Donate to Red Cross Japan

The earthquake victims would appreciate your help more than you'll ever know(more resources can be found here).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

As Dense as a Rock (part 3): The Enriching Terms for Language Students

We spend our lives using statements like "He kicked me!" "Studying is hard work." or "I won't go if he's gonna be there, no way!" often without ever knowing what they are or how they work. While we are certainly capable of living full lives without this knowledge, in knowing these be become much more able to grasp it and use their principles to portray a certain image or feel(though the practice of naming is not without it's issues and limitations of how something can grow). That in mind, here are some of the terms to help you give greater depth and life to your statements and stories

Active Sentence
A sentence which describes an action from the agent's point of view.
What Does That Mean?
It talks about whatever the Agent’s doing, like when you tell your friends “Man, that Liang chick is chugging those beers like they were water. She’s on her 7th…8th…9th…I totally lost count”

Passive Sentence
A sentence which describes an action by someone from the viewpoint of someone else who is affected by that action.
What Does That Mean?
It talks about whoever was on the receiving end of whatever happens, often using Intransitive Verbs to provide a more detached point of view. It’s like when you ask your friend about the company softball game they played in and they say “We got whupped hardcore”

Auxiliary Adjective
A dependent adjective that is preceded by and attached to a verb or another adjective.
What Does That Mean?
One adjective is attached to the end of another adjective/a verb to give it a certain tone or intent, like when we’d say someone’s accident-prone (prone being the Auxiliary Adjective here). The same principle applies to Auxiliary Verbs

Causative Sentence
Sentences in which someone/something makes or lets someone/something do an action
What Does That Mean?
Depending on the sentence, they either let something happen or force it to happen, like when a workmate says “Yeah, you can borrow my stapler” or when you overhear someone say “Don’t make me break my foot off in your ass!”

Noun Phrase
A Word/group of words consisting of a single noun or noun and a number of optional modifiers
What Does That Mean?
It can be a group of something-like Pigs or Urbanites- or a subject + adjective(s)-like a rookie officer putting a Parking Ticket on that pricy Porsche. Altogether, it can let you talk in more detail about a subject, like when your friends ask you about Dale Carnegie’s book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ and you say “That dated book is still pretty useful and informative”

Noun Clauses
A Word/group of words consisting of noun, predicate and/or a number of optional modifiers
What Does That Mean?
It’s much like a Noun Phrase, but allows for more detailed information to be brought into the conversation, so instead of saying of just talking about ‘That nerdy girl at the bookstore’ you can talk about ‘That nerdy girl you ran into yesterday at the bookstore’ Clauses themselves come in 2 kinds: Main (which can be used on its own, I.E. “That nerdy girl I know”) and Subordinate (which can’t, and need to work with a Main Clause to work proper, I.E. the ‘who I ran into’ part of “That nerdy girl you know was who I ran into”), which combine to make Complex Sentences

A word, phrase, or clause which expresses a condition
What Does That Mean?
It says that something can or will happen if something/someone is a certain way, like when someone says “Yeah, I’ll give you some cash. When pigs fly” or a buddy tells you “If you weren’t so weird, people would talk to you more”

A figure of speech in which two similar things are compared.
What Does That Mean?
It’s something that lets you say one thing is like another to illustrate their common qualities, like in Forest Gump’s famous line “Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get”. Like others parts of language, it can be mean, funny, sad or anything else, based on the intent of the one using it.

A figure of speech in which a word for one idea or thing is used in its place or another to suggest a likeness between them
What Does That Mean?
It’s something that lets you say something or someone shows the qualities of something else or does something the way something or someone else would. This is demonstrated when you overhear someone say “People in our society are rats running through maze to get their piece of the big cheese” at a rally or when you’re at a pizza eating contest and your friend says “Wow, are those people or food processors over there?” Many sexual innuendoes rely on the metaphor and simile to express the intent of the message without directly using terms like ‘sex’ ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’(because that isn’t what classy folks do). Can be paired with a simile in the structure ‘A is B as C is D (along with similar structures)’ for more elaborate and thorough comparisons, like when you pass by a Hot Topic and your friend says “Rapcore is music like chess is a full contact sport” 

No comments:

Post a Comment