GENERAL ENGLISH IV - GRAMMAR | LEARN HOW TO USE ENGLISH CORRECTLY



COURSE TITLE: GENERAL ENGLISH IV
COURSE CODE: GSE 221
GRAMMAR
(A)      Direct and Indirect Speech
Meaning of direct and indirect speech: Direct speech refers to the exact, original words of a speaker. The words are those actually used by the speaker, which have not been changed. Example: Bukola Said, “I am very happy about your success”.
Indirect Speech: When someone reports direct speech, he tells another person what someone else said or what he, himself said. In this case, all the actual words of the direct speech are not used. Some modifications occur. It is called indirect speech or reported speech.
Example: Bukola said that she was very happy about my success.

Main points to remember.
1.         Direct speech should be placed between the inverted commas and begins with a capital letter.
            Example: Amaka said, “ I want to study medicine”
2.         No inverted commas and comma are used in indirect speech. Example Amaka said that she wanted to study medicine.
3.         The tense of the reporting is not changed
4.         A conjunction is used after the reporting verb in indirect speech. Example she told me that she would assist me.
5.         Tense/pronouns/words indicating nearness of time and position are changed. Example Bukola said to me, “I waited for you here today”
Bukola told me that she waited for me there that day.
Reported speech must be in line with the modified time and place as thus:          
            Direct speech                                    indirect speech
            This                                                    That
            These                                                  those
            Now                                                    then
            Ago                                                     before
            Last night                               the previous night
                                                                        The night before
            Next day                                            the following day
                                                                        The day after
            Today                                                 that day
            Tonight                                              that night
           
Yesterday                              the previous day
                                                                        The day before
            Tomorrow                              the next day
                                                                        The following day
                                                                        The day after
The day after tomorrow      the day after the next day
or in two days  
Next week                             the following week
Just                                                     then
Here                                        there
Thus                                       so       

PRONOUNS IN INDIRECT SPEECH
1.         Pronouns of the first person are changed into the pronouns of the subject of the reported speech. 
2.         Pronouns of the second person are changed into the pronouns of the object of the reporting verb
3.         Pronouns of third person remain unchanged.

                                               
Direct speech                        
Indirect speech

Masculine
Feminine
Plural
I
He
She
They
You
He
She
They
You
Him
Her
Them
Your
His
Her
Their
Me
Him
Her
Them
My
His
Her
Their
Myself
Himself
Herself
Themselves
We
None
None
They
Us
None
None
Them
Our
None
None
Their
       
B.        AMBIGUITY
Ambiguity is anything that can be understood in more than one way. Something that has double, multiple or dubious significance. It is something that is vague. As a linguistic concept, ambiguity refers to a lexical item or grammatical unit with more than one possible meaning or interpretation. It can also be referred to the state of a word or an expression being difficult to understand, owing to many sense to it.
Ambiguity in language and communication result in a word or an expression having more than one possible meaning, interpretation or explanation. Sometimes a language user fails to communicate his/her meaning effectively because of ambiguity.

KINGS OF AMBIGUITY             
There are five kinds of ambiguity; namely phonological, morphological, structural, lexical and semantic ambiguity.
1.         Phonological Ambiguity: Some words in English have the same sounds or pronunciation as others, but different meanings. Those words are technically called homophones. In speech, they present problems of aural-oral discrimination because what the listener hears may not be what the speaker means. Exdependant and dependent have exactly the same sound and even the same stress pattern.
2.         Morphological Ambiguity: In the formation of words affixes are attached to roof words. Affixes can be in the form of prefixes and suffixes. These grammatical forms can give rise to ambiguity, when for instance, a prefix that has the same spelling and sound can mean differently when affixed to different words. A typical example is the prefix un-which can function as a negative and reversative prefix respectively.
            In words such as unripe, unexpected, undecided, unattractive etc. The prefix Un = is negative – meaning the opposite or not” 
            Unripe mean not ripe
            Unexpected means not expected
            Unattractive means not attractive
The same prefix un-in words such as undress, unzip, unwrap, unwind are reservative, meaning to reverse or undo the action described by the verb.
3.         Structural Ambiguity: This kind of ambiguity concerns some phrases constructed or structured in a way that more than one meaning can result from them. Consider the following sentences.

