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Guest
13-04-2008, 12:57
A new "English language school" with a BIG and new place advertises in big letters "SCHOOL OF ENGLISH".

Is that correct English? Shouldn't it be "School of English language", or "of English [anything]"???

Gypsy
13-04-2008, 13:11
Grammatically it's OK.

I think most people would assume it meant English Language.

Guest
13-04-2008, 13:16
Grammatically it's OK.

I think most people would assume it meant English Language.


Thanks, I thought "English" was just an adjective, so there should be a word after.

Seems I have to learn, so :)

Gypsy
13-04-2008, 13:23
Thanks, I thought "English" was just an adjective, so there should be a word after.

Seems I have to learn, so :)

No - you are quite right. There really should be the word language after it - but, what else is there likely to be?

I'm in Grenoble at the moment and all the English Language schools advertise as School of English. (without the Language).

hazelnut
13-04-2008, 13:48
A new "English language school" with a BIG and new place advertises in big letters "SCHOOL OF ENGLISH".

Is that correct English? Shouldn't it be "School of English language", or "of English [anything]"???

it's either "school of English" or "school of the English language". :)

Gypsy
13-04-2008, 13:54
it's either "school of English" or "school of the English language". :)

Not "the" English Language, it sounds pretensious.

School of English is fine.

hazelnut
13-04-2008, 14:04
it's either "school of English" or "school of the English language". :)

so I was taught...
"pretentious" - shouldn't the T letter be put there? confused....

Transparent Theatre
13-04-2008, 15:16
"School Of English" is perfectly correct. The majority of language-schools in the UK advertise themselves as such.

Gypsy
13-04-2008, 15:22
so I was taught...
"pretentious" - shouldn't the T letter be put there? confused....

You are right - yes.

hazelnut
13-04-2008, 15:42
"School Of English" is perfectly correct. The majority of language-schools in the UK advertise themselves as such.
I actually wanted to stress that if the word "English" is an adjective, then the definite article should be put before it - "the English way of thinking", "the Russian literature", ain't me right?

Transparent Theatre
13-04-2008, 16:02
I don't think so in that context, because "English" has become an Adjectival Noun there. I always find it helpful to imagine other constructions which work similarly:

"The Harvey Smith School of Riding" (not "the Riding", and not "of Riding a Horse"
meaning: this the Riding school of the one-and-only famous Harvey Smith. Here you can learn riding, a skill known all over the world and to many people, including Harvey Smith but not only him

The Prue Leith School of Cooking (not the Cooking and not Cooking Food)


"the Russian literature"
Ah, that sounds clumsy in English :( As well as the choice between "a" and "the", there's the subtler choice to put neither :) This is particularly true of "universal" cases... "in all Russian literature, there is no finer playwright than Chekhov"... or "No one exercised a greater influence at that time than writers" (ie not "the writers"). Because English lacks the highly specific grammatical structure of Russian, it expresses meaning through these subtleties of construction instead ;)

Compare:

a) I have an apple in this box
meaning: the box is not empty; something is inside it

b)I have the apples in this box
meaning: yes, *those* apples, which were stolen, about which you can read in the newspapers

c) I have apples in this box
meaning: only apples are here; no bananas, no pears - only apples

:)

alterego
13-04-2008, 20:11
The rules for articles are many, varied and sometimes seem contradictory. Often times two different rules could be applied, one for ‘a’ and another for ‘the’, and tradition will dictate which is preferred.

‘The School of English’ actually follows from a very basic rule.
‘The’ is used when both the speaker and the listener know which one is being referred to.

A wife might say to her husband “I am taking the car.”
The husband will understand that it is their car. If they have more than one car she will probably not say this, unless she is sure that he will know which one she is talking about.
If she said to her husband “I am taking a car” he would probably think that it is not their car.

To somebody that doesn’t know she has a car she would not say this. She would say “I am taking a car.” Now that the car has been introduced, as the one that she is taking, she can refer to it as ‘the car’ for the rest of the conversation.
“The car is blue and very fast.”

It is also possible to introduce the car and use ‘the’ all in the same sentence.
“I am taking the car that I own.”

