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Thread: Gizmos grammar thread.

  1. #21

    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by smile and nod View Post
    How do I simply explain the difference between "a" and "the"? As in, "I work at a hair salon," or "I work at the hair salon." In English I would say "the" is for specific things and places, but my students don't understand "specific."
    Despite the JET/ALT mandate I generally allow Japanese when talking about grammar rules, especially one so complex and alien to them.

    In general, you're going to want lots of examples. I would actually do a lesson just on "a" and plural first. Get them to decide whether something is singular or plural in various example sentences, use a lot of pictures, get them to start thinking about whether there's one or many things. Once you think they've got that, get them onto the specificity conundrum.

  2. #22
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Ya sorry, I don't teach this and that's for a different thread :P

    "a" -- non-specific, singular reference for a noun
    "the" -- specific (either through context or true singularity), can reference pluralized things (groups) or singular things (group)
    "plural" -- categorical, or multiple

    Seriously, for teaching this, just go online and pull one of the million or so documents down and figure it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  3. #23
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    This should cover most situations, but there are plenty of exceptions (like when referring to musical instruments):

  4. #24

    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    If you really have to do it without japanese, and there's no shame in that since you'd need better than basic japanese to do so, you're going to have to use a lot of examples.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Everyone - Great, thanks!

    Ebi - Thanks so much! I attempted a copy of that in English below:
    Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 2.12.58 PM.png

    I'm only allowed to teach in English, hence the emphasis on that.
    Last edited by smile and nod; June 30th, 2015 at 14:13.

  6. #26
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Change retired to happiness. You need a pure noun, not an participled verb.

    Also, remove the many from the explanation as it's not required. That way they can think in categories and quantities.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    Change retired to happiness. You need a pure noun, not an participled verb.
    I agree on the pure noun thing, but "I am happiness"? Was that a typo/autocorrect?

    Also, remove the many from the explanation as it's not required. That way they can think in categories and quantities.
    I agree theoretically, but it sounds less natural.

  8. #28
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Nope, not a typo at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by smile and nod View Post
    Everyone - Great, thanks!

    Ebi - Thanks so much! I attempted a copy of that in English below:
    Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 2.12.58 PM.png

    I'm only allowed to teach in English, hence the emphasis on that.
    The extra frames add a lot of visual confusion. Make it 2D if you want them to glance and get it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  10. #30
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by smile and nod View Post
    Everyone - Great, thanks!

    Ebi - Thanks so much! I attempted a copy of that in English below:
    Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 2.12.58 PM.png

    I'm only allowed to teach in English, hence the emphasis on that.
    I agree with Gizmo & uthink, the examples should probably be tweaked a bit and the bubbles should be toned down since they're distracting more than helpful.

    Personally, I think a straight line from the "Yes" answer would look better too rather than making it bend like that. You might also want to increase the size of the text/text boxes so it's less crammed. Look at the original again and you'll see it's very clean and neat with major points shown in larger text.

    Suggestions for the examples:

    <specific>
    He ate the banana.
    He ate the apples.
    He ate the ice cream.

    <general - singular>
    He ate a banana.
    He ate an apple.
    He ate an ice cream cone.

    <general - plural>
    He ate (some) bananas.
    He ate (some) apples.
    He ate (some) ice cream cones.

    <general - noncount>
    He ate (some) ice cream.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebi View Post
    I agree with Gizmo & uthink, the examples should probably be tweaked a bit and the bubbles should be toned down since they're distracting more than helpful.

    Personally, I think a straight line from the "Yes" answer would look better too rather than making it bend like that. You might also want to increase the size of the text/text boxes so it's less crammed. Look at the original again and you'll see it's very clean and neat with major points shown in larger text.
    Microsoft Word is being my enemy right now. This was originally made with their flow chart generator. I will probably have to remake it from scratch. But I whole-heartedly agree that the formatting is le suck.

    Suggestions for the examples:

    <specific>
    He ate the banana.
    He ate the apples.
    He ate the ice cream.

    <general - singular>
    He ate a banana.
    He ate an apple.
    He ate an ice cream cone.

    <general - plural>
    He ate (some) bananas.
    He ate (some) apples.
    He ate (some) ice cream cones.

