this is my uncle and aunt. Both are singular, therefore the sentence uses "this is" not "these are". these are my uncles and aunts. this is my uncle and aunt.
I always assumed since you say "They/These are my parents" you have to say "These/They are my mom and dad" (parents = my mom and dad = plural); or "They are my siblings" -> "They are my brother and sister" (siblings = my brother and sister = plural). "This is my brother and this is my sister" - OK, "This is my brother and this my sister" - kinda OK?
But I'm not sure whether using "is" here for "my uncle and aunt" is really grammatically correct or it's just the sloppy way of the native speakers :) Which is ok in real life, but there are some boundaries here, e.g. we don't accept "You busy now?" either.
For example, you would ask "Where are mom and dad?" but would not ask "Where is mom and dad?" because "mom and dad" are two people, so you use plural... Right?.. Then how come one can use "there is"? I always thought that's just sloppiness :') I hear people say stuff like "There's many reasons for this" etc.
You are right about "where are Mum and Dad?", and you are right about "there's many reasons", which is fine in speech but wrong in writing. But with "this is" you use the singular unless the first term is plural (e.g. you might say "these are my brothers and sister", but "this is my brother and sister".) It's a mistake to expect languages to make sense - they are full of exceptions!!!
Thanks! I'll try to gather more information on this... Googling brings up many forums where some people say what you said, some bring up strange arguments (like "parents" is plural hence "they are" and "mom and dad" is singular hence "this is"), some say it's wrong.... X_X
So then, another thing: should "This is my mom and this my dad" be accepted? Many people have reported it, and it sounds kind of OK to me if I make a pause after the second "this", but again, I'm never sure as a non-native :') Thanks!
What's your first language, va-diim? Mine is English, in fact I have a degree in it. "This is my uncle and aunt" is grammatically correct, as "this" relates to the first term. I have asked members of my family about this. All of them agree that "this is my aunt and uncle" sounds completely natural. There are circumstances where one might say "these are...", but it would be much more unusual: "Who are these people?" "These are my aunt and uncle" might work, but it's clumsy. To take another example, you might introduce the Johnsons like this: "These are the Johnsons", but it would be much more common to say "this is Mr and Mrs Johnson."
Wait... My example of "who" instead of "whom" was actually the opposite, that now it's standardized already :) "Whom" has been slowly vanishing since the 90s I think :D So we do accept both "who/whom" here in this course.
However, it's still unclear to me how standard "this is + [two objects]" is.
You cannot say that AmE is grammatically incorrect BrE xD So you cannot say AAVE is grammatically wrong AmE :D It's a different dialect with a different set of rules! One of them is, negation is formed by "ain't ... no". If a speaker of AAVE does NOT say it this way, the others will think he's speaking wrong.
Also, the continuous form in AAVE is different. There are two, actually. "He working" means "he is working at this very moment" and "He be working" means "he's working these days".
These are not wrong, they just belong to a different dialect. You said you have a degree in languages, no? These are like the basic facts of modern linguistics :) A language is a dialect with an army and a navy. AAVE is intrinsically consistent, within itself, it has rules that the speakers follow. These rules happen to be different from AmE, same as AmE is different from BrE, that's it.
ain't = WTF?!?
The word "ain't" does not exist in AmE, so it would indeed be "wtf" as you say. In AAVE it exists. We do not accept it here because we do not cover AAVE, or Australian English or any other dialect.
Ebonics, as Black American English is called, is a dialect the way any ueducated, grammatically incorrect English is a dialect.
Hmm, and AmE is not an uneducated version of BrE? Modern English is not an uneducated version of Middle English? Of Old English?
Cajun Americans, West Virginian/Appalachian Americans also have a very uneducated English with incorrect grammar. They also say "ain't." It's not considered a different, correct dialect because they're White people?
Of course it's a different dialect!! Are you kidding me! It's called Appalachian English. Why wouldn't it be a dialect?
Oh, look, here's the section Grammar with a subsection Conjugation of the verb "to be" which talks exactly about the grammar rules in that dialect. It has intrinsically consistent rules. The fact that they are different from another dialect which is the standard American English, is no wonder - because it's a different dialect.
If this particular dialect took over in some historical roll of dice, we would all be speaking it and wouldn't find it wrong. Again, a language is a dialect with an army and a navy.