(a)       The kite is set to fly 
            This may be interpretated as:   
(i)        the kite will fly on its own soon
(ii)       somebody will fly the kite
(b)       researching students can be interesting
            This may be interpreted thus:
(i)        Students who are engaged in research can be interesting
(ii)       To do research on students can be interesting
Lexical Ambiguity: When a single word has more than one meaning or sense, the result is that confusion arises if the word is not used in a specific context. This is because, used in isolation such a word can be interpretated in more than one way. Two lexical items that can be sources of lexical ambiguity include:
(a)       Homograph: a word that is spelt the same as another word, but has a different meaning and pronunciation Bow-to bend the head or body as sing of respect. Bow- a weapon for short arrows.
(b)       Homonym: a word that has the same spelling and same pronunciation as another word but has a different meaning from it. Many verbs and nouns in English are homonyms as some have several meanings. Example
Row (verb) to propel a boat, using oars.
Row (noun) – a number of people or things arranged in a line, e.g a row of seats.
5.         Semantic Ambiguity: There is a sense in which all kinds of ambiguity are semantic. The essence of discussing semantic ambiguity as a separate kind, therefore, is to examine a situation where a single complete sentence can convey two or more possible meanings leading to ambiguity. This could arise when there is a misplaced determiner in a sentence, as in other situations.
Consider the following sentences:
(a)       I have not heard from him
            This could be interpretated as:
(i)                he has not spoken to me
(ii)             he has not written to me
(iii)           he has not replied to my message
(b)       Mr. Okpara is not on seat
            Could be interpretated thus;
(i)                Mr. Okpara is not in the office
(ii)             He has not come to work
(iii)           He has left his seat
(iv)           He is not prepared to attend to visitors  

VOCABULARY                            
(a)       Colloquial Expression: The term colloquialism refers to an informal word or expression that is used mainly in conversation. Such a word or an expression is not considered good for formal speech or writing. Therefore any word or expression that does not conform to the contemporary formal English usage is a colloquialism.
            Colloquialism can be taken as informal language, where informal refers to a spoken form or style of language that has a simpler grammatical structure and simpler vocabulary that is colloquial in nature or even slang. English is conversational, informal and interpersonal. So to attain mutual intelligibility, formal patterns most often is abandon in preference for informal speech, which a times make them more intelligible. The result is that everyday conversations are held, using jargon, slang, cliché, acronyms, vulgar language, abbreviations, contractions among other informal speech pattern .
            Jargon: these are words or expressions used by a particular profession or group of people and which are difficult for others to understand. Most jargon has Latin, Greek or French origin, a factor that partly sets them from formal, conventional English words and expressions.
            Slang: Slang is very informal words and expression common in spoken language, especially used by a particular group of people eg. Children, criminals, soldiers etc. Slang is difficult to understand by people outside the user-group. Sometimes, slang may be a word or an expression that actually exists in English language but into which meaning has been forced by the group. Examples: sorting (lecturer) Egunje, bush meat, colonize a babe, shack etc.
            Vulgar language: vulgar language originally referred to rude, impolite language, likely to offend the person to whom it is directed. Currently it refers to popular street language, language of motor park- of touts and of desperate passengers, language of the market place etc, all of which may be impolite, abusive and so on. The following sentences contain vulgar language.
1.                  You monkey!
2.                  You are a nonentity
3.                  Fuck up! You hopeless vagabond
4.                  Get out here! Idiot of no use
5.                  Vamoose, you bloody fool 

 Contractions: Contractions as a linguistic term refers to short forms of words. Those forms are found in informal speech. The under listed sentences contain contractions and are informal:
1.                  I’ll leave for Lagos tomorrow
2.                  We’ve waited for ages for our stipends        
3.                  she won’t listen to you if you’re not a born-again      

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS                         
Whereas an abbreviation is a short form of a word or word groups, an acronym is a word formed from the first letters of the words that make up the name of something.
Examples of abbreviation are thus:
i.e        -           that is
e.g       -           for examples
viz       -           namely
etc       -           and other things
etal      -           and others
a.m      -           before noon
p.m      -           after noon
NB      -           note well
Prox    -           next month
Examples of acronyms      
UNO               -           United Nations Organization
NGOs -           Non- Governmental Organizations
E-mail -           electronic mail

