The English That Has Embarrassed So Many. Part 4

Someone was telling me to promote our local languages rather than the English language in one of the comments on my previous post. Well, there is nothing bad promoting what you have but the questions are: are our languages mutually intelligible outside Nigeria? What is our official language? What is the language of commerce, banking, politics and education in Nigeria? What happens to you if you fail English in WAEC or NECO? The right answers to these questions will make you appreciate the study of English. Anyway, that's bygone; let's go to the business of the day.

Today, I will be discussing with you another grammatical blunders that have beaten so many persons black and blue. These blunders are:

1. The girl is INSULTIVE.
2.I will pay you INSTALLMENTALLY/ I will make an INSTALLMENTAL  payment.
3. I live in Port Harcourt; Rumuokoro to be PRECISED.
4. The girl has been DISVIRGINED.

Now let's see why the sentences above are ungrammatical.

1. The girl is INSULTIVE.

I don't agree the English language is simple, but learners of the language have a way of making it look simple in order to suit their inadequacies.
Please check your dictionary if you will find the word 'insultive.'
The right thing to say is, 'The girl is insulting.'

2.I will pay you INSTALLMENTALLY/ I will make an INSTALLMENTAL  payment.

Are you surprised to know that sentence two is wrong? It is normal. Neither 'installmentally' nor 'installmental' is in the English dictionary, maybe learners of the language want it to be included in new editions. What you will find in the dictionary is 'installment.'
Therefore, the correct sentence is:
              I will pay by installment.

Payment by installment is payment by parts at different times.

3. I live in Port Harcourt, Rumuokoro to be PRECISED.

'Precise' in this context is functioning as an adjective and it means to be exact, hence does not require the suffix 'd.' Perhaps you were confused by the verb 'be' that precedes it.

In Standard English, 'precise' only functions as an adjective (its adverbial form is 'precisely')but it is sometimes used as a verb by non native speakers or in jargons.

Therefore, sentence three is wrong. The correct form of the sentence is:
         I live in Port Harcourt; Rumuokoro to be PRECISE.

4. The girl has been DISVIRGINED.

There is no word like 'disvirgin' but 'deflower.'
Therefore, the correct sentence should be:
            The girl has been DEFLOWERED.

Tamuno Reuben

Those who seek knowledge seek power because the pen is mightier than the sword.


  1. If power supply current is low, what is the correct english.

    1. Please, I don't understand your question. Can you rephrase it?

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