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Grammar for Young Learners

 

Helps teachers of young learners introduce and practise grammar in a fun and motivating way. Steers a middle course between grammar-based and communicative approaches to teaching: meaning is the main focus of all language teaching and grammar is an intrinsic part of making meaning explicit.

The antiquated word tis is a contraction of it and is; the first sound is removed instead of the middle syllable as is common today in the contraction it’s.

 

 

Is Veterans Day A Big Grammar Mistake?

What do apostrophes have to do with this federal holiday? Well, there’s a confusing apostrophe in Veterans’ Day—or is there? Veterans Day is often incorrectly written as “Veteran’s Day” or “Veterans’ Day.” But, in fact, it’s apostrophe free.

“Veteran’s Day” would definitely be incorrect because it means a day for only one veteran. While “Veterans’ Day” does encompass multiple veterans, that spelling is incorrect according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. In the name of the holiday, the word veterans acts as an attributive noun, which means that it behaves like an adjective even though it is a noun.

 


 

We use attributive nouns all the time without realizing it. For example, if you said “Last week, I went to the Cowboys game,” it is not grammatically imperative to include an apostrophe at the end of Cowboys, because Cowboys acts as an attributive noun.

Apostrophes that pop up

Apostrophes pop up where you least expect them, and their misuse distorts meaning and clarity. They are tricky little punctuation marks with multiple uses. Unlike commas and periods, they can actually take the place of letters (when used in contractions), and they also reveal the relationships between different parts of a clause when they make a noun possessive.

 


 

Contractions—like they’ve, what’s, and she’ll—are almost as old as the English language. They reflect how we combine syllables in natural speech, and they are observed in written language as far back as Old English. In Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, thou art is spelled thart. Shakespeare also used them frequently in order to adhere to the meter of his plays.