The #1 easiest language to learn? (140)

89 Name: Pseudonymous Tonguetwist : 2007-08-27 13:29 ID:Heaven


> Actually, if you read the post, I expained the steps already.

Not really.

Here's a challenge. What's wrong with this sentence?

"They set up us the bomb."

It passes all of your steps:

(1. choose what to say)
2. Choose words. "They", "us", "the bomb", and "set up". (There's room for improvement here, but still.)
3. SVO order. "They", S, "set up", V, "us" and "the bomb", O. There are two objects here, but no rule for that so we just put both at the end.
4. Verb senses. Well, "set up" becomes "set up". Done.

Therefore, the sentence matches all of the criteria and is correct. Right?

Point is, there really are more things to it than that in a language as English. You have to realize that "set up" cannot have two meanings simultaneously ("they set us up" and "they set up a bomb"), the word order is not as simple as "always SVO", and there are tons of those annoying little words like "with" and "for" that you have to know when to use. If you learn a language as a second language you are always painfully aware of how simple things aren't. And presumably also when teaching, which might be an interesting experience.

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