation? Or according to the writing?

For example S.U.T
an S.U.T since it is pronounced as (ES YOU TEE) or a S.U.T?! Since it begins with S unvoweled letter?

Another example for an hour... I always say an hour whenever I type is it wrong?

Second question according to the adding words...

Join these two groups together... My teacher always tell me to never put this sentence like that... just to put the word "join" without "together" because its impposible to join the groups each one alone but together without even saying it...
I have 2 twins - I have twin

My teacher gave us this example to clear it out...
Followed for the 1st one
I have 2 twins means I have 4 babies (2+2)

But followed by the 2nd
I have twin (means I have 2 babies)
So its wrong to say 2, people will already get it if you say twin, because if you said 2 twins that means you have 4...

So for the first question and the second question, are the answers right?
And I wish I could know more about these if someone interested to teach me and I am his student for free :D

:ton:


Thank you...

Raider Man

Rivendell
14-12-09, 12:20
Yeah, you're right on both counts. :tmb:

'An' will always come before a word that starts with a vowel, whereas 'a' will come before those that start with a consonant. (It's done by pronunciation rather than spelling though, apparently.)

An apple
An elephant
An insect
An open door
...

A ball
A coconut
A door

..

Plus you're right about the number of twins. '2 twins' means 4, 'Twins' means two.

LightningRider
14-12-09, 12:21
Okay..

1st question: Yes you have to place an before a Vowel, and a before a Consonant (see?)

There are some exceptions like an Hour, but there only a few, I don't knwo if it's related to the sound though.

Second, yes, twins will mean 2 children who look the same, 2 twins means well, it actually means you have two children that look the same, and another pair of children that look the same, but the pair of twins are different looking. Get it?

If not, let's say you have twins that were born first, then you have twins that are born later, but don't look the same as the first twins. Then you have 2 twins. :D

ShadyCroft
14-12-09, 12:21
Hmmm, don't have any English language problem as far as I know. :o I've been into English ever since I was young and I was pretty Westernized as I grew up. Even when I was around 7 or 8, all I ever watched on TV was English, songs and everything.

Regarding your first question, yes, you do add the "an" according to the pronunciation. I mean that if the first letter as you said is pronounced as one of the vowels (or is a vowel as well), the word is preceded by an "an". If its a constant then you use "a"
an easy example showing this is the one you mentioned.
A House
An Hour. :)
you'll find exceptions though am sure.


As for "Join", using join without together makes much more sense, but it is used in our daily speeches and slang talk, but yes, logically when you join 2 things, they would be together anyways.
Its like when you say in Arabic..اجمع الرقمين مع بعض
I'm pretty sure you've heard it a thousand times. Its used and its no big mistake...maybe if you wanna talk to a philosopher it is. :p

as for twins, yes...saying you have 2 twins means 4, just like saying I have a pair (one pair made of 2 things) and 2 pairs (4 things but grouped in 2)


Edit: I just thought of something that confused me before, but I just looked it up. Its the difference between "toward" and "towards".

http://thewritersbag.com/writing-rules/toward-or-towards

LightningRider
14-12-09, 12:41
Both are acceptable, it depends if you prefer to use Towards (The More Brit Common) or Toward (The More American Common). :)

Dennis's Mom
14-12-09, 13:05
I would probably say that I have two sets of twins.

Since one can be a twin without being part of a set, you see? So you could have two twins, but not two matched sets. You could have one of each set--two individuals who are each twins (but not of the same set.)

That's probably over thinking it, especially since multiple set of twins in the same family are rare. But what if you collect salt and pepper shakers? :D

LightningRider
14-12-09, 13:09
I would probably say that I have two sets of twins.

Since one can be a twin without being part of a set, you see? So you could have two twins, but not two matched sets. You could have one of each set--two individuals who are each twins (but not of the same set.)

That's probably over thinking it, especially since multiple set of twins in the same family are rare. But what if you collect salt and pepper shakers? :D

That's what I said! :vlol:

Legend 4ever
14-12-09, 13:11
That's actually one of the things that drive me crazy when people don't do the right way. I always want to kill someone when I see "a idiot", "an crazy man". Just say it, for god's sake, and you will feel that there is something wrong.

ShadyCroft
14-12-09, 13:12
^ same here. :vlol: well, I wouldn't feel like killing them, but am like "err, it seriously doesn't sound right !"

LightningRider
14-12-09, 13:18
I correct them, I'm a Grammar Freak. :p

EscondeR
14-12-09, 13:20
There are some exceptions like an Hour, but there only a few, I don't knwo if it's related to the sound though.


