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kawyn
December 13th, 2010, 10:04
Or hardly studied English.

I have been marking a lot of work that has "I studied English hard" or "I played baseball hard"

"I studied hard" or "I worked hard" is correct but you can't add something between the "studied" and "hard" right? I have never herad of anything like that before I came to Japan.

The problem is, even my JTEs seem to think it is correct and when I googled it, I got gems like this:

Since I didn't study English hard in school, I don't understand it well.
(学生のころ一生懸命勉強しなかったので、英語はよくわかりません)
the link is here: Grammar Reference (http://www.alc.co.jp/myalc/wlsdata/bpr/grammar_v/grule13.html)

Seriously, this doesnt make sense right?
How do I explain this to people here without pulling my hair out?

Antonath
December 13th, 2010, 10:33
I think it comes out to something like "I studied hard at English". The problem comes because "English" and "hard" are different parts of speech. One is what you studied, the other is how you studied. The two can be used in the same place, but not combined.

kawyn
December 13th, 2010, 10:39
Thanks Ant!
Other replies will be greatly appriciated!

word
December 13th, 2010, 11:12
I'm not sure why you're considering this to be incorrect. "Hard" is an adverb here; while I personally hate this usage of the word in this context (it sounds stupid to me), it's not technically incorrect.

Take this example:

"I studied English diligently."

Makes sense, right? You understand that "diligently" is describing how you studied, not "English." However, as adverbs, "hard" and "diligently" are synonyms.

"I beat the student mercilessly."

This example works the same way--"mercilessly" modifies "beating;" it describes how you were beating the student. You could move "mercilessly" around a bit ("I mercilessly beat the student"), but if you place it anywhere after the verb, it MUST be after the direct object ("I beat mercilessly the student" obviously doesn't work).

I don't like it, but honestly, I don't know that I could consider "I studied English hard" to be incorrect.


"I cooked rice well."
"I shit my pants suddenly."
"I raped my JTE happily."
"I banned mothy laughingly."
"I ran over a naked Irishman accidentally."

Etc. The adverb might work better when placed in front of the verb, but it does technically work when used as in these examples.

kawyn
December 13th, 2010, 14:14
Thanks word!

I get what you mean and it is part of the Engrish curriculum.

I would have replaced the hard with alot
I practiced the piano hard
私は一生懸命ピアノをれんしゅしました。
"I put a lot of effort in practicing the piano". Therefore, "I practice the piano a lot" would not only make better sense, it would not make my ears and eyes bleed (as badly).

"I played the piano hard"
also conjurs up the image of striking piano keys hard rather than putting a lot of effort into playing the piano?

word
December 13th, 2010, 14:23
"I played the piano hard"
also conjurs up the image of striking piano keys hard rather than putting a lot of effort into playing the piano?Yeah, I think this is the real nature of the problem--it's not that "hard" is being used incorrectly as an adverb; it's just not particularly appropriate, in my opinion, because it has implication of vigorous physical exertion. On the other hand, I'm sympathetic to the JTEs, because it's a lot easier to teach the word "hard" than it is to teach the word "diligently," etc.

Antonath
December 13th, 2010, 18:04
"I studied English diligently."

"I beat the student mercilessly."

"I cooked rice well."
"I shit my pants suddenly."
"I raped my JTE happily."
"I banned mothy laughingly."
"I ran over a naked Irishman accidentally."
To my untrained eye, there's a difference there; the -ly form (which I believe is the infinitive, as in split infinitive, as in "going boldly"). Note that of all of those, cooking rice well is the only one that feels wrong.

word
December 13th, 2010, 18:56
Really?

"She cooks chicken well."
"He plays baseball well."
"They know this area very well."

To me, it sounds fine. Why does it "feel wrong" to you? Can you clarify?

Let's look at some other examples that don't end in -ly. Take a comparative adverb, for example:

"He pushed the girl on the swing even higher." Simplified, it works out to "He pushed [her] higher." Still works.

Or just a regular ol' "non-ly" adverb:

"I drove my car straight toward the naked Irishman." Simplified, it works out to "I drove [it] straight." "Straight" is the adverb. Still works.

Now all that's left is for 3ngrishsensei to pop on here and disagree with me.

Antonath
December 13th, 2010, 20:20
Really?

"She cooks chicken well."
"He plays baseball well."
"They know this area very well."

To me, it sounds fine. Why does it "feel wrong" to you? Can you clarify?

