Grammar Guru: Referring to general knowledge

How do you refer to general knowledge? “_____________ flights all over Europe are cancelled because of the volcano.” They say Something tells me One says Related news: Lufthansa is reportedly going to try to sue the German government for damages. John Cleese is alleged to have spent thousands to get from Oslo to Brussels… by […]

Grammar Guru: _______ verbs

Ok, this guy’s knocked out some teeth here: Danny Granger, American professional basketball player for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, famously knocked out his two front teeth in a victorious game against the Boston Celtics on 1 November 2008. You can say both of these: He knocked out two teeth. He knocked two teeth out. But […]

Feed the grammar guru

My favorite quote so far at IATEFL: “Do not teach things that are wrong.” That’s Dave Willis. And as he proves in this talk held before a room full of English teachers, it’s easier said than done. We often enough do teach total malarkey, namely as soon as we teach prescriptive grammar rules that don’t […]

Grammar Guru: Oops!

What do you say instead of “oops!” ? * There appears to have been some sort of mistake. * There appears to have been made some sort of mistake. * There appears some sort of mistake has been made. This is the silliest song Ella and Louis ever sang together, but it’s great singing on […]

Grammar Guru: Fish – it or them?

“I’m thinking about what to make for our dinner party. How about having fish?” “Nice! We could serve ______ as the main course.” It or them? And why?

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, […]