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Talkin' Like Tarzan: Two Embarrassing Rules of Basic Grammar and Four Quick Tips

Updated on January 3, 2012

These first two simple rules of grammar are the most basic and therefore the most noticeable; the next four rules aren't nearly as distracting but will snag the ear of people who know better. To make them easier to understand and remember, these rules are explained mostly through examples of usage and greatly simplified definition. Learning and using just the first one can have a huge impact on how well you move through your life and the world.

A Way to Remember
He and I went to the movies.
Him and I went to the movies.Her and me went to the movies.Me and him went to the movies.
Tarzan and children say, “Me do it!”He, She, and I are subjects, usually at the beginning of a sentence;Him, Her, and Me are objects of a preposition, usually at the end of a sentence and always after a preposition (to him, for her, with me.)
I don’t want any.Don’t do that any more.
I don’t want none. (So, does this mean you want some?)Don’t do that no more.(So, does this mean to do it some more?)
Not, none, and no are negative; -1 x –1 is positive 1.
You did that well!
You did that good!
Good is an adjective and applies to things; well is an adverb and applies to actions.
Put that one with those, over there, please.
Put that one with them, over there, please.
Those applies to things; them applies to people.
I went to the store and got one of those, so now I have one.
Need to borrow a shirt? I got plenty upstairs in my closet.
Got is the past tense of get; you go to the store to get one, then you have possession of it.
If I were the king of the world . . .
If I was the king of the world . . .
Were is hypothetical; Was is past tense, history.

Need a little help convincing someone of the value of using these Six Simple Rules?


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