Grammatical Rant

image

Ok,
so, I’m not perfect with my grammar and spelling, but I can’t stand hearing
native English-speaking people saying things like “she come over yesterday” any
more! I’m hoping that this might help people to say it properly.

Yes, it’s pedantic of me, and I know language changes and grows over time. The English of 400 years ago is very different to what we speak today and many rules of the past no longer apply, but this error just sounds terrible!

It’s
not, “She come over to my house yesterday.” It’s “She came over to my house yesterday.” It’s called conjugating the verb,
but that’s too technical for use of our own language, so let’s just say this is
how you say these things:

o  
I went over to her house yesterday.

o  
S/he came over to my house yesterday.

o  
They came over to my house yesterday.

o  
We went over to her house yesterday.

o  
You(se) came over to my house yesterday.

Perhaps this verbal clunker I keep hearing is really a “came” and “went” confusion?

If
you want to talk about the future, then yes, it’s ‘come’. For example:

o  
I’ll come over later and we’ll have a beer.

o  
Can he come over later?

o  
When they come here for dinner they always bring a bottle of wine with
them.

o  
When we come here next time we’ll wear hats.

o  
Can you all come over later?

If
it’s happening now, it can be ‘come’ too:

o  
I keep coming across typos.

o  
Nigel, come here!

But,
if you’re referring to the past, it is never, ever ‘come’!

Ok,
so while I’m at it, restaurants and cafés, take heed:

o  
“Today’s special” belongs to “today” – so it does have an apostrophe.

o  
“Menus” is just a plural – so it does not have an apostrophe.

The
apostrophe is either indicating a missing letter or letters, for example: “I’m”
is short for “I am” and “we’ll” is short for “we will”. Or,
it shows that something belongs to someone or something. For example:

o  
“Nigel’s meal is ready.” Here the apostrophe indicates that the meal
belongs to Nigel.

o  
“The café’s logo is cool.” In this case the apostrophe indicates that
the logo belongs to the café.

o  
“The menu’s greasy.” Here the apostrophe is standing in for ‘is’ – “The
menu is greasy.”

o  
“The meals will take about half an hour.” Here there is no apostrophe
with the word ‘meals’ because there are no missing letters and no ‘belonging’, “Meals”
is just referring to more than one meal – it’s a plural so it doesn’t need an
apostrophe.

o  
“The kids’ meals will be here in 5 minutes.” This does need an
apostrophe because the meals belong to more than one kid.

o  
“Schnitzels.” Again, this is just a plural, so there is no apostrophe.
(And yes, this is how you spell “schnitzel”; it’s German.)

End of rant.

©
Palitja Moore, text, 2016, and I Moore, image, 2015.

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