Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: English in Primary School

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    ClubSNAP East
    Posts
    1,702

    Unhappy English in Primary School

    I was just going through my daughter's P5 English Semestral Assessment 2 Paper and couldn't help but wonder about:

    Under Synthesis/Transformation

    #1. "I had dinner with Uncle John just now," Shane told his mother.
    Shane told his mother _____________________________________

    My daughter answered "Shane told his mother that he just had dinner with Uncle John."

    The answer was marked wrong by the teacher. Accordingly, the correct answer is:

    "Shane told his mother that he had had dinner with Uncle John just then."

    I'm puzzled. What am I missing?

    :Later,

  2. #2
    Senior Member limwhow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Life revolves arOnd East Coast
    Posts
    7,049

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Hi Pinoy.
    Yes, the model answer is correct - past participle.
    "I'd had lunch with my friends." - same sentence structure.
    Tough, isn't it?

  3. #3

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Yup, in this case the first 'had' serves as the verbal auxiliary while the second one is a verb.
    Such sentences might appear strange to some ppl as they are more used to seeing stuff like "had eaten lunch" or "had finished lunch" and do not realise that "had" can be used as a verb under such circumstances as well.
    Last edited by LenzLaw; 6th November 2009 at 02:40 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    damn i will fail p5 english paper.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    ClubSNAP East
    Posts
    1,702

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Actually, I understand the "had had" part but not the "just then".

    Daughter insists her answer is correct (it's equivalent to 2 marks, accordingly) and I tend to agree that grammatically, there is nothing wrong with her answer.

    Anyway, while we're at this subject... one of the difficulties I see her go through with her English subject in Singapore is the "clash" between British & American english (we are used to the latter):

    - Spelling. "Maximize" vs "Maximise".
    - Pronunciation. Vās vs Vz. I remember her going home one day furious at how she got some words spelled wrongly in a test because her teacher was pronouncing certain words "differently".

    Guess I should force her to watch british shows. Might help!

    :Later,

  6. #6

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    i think the "just then" is somewhat of what you might call a "direct transformation", after all that is how the section is named.

    i guess, maybe all the information must be kept inside, and "Shane told his mother that he had had dinner with Uncle John just now." is going to be definitely bad english.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    singapore
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    What they are after is gramatically correct transformation.

    This is what I was taught when studying to pass TOEFL & IELTS. That is some 15+ yrs ago.
    By the way, probably if I were to take the test now, my result will probably be worse even when I am conversing and typing in english more now.
    It is because then, we are drilled in grammars, and test questions have a pattern.

    The information that need to be conveyed is not that much different, in fact native speakers sometimes are just as confused, especially those whose profession are not in linguistic field.

    EG: I was reading newspaper and read a headline : "Philiphines struck again"
    I was wondering, WTH, should not that be "Philiphines [was] stricken again [by storm]" ?
    Then I consulted the dictionary and found out that the verb is strike-struck-stricken/struck-striking.
    Ugh, what I remembered when rote learning the verbs is stricken. I fail now. Let me hide under the table.

  8. #8

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Quote Originally Posted by baggiolee View Post
    damn i will fail p5 english paper.
    if you look at primary 1 school text book, you will choke...it is like primary 4 text book compare to 15 yrs ago.....
    Objection !!!

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    ClubSNAP East
    Posts
    1,702

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    My daughter raised the "issue" up with the teacher and the latter wrote me a note saying they're preparing the students for PSLE (next year) and that they'll follow the "British English Standard".

    I'm not gonna argue any further but just couldn't help wonder if my daughter's answer really fails the "british english standard".

    :Later,

  10. #10

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    In this case, you are reporting it as a third person. So you have to use past participle to report on something that has already happened.

    "I ate an apple just now." said John

    John said that he had ate an apple just then.

    and NOT: John said that he just ate an apple. Although it may sound alright speaking this, it is grammatically wrong when you are reporting something.

    Back to just then. Shane was telling his mum that "he had dinner just now". When we report it as a third person, we cannot use just now again. In lay man terms, the "just now" that you are reporting is not the same as the "just now" Shane was trying to say. So you have to use just then, which will refer to the "just now" Shane was implying.

    LOL.
    Passion for Photography

  11. #11

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinoy View Post
    My daughter raised the "issue" up with the teacher and the latter wrote me a note saying they're preparing the students for PSLE (next year) and that they'll follow the "British English Standard".

