NT phrases or questions that drive you nuts!

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Kuraudo777
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09 Sep 2016, 10:03 am

^Someone called someone else a nasty name. That post was deleted.


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kraftiekortie
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09 Sep 2016, 10:14 am

It definitely wasn't you, C2V.



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09 Sep 2016, 10:15 am

^ Thank you both, nice to know I wasn't just completely oblivious. :)


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09 Sep 2016, 10:57 am

^ It was removed by Adamantium. I saw the attack, but couldn't deal with it myself since I had already participated in this thread. He left the note as a reminder.


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davidmcg
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09 Sep 2016, 11:00 am

Honestly, a word that is so overused these days to the point that it's got meaningless...

"I'm sorry"

Yeah? if you're sorry, why'd do you it? twat



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09 Sep 2016, 11:02 am

DataB4 wrote:
racheypie666 wrote:
Also, the knowing 'You'll see...' when relating to my not wanting a boyfriend, girlfriend, or baby.

It is the most patronising and offensive thing, and has been said to me by strangers (which I can begrudgingly understand) and also by people as close to me as my own mother (which I cannot understand or forgive). Does it never occur to people that I might know myself better than they do? Or that my own decisions on my personal life should be respected? Argh :x ! !


I've gotten this one a lot when I mention that I don't want children. People say that they've seen others change their minds about it. Well, I feel very strongly about it, so a lot would have to change in my life for that sentiment to change.
I too have gotten that 'knowing' look and remark from people who think they know better than me. In my almost 40 years, I still have not wanted children, nor am I looking for romance. I'm happily single and the one time I did have a boyfriend some years ago, I still didn't want children. I tried to want them for his sake, but I didn't feel like it at all. That is hard for some people to fathom.


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OhkaBaka
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09 Sep 2016, 1:12 pm

nurseangela wrote:
Ok, here's one. Can you smile and give me some eye contact please?


YOUR DEMANDS ARE UNREASONABLE! BEGONE PEASANT!



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09 Sep 2016, 9:05 pm

I agree that the "other fish in the sea" one bothers me. It's not at all comforting; it's quite dismissive.

Oh, "Where are you from?" has confused me, too. Once when I was little, someone asked me where I was from when I went to Missouri, and I said New York. My parents explained to me later that they weren't asking where I was born; they were asking for where I currently live. They laughed at me and I felt embarrassed by it. >.<


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09 Sep 2016, 9:21 pm

Chromolicious wrote:
Sorry, this isn't actually something that annoys me as such, but it's something I don't know how to answer and causes me to get confused and pedantic and the other person is just looking at me going ''okaaaaay...."
"Where are you from?" - So are you supposed to say where you live now? Or are you supposed to say where you lived at the time you were born? Or are you supposed to say where you grew up?


This one is confusing to me too! but fortunately I have lived in the same place almost my whole life so my answer is the same no matter what. lol Otherwise I would have no idea how to answer.

But if people ask me where I'm from, I always wonder if they think I have moved recently...otherwise why would they ask where I'm "from"...? I'm from "here" so this question just does not compute. But then a lot of people who are also "from" here don't realize that I'm from the same place they are, I guess because I seem so different from them they just assume I came "from" somewhere else. This question always makes me feel like my wires are crossed, it just doesn't make any sense.



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10 Sep 2016, 12:30 am

ending a sentence with ", no?"

example from a book I'm currently reading: "However we got here, we're here - and that's a good thing, no?"

I know it's allowed, but it just sounds like poor language to me.



Another one that I keep hearing: "He had went".
No, he had gone.



One that I have heard several times in creepypastas and other scary stories videos: "we both (insert a negative)"

example: we both didn't know.

Is that even grammatically correct? It doesn't sound right to me, but maybe it is allowed in American English? I would actually appreciate it if someone with English as their native language would comment on this.
In both Norwegian and the English I learned in school it should be "Neither of us knew" or "none of us knew".


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naturalplastic
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10 Sep 2016, 7:17 am

Am a native born American, and I would say "niether of us knew".

Saying "we both didnt know" sounds really brain dead to my ears. Maybe in conversation someone (even I) might say it while talking off the top of my head( while upset while trying to defend yourself from charges of negligence). But I would never say it in writing.

Not sure if its actually ungrammatical, but I agree with you that it sounds wrong as heck.

That ending a sentence with "no" is a European thing. Folks from Europe outside of the UK (when in America, or in Britain) speaking English to English speakers will do that: "such,and such,and such and such, no?". Can be kinda cute. But I have never noticed a native speaker (Brit, or American) do that.

Though there is a new trend among American native speakers to end a certain kind of question with "no" when we used to end it with "not". I (and everyone else until recently) would say "do you like cream in your coffee? Or not?" But now more and more folks say " do you like cream in your coffee? Or no?". Sounds odd to me.



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10 Sep 2016, 9:42 pm

Thank you very much for your feedback, natural plastic! :) Good to know that it’s not just me. I totally get how one can say things wrong and especially when upset, that happens to me too, but as you said, not in writing.

