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NinjaTurtle

British English - "First grade in high school"

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somethingfunny

I'm not going round telling people they aren't in 高一 but are actually in their fifth year of British High School.  But on the other hand, if I tell a Chinese person that I spent most of my first year High School Maths classes learning about different kinds of shapes then we're not going to have a useful conversation.  Like most issues of this kind - where we're talking about education systems in comparison - contextual information is necessary, and when talking to Americans or Chinese people, I already possess that contextual information.

 

If I was speaking to a Japanese person I'd probably need to preface the conversation with something like: "I'm going to refer to the first year of high school as 'Year 7', and that is the group at which students are generally aged 11 at the start of the school year".

 

9 minutes ago, 陳德聰 said:

I think there’s an implicit understanding in “first grade of high school” that the particular high school system has a first grade, as many do all over the world.

 

I think this might be the issue.  In the UK, nobody refers to the first year of high school in such terms.  We refer to it almost exclusively as 'Year 7'.  As implied by Mungouk above, the only point at which a year group is actually referred to by its stage in a high school (at least in my day) was 6th form (the 6th year of high school), but even that was used to refer to the stage of education rather than the actual year group - which was usually referred to as Year 12 (or, perhaps confusingly, "lower 6th").

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陳德聰

I imagine in a conversation where all parties are human beings with the ability to ask and answer questions, this phrase might be helpful: “Oh, what’s ‘first grade in high school’? How old are the students?”

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ChTTay
10 hours ago, 陳德聰 said:

This seems like evidence of a need for learning more about Chinese language and culture as this is a direct translation of “高中一年級“ which means “First grade in/of High School” and that translation to me is less a reflection of language skill as it is of cultural knowledge.

 

I pretty much said this when I said “it sounds like a Chinese thing”. Wasn’t that clear? 😉

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NinjaTurtle

Hi everyone. I have another question about British English. In American English we have what I call the Seldom Rule: “In English, we seldom say seldom.”

Instead of saying

 

“He seldom sleeps.”

 

we usually say

 

“He doesn’t sleep that often.”
“He doesn’t sleep so often.”
“He doesn’t sleep very often.”

 

In the case of length of time, we usually don’t say “sleep” we say “get (some) sleep”.

 

Instead of saying

 

“I didn’t sleep at all”

 

it is common to say

 

“I didn’t get any sleep.”  or  “I didn’t get any sleep at all.” -->

 

“I didn’t get any sleep last night.”  or  “I didn’t get any sleep at all last night.”

 

We also have the example, "I slept very little".

 

If we are talking about length of time, we would usually say

 

1. “I didn’t get that much sleep last night.”
2. “I didn’t get so much sleep last night.”
3. “I didn’t get very much sleep last night.”
4. “I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.”

 

Answers 1 and 4 are most common.

 

I would like to find out if this is handled differently in British English.

 

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Zeppa
1 hour ago, NinjaTurtle said:

“He doesn’t sleep that often.”
“He doesn’t sleep so often.”
“He doesn’t sleep very often.”

The first thing I would say is that none of these, including the 'seldom' you reject, sound at all likely or logical to me, and I don't even think that is a BrE thing. It sounds as if the person sleep only 3 nights a week or something, which just sounds weird. I don't know the 'seldom' rule. More logical would be examples with, for example, playing tennis: 'He doesn't play tennis very often'.

 

All the other examples you give about length of time seem normal to me. I probably wouldn't say 2. 'not so much' though. I might also say:

I slept badly last night

I didn't sleep well last night

I didn't get any sleep last night. 

 

I don't know if this is helpful.

 

Aged British speaker.

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NinjaTurtle
4 hours ago, Zeppa said:

All the other examples you give about length of time seem normal to me.

 

Zeppa,

 

It sounds like there is no real difference here between American English and British English. Thanks for the help!

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Shelley

I would agree with Zeppa example 1 through 4 sound unlikely. It does sound as if he sleeps once or twice a week or a month, so I could never imagine a situation in which I would say that. It would be better to say "he doesn't sleep well"

 

If I was asked how I slept I would answer "I didn't get much sleep last night" the closest would be your  example 3. “I didn’t get very much sleep last night.” , but i wouldn't use the very. Doesn't seem necessary. same as the addition of so, that. not needed in my opinion. So really there are only 2 options 1,2, and 3 with out the adjectives and 4.

 

And then there is the " I didn't sleep a wink last night" for your “I didn’t sleep at all” or "I slept very little"

 

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陳德聰

What a strange rule... Who made it and on what authority?

 

Are you teaching writing or speaking? Seldom is fine and probably preferrable to your colloquial suggestions, in writing at least. In speaking, I would expect to hear “not often” or even the more extreme “rarely” more frequently than the word seldom.

 

P.S. I would choose “I slept poorly last night” over “I didn’t sleep well” but that’s just me.

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NinjaTurtle
2 hours ago, Shelley said:

Have a look here

 

Shelley, thanks for the link.

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