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Aug 20, 2016

The English That Has Embarrassed So Many. Part 3




I said in part one of this tutorial that English seemed easy but could sometimes disgrace a professor of English. However, with constant study and determination, you can still speak and write the language flawlessly more than its native speakers.

Today, I will be discussing with you three grammatical blunders people confidently make due to ignorance. These blunders include:
1. If you saw what God DID TO me, you would have joined me to praise Him.
2. It is high time I STOP such nonsense.
3. It's been long I VISIT my mum.

Now let's see why they are ungrammatical.
1. If you saw what God DID TO me, you would have joined me to praise Him.

Structurally, sentence one is grammatical but contextually ungrammatical. By structure I mean how the words in the sentence are arranged whereas by context I mean the actual meaning of the sentence.

Now, what you should know is that there is a difference between 'did to' and 'did for.' If someone DID something TO you, it simply means the person hurt or treated you badly but if someone DID something FOR you, it means the person showed you favour or love; so if you say, 'you are appreciating God for what He DID TO you,' it simply means  you are thanking God for hurting or treating you badly. The question is, can God treat you badly? I am cocksure that is not what the person actually means because nobody will appreciate anyone for hurting him/her. Sentence one is correct in terms of the arrangement of the words that make up the sentence but because what the speaker actually means is different from the actual meaning of the sentence, the sentence is termed ungrammatical.
Therefore, the right thing to say is, ' If you saw what God DID FOR me, you would have joined me to praise Him.

On the other hand, if you are sure God actually offended you(very impossible though), you can still say, 'If you saw what God DID TO me, you would have joined me to praise Him.'

Now these DID TO  and DID FOR have different forms depending on the sentence structure. These forms include:
I. Does to/Does for E.g. He DOES many despicable things TO her/ He DOES wonderful things FOR her.

2.Do to/Do for E.g. They DO wicked things TO themselves/ They DO the house chores FOR their sister.

3.Done to/Done for E.g. He has Done more harm than good TO me/ For the good works He has DONE FOR me I will accord him eulogies.

Now from the above sentences, you will observe that all the ones with 'TO' have negative effect whereas all the ones with 'FOR' have positive effect.

Now let's see our second sentence of study:

2. It is high time I STOP such nonsense.

The sentence above is a very common mistake among the learners and native speakers of English. I won't say much on it so just know that anytime you make use of the word, 'high time' in a sentence, the verb coming after it should be in its past tense.
    Examples:
It is high time I WENT to school.
It is high time I VISITED my village.
It is high time I ran.

The sentence, 'It is high time I STOP such nonsense' is wrong because the verb, 'stop' is in its present tense instead of its past tense. Therefore, the right thing to say is,
      It is high time I stopped such nonsense.

Now let's see our third sentence of study:

3. It's been long I VISIT my mum.

'It's been long' is just like a substitute to 'high time.' Anytime you make use of  'It's been long' in a sentence just like the one above, the verb coming after it should be in its past tense.
        Examples:
It's been long we PRAYED together.
It's been long I DID my morning devotion.

Therefore, the correct answer to sentence three is,
     It's been long I VISITED my mum.

SEE WHY THE VERB COMING AFTER 'HIGH TIME' OR 'IT'S BEEN LONG' SHOULD BE IN ITS PAST TENSE.

'High time' and 'It's been long' are just like 'Once upon a time.' Anytime you make a sentence like either of the ones we've studied or its kind where you have either 'high time' and 'It's been long,' it means that you want to tell us in the present what you used to do or what you did in the past so the tense after it should be in its past form. Anything outside this rule makes the sentence ungrammatical.




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