This is what is happening with ‘the School of English.’
First note that ‘the school of English’ basically equates to ‘the English school’.
“I am going to a school.”
Which school are you going to?
“I am going to the English one.”

Or it all could have been done in one sentence; “I am going to the school of English.”
If the school takes this as their official name then it becomes a proper noun and is then capitalized. The School of English.

The same logic applies to;
The Moscow Times
The Pacific Ocean
The Rocky Mountains

These examples appear to violate the rule that you do not use ‘the’ with a proper noun but as I just showed you some special cases of ‘the’ with a proper noun have evolved. But it is still incorrect to say “the Moscow”. This logic did not evolve with the use of cities.

alterego
13-04-2008, 20:16
c) I have apples in this box
meaning: only apples are here; no bananas, no pears - only apples

:)

I would not agree with only apples. It might be implied or inferred in some contexts though.

monica
14-04-2008, 00:09
To somebody that doesn’t know she has a car she would not say this. She would say “I am taking a car.”
Really? Would she say: "I am taking a car and going donwtown"? It sounds strange to me, even if I'm not a native speaker. In my language we would say: "I''m taking the car and going downtown."

alterego
14-04-2008, 05:53
Really? Would she say: "I am taking a car and going donwtown"? It sounds strange to me, even if I'm not a native speaker. In my language we would say: "I''m taking the car and going downtown."

And you would be making a common Russian mistake. You should only say this to someone who knows exactly which car you are talking about.
You are probably making one of two mistakes.
The first is that you know exactly which car you are taking so you use 'the'. Actually both the speaker and the listener need to know which car you are talking about.

The other most likely mistake that you are making here is that you are thinking of the manner in which you will go, by car or by foot.
'The car' can also be used for the idea of cars.
The car is the greatest invention ever.
So you might try to use this idea to say the manner inwhich you are going. This is not a correct way to show the manner. You should say 'I am going by car' or you could say 'I am going in a car'.
'I am going in a car' is not the construction for showing the manner but the manner is cleary seen in this construction so it could be used equally well.

monica
14-04-2008, 11:07
Alterego, to put it differently, if you only have one car, would you tell a friend , even if he doesn't know about it: "I am taking a car and going downtown" or "I am taking the car and going downtown."?

Transparent Theatre
14-04-2008, 13:34
"I am taking a car and going downtown" or "I am taking the car and going downtown."?

I think that "I am taking THE car" is suitable and acceptable, whether or not the friend knows about this car's existence. Frankly in this case a native speaker would probably say "taking MY car" and in this way clarify to the other person exactly WHICH car it is.

It depends on the reason why the speaker is mentioning this car, of course :) This is more a matter of psychology and behaviour than language - we all unconsciously use language to say things about ourselves, and the way we use language can be a key to understanding the underlying thought.

# "I'm taking the car - "you see, I have a car, unlike you - I'm a wealthy man and you should show me more respect"

# "I'm taking the car" - my very famous car, everyone who lives near me is talking about that car, do you know how much such a car costs?

# "I'm taking the/my car" - well, you can understand I will be late, because the traffic is terrible at this time of day

# "I'm taking a car" - I've called for a taxi, you understand that I am taking our meeting very seriously if I come by taxi, I hope? - extended meaning "I value our friendship very highly, you are worth extra cost to me just to have 10 minutes more time to talk" etc ("a car" could probably mean some OTHER car and not his own car, even if he does or doesn't have one)

# "I'm taking my car" - so when I arrive, you can get in and we will drive together, that willl be comfortable and convenient for us (this is very neutral, "my" is information about the ownership, and the attention is now given to the form of transport that is available)

[The analyses above are a bit extreme, but it's how an actor looks for meaning in what he says. It's surprising how much meaning can be in one word!]

alterego
14-04-2008, 21:39
As transparent theater points out it is possible. But I would discourage you from doing it.
If I said it, it might be because everybody in America has a car and it could more easily be correctly applied and understood there than here. If I said it here more than likely a fellow native speaker would respond "I didn't know you had a car." or maybe even "What car are you talking about?" (I may even get the second response in America.)
Or I might be having fun with the language and giving undue emphasis to my car.
I really suggest that you stick to basics to give you a better chance of developing the right feel for these constructions.

IraM
15-04-2008, 21:27
by foot

Not 'on foot'?


First note that ‘the school of English’ basically equates to ‘the English school’.
“I am going to a school.”
Which school are you going to?
“I am going to the English one.”


Doesn't 'The English school' mean 'a certain school (not necessary a language school) located in the UK or a school somewhere else teaching in a traditional British way' also? This meaning is the first to cross my mind...

And I've always said either 'English/Russian etc' or 'the English/Russian etc language' with 'the' in the second case... Not in the context with 'school' though - just in most dictionaries 'the English etc language' are given as a collocation. (But 'English/Russian etc literature').
Aren't I right?

alterego
15-04-2008, 21:33
'The school of English' almost certainly means a school that teaches English.

'The English school' is ambiguous. It could be a school that teaches English or a school that is owned by the English.

Here's a test for you.
What is is Russian English school?

IraM
15-04-2008, 21:58
'The school of English' almost certainly means a school that teaches English.

It is obvious - my question was about 'the English school'.




What is is Russian English school?

In this order:

The one that teaches English and owned by the Russians
or
a language school that teaches English, owned by the Russians/English and located in Russia
or
a school that teaches different subjects as they are taught in Britain, owned by the Russian/English and located in Russia
or
a school that teaches different subjects, owned by the Russians and located in Britain!:D

alterego
15-04-2008, 22:21
As I said it is ambiguous.
The hierarchy of noun modifiers (adjectives before a noun) are
what's it like-how big-how old-what shape-what color-where it is from-what it fundamentally is- and lastly the noun itself.
So if you have 'Russian English school' then since 'English' comes after 'Russian' it must be the fundamental idea of the school.
If you just have 'English school' then 'English' could be the fundamental quality or where it is from. No way to be sure.
This is not something that you have to consult the chart to know. You should feel this naturally, both in Russian and English. Actually in any language as it seems just to be the way the human brain works.
Is a 'small man' small in size or in character. It's not clear from this.
But an American small man would sound strange if it referred to size but would make sense if it referred to character.

Transparent Theatre
15-04-2008, 22:22
What is is Russian English school?

Ignoring that the word "is" comes twice... ;)

.... it's a school where they teach Rangliisky, the Russian version of English. Includes lots of phrases from "Beatles" songs, and also believes that you can start sentences with the formula "As for...." :-/

anthonycasey
16-04-2008, 02:58
it's either "school of English" or "school of the English language". :)
School of the English language turns the 'of' into possessive, implying that the schools belongs to the English language. I think.

MissAnnElk
16-04-2008, 08:45
School of the English language turns the 'of' into possessive, implying that the schools belongs to the English language. I think.

"High School of the Performing Arts"?

(The High School of Performing Arts, more formally known as The School of Performing Arts: A Division of the Fiorello H La Guardia High School of Music and the Arts, informally known as "PA", was a public alternative high school in New York, New York, USA that existed from 1948 through 1984.)

alterego
16-04-2008, 17:38
School of the English language turns the 'of' into possessive, implying that the schools belongs to the English language. I think.
I would say that the 'School of Shakespear' has the strongest suggestion of a school about Shakespear (or his work). If I wanted to use this construction to show that it belonged to him I would say 'the school of Shakespear's'.
Even then peoplewould probably be sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the next word, such as 'the school of Shakespear's plays'. Only after realizing another word was not coming would they understand that it belonged to him.

alterego
25-04-2008, 12:15
Not 'on foot'?





Either 'on foot' or 'by foot'. They are probably equally common.
'By foot' actually follows the general rule, by car, by plane, by boat, etc.
'On foot' is a special case that doesn't work for other modes of transport.

is4fun
27-04-2008, 15:56
Either 'on foot' or 'by foot'. They are probably equally common.
'By foot' actually follows the general rule, by car, by plane, by boat, etc.
'On foot' is a special case that doesn't work for other modes of transport.

English is continually evolving. I do not understand most Jamaicans for example. Creole, pigeon or whatever, English will be very different 100 years from now. Read Chaucer and try to explain what he was writing about.