A problem has arisen

The involvement of government in indigenous governance has arisen a variety of arguments.

Here there is a vocabulary problem AND a grammar problem!

First the grammar problem..

In other languages (Indonesian flag ‘memunculkan’) the verb ‘arise’ can be transitive (can take an object), but in English it cannot. However, there do exist alternatives that allow you to keep the object (obj – ‘a variety of arguments’): Continue reading

Reconstructing Chomsky on Language

Recently in class Chomsky’s name came up in discussion as the most widely cited author, but not many students knew his name or why he is so well-known.

The following video outlines Chomsky’s ground-breaking theory of language.

Before you watch the video, discuss with a friend the following questions.

  • What makes human language different from animal language?
  • Is language learned, or are we born with it?
  • How is it possible that small children learn languages so quickly?

Watch the video and then attempt the text reconstruction activity at the bottom of the page.

Continue reading

Market(s) and ‘the market’

It is important to test products on animals before releasing them commercially to markets.

The problem here is that there are two kinds of market – physical and virtual – and in this example, markets (plural) suggests more than one physical market, while releasing them commercially suggests more than one virtual market. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Physical market(s)

  • The crowd around the market were given free water.
  • The town centre markets were also discussed briefly.
  • A big favourite at local farmers’ markets.

These are the places you go early in the morning to buy cheap vegetables. Often this kind of market is outdoor:

Outdoor market
If it’s an indoor market then it’s usually inside a large hall:

Indoor market

Virtual market(s)

The featured image for this post shows people buying and selling things on the virtual market. They’re not buying anything inside that building, rather they are investing in things that are located elsewhere so that they can hopefully receive some of the profits from the sale of those things.

A particular virtual market or set of virtual markets may be mentioned explicitly:

  • Funding costs rose amid renewed volatility in financial markets.

Sometimes more than one virtual market is implied:

  • New products are constantly appearing on the market. (different products sold in different locations)

And sometimes a specific virtual market is implied but not mentioned explicitly:

  • The property hit the market last week. (= the housing market)

Market(s) and collocation

If the name of a virtual market is not given, certain phrases can suggest that you’re talking about a virtual rather than a physical market.

  • We put our house on the market last week.
  • Anybody from anywhere can buy our house!
  • The 1990 model is no longer on the market.
  • It’s no longer available anywhere.
  • The property hit the market last week.
  • The property did not physically ‘hit’ a physical market building, rather it became available for purchase.

If it’s on the market (one or more virtual markets), it’s not at the market (a single physical market).

Conclusion

Our opening example implies a set of virtual markets that are not explicitly mentioned, and so we need:

  • It is important to test products on animals before releasing them commercially to the market.
  • More than one virtual market is implied (e.g. cosmetics, medicines, food products) but not mentioned explicitly!

Complete with ‘with’

Mobile phones are completed by advanced features.

Completed by

OK let’s look at some examples of ‘completed by’:

  • The questionnaires are completed by women aged 15–49.
  • A complete site overhaul was completed by our editorial staff.
  • The detailed project report has been completed by the consultants.

In all three examples we have to be + completed by + agent (the person doing the completing). In our opening example that would make ‘advanced features’ the agent, which is of course impossible. Continue reading

Interested in ‘interest’

Admittedly some people may not interests in the arts.

OK so ‘interest’ is potentially a problematic word.

Let’s say I’m one of those people who like the arts, I like attending arts events, and I like going to galleries, etc. In this case I can say any of the following:

  • I’m interested in the arts.
  • S.o. + (not) to be + interested in + s.th./s.o.
  • The arts interest me.
  • S.th./S.o. + (doesn’t) interest(s) + s.o.
  • I find the arts interesting.
  • S.o. + (doesn’t) find(s) + s.th./s.o. + interesting
  • The arts are interesting to me.
  • S.th./S.o. + (not) to be + interesting + to + s.o.

Returning to our original example, we need:

  • Admittedly some people may not be interested in the arts.
  • Admittedly some people may not find the arts interesting.
  • Admittedly the arts may not interest some people.
  • Admittedly the arts may not be interesting to some people.

Try this practice activity: Continue reading

With or without ‘with’

It could be argued that a patient who doubts with modern medicines will take longer to heal.

Indonesian flag Bahasa Indonesia often features with after certain verbs where it would not be used in English. In English the opening example would simply read:

  • It could be argued that a patient who doubts modern medicines will take longer to heal.

Other examples of the redundant with include:

  • In addition, patients do not fully believe with the capability of the doctor.
  • I like with dangdut music.
  • Please promise with your mother that you will meet her after work.

So that’s four verbs – doubt, believe, like, promise – that are not followed by with in English, but are followed by with in at least one other language. I’ll add more examples when I think of them. Meanwhile, if you can think of any other examples, please add comments below.

I will tag this post with the Indonesian word dengan – please come back another time and see if the list has grown!