Sunday, May 9, 2010

Another term

We are starting a new term at my school, and starting it out right.

At my school we have mandatory material to be covered in every class, and it is dictated to us by means of a CD rom. There are certain units and certain chapters that must be covered by a certain time. At the beginning of the year the materials were ordered late, and we had to wing it until they arrived. Two weeks ago, knowing that we are about to start a new unit, I asked about it.

"Can I get the CD Rom for the new unit?" I asked the head teacher.

Blank stare.

"I don't have a CD ROM for units 4-7." I clarified.

"No one does." Was the reply. Then the head teacher began furiously digging through the stacks of paper on her desk. She had not ordered them yet.

I checked in again at the end of the week.

"The book store say they will deliver it this week."

"Oh good"

"But I don't believe them."

She was right not to believe them. They still have not delivered. I guess I am winging it again.

In other news, after our midterms, and my co-teacher asked me to look over some of the written answers.

"There is a dog and two trees in park A" Was marked as incorrect. I told the head teacher that this was in fact correct.

She said "No, it should say There are a dog and two trees in park A."

I said "No, that sounds fucked up." This is the way all their books and teaching materials say to do it. I believe that it is technically correct, but un-natural. Of course you would probably say "There are two trees and a dog in Park A" Which sounds more natural, but you could say it the other way as well. But the head teacher and all the co-teachers think that saying "There is a dog and two trees in Park A" Is incorrect. Then they wanted me to prove it was correct by showing them the grammar rules for it.

The only rule I could find was for neither or nor, where it states "The noun closest to the verb determines the verb" But they say that is only for neither or nor and does not apply to this situation, with fucking park A. I think it holds true in any situation, but I have no idea what that is called or how to prove it. So I am just going to forget about it. If they want proof, they can look it up themselves.


  1. Hmm maybe you could explain it like this: is=1 thing, are=2+ things.

    There is a dog. Correct.
    There are a dog. Incorrect.
    There is dogs. Incorrect.
    There are dogs. Correct.

  2. They don't respond to logic. It has to be written down somewhere by someone who is not me.

  3. I hate to tell you this but I believe your teachers are correct. As a pronoun, "There" represents "a dog and two trees" which is clearly plural and thus the verb form needs to be plural.

  4. There is a difference between what is grammatically correct and what a native speaker would actually say though. If it sounds fucked up it is, IMO.