Grammar Myths?

2:19:00 PM

Do you know any?

From a scale of 1-10 (1-worst, 10-best), I’d rate my grammar skills a 5. After grammar training, it goes down to a 4 or 3. In one training I attended, we discussed compound sentences for several hours and I still don’t know why this is correct: A staircase and a door leads to the temple, while this is incorrect: A staircase and a door lead to the temple. I think both can be correct, depending on what you’re trying describe. Anyway, it’s something I can’t resolve on my own so if you have a really good explanation to this one, I’d be so happy to hear it.

Anyway, Filipinos usually play it by ear (literally and figuratively) when it comes to speaking in English; if it sounds wrong, then it probably is. I can tell if there’s something wrong with a sentence but explaining why it’s wrong is something else. I don’t think I’m that bad but since I teach English, I’d like to be able to explain to my students how it works without giving us both a nervous breakdown.

Grammar Girl is my go-to site for, well, grammar stuff. Everything’s explained briefly and with adequate examples. Plus, she has a podcast! I was browsing her site yesterday, looking for writing tips when I came across her top ten grammar myths. What got me was item 3:

It's incorrect to answer the question "How are you?" with the statement "I'm good."

I’m pretty sure a lot of us is guilty of this one. I think I usually answer this way! But lo and behold:

Wrong! “Am” is a linking verb and linking verbs should be modified by adjectives such as “good.” Because “well” can also act as an adjective, it's also fine to answer "I'm well," but some grammarians believe "I'm well" should be used to talk about your health and not your general disposition.

Good versus well.

If you have more myths, please do share.

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