English Quiz
Indicate whether the following sentences
are acceptable or not. Revise any
sentence you decide is unacceptable and
try to provide a reason for your evaluation.
Ready?
1. He has many luggages.
2. If a passenger on a preponed flight
shows up at the time written on his ticket
and his plane has already left, he is
not entitled to a refund.
3. She lives in 6th Avenue, right behind the
church.
4. My daughter is having a terrible cold. I
will take her to the clinic this afternoon.
5. We often exchange our knowledges in
class discussions.
6. She has lead many tours at Buckingham
Palace
7. All my furnitures were burnt in the fire.
8. We shall discuss about your schedule
conflict tomorrow.
9. I request you to call back after three
o’clock when the manager returns from
her meeting.
10. She bought carrots, two lettuces, and
several onions.
11. She will attend Northern Arizona
University next year, isn’t it?
12. I am sorry for the botheration I have
caused you.
13. I have read this book yesterday.
14. The student requested for an extension
on her homework because she had been
sick for two weeks.
15. Many researches prove that cigarette
smoking is hazardous to one’s health.
16. My husband, he is working at the
hospital as a medical assistant.
Your Score
How many of the 16 sentences did you
mark as unacceptable?
What were some of the corrections that
you made?
Answers
1. He has many luggages.
India, Singapore, Malaysia, HK
2. If a passenger on a preponed flight
shows up at the time written on his ticket
and his plane has already left, he is not
entitled to a refund.
India
3. She lives in 6th Avenue, right behind the
church.
UK
4. My daughter is having a terrible cold. I
will take her to the clinic this afternoon.
India
5. We often exchange our knowledges in
class discussions.
Malaysia, Singapore
6. She has lead many tours at Buckingham
Palace.
Spelling: (led in AE), UK and HK
7. All my furnitures were burnt in the fi
Singapore., Nigeria, India, Malay., UK,
(many former British colonies)
8. We shall discuss about your schedule
conflict tomorrow.
HK, Nigeria
9. I request you to call back after three
o’clock when the manager returns from
her meeting.
South Africa
10. She bought carrots, two lettuces, and
several onions.
UK
11. She will attend Marquette University
next year, isn’t it?
Tag question Zimbabwe, some varieties of
UK, India, E/W Africa
12. I am sorry for the botheration I have
caused you.
Archaic form from UK still used in India
13. I have read this book yesterday.
Present perfect to indicate past some
varieties of Indian English
14. The student requested for an
extension on her homework because she
had been sick for two weeks.
Malaysian, Singapore
15. Many researches prove that cigarette
smoking is hazardous to one’s health.
Canada, UK, S. Africa, (many former British
colonies)
16. My husband, he is working at the
hospital as a medical assistant.
Topic comment structure HK, E/W Africa
So…
All of these sentences are acceptable in
some form of English.
So, English is spreading throughout the
world. But what do we mean by spreading?
Spread of English
Development of Distinct Varieties of
English
As the spread of English progresses, it is bound to
reflect a diversity of disparate cultures.
Non-native speakers are taking advantage of this
additional language and are exploring new dimensions
of English usage, phonetically, lexically, syntactically,
semantically, and pragmatically.
There is always room for non-native speakers to exploit
it in their unique ways.
We have seen many examples of this in the quiz we took earlier.
How do other varieties of English
develop?
We simply cannot internationalize things and
ideas without having them accommodated to the
customs and needs of people who are supposed
to use them for their own purposes.
Are there Macdonald’s in India? Yes.
Do they serve hamburgers? No!
The same goes with language.
Diversification is the cost we have to pay for the
internationalization of English.
It is important to recognize that English has become an
international common language because it is being
enriched as a culturally diverse language.
People might imagine that a common language should
be a uniform language. But this is not true.
If American or British English standards were imposed
upon all users of English, it would never have become
an international common language.
What happens when English
becomes internationalized?
New forms of language emerge (as we
have seen).
Potential for miscommunication.
“My Mother Isn't Well, Sir.”
CROSSTALK
Setting: The office of a superintendent of
the Hong Kong Police Force. The
superintendent was English.
A young Chinese police constable saluted
the superintendent and stood at attention
in front of the desk.
“Yes?”, enquired the superintendent.
“My mother is not very well, sir”, started the constable.
“Yes?”, repeated the superintendent, a frown appearing on
his brow.
“She has to go into hospital, sir”, continued the constable.
“So?”
“On Thursday, sir.”
The superintendent’s frown was replaced by a look of
exasperation. “What is it that you want?”, he asked sternly.
At this direct question, the constable's face fell and
he simply mumbled, “Nothing, sir. It's all right”, and
turned and left the room.
As soon as the door had closed the superintendent said:
“You see. A classic case. They can't get to the point.”
(Source: Honna, N., A. Kirkpatrick, and S. Gilbert (2000) English Across
Cultures. Tokyo: Sanshusha.)
Who is responsible for the
miscommunication?
The superintendent?
The constable?
Both?
Do you think that when a country adopts
English for some purpose, that they need
to adopt the vocabulary, grammar, and
pragmatics of the “inner circle” countries?
– Why or why not?
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English Quiz - Northern Arizona University