    <general - noncount>
    He ate (some) ice cream.
    Since I am ultimately teaching "I am a (job) at (article) (place).", I might have to table those suggestions for a later lesson. But I see what you're getting at, and will implement them for a different chart.

    I ended up simplifying the chart since it ended up being as confusing as it looked to be, so:

    Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 3.01.11 PM.png

    (Bibbi di Bobbi di Boo is a local hair salon that they might recognise, hence the use.)

    Thanks everyone for all your help!
    Last edited by smile and nod; July 1st, 2015 at 15:03.

  12. #32

    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by smile and nod View Post
    Microsoft Word is being my enemy right now. This was originally made with their flow chart generator. I will probably have to remake it from scratch. But I whole-heartedly agree that the formatting is le suck.



    Since I am ultimately teaching "I am a (job) at (article) (place).", I might have to table those suggestions for a later lesson. But I see what you're getting at, and will implement them for a different chart.

    I ended up simplifying the chart since it ended up being as confusing as it looked to be, so:

    Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 3.01.11 PM.png

    (Bibbi di Bobbi di Boo is a local hair salon that they might recognise, hence the use.)

    Thanks everyone for all your help!
    That example might be confusing, because you can say, "I work at Coco's," but you probably wouldn't say, "I work at the Coco's." UNLESS you're going to give more information to specify which. Even though your example is okay, most native speakers I know would simply say, "I work at BibityI'mnotactuallywritingthat Hair Salon."
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  13. #33
    Crustacean Sensation Ebi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by smile and nod View Post
    I'm only allowed to teach in English, hence the emphasis on that.
    Just for giggles I started working on a reference sheet for 'a'/'an', count/non-count nouns, and 'the' rules. I made a version in Japanese but I'm still waiting on a JTE to look it over for me since I'm sure I've made some mistakes. But here's the English version. Let me know if you find any errors/typos.

    Using A vs The - English Only.doc

    (Disclaimer: I wouldn't recommend just handing a student a sheet like this though. Odds are they're end up more confused/paranoid about the usage than they already are. It's mostly just for reference.)
    Last edited by Ebi; July 3rd, 2015 at 17:14.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Here's an odd thing that got brought up to me that gets worse the more I think (over-think) about it.

    JTE brings a couple sentences:
    "I need some money to buy computer." (Ignore the lack of 'a.')
    "I need time to eat lunch."
    "I need some time to write a letter."
    The question he brings is: In each of these sentences, is the 'some' necessary?

    I answered no - that it subtly changes the meaning and is often combined with 'more' (as in 'some more') but isn't necessary. The change to the meaning being that it implies you have some, but not enough of X to do Y, or that you only need a small or certain amount. What do you think?

  15. #35
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Nope, the qualifiers aren't required. They just limit the scope of the non-count nouns. In all cases it implies there is a requirement of time that is understood not to be present.

    Notice:
    I need time to defuse the bomb
    I need some time to defuse the bomb
    I need more time to defuse the bomb.

    Time implies lack.
    Some time implies lack
    more time implies it is impossible in the time frame (unless you're in a movie, at which point it will be magically done in the last 2 seconds)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  16. #36
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Gizmo, you are good at this.
    車庫 B1F

  17. #37

    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by BifCarbet View Post
    Gizmo, you are good at this.
    He should be. If he wasn't he'd be like those art school students that graduate without learning to draw.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  18. #38
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by uthinkimlost? View Post
    He should be. If he wasn't he'd be like those art school students that graduate without learning to draw.
    Like when people tell me I sing well/play an instrument well. God I hope so.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shincantsen View Post
    Frigga please.
    RIP Virgil of 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Gross. I hate people and their sexy times.

  19. #39
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    I realized I missed a sentence in there, which came up in the discussion.

    I need some more time to defuse the bomb

    some more time seems to imply a lack, but acquirable amount to me, in that it isn't a great deal more.
    This contrasts with some time which implies quite a large amount of time required.

    Also super big hint I learned in school, always go for words like murder, death, and explosions for your example sentences to figure things out. They often have the strongest meaning associations in your head, and likely have the most limited number of connected meanings, so they are easy to use to figure out grammar explanations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  20. #40
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gizmos grammar thread.

    I wasn't trying to patronize, Giz. It was more of an applause.
    車庫 B1F

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