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NinjaTurtle

British English

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NinjaTurtle

Are there any Brits here on this forum? I am American and I am not good at British English at all. The problem is this: more than once I have told a Chinese student (in China) that what they wrote on their paper was "Chinglish" and wrong, only to find out later that it was just an example of British English that I had not heard before. (How embarrassing!)

 

Can anyone tell me if some examples of what I have heard are British English?

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somethingfunny

Give us your examples and I'm sure someone will have something to say about them...

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NinjaTurtle

Ok. First one. "I recommend you to go to Japan." (Very often heard in China. I think it's safe to say Mainland Chinese students have no idea that there is another way to say this in English.) I would say not correct in American English. Correct in British English?

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Shelley

I would consider this ok. I think it is correct grammatically but maybe not used that often.

 

It sounds correct to my ear if a little stilted.

 

I am Canadian by birth and lived there till I was 15 and came to the UK. I think it would be understood by most English speakers but maybe not used by younger people.

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abcdefg
10 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

"I recommend you to go to Japan."

 

I think that is just plain wrong. 

 

"I recommend you go to Japan" or "I recommend that you go to Japan" would be proper sentences, in the US or in GB. (At least in my opinion.)

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NinjaTurtle

So we have a no vote and a maybe vote. I'm curious what other people will say. Perhaps it is just 'Chinglish'. That is strange, because this is definitely the only form taught in China.

 

Hey, abcdefg, are you in Texas? I am presently in Midland, Texas.

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Jim

To my ear (English born and raised) it would more imply you are recommending someone for a posting in Japan than suggesting it was the best destination to choose themselves, though obviously not the correct way of saying that either. So while if heard in a real conversation I wouldn't be too fazed and would get the point if i was teaching I'd tell students it was an incorrect usage.

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Tomsima

British and taught English when I first came to China. "I recommend you to..." is so chinglish regardless of whether it is correct grammar or not (although I personally would not use a verb in the infinitive when recommending) simply because its a rut that all chinese english learners seem to get into. Speaking language in a natural way requires variety, and the fact that every time someone wants to recommend something to me, they simply must repeat the above formula without any variety. 

 

I got told my Chinese was wrong today because I used the word '專家‘ three times in one sentence. Not technically grammatically wrong, but just bad habits.

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vellocet

English teacher who isn't familiar with his own language?  Unheard-of!  

 

Yeah, learn some other ways of speaking English.  There are lots. Malaysian English, Australian English, Hong Kong English, Singapore English, Indian English, the list goes on.  Learn your own language before teaching it to others.  

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somethingfunny

That's not any British English I've ever heard.

 

I second abcdefg and Jim above.

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Beelzebro

Also British here. Sounds kinda weird. I'd say "I recommend Japan"/"I recommend going to Japan"

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Zeppa

I'm British too, and I have spent a long time teaching English. It is not natural BrE. However, I think it should be allowed to be used, because I can't think of a natural way of saying that in BrE. 'I recommend you go to Japan' (subjunctive) may be OK in AmE (you will know that yourself), but not BrE. 'I recommend that you go to Japan' (subjunctive) also sounds AmE to me. 

I would probably say 'I recommend Japan'. 

 

I suppose it's just one of those problems when people want to translate a Chinese sentence word-for-word into English.

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Beelzebro

Also a lot depends on the context. 

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davoosh

The Oxford English Dictionary does include "to recommend somebody to do something" as a valid example, but I think it sounds strange to most native British English speakers nowadays. In the passive it is fine, however: "They are recommended to be given the award".

 

 

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mungouk

Brit here, although not an English teacher. 

As @Zeppa points out, "I recommend you go" is subjunctive, which although correct is something that most native British English speakers would tend to avoid in conversation, as it can sound overly-formal. 

Like with many other things which are grammatically correct, but more likely to be used in more formal, written language than in conversation — for example using "whom", or insisting on tying yourself in knots to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition. And not starting a sentence with "And".

 

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NinjaTurtle
4 hours ago, mungouk said:

And not starting a sentence with "And".

 

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5 hours ago, davoosh said:

"They are recommended to be given the award".

This would not be correct in American English.

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NinjaTurtle

This has certainly been an interesting discussion.

 

OK, second example:

 

A: He said he would leave in one week.

B. He said he would leave one week later.

 

Both of these examples are correct and have different meanings in American English. Do they have different meanings in British English? (My students in China are totally unaware of example A.)

 

 

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Zbigniew

My habit, as a native Br. English speaker, has always been to say "recommend you + base form of verb (or subjunctive, depending on how you want to see it)". I have, however, noticed an increasing use of "recommend you to + base form of verb". "Suggest you to..." is showing a similar increase.

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Shelley

To me - 

A: Means - he will be leaving in one week.

B: He will be leaving one week later than already arranged.

 

They don't mean the same thing.

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