A little help with english grammar...

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Viniciuskk
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A little help with english grammar...

#1 Post by Viniciuskk » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:46 pm

Hi, so... I've been wondering for quite a while now. Is there any reason as for why "Bedroom" has "Bed" and "Room" words attached together and "Living Room", doesn't?

There are so many words in english like that, and although I can do a google search when I'm on my computer, I can't do that in a test, so... Is there any "rule" regarding this? I learned english simply by playing online games. I did have some english classes at school but they were horribly simple and were of almost no use.

Another word that I had this problem was "Nighttime". (I thought it was "Night time")

I can't seem to be able to point out other separate words now... Sorry :S

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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#2 Post by MaiMai » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:55 pm

Words like "bedroom" and "nighttime" are known in the English language as compound words. Basically, that means you take two complete words, add them together to make a completely new word, one that usually has a different meaning compared to when it was two separate words.

Is there a real reason? Like I said, it's to make a new word that comes up with a different meaning and connotation at times making it different from the root words. Is there a real, REAL reason??

No, not really, English is weird.
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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#3 Post by TheGuraGuraMan » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:10 pm

English is weird ? AH !

Chinese is 10 times weirder honestly...

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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#4 Post by FlawedFlare » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:24 pm

TheGuraGuraMan wrote:English is weird ? AH !
Chinese is 10 times weirder honestly...
I honestly think it's harder for someone to learn English when it's not your first language. Because you have all these rules and stuff.
English is my first language but even I have trouble with it sometimes.
Here's a little something I found.
Viniciuskk wrote: Is there any "rule" regarding this?
I can't really recall a certain rule for compound words. Like MaiMai said, English is really weird. There are rules, but then sometimes there aren't.

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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#5 Post by latte » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:42 pm

FlawedFlare wrote:I honestly think it's harder for someone to learn English when it's not your first language. Because you have all these rules and stuff.
English is my first language but even I have trouble with it sometimes.
Here's a little something I found.
IMO, not a chance English is harder than Chinese, and I'm not a native speaker of either. English is comparatively easy as long as you've got access to a dictionary. In fact, out of all languages I know/have tried learning English is by far the easiest, whereas Chinese I gave up in a month.
It does have a lot of weird stuff and grammatical inconsistencies though, just saying it isn't too bad as long as you can check the crazy spellings -- things like believe and deceive kill me if there's no spell check.

So OP, English is just weird, but read lots and become best friends with a good dictionary, and soon you'll get the hang of it.

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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#6 Post by Viniciuskk » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:16 am

Well, at least for me, I also think English is easy. I'm japanese myself, but since I was born in Brazil, I wasn't teached Japanese. I tried studying it and took some classes, but man, it's horribly complicated.

For example, a single kanji can have not only many different meanings but also different ways to read it. Eg: 日 can be read as "Nichi" (Day) if you put it like 1日 (Day 1) however, it can also be read as "Hi" (Sun), or even more crazy things like mixing english with kanji. The anime Death Note did this. Yagami Light's name is written with 日, where you read it as "Raito" (Light).

But coming back for the purpose of this topic, I wanted to know if there was some way to know if a word is a compound word or if it's supposed to be written separately (Like "living room". Why is it not a compound word if Bathroom and Bedroom are? Is it because it is in the participle? (Although I don't think it is on participle) Or no reason at all?)

I often have trouble knowing if a word is compound or not.

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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#7 Post by latte » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:26 am

Ah, I'm from Brazil as well, and have been studying Japanese for some six years now! ^o^ (I'm not Japanese myself though) I can understand why school English doesn't help at all...

But as people said, there's not really a way of knowing if a word is supposed to be compound or not. English is just /that/ crazy, and it's a matter of getting used to it. Sometimes there are even rules with more exceptions than situations the rule actually applies.

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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#8 Post by Reikun » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:22 am

Viniciuskk wrote:or even more crazy things like mixing english with kanji. The anime Death Note did this. Yagami Light's name is written with 日, where you read it as "Raito" (Light).
Actually, Light (Raito) was written with the moon kanji: 月 /offtopic
But coming back for the purpose of this topic, I wanted to know if there was some way to know if a word is a compound word or if it's supposed to be written separately (Like "living room". Why is it not a compound word if Bathroom and Bedroom are? Is it because it is in the participle? (Although I don't think it is on participle) Or no reason at all?)

I often have trouble knowing if a word is compound or not.
I googled around for lesson plans on compound words and found a pretty good definition: "A compound word has its own special meaning, separate from the words used to make it."

In this case, bedroom is a place where you sleep (because not every room with a bed in it is a "bedroom") while Living room is two separate words since the meaning of a "living room" is not distinct from the meanings of the words "living" (as in I'm living (staying) in a condo) and "room." I am not an English major, but English is my first language. There may be other/more academic explanations for these distinctions but this is what I've come up with based on my knowledge of the English language.