But Blacks speaking ebonics is considered correct but different? Bad English is always bad English. Skin color doesn't matter, because most educated Blacks speak standard English.
I don't see why you are bringing skin colour into this. That's a strange move on your side. Languages are perpetuated by the brains of children who learn from adults, and have nothing to do with what colour their hair, eyes or skin are.
In general, your notions about languages seem to be quite obsolete. They are as strange, ridiculous and shocking as the old notions that being gay is a mental disease or that the shape of one's skull determines one's personality. I recommend "The Language Instinct" by Steven Pinker to debunk a lot of misconceptions you have.
The answer is no. AmE is not an uneducated version of BrE because it has a teachable grammar with rules, almost the same as BrE. Vernacular English doesn't have rules because it breaks the rules of its originating language.
AAVE and Appalachian English also have teachable rules. Check out the list of rules in the Wiki article I sent you. They are well-defined, consistent and teachable. These rules evolved from the original rules of AmE, same as AmE rules evolved from BrE.
If that's the case, then any poor grammar can be considered a dialect.
1) Poor grammar means making mistakes. It means 70% of the time saying "he is" and 30% "he are" because your knowledge of grammar is poor. Assume the parents speak this way because their English is bad, or they use a pidgin to communicate. Their children, due to how language is processed in the brain, pick out the most common pattern and use it consistently. They creolize the pidgin. Or they say "ain't" all the time and not just when they don't know what to use. Now it's CONSISTENT. Now there are rules.
2) Poor grammar means very few people speak that way, and they are scattered around, not concentrated anywhere geographically as a community. If there is a community of people speaking with rules diverging from a certain other dialect, but still kind of mutually intelligible, they are another dialect.
--> combine these two things: having consistent grammar rules and having a community makes a dialect. How do you think French, Italian and Spanish came to be? They used to be dialects of Latin. They used to be mutually intelligible at the time. They diverged so much over time that they are not anymore, they are called "languages" now. This is very similar to how species work. Two animals are still the same species if they can produce an offspring. At some moment some species diverge too far to produce an offspring, so we call them new species.
It doesn't matter what Wikipedia articles you site.
It does. This article cites articles and books. This articles says what the current state of research and linguistics knows. Again, you can read Steven Pinker or Noam Chomsky or any other source that talks about what this Wiki page talks about. Or go to "References". The fact that your outdated opinion is that a dialect does not have consistent grammar rules does not make this Wiki article wrong.
A lot of those are politically correct nonsense trying to legitimize uneducated, erroneous language.
AGAIN. Let's try this again. Saying "ain't" is an error in AmE. Saying it in AAVE or in Appalachian English is not an error, it's THE grammar rule in that dialect. It can be described. You can write a textbook teaching how to speak by those rules, and people can learn them. They are not making mistakes, they are consistently using "ain't" as a verb. Modern English is not making a mistake in not using "thou", it's the rule.
If you go to Arkhangelsk and listen to how the people in the forest speak poor Russian, I guess you can call it a legitimate dialect, since you feel that poor grammar and bad English/Russian is legitimately correct as a dialect.
If they speak with POOR grammar, I would call it poor grammar. If they speak with self-consistent, describable grammar, I would call it a dialect.
If a bunch of Russian people decide to speak ONLY English to their kids and to themselves, and form an English-speaking community, they will not be a dialect. They will skip "the" and "a", say, 70% of the time because their grammar is poor. Their kids will pick it up and skip it ALL the time. It's a thing. That's how creolization works. Really, good examples in Steven Pinker's book if you want. Their children will pass that to their children, along with other differences. Along with pronunciation. At some point, we have a peculiar dialect of English. Something like this happened in the Caribbeans with creoles. Something like this (but with native speakers) happened with Texas German and Pennsylvania German.
But how do you teach incorrect Arkhangelsk Russian? You don't; you teach proper Russian.
THAT is why we don't accept AAVE here, only AmE and BrE. We don't teach AAVE because it's not a mainstream dialect, we teach AmE; that's why we don't teach dialects of Russian, we teach the main dialect. It's simply more useful to learn the main one, because otherwise you won't be able to do many things in this society. It's totally cool to learn both though, good for your brain.
American, Australian, South African, etc. English are all dialects of English, taught in school.
Because they are mainstream. I don't see any problem with teaching AAVE as an elective course for people who are interested in it. Because again, it has rules, consistent rules. The fact that they are similar to AmE rules, but diverge, makes you very confused, I see. Well, Spanish and Italian rules are also very similar but diverging. How come Spanish is not called wrong Italian then? Because 1) it's been a long time for them to diverge a lot 2) they have own armies and navies.
Ebonics, Appalachian, etc. are grammatically incorrect English,
They are grammatically correct within themselves. You cannot call Bavarian incorrect High German. It's simply NOT high German. AAVE is NOT AmE, so it cannot be wrong AmE. It does not break AmE rules, it has its own rules, same as AmE does not break BrE rules, it has its own rules.
Again, I don't know why you are bringing up social status and things like that to explain how the rules of one dialect are wrong in another - which is true - and to say that that means that dialect is not a dialect - which does not make any sense.
Please, please, The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker -> the shortest way I can imagine you can gather all the information about what dialects and languages are and how they live and evolve, how brains process language etc. Also history and the "biology" of language. Otherwise you could read multiple sources, but that takes too much time, Steven Pinker's book has it all condensed there.
Think of it not as "this is [2 people]"
It's more like "this is person 1 and [this is] person 2"
who/whom is still properly used the same as I/me, he/him, she/her, we/us, they/them. It's accepted to replace "whom" with "who" because it has become so common, but it's not "standard." Many educated people still correctly use "whom" as the standard. "who" is no longer slang or incorrect because it's so common, but it's not standard. The Oxford dictionary will also tell you "ain't" is also a correct word
Yes, I got the logic of it, only didn't get how "standard" it is.
Exactly, "who" is so common that it's standard now, same as regular past like "learned" etc, that's the whole point of how languages evolve :) And yes depending on the region, personal taste etc. some people use "whom" and some don't. But I think it's OK to use it in writing or on TV now as well, so totally accepted.
"Ain't ... no" is proper grammar in AAVE, so yeah, nothing is wrong with it either. It's used consistently by the speakers of this variant of English, and not as an occasional slip or mistake; it has a well-defined pattern similar to many European languages with double negation. No problem with that, it's only that we don't use AAVE here, only AmE and BrE.
Bad comparison AmE vs. BrE. Ebonics, as Black American English is called, is a dialect the way any ueducated, grammatically incorrect English is a dialect. Cajun Americans, West Virginian/Appalachian Americans also have a very uneducated English with incorrect grammar. They also say "ain't." It's not considered a different, correct dialect because they're White people? But Blacks speaking ebonics is considered correct but different? Bad English is always bad English. Skin color doesn't matter, because most educated Blacks speak standard English.
The answer is no. AmE is not an uneducated version of BrE because it has a teachable grammar with rules, almost the same as BrE. Vernacular English doesn't have rules because it breaks the rules of its originating language. If that's the case, then any poor grammar can be considered a dialect. It doesn't matter what Wikipedia articles you site. A lot of those are politically correct nonsense trying to legitimize uneducated, erroneous language. If you go to Arkhangelsk and listen to how the people in the forest speak poor Russian, I guess you can call it a legitimate dialect, since you feel that poor grammar and bad English/Russian is legitimately correct as a dialect. But how do you teach incorrect Arkhangelsk Russian? You don't; you teach proper Russian. American, Australian, South African, etc. English are all dialects of English, taught in school. Ebonics, Appalachian, etc. are grammatically incorrect English, spoken outside of the mainstream, MOSTLY by people uneducated in the proper language, although a lot of people do speak these vernaculars on purpose in order to fit in with the style of uneducated, incorrect native speakers. For example in music, like hip-hop, blues, rock 'n' roll, etc. What you're saying is that incorrect language is a correct dialect, but how do you teach incorrect language when it already breaks all rules of a language? I'm sorry, but I disagree with your definition of dialect. Although a vernacular is different than a dialect.
So, can one ask "Where is mom and dad?" or say "Mom and dad is in the room"? Thanks!
I would agree that it's colloquially natural (same as "You there?") but not grammatically correct. I'm sure I've heard it many times from native speakers, on American TV etc., and I don't have anything against it, I just need to figure out how standard it is. If it's basically standard English already (same as "who" instead of "whom"), I'll add it; if it's still non-standard, colloquial etc, I won't... In this case my opinion doesn't matter, it's just my responsibility :') (to add it takes one second, and I don't care much, I would just go and add it, but it's not just my opinion)
This works differently with «з» (with) and «і» (and).
With «з», you can use either, with a slight change of meaning. «Мій дядько з тіткою» adds prominence to uncle: uncle is more important, and aunt is somehow accompanying him. «Мої дядько з тіткою» means uncle and aunt are equally important.
With «і», you need to use plural adjective: «мої дядько і тітка». If you use singular adjective, it will feel as if aunt is not your aunt, i.e. 'my uncle and (someone's) aunt' or even 'my uncle and a woman' (since тітка can be used to refer to other woman, not just to your aunt).
The difference between «і» and «з» is because «і» homogenouns parts of the sentence, while «з» makes «з тіткою» a modifier to «дядько».
For some reason I can't answer the thread about "is" and "are". There are lots of opinions about "correct" and "incorrect", and they are often about the power of the speaker or writer. Leaving that aside, we have to remember that the purpose of this course is to learn Ukrainian not English, and that all the accepted English sentences should be considered part of correct mainstream English, either American, British, or perhaps a couple of other varieties. Sometimes this will involve breaking rules from older grammar books, if sticking to these rules makes the English sound overformal or pretentious. I don't have the time to get into silly arguments with Duolingo users who want to accept strange usages, but I am happy to give my opinion on particular examples, as I can see your difficulty, and I am grateful to you for giving your time to Duolingo Ukrainian course. I am a native English speaker. I have lived all my life in South Wales and the South of England, I have a first class degree in English. I am also well aware of mainstream educated American dialects, which are not really very different except at the level of spelling and vocabulary. I have taught English and taken a keen interest in linguistics and language education. You can trust my opinion on what is correct, what bends the rules but is fine in spoken English, and what sounds weird. Hope this is useful
Yes, in short:
Here we accept only AmE and BrE, not because they are the only "correct" dialects, but because they are mainstream, and we have limited manpower :D
I want to understand whether "This is + [2 people/objects]" is part of the standard AmE or BrE now (same as "who" for "whom" is), or is it still considered sloppy speaking, colloquial, slang etc. (like "You busy?" or "There's many reasons"). I will add it to the list if it's part of AmE or BrE, because, as said above, we only cover those, and only the standard version without slang.
I am failing to get some sort of unanimous opinion on this. It's hard to distinguish if some people are prescriptivists who claim something is wrong, but it's only because they don't want it to be correct (same as opposing "who" for "whom"); or if they are over-confident native speakers who just think anything that sounds OK is standard AmE, so they claim it's correct. The results on the Internet in general look just like this comment section - different answers from native speakers.
So, your conclusion is that "this is A and B" should be accepted because it's basically "this is A and [this is] B". Works only with people or also objects? Works only when introducing people or in general (e.g. pointing at a picture)? Can it be "this is A and this B" skipping only the second "is" but not "this"? (I still didn't get a clear answer on this one). Thanks a lot!
In English, 'These are' and 'This is' are grammatically correct alternatives in this example. The context would determine which one was the correct usage in a particular situation.
By way of an example for the first version: if you are discussing a photograph and explaining to someone who the people were, then you could say 'These are my aunt and uncle'. It would be correct as you are grouping them together as a couple.
As an example of the second version: if you are making introductions, then you could say 'This is my aunt and uncle'. It would be correct. In English, we have a figure of speech whereby two sentences can be joined and contracted if the part of the sentence is duplicated. So 'This is my aunt and this is my uncle' is shortened to 'This is my aunt and (...) uncle'. The (...) Is omitted, but understood. This figure of speech is called zeugma and exists in various forms, depending on usage. Of course, this may not be the case in Ukrainian, but the grammatical status of the sentence is correct usage in English.
That would be "мій дядько з (моєю) тіткою".
In Ukrainian, "X з Y" used this way is the same as "X і Y". Same as you would say "Це мої дядько та тітка" you say "Це мої дядько з тіткою". "Дядько з тіткою" are like one unit, which is plural, and therefore is used with "мої". In this case, "X з Y" does NOT literally mean "X with Y", it means "X and Y".