Comedy, English language, Grammar, Uncategorized

Grammar Presents

The use of commas with restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses has always been a source of great concern for the general population, so let’s clear up any misunderstandings that might still exist so that all, especially me, can move on with their lives.

Oftentimes, restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses are relative clauses. Relative
clauses use a relative pronoun (who, which, that, whom) and verb: who knows me, that like this food, whom he saw, which I watched yesterday.

A restrictive clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence and uses no
comma on either side of it. Were you to delete the restrictive clause, the meaning of the sentence would change:

My sister who lives in Nebraska was a musician in many bands. (If I had more than one sister, this helps the reader understand that I am discussing only the one who lives in Oregon, not any of the other sisters.)

On the other hand, a nonrestrictive clause is not essential to the sentence’s meaning, so you could lift out the clause enclosed by the commas—and the sentence’s meaning would be clear:

My sister, who lives in Nebraska, was a musician in many bands. I am discussing her profession, and the reader doesn’t know if I have one sister or several, but knowing that isn’t necessarily essential to the sentence’s meaning. What is contained in the commas is somewhat of an aside: “Oh yeah, and by the way, she lives in Nebraska.”

I hope you get lots of grammar presents over the holidays and during the year. And for this one, you’re welcome.

From,

My English Quarters
http://www.beltstyles.com
Hallie Belt, M.A. and B.A., English
312.285.8429

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Comedy, English language, Grammar, Uncategorized

Reflecting on the Reflexive: The Sequel

Why do people say, “John and me went to English class” or “I seen him at the place”?

I can only guess that they think the use of “myself” and “I” sounds proper. If we were to delete “John” from the former sentence, then the sentence would read “Me went to English class,” but we need the subjective (subject) form of the pronoun here: “I”.

The subjective pronouns are I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they.

The same goes for “John and myself went to English class.” Delete “John” and read the sentence. You wouldn’t say “Myself went to English class.” Not only does it sound weird, but you wouldn’t use a reflexive pronoun where a subject (subjective) pronoun should be. So the sentence should be this: “John and I went to English class.” Delete John, and you get “I went to English class.” “I” is the subject form of the pronoun, a subjective pronoun.

The [indirect/direct] object (objective) pronouns are me, you, him, her, it, us, you, them.

I’ve heard people say, “He gave both myself and Jerry the money” or “He gave the money to John and I.” Remember to delete the other person(s) from the sentence. Here you would use an object (objective) pronoun because the word is the indirect object or the object of the preposition of the verb “gave”: He gave both me [indirect object] and Jerry the letter [direct object]” or He gave the letter to John and me [object of the preposition “to”].”

The reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.

You do something to yourself. For example, “I gave myself a manicure. I hurt myself yesterday when I went bowling. They found themselves in the same place.” Would you say “He gave myself the money”? It should be “He gave himself the money.”

I don’t know why people say “I seen him.” “Seen, been, given, done” are past participle forms and require that “have” or “has” accompany them on most occasions.

From,
My English Quarters
Hallie Belt, M.A. and B.A., English
312.285.8429