Let's look at some other examples that don't end in -ly. Take a comparative adverb, for example:

"He pushed the girl on the swing even higher." Simplified, it works out to "He pushed [her] higher." Still works.

Or just a regular ol' "non-ly" adverb:

"I drove my car straight toward the naked Irishman." Simplified, it works out to "I drove [it] straight." "Straight" is the adverb. Still works.

Now all that's left is for 3ngrishsensei to pop on here and disagree with me.
Yeah, but you wouldn't say "I drove my car toward the naked Irishman straight".

I get what your saying, but it still sounds a little strange. I think it's confusion over whether you did a good job of cooking, or whether you cooked the rice (etc) thoroughly.

word
December 13th, 2010, 20:54
Yeah, but you wouldn't say "I drove my car toward the naked Irishman straight".Of course not, because "the naked Irishman" isn't the direct object. "My car" is. "Toward the naked Irishman" is a prepositional phrase that describes the direction you drove (as an independent phrase, it acts as an adverb, interestingly enough, modifying "drove"). It must be considered separately from the subject, verb, and direct object, however.

Edit: I see; you're wondering why (assuming you're treating "toward the naked Irishman" as an adverb) you can't rearrange the adverbs. The prepositional phrase always comes after other modifying adverbs, maybe? I'm not sure, honestly. I'll have to read up on it.


I get what your saying, but it still sounds a little strange. I think it's confusion over whether you did a good job of cooking, or whether you cooked the rice (etc) thoroughly.I understand, but I think that's only because "well" has an alternate meeting that can be associated with preparation of food. In the other examples,


"He plays baseball well."
"They know this area very well."...this meaning doesn't come into play, so it works.

"I know him really well."
"I taught the class well."
"She sucks my dick really well."

Etc.

Taurus
December 15th, 2010, 08:36
To my untrained eye, there's a difference there; the -ly form (which I believe is the infinitive, as in split infinitive, as in "going boldly"). Note that of all of those, cooking rice well is the only one that feels wrong.

I think you need to brush up on your infinitives. The infinitive form is the uninflected form of the verb - ie. 'to go' - and the split infinitive is, according to wikipedia, a 'construction in which a word or phrase, usually an adverb or adverbial phrase, comes between the marker to and the bare infinitive (uninflected) form of a verb' - ie. 'to boldly go', which some style pedants would argue ought to be 'to go boldly'.

Antonath
December 15th, 2010, 09:06
*Slaps forehead* Thank you. I knew that (honestly!), but my brain farted.

Jordan
December 17th, 2010, 21:46
"I played the piano hard"
also conjurs up the image of striking piano keys hard rather than putting a lot of effort into playing the piano?
Or you're a wacky experimental jazz pianist.


Yeah, I think this is the real nature of the problem--it's not that "hard" is being used incorrectly as an adverb; it's just not particularly appropriate, in my opinion, because it has implication of vigorous physical exertion. On the other hand, I'm sympathetic to the JTEs, because it's a lot easier to teach the word "hard" than it is to teach the word "diligently," etc.
It may also be a slight cultural variance. You guys have said, on occasion, that your Japanese colleagues put emphasis on working/staying in long hours until they're exhausted and that some kids are in school so long that they fall asleep in class. It may be that physicial exertion is more directed expected where you are claiming to put effort in.

I'm probably reading too much into things. It's vastly more likely that hard is an easier word to teach than diligently, thoroughly or other expressions of dedication.

arcthemonkey
December 28th, 2010, 13:43
I've mentioned things like this to my JTEs a few times, and the answer I got made a lot of sense.

I would point out things that, while certainly "correct" weren't what I would consider "natural".

I've been told that they are only shooting for correct, and that natural comes later. The difference between the people who learned English in Japan but have never been to an English speaking country vs. those who have clearly spent a significant amount of time in an English speaking country are perfect examples of this.

I am learning Japanese as well, and I know for a fact my Japanese is bizarre sounding to many native speakers. But I learn what sorts of things that, while perfectly correct, would never be said by native speakers from native speakers.

I think in an academic setting "I studied English hard" is just fine. Let them learn more nature ways of saying it from personal experiance, I say. Otherwise, you're only going to confuse them by going against what they are being taught unnecessarily.

It's like the way just about every Japanese person says "See you!" when parting with an English speaker, when actually saying it that way sounds bizarre without a qualifier. "See you later!" vs. "See ya!" are nuances that are beyond the scope of ES and JHS education.

Of course I have no comment on SHS!