Monday, October 26, 2009

The Joys of English

I don't have time for a big long post, but I am taking a teensy-tinsy break so I will post about a language-nerd detail.

Other languages I have studied are difficult in terms of verb conjugations. English is fairly simple for verb tenses and number of conjugations, but English has the dreaded phrasal verbs or verb-preposition combos that must be so hard for English learners.

Case in point:

Today it was cold and rainy. My husband came home and told me that he had gotten wet earlier but had since "dried up."

I said: "You mean dried out."

Now, how in the dickens would you explain the difference between "dry up" and "dry out"?

Well, I totally made it up on the fly. I said, a lake or a puddle dries up, but your clothes dry out.

So he asks: "So do clothes in the dryer dry out?"


Me: "um, no those clothes just dry, to dry out, they have to get wet kind of unintentionally."

That sounds about right, right?

Man, that's complicated. and we didn't even get into "dry off."

On a totally random note, here are my fav pics of the week:


Lucie said...

Let me just say...your kids are ADORABLE!!!

Reading your post reminded me of one of the many conversations I have with my fiance. I'm always trying to explain some new, weird, random English word or expression to him. And he's like a little boy where he is so excited and enthusiastic about learning something new that he'll force me to explain it to him over and over again until he finally understands haha.

Maggie May said...

i can see why those are your favorite pictures!!! SO CUTE!

Abby said...

Those pictures are adorable. Your children are darling.

I remember a similar conversation about why we say "heat up" and "cool down" and not "heat down" and "cool up"? Oh, English.

Sara said...

Cute kids!

Okay... hmmm...

Dry up: When water or liquid completely disappears like a spill.

Dry out: When an object or a person that is normally dry, got wet, and has to get dry.

Phrasal verbs. *Shudder*

That's my best guess.

mosey along said...

The photos of your kids warrant a separate post altogether. That one of them looking at each other kills me. Makes me a little sad that my daughter won't have a sibling to love and scrap with.

And although we don't have a separate language to deal with in our house, the unholy grammar and pronunciation that occasionally comes out of my daughter's mouth because of her English Daddy and my (undoubtedly) perfect Canadian speech is wince-inducing.

redqueencjb said...

I know what you mean! I gave up trying to explain prepositions because to be honest, I didn't know the rules myself. It just is automatic for me at this point.