Because "H" is not vocalized in "hour" :wve:

Dennis's Mom
14-12-09, 13:54
Because "H" is not vocalized in "hour" :wve:

Exactly. It's tied to the initial sound of the word. If the word begins with a consonant that isn't voiced, you will use "an" instead of "a".

LightningRider
14-12-09, 14:06
Thanks, I was wondering about it. My teacher has never cleared it up. :tea:

ShadyCroft
14-12-09, 14:32
ahem !

...you do add the "an" according to the pronunciation. I mean that if the first letter as you said is pronounced as one of the vowels...

:p:o:D

LightningRider
14-12-09, 14:39
Yeah, I meant you too Shady. :D

Trigger_happy
14-12-09, 15:01
I didn't think 'Y' was a proper vowel? It follows some of the rules- don't know which really, since I'm so stupid I'm basically illiterate, but I don't think its officially a vowel.

You still say 'a yacht' don't you?

LightningRider
14-12-09, 15:07
Yeah, I don't think it's a vowel. It' still a consonant as far as I remember. :)

Dennis's Mom
14-12-09, 15:36
It can be both a vowel and a consonant. It serves as a vowel most often at the ends of words like "happy", adding that "ee" sound.

When it produces the glide sound, like in "you", it serves as a consonant.

I think when I was young I learned the vowels as "a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y," but I don't think anyone would argue leaving it off the list too vociferously.

Trigger_happy
14-12-09, 15:40
I knew 'Y' counts as the vowel in worlds like fly, but I didn't realise it can be classed by the sound it makes too.

LightningRider
14-12-09, 15:43
Oh cool. Maybe I can ask my teacher that tomorrow. :)

Dennis's Mom
14-12-09, 16:10
English has 42(?) distinct sounds. If you study the International Phonetic Alphabet, each sound will have one symbol or way of expressing the sound. Since there are only 26 letters in the English alphabet, some do double duty for sounds like "y."

This is kind of cool: http://www.stuff.co.uk/calcul_nd.htm

Note the "glide" sound of y is "j". :D

Mytly
14-12-09, 19:57
English has 42(?) distinct sounds.
Depending on the dialect, of course. If you take into consideration even just all the official varieties, like British English, American English, Australian English, etc., there are many more sounds (phonemes). And if you get into unofficial dialects ... well, the sky's the limit. ;)

jackles
14-12-09, 20:04
I teach synthetic phonics, I am trying to find an image of the sound chart we use.

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t265/jackles_photos/9780198460473.jpg



I know it is a bit small..but the top section is consonant sounds and the bottom vowel sounds.

Dennis's Mom
14-12-09, 20:14
I don't think the number of sounds increases, only how they're put together. The long dipthong for "I" is still only one sound regardless of whether it appears "correctly" in a word like "icing" or "incorrectly" in a dialect where a word like "bait" sounds more like "bite." It's the same sound and would be written in IPA with the same symbol (aɪ). The combinations, though, are endless, and the more foreign words we appropriate into our ever growing language will make a difference too, I'm sure.

That's a cool chart. I had a semester of IPA in college, and we didn't deal with anything but the most basic English sounds. There's a lot of subtle detail you can get into, I think. I think kids should learn the IPA instead of the weird dictionary phonics we have in our American dictionaries. I know it helped me when looking up words in my French English dictionary.

jackles
14-12-09, 20:25
We have found that teaching kids the system we use has dramatically increased the kids literacy. They learn the sounds before they start reading properly with catchy sayings like ''ay' may I play?' or ''ou' shout it out!' to fix it in their heads.

Understanding how words are made really helps.

Mytly
14-12-09, 20:37
I don't think the number of sounds increases, only how they're put together.
The number of sounds does increase if certain dialects differentiate between sounds that are homophonous (i.e. sound the same) in other dialects - or vice versa. For example, in Indian English, there is no difference between W and V, so wine and vine sound alike, but there is a distinct difference between W and WH, so that wine and whine sound different, even though many American and British dialects don't have this distinction.

In any case, what I meant in my previous post is that all the sounds in all the dialects of English - official or otherwise - would add up to a lot more than 42. ;)

Alex Shepherd
14-12-09, 22:04
Thank you all :hug:

That's actually one of the things that drive me crazy when people don't do the right way. I always want to kill someone when I see "a idiot", "an crazy man". Just say it, for god's sake, and you will feel that there is something wrong.

Are you my English teacher? :eek: :eek: I didn't know that you love Tomb Raider too...

I correct them, I'm a Grammar Freak. :p

MY teacher :hug: (since I hate teachers :whi: but :hug:)

Raider Man

jackles
14-12-09, 22:16
And what exactly is wrong with teachers, young man?




*glares*

Alex Shepherd
02-02-10, 23:33
LOL!! I am kidding... Except that :whi: they are looking for troubles...

Anyway... English exam is soon to come, and I need help from you guys about writing, if anybody of you already know my posts, wish you can help me and tell me what are the most repeated things I do which are wrong...

+

I need a website that can tell me new vocabularies, new words...
It that I don't like saying happy happy happy all the time
But a new words "Hiliarious etc..."

Hope anybody would help me :wve: and thank you guys alot

Love2Raid
02-02-10, 23:43
I think you need to work a bit on your punctuation. :p
I know it's hard, since I do it wrong all the time as well. :o

Anyway, try Google Translate. Just type a word in your own language, translate to English and voilà! :D
Another option is a 'thesaurus' (just google the word 'thesaurus' and see what you find).

Spong
02-02-10, 23:52
If you're looking for alternate words that mean the same thing, like L2R said, Google "Thesaurus". Try looking for "Synonyms" too ;)

Dustie
03-02-10, 00:02
This an and a thing, just to be sure... Judging by phrases such as 'An American Family' (a family) or 'a big elephant' (an elephant) the first word takes over, correct? Or is this due to what kind of word we're dealing with?

Capt. Murphy
03-02-10, 00:24
There is one word that comes to my mind that fuses 2 words. Another. You don't write/type An other. That would put emphasis on the 'O' sound for the word Other.

This an and a thing, just to be sure... Judging by phrases such as 'An American Family' (a family) or 'a big elephant' (an elephant) the first word takes over, correct? Or is this due to what kind of word we're dealing with? I think I understand... The 1st word that proceeds the 2nd word will be dependent on the 2nd.

The letter A comes before words that begin with a hard/consonant sound. In the sentence I just made - I had "a hard/consonant", but that is a habit most Americans have gotten into because almost all of us consider the 'H' sound as a hard/pronounced sound like any other consonant. I suppose to be absolutely perfect about it - I could've wrote it like "an hard/consonant". But that sounds weird to most Americans. :)

Edit: On the other hand... I, personally, say an herb. But that's because I don't really pronounce the breathy 'H' sound when saying the word herb. So it's not always about what letter is at the beginning of a word - but what sound you make when you say it.

Anyway... The word an comes before words that have a soft/vowel sound.

Also, using A or An describes a singular thing.... It's a bit complicated.

Take this phrase: "There is a group waiting outside." The group is the singular thing. So that's why we use A before it. And the letter g for the word group is a consonant.

And this phrase: "There is an automobile in the driveway." There is only 1 automobile - so that lets us use the word an. And auto... starts with a vowel sound.

Alex Shepherd
03-02-10, 17:47
There is one word that comes to my mind that fuses 2 words. Another. You don't write/type An other. That would put emphasis on the 'O' sound for the word Other.

I think I understand... The 1st word that proceeds the 2nd word will be dependent on the 2nd.

The letter A comes before words that begin with a hard/consonant sound. In the sentence I just made - I had "a hard/consonant", but that is a habit most Americans have gotten into because almost all of us consider the 'H' sound as a hard/pronounced sound like any other consonant. I suppose to be absolutely perfect about it - I could've wrote it like "an hard/consonant". But that sounds weird to most Americans. :)

Edit: On the other hand... I, personally, say an herb. But that's because I don't really pronounce the breathy 'H' sound when saying the word herb. So it's not always about what letter is at the beginning of a word - but what sound you make when you say it.

Anyway... The word an comes before words that have a soft/vowel sound.

Also, using A or An describes a singular thing.... It's a bit complicated.

Take this phrase: "There is a group waiting outside." The group is the singular thing. So that's why we use A before it. And the letter g for the word group is a consonant.

And this phrase: "There is an automobile in the driveway." There is only 1 automobile - so that lets us use the word an. And auto... starts with a vowel sound.

Exactly :tmb: We depend on the vowel sound and not the vowel letter :tmb:

Another example about this:

S.M.S
We do not really use a for this word S.M.S
a S.M.S because the first word we say is EH

ES EM ES so it's an S.M.S ;)

Love2Raid
03-02-10, 18:27
It's an XBOX, right?

chriss99
03-02-10, 18:36
It's an XBOX, right?