    I'm not gonna argue any further but just couldn't help wonder if my daughter's answer really fails the "british english standard".

    :Later,
    your being defensive on behalf of your daughter does not aid in her education.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    I live in a haunted house!!!!!
    Posts
    16,385

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Quote Originally Posted by chikubang View Post
    In this case, you are reporting it as a third person. So you have to use past participle to report on something that has already happened.

    "I ate an apple just now." said John

    John said that he had ate an apple just then.

    and NOT: John said that he just ate an apple. Although it may sound alright speaking this, it is grammatically wrong when you are reporting something.

    Back to just then. Shane was telling his mum that "he had dinner just now". When we report it as a third person, we cannot use just now again. In lay man terms, the "just now" that you are reporting is not the same as the "just now" Shane was trying to say. So you have to use just then, which will refer to the "just now" Shane was implying.

    LOL.
    ok, now i understand.
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    singapore
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Quote Originally Posted by contaxable View Post
    I am not sure how i attained TOEFL score at above 600 without going for TOEFL lessons. It seemed easy then.

    English has always been about the same over the past few decades. It is the society that is changing the way we communicate without being technically correct.

    As such, I do find it hard to comprehend Ris Loh or PCK's lingo.

    Oh, has it occurred to anyone that train decals at MRT stations are campaigning better use of English (with the ad about being intoxicated with proper use of English) while PCK's bad English is splashed all over the train doors. ie. "Dont play play, keep clear!"
    I took the course cos the only subject covered in english at the school I went to, is english subject

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    ClubSNAP East
    Posts
    1,702

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    your being defensive on behalf of your daughter does not aid in her education.
    Only because I believe the answer was correct. I am open to reasoning but not with that "british english standard" please. Something along chikubang's post would've had helped.

    Also I did tell her not to question the answer given but rather, ask why her answer was marked wrong.

    :Later,
    Last edited by Pinoy; 9th November 2009 at 08:02 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Virgo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    West of Singapore
    Posts
    4,816

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Quote Originally Posted by chikubang View Post
    In this case, you are reporting it as a third person. So you have to use past participle to report on something that has already happened.

    "I ate an apple just now." said John

    John said that he had ate an apple just then.
    I thought it should be had eaten, as in: "John said that he had eaten an apple just then."?
    Kind Regards
    My Picture Website

  16. #16

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Ya, it's "had eaten" My apologies....LOL..
    Passion for Photography

  17. #17
    Member jellyfishy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    West of Singapore
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Damn, need to retake my PSLE english liao

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Perth Australia
    Posts
    2,548

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinoy View Post
    Spelling. "Maximize" vs "Maximise".

    :Later,
    Historically "ize" was used in Medieval English up until about 1450 when it was dropped in England in favour of the French spelling "ise" for the majority of words. The Americans, being somewhat backward in their linguistic abilities still use the old form, rather than the modern British English format. This also applies to many other differences in the language between both nations. In the case of the USA version one can blame the c.17 mindset of many Americans in so far as if it was good enough for the Pilgrim Fathers it's good enough for us.

    In the real world, that is outside of Singapore either spelling varient is considered valid. See OED or CED for example.
    Last edited by Ian; 17th November 2009 at 07:47 AM.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  19. #19

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    actually the "British Standard" argument is rubbish... in the case mentioned, the rule is the same for both American and British "Standard" English... grammatical variation in norms between the two varieties are due mainly to different preferences in forms than to different rules, but they are just that, preferences in usage, not differences that would deny the grammaticality of other forms...

    but I question their insistence on teaching an awkward, uncommonly used way of phrasing... how many of us (or indeed how many English teachers) here would use "just then" at the end of an utterance... my preferred form would be

    "Shane told his mother that he had just had/eaten dinner with Uncle John."

    as for the spelling differences, the American spelling reform, led notably by Noah Webster, was an effort to differentiate their language variety from British standards both for nationalistic reasons as well as to try to better reflect how words are pronounced and to reduce extraneous characters in spelling... the irony of course is that in the case of "-ize/-ise", the current phonemic trend, which traditionally favours the voiced "-ize", is gradually moving towards the voiceless "-ise" in actual usage... but both should be acceptable as long as production is consistent within a piece of usage...

  20. #20
    Member MrKami's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: English in Primary School

    Quote Originally Posted by jellyfishy View Post
    Damn, need to retake my PSLE english liao
    LOL! Work Harder
    My Passion, My Dedication, My Photography

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •