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Who done it?

(55 Posts)
Juney64 Tue 24-Jan-17 15:52:41

The following conversation took place when I was around six years old...

My 8 year old brother to my father: I done it, dad!

Father: you mean you did it! (slight volume raise)
Brother: yes, I've did it
Father: no, you've done it!! (volume up a notch)
Brother: yes, I done it
Father: (full volume)... you mean YOU DO'D it!!! angry

blush from both my parents. I won't repeat what my father said next. shock

Do you have any 'grammar lesson' memories?

Witzend Mon 06-Feb-17 09:47:22

Yes, but not funny ones I'm afraid!

From my mother, dinged into my head, 'I before E except after C,'
And ditto, about 'between you and I' , etc.,

'Turn it around and you can always see whether it should be 'me'. You'd never say, 'Between I and you,' or, 'with I and Daddy,' etc.

Dee Mon 06-Feb-17 10:50:03

Witzend you are my hero! I shall remember this rule for ever.
I'm generally pretty good at grammar, always know when you should fewer and when less etc but I get confused about 'you and I' , probably because no-one in my family knew either.
I am a very happy bunny.

PRINTMISS Mon 06-Feb-17 10:53:48

I remember a story one of our teachers told of a girl in her class who insisted on saying "I have went". She was made to sit and write 100 times "I have gone", and left a note for the teacher to the effect that "I have written I have gone 100 times, and I have went".

grandMattie Mon 06-Feb-17 10:56:09

Try "I before E" in received... confused
Added to which I was brought up totally bilingual - English classes in the morning, French in the afternoon. Mercifully, on the whole I am an instinctive speller.
Grammar is a little more confused. DH always says "an" hotel. It drives me mad, but he assures me that it is correct. Try saying "an" holiday or "an" hippo and you get some very funny looks. But then he also persuaded me that "garbage" was pronounced the same way as "garage" - gah - ra -dhe! shock. I later realised he was teasing [I don't do teasing much...]

JackyB Mon 06-Feb-17 11:25:00

The rule is "I before E except after C!" as Witzend said. So that would exclude "receive".

We always had to analyse sentences in English at school, so we were quite aware of nominative, accusative and dative (subject, direct and indirect objects). (This was very useful when learning other languages later on, where the differences are very important). I always thought people were being facetious when they said things like "He spoke to you and I" - I couldn't understand that they didn't know it was wrong. (you wouldn't say "He spoke to I".)

Diggingdoris Mon 06-Feb-17 11:48:39

I still get confused about lie and lay. My Mum used to say 'Im going for a lay down'. It was never explained to me as a child what the correct word and I still find myself saying the wrong thing sometimes. Can anyone make it clearer for me please?

EmilyHarburn Mon 06-Feb-17 11:55:10

Hens lay eggs. I lie down.

moonrakerHMC Mon 06-Feb-17 12:11:49

I was taught I before e except after c!

Sheilasue Mon 06-Feb-17 12:23:14

Brought and bought how to use them,

Blinko Mon 06-Feb-17 12:41:17

Brought is part of the verb 'to bring'; bought is part of the verb 'to buy'. So brought = bringing something; bought = buying something.

RAF Mon 06-Feb-17 12:51:23

Useful tip spelling 'separate' think of the middle of the word, and only 'a rat' would get it wrong! :-) Grit my teeth at the number of 'seperate's you see!

missdeke Mon 06-Feb-17 13:07:53

My particular bugbear at the moment is myself when it should be me, so many are misusing it at the moment. I find myself (correct usage) shouting at the tv......

yggdrasil Mon 06-Feb-17 13:10:56

I before E except after C, but people forget this only refers to the 'ee' sound, not any other vowel.
So you have ceiling, and siege, but not beige, because the vowel sound there is 'ay' not 'ee'

Valerie1928 Mon 06-Feb-17 14:01:47

Whilst I agree with all the above,the one that constantly annoys me is, "of" used instead of "have". For example "I could of" instead of "I could have"! How it grates on my nerves.

pen50 Mon 06-Feb-17 14:30:41

"If the sound rhymes with bee, I before E except after C."

Yorkshiregel Mon 06-Feb-17 14:44:11

EmilyHarburn what about: I lay down the law? :-)

Yorkshiregel Mon 06-Feb-17 14:52:37


Must be really hard for someone learning to speak English.

Jane43 Mon 06-Feb-17 15:04:35

My bugbear is 'less' and 'fewer' which are always being used incorrectly e.g.tills in supermarkets with a notice '5 items or less'. The rule is simple enough: if you can count them it's 'fewer' and if you can't count them it's 'less' e.g 'less milk' and 'fewer bottles of milk'. I am always shouting at the tv over that one.

Yes Yggdrasil the rule about i before e only makes sense if you apply it to the 'ee' sound.

Another one that irks me is misuse of 'stationery' and 'stationary' - It is easy enough to use the correct spelling by remembering ' E for envelopes'.

People who say 'pacific' instead of 'specific' also grate on me and as for incorrect use of the apostrophe, don't get me started!

Boolya Mon 06-Feb-17 15:21:22

My father used to use this sentence to demonstrate how words with the same ending are pronounced differently:
The soil was so tough that the plough would not go through it.

Conni7 Mon 06-Feb-17 15:23:10

My husband has a prostate problem. He is not prostrate.

Emelle19 Mon 06-Feb-17 15:49:41

My 'Scream at the TV' is 'Haitch' - It's becoming more and more common and it drives me senseless!! People who should know better say 'Haitch'!! Why does nobody correct them? I agree with you, grandMattie - 'an hotel' or 'an horrific' sends me into a frenzy. I would like all these people to go to the Frank Gardner School of Diction!!

Marydoll Mon 06-Feb-17 16:02:39

Misuse of practice (the noun) and practise (the verb) are my bugbears.

I also agree that using pacific instead of specific is irritating.

pollyperkins Mon 06-Feb-17 16:26:27

It IS 'an hotel' because the h in hotel is silent as it is a French word. The English word is Inn or hostel.
We say 'see you in an hour' not 'a hour' as the h is silent. I always say an hotel as I was brought up to, but it has fallen out of usage recently and my grown up children laugh at me.
I was taught 'i before e when the sound is ee! ' So vein is not an exception as it has a different sound.
Another useful mnemonic is 'it is necessary to have one collar but two socks' ie one c and two s's!
Accommodation is often spelt wrong : if you have two cots you need two mattresses (two cs and two ms)

Christinefrance Mon 06-Feb-17 16:27:30

Regarding the hotel thing I always thought it was because 'hotel' was a french word and the aitch was silent, thus 'an otel '. Wrong again Christine smile