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NinjaTurtle
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Canadian with British grandparents here.

 

Recommend, suggest, advise, etc. all have similar meanings, so it’s unsurprising that people would tend toward treating them grammatically the same. The fact that there are similar verbs that do this may be a factor over any sort of “Chinglish.” There is no “to go,” only “go” in Chinese.

 

But take a look:

 

I suggest you go to Japan.

*/? I suggest you to go to Japan.

I suggest that you go to Japan.

I suggest going to Japan.

 

I recommend you go to Japan.

*/? I recommend you to go to Japan.

I recommend that you go to Japan.

I recommend going to Japan.

 

*/? I advise you go to Japan.

I advise you to go to Japan.

I advise that you go to Japan.

I advise going to Japan.

 

Curiously, recommend has more than one sense, and when it has the sense that is similar to “to nominate,” the “to go to Japan” seems completely fine:

 

The Prime Minister recommended him to go to Japan as part of the envoy.

 

I think the solution is not to know whether something may be British English or not, but to just know your own language more intimately and have an explanation as to why you feel something is wrong. When I teach English, I acknowledge that there’s also a difference between what you might be expected to answer on an exam and what you can say in your daily life without anyone so much as batting an eyelid.

 

As for “one week later,” this is absolutely a translation of “一個星期後.” As far as I know the difference in meaning is there in BrE. Try teaching your students the words “in one week,” “one week from now,” and then just to cover some enrichment bases you’ll need to teach them “a week ago” as well. If you explain that “one week later” means 晚一個星期 or 遲一個星期 they should get it.

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"I recommend you to go to Japan" is wrong as far as common usage goes. This is something I've noticed a lot of Chinese learners get wrong.

 

We'll need more examples because it's kind of hard to just come up with British-isms out of nowhere. Not to be mean to your students, but I suspect they're mostly trying to save face if the above is an example of "British English."

 

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A: He said he would leave in one week.

B. He said he would leave one week later.

 

I would put these in different time contexts (I speak BE). 

A: He said he would leave one week after the date when he spoke (I would prefer: He said he would leave in one week's time). 

For example: I spoke to him this morning (June 8) and he said he would be leaving in one week's time (June 15).

B. (Presumably this is part of a past time account) 

For example: I spoke to him three weeks ago (in May) and he said he would leave a week later (two weeks ago).

Or it could mean 'a week later than he originally planned', as Shelley says. 

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On 6/7/2018 at 10:58 PM, Jim said:

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.

 

Jim, how would say the part about suggesting it was the best destination to choose themselves?

 

 

19 hours ago, 陳德聰 said:

There is no “to go,” only “go” in Chinese.

 

Yes, this is the whole problem. This appearing-and-disappearing “to” must drive the students crazy.

 

19 hours ago, 陳德聰 said:

The Prime Minister recommended him to go to Japan as part of the envoy.

 

That is a good example. Thanks for that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, 陳德聰 said:

I think the solution is not to know whether something may be British English or not, but to just know your own language more intimately and have an explanation as to why you feel something is wrong.

 

I don’t think this will work. I had a student write, “I use to study French.” I marked it wrong because this is not how we spell it in American English. Come to find out later, this IS how we spell it in British English. (I had no idea. Fortunately, I happened to run across the correct British English spelling later.) The only way to deal with this is to know exactly which examples are Chinglish, American English, and British English. The only way to do this is to check all of these meticulously, which is what we are doing here.

 

13 hours ago, Zeppa said:

He said he would leave in one week's time

 

That is a third situation I had not considered. Thanks for that.

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1 minute ago, NinjaTurtle said:

I had a student write, “I use to study French.” I marked it wrong because this is not how we spell it in American English. Come to find out later, this IS how we spell it in British English.

 

No. "I used to study French".  Used with a 'd'.  (Assuming the meaning is "I did study French, but don't do it any more".  I can't think of any other use-cases that would make "use" correct.)

 

It's not a spelling or grammar thing. This is a very common error in Asian speakers of English as a second language.  "Sorry we're close" instead of closed etc.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, mungouk said:

No. "I used to study French".  Used with a 'd'

 

Do you mean this is the correct spelling in British English?

 

By the way, is your handle Mungo UK? Like the British Group Mungo Jerry?

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In British and probably American English, we never say 'I use to' in the present tense. It is always 'I used to'. There is no present-tense equivalent ('I am in the habit of studying French' is very pompous).

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2 minutes ago, NinjaTurtle said:

Do you mean this is the correct spelling in British English?

 

No, this is the correct usage in English full stop.  Saying "use" instead of "used" is incorrect.  

It's not about spelling. "Use" is incorrect in English.

 

 

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Well, OK. I had one British person say "use to study" is correct. (Apparently not.) And the fact that my Chinese student used it and was surprised when I said it was wrong makes me think this mistake is being taught widespread in China -- Chinglish!

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6 minutes ago, Zeppa said:

There is no present-tense equivalent

 

Well, you could say "I currently study French" or "I am still studying French" or "I'm studying French at the moment" or several other formulations I suppose.

 

2 minutes ago, NinjaTurtle said:

I had one British person say "use to" is correct.

 

Hint: Not all British people are experts on English Grammar 😉 

 

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11 minutes ago, NinjaTurtle said:

By the way, is your handle Mungo UK? Like the British Group Mungo Jerry?

 

Haha :)  Yes, I am the former lead singer.  You wouldn't believe the size of my sideburns. 

 

 

Just now, NinjaTurtle said:

 

"I know your name. You needn't tell me your name."

 

Again, overly-formal language.

 

"You don't need to tell me your name" would be more acceptable in spoken language. "Needn't" feels very old-fashioned. 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, mungouk said:

I'm curious: where are you from

 

I hail from Arizona USA. (Not too many jug bands in Arizona...)

 

I thought I'd share how I teach these phrases in class. For example, I will write on the board "I know your name. You needn't tell me your name." I then ask, "Is this OK?" I have never had a Chinese student ever react and say anything is odd or wrong or pompous about "You needn't tell me your name." The problem of Chinglish is huge.

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21 minutes ago, NinjaTurtle said:

I have never had a Chinese student ever react and say anything is odd or wrong or pompous about "You needn't tell me your name."

 

Well, how would they (students) even know?  

 

Also: given the size of the US, I expect vernacular usage of American English must vary quite a bit across the whole country?  For example, I imagine New England vs Southern states must have all kinds of differences. But I'm imagining. 

 

btw: I don't really see how any of this relates to "Chinglish", which as I understand it is poor-quality translation from Chinese into English (using software, for example).

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I would change the order if I said it:

You don't need to tell me your name, I already know it.

 

This is because there could be many reasons why you don't need to tell me your name:

 

You don't need to tell me your name, its not needed on this form.

 

Or any other situations you may find yourself in.

 

This sort of English sounds like the sort of Chinese I image I am learning from my text book, slightly old fashion, formal and not used by young people of today. I think this is one reason people say go to China and immerse yourself in "real" Chinese to sound natural and near native.

 

I think that if it sounds wrong to you it probably is, as English is my first language as I imagine it is yours, we don't tend to get taught the rules of grammar, we learn patterns and absorb it so when it comes to quantifying, labelling and explaining it, it can be difficult. You need to know the rules of English to be able to decide correct usage.

 

I think most of the difference between American English and British English is spelling and different words for the same thing - boot for trunk and so on.

As a Canadian who lived for a year in Ohio and now lives in England I would say the grammar is the same, some times word order may change but not much more.

 

I found I had to brush up on English grammar to learn Chinese grammar. Maybe try something like one of those Schaum's Outline books of English grammar designed for high school students. Might help😊

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