WORD ORDER 3

 

It's difficult to speak all the time English, and to speak well English.

 

Well... I have to say that these errors are very often, and so it's worth repeating something that's already been said in the TEE book.

As a general rule - there are exceptions when it comes to emphasis, but this would be an exception too far for the above example - the verb phrase should be together with its object. To speak is the verb phrase, and English is the object, and so these should be together: It's difficult to speak English all the time. To speak English well. If you say 'well English', this might suggest that 'well' is an adjective, and so it becomes a type of English! 'Well' in this sentence is being used as an adverb, and so should go at the end.

However, if you really want to stress the fact that speaking English all the time is difficult, then you could write It's difficult to speak - all the time - English! (When speaking it, you'd have to add pauses where the dashes are to get the same effect.) You could do the same for the second example with commas: to speak, well, English, but it would be best to put well at the end of the sentence because - if we place it before the word English - it takes the meaning I'm sorry to say, such as in this example:

"I speak Engleesh little. Francais speak?" 

"Well, sorry sir, you'll have to speak, well, English. Sorry about that."

But you can also say 'And to speak good English' as 'good' is clearly an adjective. To say 'speak English good' is often considered as incorrect English in writing, so I would advise not using it for that. (But speaking is okay.)

1  2  3  Home

All media on this website is © Roger Hartopp/Tertium publishing group 2020, except where noted that they are copyright of a contributor.

Please do not copy without permission. If you do decide to use one of my cartoons for demonstration purposes, or create a link directly to one of my cartoons held on this site, then do please credit where you got it from. Me. Those are the rules, I'm afraid...