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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Can anybody help me, please?    

Can anybody help me, please?



DaniBH
Brazil

Can anybody help me, please?
 
Guys, I m having some problems with a Basic 2 group. I wasn t their teacher when they started Basic 1, I was checking their homework and all of them wrote "She WANT S to eat chocolate". I ve never seen WANT S before. Is there such a thing?
They said their previous teacher told them to put this ( ) all the time. 

Help me, guys. What should I tell them? 

Thanks a lot.

24 Aug 2012      



manonski (f)
Canada

You tell them the truth!


24 Aug 2012     



DaniBH
Brazil

I just don t know how... I really want to cry right now.
Thanks.

24 Aug 2012     



DaniBH
Brazil

I just don t know how... I really want to cry right now.
Thanks.

24 Aug 2012     



yanogator
United States

The sad thing is that many native speakers in the US would write that, too. I recently saw  alway s  in someones Facebook post. I d take this as a starting point for teaching them the correct use of apostrophes.
 
Bruce

24 Aug 2012     



DaniBH
Brazil

Thanks a lot, Bruce. That s a great idea.

24 Aug 2012     



manonski (f)
Canada

Hi

I don t want to sound heartless but if not knowing how to fix a grammar mistake makes you want to cry, you re in for a tough ride in education. Your students are going to eat you alive.

I m sure you re a dedicated teacher who wants students to succeed. But please, toughen up a little bit.

24 Aug 2012     



Morodo323
Colombia

Definitely tell them the correct way of using apostrophes even though it breaks somebody s heart. keeping them in the mistake may hurt you and your professional life whenever they find the truth and lose their trust on you.
It doesn t matter if you commited the mistake or it was someone else, the best thing you can do is to correct that inmediately, get relaible material to support your arguments, and I give you my word, they will be thankful forever.

25 Aug 2012     



class centre
Belarus

When I have a situation when someone of my sts insists on an incorrect answer, I make a stupid face and ask the class - AH! what shall I do now? how shal we find out who s right? And I leave it for them to prove  and disprove their points of view. Of course I control the conversation and lead them to the right point. You can use the book or the internet  help but have them find the correct answer on their own. Then it will be impressed in their memory for ever! Good luck!

25 Aug 2012     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

If only we could have an amnesty with the apostrophe and forget the whole thing! It happens here (England) all the time, as well. The problem is, teachers don t take the time to teach it properly and constantly reinforce it. Even teachers get it wrong. I was on a course recently and it was about punctuation. The course leader focused on the correct use of the comma and she put a slide up. One phrase was all the farmer s stalls were neatly set out. Of course, it s plural - we were told there were 19 farmers - and should be farmers .  I pointed this out to the course leader (in private), and she said, Well, it wasn t about apostrophes, just about commas. Pathetic! A few months ago, I saw a sign saying Can you judge a book by it s cover? Aaaagh!!! You see Potatoe s all the time.

There is no excuse for putting it with the verb form. Get them told!This kind of thing doesn t make me want to cry - just thump the wall!!!

25 Aug 2012     



almaz
United Kingdom

Misplaced apostrophes shouldn t make you want to thump the wall or cry or even sob gently. As David Crystal points out in The Fight for English, if people mix up their apostrophes, there s usually a good reason for it. For example, taking the lead from 19th-century printers and grammarians, generations of children had the rule drummed into them: the apostrophe marks possession, the apostrophe marks possession. Then they encounter its. And it s was already taken: the rule hadn t been thought through, so apostrophe-related confusion engendered in childhood often continued into adulthood. We still see it, of course, and as language teachers, it s our job to explain how the confusion is possible, and how we can get it right - not to wring our hands in frustration, sadly shake our heads or threaten to do damage to the plasterwork.

Crystal does a good job on potato s as well - it has an unusual ending for an English word and simply adding -s would promote the misleading pronunciation pot-at-oss . And we often add an apostrophe to indicate an unusual plural (as in 1960 s and JP s etc). He does emphasise, however, that, "if you have had a good language-based education, you will not find this a problem".

25 Aug 2012     

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