Grammar Guru: Stop …!

One of my dear students is having trouble with the difference between stop to do something and stop doing something. I used to use that Talking Heads film title to pound it into people (oh, you pound people too?? Nasty laughs.) But Lady Gaga is more up to date, and her “Telephone” is hot. No, I probably wouldn’t be taking the video to my company courses, just the song. But you do have to know the terrain. Anyway, Pomplamoose have just uploaded their pomplamoosish Grade A cover version.

Stop what you’re doing. Stop to listen to this.

Hello, Hello, baby; you called
I can’t hear a thing
I have got no service in the club you say, say
Wa-wa-what did you say?
Huh? You’re breaking up on me
Sorry, I cannot hear you
I’m kinda busy
K-kinda busy

Just a second, it’s my favorite song they’re gonna play
and I cannot text you with a drink in my hand, eh?
You shoulda made some plans with me; you knew that I was free
And now you won’t stop calling me
I’m kinda busy

Stop callin’, stop callin’, I don’t wanna think anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance-floor
Stop callin’, stop callin’, I don’t wanna talk anymore!
I left my head and my heart on the dance-floor

Stop telephonin’ me!
I’m busy!

Can call all you want but there’s no one home
and you’re not gonna reach my telephone!
‘Cause I’m out in the club and I’m sippin’ that bub’
and you’re not gonna reach my telephone!

Boy, the way you blowin’ up my phone won’t make me leave no faster,
put my coat on faster, leave my girls no faster.
I shoulda left my phone at home ’cause this is a disaster!
Callin’ like a collector
Sorry: I cannot answer!

Not that I don’t like you: I’m just at a party
And I am sick and tired of my phone ri-ringing
Sometimes I feel like I live in Grand Central Station
Tonight I’m not takin’ no calls ’cause I’ll be dancin’

We’re sorry; the number you have reached is not in service at this time
Please check the number, or try your call again

PS: Don’t watch Lady Gaga’s video if you’re not into explicit stuff. But I’ve been thinking about it and, yes, it’s pretty interesting and will set off lots of conversation.

song of the week :-) englisch lernen mit liedern

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

5 thoughts on “Grammar Guru: Stop …!”

  1. :( We’re fighting? I stop calling him. I tell him to stop calling me.
    :) Everything’s fine and I want to know how he is? I stop to call him. See: I stop in order to call him.

    By the way, my wonderful boss Eamonn over at Spotlight has actually posted Lady Gaga and Beyoncé’s video in today’s question. OK? Not OK? The video has 17.386.207 views at posting.

    Links to discussions on the video:

    Product placement: http://idolator.com/5442642/the-story-behind-the-product-placements-in-gagas-telephone-video

    Beyonce’s and Lady Gaga’s fashion: http://nicolaformichetti.blogspot.com/2010/03/fashion-credits-telephone-by-lady-gaga.html

    What Lady Gaga is doing here: http://www.theawl.com/2010/03/the-night-lady-gaga-blew-up-the-internet-with-telephone

  2. What would make my good friend (we’re talking!) happy?

    * I stop to call him. (70%, 7 votes) – exactly.
    * I stop calling him. (30%, 3 votes) – no, this would not be nice.

    I think you 3 people were just confused by the question. Anyway, both versions are correct grammar but mean different things.

  3. Isn’t this song just kind of like a rewrite of that Madonna song–you know the “Time goes by so slowly” joint–but the other way around?

    Also, I know it’s probably an unfair comparison–and I know they’re not really a competition, but I guess it’s a habit from listening to so many hiphop tracks “featuring” other guest artists where they are obviously are kind of competing–but Beyonce totally kills GaGa on this song. The part where they’re in the car and B is singing is the best.

    Anyhoo, with the number of times they repeat the chours, if this song doesn’t get that “stop -ing” fixed in your student’s head, I don’t know what will! :)

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