FORMAL SPEECH PATTERN    
Formal speech pattern is the official, non-personal mode of communication in contra-distinction to the informal pattern which is personal and unofficial. Unlike the informal pattern, the formal pattern has no room for the emotional or sentimental expression that depicts the intimacy between interlocutors. The formal speech pattern is straight forward, very grammatical and rule conscious. It has no respect for waste of space and time due to ornamentation, wordiness or superfluity that characterize informal speech pattern.
            Formality  or informality of speech is determined by there essential factors; namely the decoder (audience) subject matter (topic of discuses) and environment (setting)
Audience: The audiences are the people who listen to speech. If the gathering is formal, as in a courtroom, a board meeting, in a conference etc, the audience calls for formal speech. But if it is a gathering of a family a group of people in a market place etc the choice of speech is informal. Therefore audience influence choice of speech medium and words too.
Subject Matter:  The subject matter, topic or area of discourse influences the choice of words and the speech pattern. At a seminar, a lecture, workshop, a symposium, a conference, formal meeting etc. speakers choose formal words and expressions appropriate to their topics, as in informal discuses such as midnight tales, where a mother and her children sit round the fire to listen to folktales, among other traditional oral forms.
Environment: The environment or setting also influences choice of speech mode. In a formal environment such as lecture theatres, courtrooms, legislative chambers, conference halls, press centre or campaign grounds, speakers resort to very formal speech patterns, using appropriate diction to persuade the audience. In an informal environment such as motor parks, bus stops, market places etc, the speaker is likely to use informal speech patterns.
            The important thing is that words chosen should be relevant to the audience’s taste, appropriate to the subject mater of discourse and mindful of the setting whether it is physical or spatiotemporal.                          

REGISTERS
Meaning of Register
            Registers refer to words or vocabulary associated with certain field of human endeavour. The language registers of particular field or disciplines are their trade mark, they are the specialized words or expression used in discuses in those fields or profession. For instance a member of the discipline of law is expected not only to be well acquainted with the language of law and justice, but also to use, those specialized words aptly in communication, especially with his colleagues in the law profession.
            As language register words that literally mean other things in general English have different meanings. They acquire technical sense or meanings. Therefore the need for knowledge of language registers is very important.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS AND APPRECIATION               
            This is a technique of reading in which the reader becomes fully involved in the text. He is not only looking for information or trying to grasp the main ideas of the text for simplification for less informed readers or audience, but also penetrating the intentions, the heart-beat of its creator making a constructive assessment of the material.
            According to Chukwuma and Otagburuagu, “Critical reading is concerned with weighing up the writer’s total argument, assessing it for its strengths and weaknesses and making connections between it and related ideas.
            The critical reader is faced with the task of totally unraveling the meaning believed the writer’s ideas, even discovering the intentions underlying certain linguistic and literary technique applied by the writer or the character or appraising the situations and episode.


Main points to note in critical analysis and appreciation             
i.                    The writer’s choice of words in relation to situations, audience etc.
ii.                 The kinds and types of sentences used by the writer and their functions and effects on overall meaning in a text.
iii.               Levels of language deployment formal or informal and reasons for such.
iv.               The reasons for such
v.                  The background of the writer which may provide a due to the content or form of his writing
vi.               The need to sift facts from opinions of either the author or his characters.
vii.             Other vital stylistic techniques that help to make the work critical analysis and appreciation.
NARRATIVE WRITING    
            A narrative writing is one in which the writer tells or relates (narrate) a story or a tale. It may involved giving account of an incident or event in which somebody was involved to an audience that has not experienced it or to people who were not there when it took place.
            In narrative writing it is always a good idea to present events or episodes in chronological or sequential order. This will make the writing clear and straight forward, thus preventing mix-up in the story being presented.
TENSE OF VERB TO BE USED       
            An important element in narrative writing is the tense. It is important to decide from the start what type of tense one is going to use. More often that not many people mix up their tenses. The present is usually mixed with the past. This is wrong. Usually the tense of the verbs in narrative writing is simple past tense.
Guidelines on narrative writing in the life of a person 
(a)              Date and place of birth of the person, parentage and family
(b)              The person’s early life and education
(c)              His or her profession and how he has fared
(d)              Service to his community and humanity in general.
(e)              His or her notable achievements.
(f)               Commendable aspect of his life, worthy of emulation.
(g)              His or her death (if dead) and the effect of this.
(h)              Conclusion-lessons than be drawn from his or her life   
Descriptive Writing: Descriptive writing is a writing that requires the writer to describe things, places and person. The subject of description could be an object, a person, a place an animal, a scene or an incident. The main preoccupation here is to describe.
Points to note when embarking on a descriptive writing.
(a)              the writer must be a good observer
(b)              he must be quite familiar with what he is describing
(c)              the recognition of the audience to whom we are describing the place, scene, person, incident etc.
(d)              the purpose of writing is also another factor to note.
Formal letter writing    
Formal letter: This is a letter that is written to government offices, or departments, cooperation, business firms, public organizations, institutions of learning and editor of newspapers, journals or magazines. They include applications for jobs, letters of inquiry, request and complaints. Formal letter is also referred to as official or business letter. The relationship between the writer and receiver is strictly official.
           

Features of formal letters:         
1.                  Two addresses; the address of the writer and the address of the receiver
2.                  the date is written on the next line below the address of the writer
3.                  Reference number, in certain cases the letter requires reference number.
4.                  The salutation, after the receiver’s address comes the salutation.
5.                  the heading or title, formal letter do have title or heading 
6.                  The body of the letter, in formal letter we go straight to the main point of writing.
7.                  Paragraphing,  the normal paragraphing rules have to be strictly observed.
8.                  Language of the letter; it is important to write as clearly as possible, simple, straight forward and correct sentences.
9.                  The subscription, here the signature is appended and the full name of the writer will then follow.
Informal letter: This is the type of letter that is written to parents, friends, relatives and acquaintances in their private capacities. In other words, the relationship in this type of letter is an informal one.

Features          
1.                  the address, that is a single address
2.                  the date
3.                  the salutation
4.                  the body of the letter
5.                  the subscription
Phonetics and phonology of English 
            The study of speech sounds is divided into two closely related and overlapping sub disciplines-phonetics and phonology.
            Phonetics is the study of language sound production, the quality of sound produced in terms of phonetic environment in which they occur and the perception of such sounds. Meanwhile there are three branches.
1.                  Articulatory phonetics:- This is the study of language sound production (articulation)
2.                  Auditory phonetics, this branch is concerned with the perception of language sounds.
3.                  Acoustic phonetics, this deals with the qualities of language sounds acquire in t he process of production.

Phonology on the other hand, is the study of the patterning of language sounds. It is primarily concerned with the acceptable sequence or arrangement of the speech sounds of a particular language.

Classification of English Sounds
            There are forty-four sounds units in the English languages these sound units are also called phonemes.
            In transcription, letters of the English alphabet and some conventional symbols are used to represent the sound units. These symbols are union as phonetic symbols. The forty-four sounds of English have been classified into vowels and consonants.
Listening
Listening is a major language skill. It is a practical exercise involving the intentional hearing and understanding of speech sounds. As one hears speech sounds, one attaches meaning to the sounds in its different forms. Therefore listening also involves discrimination of sounds, especially the sounds of different languages.
Types of Listening          
Listening has two broad types; namely extensive and intensive listening:
i.                    Extensive listening means listening to a wide rang of materials over a period of time. The listener gets information, ideas or main points form the materials he listens to. The piece of information or ideas a listener gets depends on his purpose for listening. 
ii.                 Intensive Listening: This concerns listening for details of specific materials or items. Example, one listening to a particular lecture is doing an intensive listening. The same applies to one who listens to news broadcast, an announcement etc.
Listening Defect   
Listening is defective when the listener fails to achieve the purpose for listening i.e. when he fails to understand the ideas or information given in the materials he listens to. So the causes of this failure are referred to as listening defects. Some of the causes of this failure are briefly discussed below;
(a)              Lack of listening Readiness: some listeners may be physically and intellectually ready to listen, but emotionally ill-prepared to benefit from the materials they listen to.  Tiredness, sickness, absence of motivation, hearing problem etc, can be the cause.
(b)              Ambiguity: Listening failure may be caused by ambiguous expression. The material may be too vague to allow comprehension. This may be due diction, difficulty of subject matter, poor delivery of speech, defect in audio devices (eg microphone, radio, tapes).    
(c)              Unconducive Listening Atmosphere: This may occur due to the factors related to the environment in which listening is talking place. The atmosphere may be noise, the sitting arrangement may be poor and poor lightening and sound effect may contribute to listening failures.
Speaking
            Speaking involves the sue of speech sounds or the sounds of a language to communicate meaningfully. The speaking and listening exercise and the repetition or imitation of what is said is called oral drill.
READING                 
            Various definitions have been given about reading. But according to the new lexicon Webester’s dictionary of English language, reading is defined as “to understand the meaning of symbols, signs, gesture etc, by looking at them and assimilating them mentally”. A learner’s ability to tell the difference between the printed symbol is the gateway to his understanding of the symbols. Effective understanding of those symbols shows that reading has taken place. Thus the aim of reading is to derive meaning from printed symbols or page.
Two types of reading are thus:

Intensive and extensive reading          
i.                    Intensive reading: intensive reading places emphasis on improved reading skills with corresponding understanding of a text.
ii.                 Extensive reading: These concerns reading many kinds of texts, ie wide variety of materials are used over a period of time.
Meanwhile, there are two kinds of reading – techniques, namely skimming and scanning.
Skimming implies quick reading for the main idea of a text. The reader does not read everything in the text rather he strives to get the general points or ideas contained in the text. He skims the text by taking a purposeful look at the important elements.
Scanning as a technique of faster reading involves quickly searching for specific pieces of information in a text. The reader is only concerned in picking out certain items in a text. He is neither interested in details nor general idea. 


WRITING
Introduction
Writing as a language skills concerns shaping the letters of the alphabet or knowledge of the right combination of letters to realize meaningful codes-words or expressions. Writing could be said to be the graphic representation of speech sounds of a language, using the alphabets of that language.


PUNCTUATION MARKS AND ITS FUNCTIONS 
Punctuation is a vital aspect of writing which writers must not neglected. Because if a sentence or an essay is not well punctuated, expression is usually very poor. And the meaning many likely be distorted.
            Punctuation is done, using some conventional marks or symbols called punctuation marks. Punctuation marks in English are:

Punctuation                                                  Mark or Symbol
i.          Full stop (period)                 -                                   .
ii.         Question mark                      -                                   ?
iii.       Exclamation mark                -                                   !
iv.        Comma                                               -                                   ,
v.         Semicolon                             -                                   ;
vi         colon                                      -                                   :
vii       hyphen                                               -                                   _
viii      dash                                                    -                                   ____
ix         Ellipsis                                               -                                   …..
x          Caret                                       -                                   ۸
xi         Apostrophe                           -                                   ۥ
xii       Quotation marks                   -                                     
xiii      Parentheses                           -                                   (  ) or {  }
           
(a)       The full stop. This indicates a long pause or a complete statement or the end of a sentence.               
(b)       The Questions marks end direct questions
(c)       The exclamation mark ends expression of sudden feeling of happiness, of anger, of sorrow, or surprise etc. 
(d)       The comma generally shows a slight pause in speech. It also separates a relative/ subordinator clause which comes before the main clause.
(e)       The semicolon is a lesser stop than the full stop.
(f)        The colon is used to introduce a list
(g)       The hyphen is used to form compound nouns. After certain prefixes. To form compound adjective.
(h)       The dash is used to mark sudden change of thought before and after a phrase added to a sentence.
(i)        Ellipsis are used to show that some words or expression are omitted from quoted or paraphrased ideas.
(j)        The caret is used to show what is missing from a text. It is put in the gap where a word or an expression is missing
(k)       The apostrophe is used to show the possessive case of nouns or indefinite pronouns.
(l)        Quotation marks generally show the beginning and end of a quotated word, expression or passage.
(m)      Parentheses are also called brackets in British English. They are put round a word or group of words which interrupts, explains or add to a sentence.
DRAMA                    
            Drama is a genre of literature which thrives in action rather than narration. Drama could be tragedy, comedy, tragic-comedy, melodrama.
            The major feature of drama is action. Then the basic elements of drama are plot, characters, actions, act scenes and setting other features of drama include cast, playwright, dramatist, dramatis personae, tragic flaw etc.          
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