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Language grammar

Updated on January 5, 2020
teresapelka profile image

Linguist, specialized in American English and psycholinguistics; inventor of Language Mapping, a generative grammar; author and translator.

Grammar is part our lives, our past, our present and future. I prefer to envision the future in bright colors.


Language is important

English is one of the linguae francae of the contemporary world. Good language skills can be a good idea for a better job and a better living. More and more people learn English, and more and more happen to experience failure, too.

Mandatory in many schools, English and success or failure with it does weigh on the student's overall progress in gaining educational recognition, as well as his or her prospects for employment.

The learning habit

Most people want to know language. It motivates natural curiosity already in the child, and lack of refinement may remain a grievance in the grown-up. The thing is in how to learn.

Classic grammar books will offer rules and definitions. Real time may become labeled, as the Present Simple for example, which we learn to use for general facts ... (Cambridge); or to tell what is regular, true or normal (Woodward Grammar).

However, language is part in human thinking matter. Could human thinking come pret-a-porter, ready-to-wear? The natural answer remains — No. Try Grammar Granny.

Even if nobody knows how, it happens in life that we read stories as those about adventures of Huck Finn, though we have not graduated in language. Knowing how is not always the most important, maybe except counting strawberries with Grammar Grapevines.

Sometimes you learn you go minus or plus infinity about the number of strawberries, but mind you, the Founding Fathers said you couldn’t owe for strawberries that never existed, so to speak.
Sometimes you learn you go minus or plus infinity about the number of strawberries, but mind you, the Founding Fathers said you couldn’t owe for strawberries that never existed, so to speak. | Source

By the way, feel welcome to my Internet Archives account. The US civics texts and posters are free to use. Some are linguistics updates, that is, present the content in American English as today.

USA Charters of Freedom, text and posters.
USA Charters of Freedom, text and posters. | Source

School and life

There cannot be a grammar book to decide if we want to say that we live somewhere, we are living somewhere, we have lived, or we have been living somewhere. Life has it, we make up own minds, to express own thought.

Grammar and mind

In our earthly reality, we map cognitively. Our cognitive maps do not have the exactness of geographical measurement, but they are important in our finding the way home, or getting to school or work, in extents that are most efficient for space and time. Human cognitive mapping joins time and place. Would human grammar join them as well?

There are a few basic words to talk about space, they are ON, IN, and TO. We people live ON Earth, we give at least psychological borders to places IN which we are, and we can learn and remember ways TO places.

Let us think about the grammatical Aspects most kids are able to use before school tuition. They are the Simple, Progressive, and Perfect.

The Simple: we can use it to talk about thinking and feeling, or habits — all that does not change often. We can have the habit to do something often, as well as... never. The Simple Aspect would help tell what generally exists, existed, or we think is going to exist ON a cognitive map.

The Progressive: we can use it to tell that something is IN progress, IN its course. We could picture activity or faculties IN an area.

The Perfect: we can use it to tell what has happened, had happened, or we think will have happened TO some moment in time. The moment does not have to mark the end of the activity or faculty. We may picture the Aspect as a way TO a place.

Integrating the grammatical Aspect with our spatio-temporal orientation, we would use the prepositions ON, IN, and TO as our cognitive variables. For the Perfect Progressive, we can merge the Perfect and Progressive, into the fourth variable, AT.

Why think about variables? Grammatical tense patterns have not changed in centuries.

Cognitive variables are not "changeables". They are values we can apply flexibly. Our decision making with variables is most likely to become much faster and more efficient.

At the same time, we do not have to believe we are discovering principles in human thinking. Everybody learns, also own native tongue, and variables can be learned.

We are not developing a language system, either. Systems are finite. We can think about grammar as a logical set or scope that can provide for infinite utterances.


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    • teresapelka profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Pelka 

      5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland


      Thank you for reading. :)

    • Rafiq23 profile image

      Muhammad Rafiq 

      5 years ago from Pakistan

      Interesting and really informative article , Teresapelka!

    • teresapelka profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Pelka 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      @Tom Rubenoff

      Thank you for reading.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom rubenoff 

      8 years ago from United States

      Thank you very much for explaining this to me. I appreciate and wish you good fortune in all your endeavors.

    • teresapelka profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Pelka 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      @Tom Rubenoff,

      What 'happens' doesn't have to be a rule, a principle:

      - Many people learn. Many people happen to experience failure, too.

      My intention is to remain non-qualifying to an extent. Failure is failure. I wouldn't say, 'some people fail', like - this is their nature to fail?

      I know from my teaching experience - please remember I'm not advertising and I'm not likely to begin advertising soon - that many people fail because they never get the guidance to actually enhance their language potential.

      As a private teacher, I happened to be a kind of an 'emergency' - a parent telephoning and saying his or her daughter or son would fail their school term - 'any help, anywhere?'

      I happened to be hired by people who had the ambition for their sons or daughters to be the top of the class.

      There were people who just wanted to have lessons, felt it was better than not having them.

      Whatever the circumstances, people want quality for money and I provided it. My use of the verb 'to happen' comes from my experience.

      English is not obligatory in many educational systems. It has become mandatory, actually recently - an option in some of the countries of the ex Eastern bloc. However, once you take it up, you succeed, or fail the school term.

      Feel welcome to visit my grammar blog,

      I could also send you a free download for your evaluation. :)

      Finally, students happen to remember rules 'for ever and ever', too. The grammar formulations happen to go in conflict in test and exam situations, especially when the test or exam takes oral skill.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom rubenoff 

      8 years ago from United States

      I am not being sarcastic. In the first instance the sentence is unnecessarily complicated by the phrase "happen to," making the second meaning possible. Better, "More and more people experience failure" or better still, "More and more people fail." In the second instance, the word "become" is confusing, and would much better replaced by "are," but more importantly could be made much clearer by simplifying syntax: "Students memorize rules of grammar for tests and then forget these rules."

    • teresapelka profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Pelka 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      @Tom Rubenoff,

      Let me add that as a teacher I saw human pessimism about learning English (I always made it clear that I could teach American - naturally, everyone is capable of English to an extent ;) - human frustration, yes, verging on anger, as well as these 'negative' feelings going away with success.

      I put negative in quotes, as I wouldn't divide feelings in positive or negative feelings. I hope you admit this actually could be only bi-polar.

      I am not advertising now and I do not intend to advertise for some time - I am about to finish my work on Part Two; the whole of this stage of the journey is four parts.

      I can work the Advanced and Proficient levels after I market the Intermediate; the picture for the intended book cover shows on this page.

      I hope you understand that I don't want some sarcastic attitudes.

    • teresapelka profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Pelka 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      English, especially American English, has become the language of choice in many countries to have previously limited access to American resources for political reasons.

      More and more people learn the language; this also has a side effect, such as greater numbers of people having had some unsuccessful experiences trying to learn English (there is no difference as regards difficulty between American and British, naturally).

      I can't see how a conjecture like failure being the reason for human existence might even relate to my article.

      Grammar rules become memorized by humans - memorization may impede the learning process. I was a teacher for more than 10 years, never thought about trying to teach any UFO or animal, though according to some uses I don't necessarily follow, I taught aliens, that is, foreigners.

      I wouldn't be missing out on a significant experience, would I? ;)

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom rubenoff 

      8 years ago from United States

      Tell me, does "More and more people happen to experience failure" mean that more people experience failure, or does it mean that the reason for the existence of more and more people is failure?

      Also, does "Grammar rules become memorized" mean that people memorize rules of grammar, or does it mean that the rules get themselves memorized somehow?

      Thank you. :)


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