Also: this topic should probably be moved to the writing asset forum??
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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#9 Post by Solunar » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:47 am

I'm a native speaker of both English and Chinese, learnt it from young, and by far, Chinese is harder. For English, there are only so many alphabets and rules, and as long as you read enough, it's easy to master.

For Chinese, well, let's just say I don't think I've seen all the words in the Chinese language yet. On top of that, there's traditional and simplified form, so even if you know how to read simplified, you might not be able to read all Chinese books. Then, there's how the words combine and the different meanings with different combis. AND THEN, there's still different dialects, so even the same words are read differently. Kill me now.

Ahhhhh, whereas English, I can pick up any book and read it. Oh yeah! 8)

That doesn't mean I totally forgive English of it's quirks though. It's funny how there's a "living room", like all of us have a "dying room" in our house, so we need to differentiate it out.

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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#10 Post by teamaker » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:53 am

I'm Polish, and let me tell you, there's nothing quite like the inflectional system of a Slavic language.

As for the original question, both “living room” and “bedroom” are compounds, actually. My guess is that they are spelled so differently because of phonology. “Bedroom” has pretty straightforward sounds where the two words meet: 'd' and 'r', no problem with pronouncing them together.

In “living room”, notice that the 'g' is not actually pronounced – if it was written “livingroom”, it would cause confusion with pronunciation (“livin-groom”?)

That's my two cents, anyway. I'm very far from being a phonologist, so I could be completely wrong.

Also, be aware that the above is not a rule in English – the main factor influencing spelling is history. The longer a compound has been around, the more likely it is to be written as one word, usually.

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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#11 Post by Aines445 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:30 am

I'm not a native english speaker, so I can't really help you with those (Damn it nighttime, I got problems with that one too XD). But I mostly learned how to speak english by playing a lot of games and watching videos and movies, so I never really picked up my english dictionary XD. I also think chinese is harder, but I never really tried to learn it.
Viniciuskk wrote:For example, a single kanji can have not only many different meanings but also different ways to read it. Eg: 日 can be read as "Nichi" (Day) if you put it like 1日 (Day 1) however, it can also be read as "Hi" (Sun), or even more crazy things like mixing english with kanji.
Yeah, japanese is also really hard, especially kanji, that's really, REALLY hard. Like how I only play VOICED japanese visual novels because the only way for me to actually understand them is through their voices because I just can't read kanji for anything in this world X.X, and then it has different meanings and all of that....It kills XD.

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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#12 Post by Mink » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:38 am

Viniciuskk wrote:Well, at least for me, I also think English is easy. I'm japanese myself, but since I was born in Brazil, I wasn't teached Japanese. I tried studying it and took some classes, but man, it's horribly complicated.
This is where I point out the painfulness of English by saying that this:
I wasn't teached Japanese.
Should actually be this:
I wasn't taught Japanese.
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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#13 Post by Viniciuskk » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:49 am

Reikun wrote: Actually, Light (Raito) was written with the moon kanji: 月 /offtopic
Oh, fail me. But at least 日 resembles 月 a little bit XD

Reikun wrote: I googled around for lesson plans on compound words and found a pretty good definition: "A compound word has its own special meaning, separate from the words used to make it."

In this case, bedroom is a place where you sleep (because not every room with a bed in it is a "bedroom") while Living room is two separate words since the meaning of a "living room" is not distinct from the meanings of the words "living" (as in I'm living (staying) in a condo) and "room." I am not an English major, but English is my first language. There may be other/more academic explanations for these distinctions but this is what I've come up with based on my knowledge of the English language.

Also: this topic should probably be moved to the writing asset forum??
Well, this does sound like a reasonable explanation, but then, what about the word "Nighttime"?
Mink wrote: This is where I point out the painfulness of English by saying that this:
Lol, I didn't notice that mistake! I failed on a common word... :cry:

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Teamaker's explanation sounds good too.


Thanks guys :B

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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#14 Post by Reikun » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:15 pm

Viniciuskk wrote:Well, this does sound like a reasonable explanation, but then, what about the word "Nighttime"?
In British English, "nighttime" is actually a hyphenated word, spelt "night-time." When the word crossed over to the US, the hyphen was removed giving us the "nighttime" spelling. Based on this source there are actually 3 kinds of compound words (why didn't they tell me this in grade school??). Also according to that source
There is only one sure way to know how to spell compounds in English: use an authoritative dictionary.
Sorry if this isn't really helpful xD;;;; Nighttime is a tricky one since most of the dictionaries I looked it up in say it's synonymous to "night" (debunking the previous definition I found). Even Etymonline says it's just night + time and originates from the 1400s.
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Re: A little help with english grammar...

#15 Post by SusanTheCat » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:46 pm

Great reference page Reikun!

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