Come to think of it, ending sentences with no is something I associate with Eastern European accents in movies. I’ve never talked to anyone from Eastern Europe in English, so I don’t know if that is something they tend to say.
I don’t personally talk like that, nor have I heard other Norwegians do so. I’ve been in touch with a number of people from Germany and the Netherlands, and none of them used it either, so I’m not sure it’s common for all of non-English Europe.
Small differences like that sure are interesting.

naturalplastic wrote:
Though there is a new trend among American native speakers to end a certain kind of question with "no" when we used to end it with "not". I (and everyone else until recently) would say "do you like cream in your coffee? Or not?" But now more and more folks say " do you like cream in your coffee? Or no?". Sounds odd to me.
Wow, that sounds odd to me too.


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naturalplastic
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11 Sep 2016, 3:49 am

My gf says that "do you. want such and such.,or no?" thing. And I've started to hear others do it.

That other thing: ending a declarative sentence with "no?" may not be a universal European thing, but it's definitely common among the French (in both movies, and in real life). Though I think that I have heard Russians do it too (probably other east Europeans -like you said- as well).

But now that you mention it I dont think that I have heard Germans or Folks from other Germanic speaking groups (Dutch, Scandanavians) use it.

My guess is that its a standard idiom in some languages (like French) to say something, and then ask if you if you agree by saying "no?". And the speakers just translate the idiom into English.



thumbhole
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11 Sep 2016, 5:24 am

^ TEFL geek here. You people are currently discussing something known as question tags.

Question tags are not "idioms" as such. They are a grammatical structure used to turn a declarative sentence into a question.

The sentence "we're here - and that's a good thing, no?" is indeed incorrect. It ought to read: "we're here - and that's a good thing, isn't it?"

"No" and "yes" are certainly both used as question tags in many European Romance languages, and it is grammatically correct in those languages to use them as such. Many languages do use single word question tags.

In English, however, it is not grammatically correct to use "yes" and "no" as question tags. To create a question tag in English, you have to conjugate an auxiliary verb and use a pronoun.

Example: TEFL is fun, isn't it? (isn't = the verb, it = the pronoun)

The English system of question tags is often overly complex for non-native speakers of English to grasp if they are not sufficiently patient and committed to learning a new system of grammar that differs from their own.

Because they are used to their own easy system of simply sticking a "no" or "yes" on at the end of a sentence, speakers of Romance languages are often too lazy to commit all the necessary rules to memory in order to enable them to correctly use English question tags when speaking English.

They often choose to bypass our proper English system and incorrectly stick a "no" or a "yes" on at the end of their English sentences, as they would have done in their own [easier] native languages.

See here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_question

I had not personally observed this particular phenomenon catching on amongst native English speakers, but it wouldn't surprise me if that is the case.

I have long been ruefully aware that, for some reason, native English speakers are copying the bad grammar of non-native speakers of English who have migrated to our countries to live amongst us.

The worsening grammar of native English speakers dismays me greatly.

A further example of stinted grammar that English speakers seem to be copying from foreigners is the highly annoying phenomenon of choosing to use a pronoun AND a noun before a verb.

This is fine to do in French, but is just plain INCORRECT in English.

e.g. saying "my car, it won't start" instead of "my car won't start"

or "my parents, they are strict" instead of "my parents are strict"

or "my English, it is being translated very literally from French" instead of "my English is being translated very literally from French"

Nearly EVERYONE is doing this nowadays, and it's driving me nuts.

Pronouns are supposed to be a replacement for nouns. Use either a noun or a pronoun -- but not both! We don't duplicate subjects in English. I am sick of hearing people state a subject, and then repeat it! You don't need to repeat your subject. I heard you the first time!

i.e. If you ask me "what is your name?" I can either say:

"my name is Thumbhole" (noun)

OR I can say

"it is Thumbhole" (pronoun)

but I should not say "my name, it is Thumbhole" because that would be both a noun AND a pronoun.

Even though it is highly annoying when people don't even attempt to use a question tag (and just use "yes" or "no" instead") using yes or no is highly preferable to using a question tag but getting it wrong.

Some people (namely, most of the population of India and many parts of Asia) seem to be of the cheerful opinion that "isn't it?" is the only question tag that exists in the English language, and they use it indiscriminately.

Examples:

"This is the right question tag to use in this context, isn't it?

But it would be wrong to use it in this context, isn't it?

But we'll just use it anyway, isn't it?

This will never, ever, get on anybody's nerves, isn't it?

I am talking English so well, isn't it?"


Apart from many Asians and most Indians murdering the "isn't it" question tag, you then have the equally annoying phenomenon of the "innit" question tag used by native chavs in parts of the UK.

I shall issue no further comment. To comment further would be to embark upon a rant of epic proportions.



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11 Sep 2016, 5:44 am

naturalplastic wrote:
My guess is that its a standard idiom in some languages (like French) to say something, and then ask if you if you agree by saying "no?". And the speakers just translate the idiom into English.

True. The same goes for spanish.


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12 Sep 2016, 10:45 am

This drives me crazy - I'm trying to look for jobs, and practically every job stipulates "bright and bubbly."
I hate that expression. Hate it. I can't think of anything further from my demeanour than "bright and bubbly."
I'm not a manic depressive, but I'm described as anywhere from "disinterested" to "calm and zen."
Apparently they won't hire calm people, because we're not "bubbly" enough. Grr.


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