It sure is :)

Alex here is a Free Online Dictionary which I find quite useful.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/

toxicraider
03-02-10, 18:41
This an and a thing, just to be sure... Judging by phrases such as 'An American Family' (a family) or 'a big elephant' (an elephant) the first word takes over, correct? Or is this due to what kind of word we're dealing with?

Yup, the first word takes precedence, because that is the sound that comes straight after the a/an



Edit: On the other hand... I, personally, say an herb. But that's because I don't really pronounce the breathy 'H' sound when saying the word herb. So it's not always about what letter is at the beginning of a word - but what sound you make when you say it.

Yeah, some people don't pronounce the H in Historian and Hotel, so would write 'an hotel', but this is rather old fashioned.

The vowel letters as it had been said (A,E,I,O,U and Y)

So we add an to it the first time before the...
Y sounds are considering consonants. We would say 'a european, a user', as they have a y sound. No english words start with Y as a vowel (Only foreign words such as 'an Ytterbium supply').

Spong
03-02-10, 18:44
Yeah, some people don't pronounce the H in Historian and Hotel, so would write 'an hotel', but this is rather old fashioned.

It's not old-fashioned, it's grammatically correct to write it that way and to pronounce it as 'an otel' or 'an istorian'

Love2Raid
03-02-10, 18:45
It sure is :)

Alex here is a Free Online Dictionary which I find quite useful.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/
Haha, thanks very much! :hug:

freeze10108
04-02-10, 05:54
Anyway... English exam is soon to come

If you're looking for some material to help you review for your exam, the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/) has lots of resources for people learning English. For improving your vocabulary, you could use the Dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com)—one of my favorite dictionaries—Word of the Day (http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday) which will be sent to your email every day! They have a Daily Crossword (http://dictionary.reference.com/fun/crossword/index.html) that could prove useful as well.

Also, feel free to PM me about any questions you may have, and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability. ;)

spikejones
04-02-10, 06:26
Okay..

1st question: Yes you have to place an before a Vowel, and a before a Consonant (see?)

There are some exceptions like an Hour, but there only a few, I don't knwo if it's related to the sound though.

Second, yes, twins will mean 2 children who look the same, 2 twins means well, it actually means you have two children that look the same, and another pair of children that look the same, but the pair of twins are different looking. Get it?

If not, let's say you have twins that were born first, then you have twins that are born later, but don't look the same as the first twins. Then you have 2 twins. :D
I have serious issues with some of this, not directly at you in particular LR - just the general way things are being taught.

1. ignore all together the spelling of the noun/pronoun/adjective when using "A" or "An". The usage of these indefinite articles are based upon pronunciation rather than the beginning of the letter. They may teach it for beginners one way, however practical applications ignore the beginning letter's type. The English language has many "rules" which are not concrete. This is one of those rules. Go by what the word sounds like (think about it as it is spoken, as that is the prime medium of communication after all).

If the word has a consonant sound at the beginning, you use "A"
If the word has a vowel sound at the beginning you use "An"

Y is not always vowel, at least from my teaching. However at this current moment in time I am hard pressed to find a word where the sound of the letter y (or any syllable containing it) is pronounce with occlusion. Perhaps words that start with the letter Y may have slight occlusion, but not complete occlusion such as the other consonants. For instance you would not say "an yellow car" thinking that because y is supposed to be a vowel, you use "an". In this case, you would say "a yellow car"

2. The general grammar of the statement "I have 2 twins" is just wrong. If you were to say "I have a twin" you would be saying that you have a sibling that was in the womb with you at the same time. If you say "I have twins," this would refer to your own children - you have 2 children that shared a womb. The sentence "I have 2 twins" is misleading at best as it may be interpreted as meaning that you were one of a set of triplets. Although grammatically incorrect since twin refers to a pair (twin beds, twin engines, etc), many people may assume that to be the case. I can not however think of anyone that would assume you were the parent to 2 sets of twins.

It's not old-fashioned, it's grammatically correct to write it that way and to pronounce it as 'an otel' or 'an istorian'

not in my region's accent. we would say "A hoe-tell" rather than "an oh-tell"

chriss99
04-02-10, 08:11
The form of an is used before words beginning with a vowel, like a, e, i ,o, u or words beginning with a mute h(but I do think it depends on the dialect)

Examples:

an apple, an island, an uncle, an egg, an onion, an hour

It is also used with individual letters spoken with a vowel sound:

an MP, an SOS, an "x"