‘Similar to’ in starting a sentence

Over the last 10 years or so, I have seen more and more sentences starting with the phrase Similar to. These sentences often say something like: Similar to A, B does X. Here is a slightly abbreviated version of a recent example I saw in The Times [of London]. Similar to much of myalgic encephalomyelitis…… Continue reading ‘Similar to’ in starting a sentence

German and English Academic Usage and academic translation

I have just started reading German and English Academic Usage and Academic Translation (2021), by Dirk Siepmann. This starts with an exercise of translating a short passage of German academic text. It is only one paragraph, though quite a long one: Seit Mitte der 1980er Jahre hat Michel Espagne sukzessive das Themenfeld des interkulturellen Transfers…… Continue reading German and English Academic Usage and academic translation

Fronted adverbials

Periodically, a debate breaks out in the British press about whether schools in England teach too much English grammar or too little English grammar. The trigger for the latest outpouring was an academic study suggesting that teaching grammar does not improve children’s writing. For some commentators, the phrase ‘fronted adverbials’ now exemplifies excessive focus on…… Continue reading Fronted adverbials

Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian

I have just read a paper describing 16 differences between Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian. The description was in a paper that looked for the border between language varieties separated by each difference. The paper also looked at whether those borders match national borders and how close the varieties are to each other. The authors…… Continue reading Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian

Half baked

If an idea isn’t really thought through and doesn’t make sense, we call it half-baked. So if an idea is completely half-baked, how baked is it? More than 50%? Less than 50%? Exactly 50%?

Scandinavian language challenge day 34

Today I worked through chapter 11 of Danish in three months, covering: numbers: fractions and collectivesadverbs of place and motionuses of adverbsconjunctions and adverbs used in pairsconfusable nounsother words Numbers: fractions and collectives The adjective halv means half and is inflected in the normal way: På en halVv dag spiste de et halvt får.(in half a…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 34

Scandinavian language challenge day 29

Today I worked through chapter 9 of Swedish in three months, covering: indefinite and negative pronouns and adjectivesformation of adverbscomparative and superlativeinfinitive with and without attother words Indefinite and negative pronouns and adjectives The following are both pronouns and adjectives: någon (neuter: något, plural: några): something, someone, some, anything, anyone, anyingen (inget, inga): nothing, no-one, no…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 29

Scandinavian language challenge day 21

Today I worked through chapter 6 of Norwegian in three months, covering: perfect tensemodal auxiliary verbscomparison of adverbsmore about adverbsexpressions of timeother words Perfect tense The perfect tense is formed by using the auxiliary ha (have) with the past participle. For some verbs, the auxiliary være instead of ha (to be covered in chapter 7). Example:I…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 21

Scandinavian language challenge day 18

Today I worked through chapter 5 of Norwegian in three months, covering: the past tense of weak verbs and strong verbsadverbsword orderordinal numbers Past tense: weak verbs Most weak verbs form the past tense by adding the suffix -et or -te to the stem. (Verbs with a stem ending in -ll, -mm or -nn drop the…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 18

Scandinavian language challenge day 14

Today I worked through chapter 4 of Swedish in three months, covering: weak and strong verbsimperfect tense of weak and irregular verbsreflexive verbsadjectives: definitive formspolite requestsword order: adverbsother words Weak and strong verbs As in other Germanic languages, weak verbs form their past tenses by adding a suffix and strong verbs form them by changing a…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 14