Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 26th 2013 Contents B8
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 26, 2013
: I am presently try-
ing to upgrade our English usage.
In Standard English, the word
"presently" means soon, in a short
while. (US it means now).
I am at present trying to upgrade
our English usage. (Correct)
Currently, there is a plan to re-
route some roads in the southern
2. Everyone must pay their dues.
This is one of the indefinite pro-
nouns. (See table 1 below)
Everyone must pay his dues (if
all-male group). Everyone must
pay her dues (if all-female group).
Everyone must pay his or her
dues. (If a mixed group)
Indefinite pronouns seen in the
following table are always singular.
They are used with a singular verb
and are the antecedents of singular
Each is to do his own work.
Someone has left her bag on the
bus. Or non-sexist: Someone has
left a bag on the bus.
Every one of the guests is seat-
ed.Somebody has lost his or her
Apply this rule to the following
sentences by noting the under-
lined correct word in the brack-
i. Neither of these two books
ii. Everybody is influenced by
iii. Anyone who feels cold may put
iv. Nobody can predict the day of
3. Damage and injure:
Have you damaged your hand?
Have your injured your hand?
You had an accident and dam-
aged your car. (Correct)
Injury applies to animate
objects---people or animals; dam-
age to inanimate objects (things).
4. That secret is between you
and I. (Incorrect) That secret is
between you and me. (Correct)
The object pronoun is used after
a preposition; "between" is a
Prepositions are pointing or position
words and are always followed by object
pronouns: me, him, her, us, them---not
the subject pronouns: I, you, he, she,
it, we, you, they.
This is for you and me; this is from
you and me; he sits beside you and me;
God watches over us.
5. (a) Definitely is spelled ite, but the
word is pronounced def-in-it-ly. It is
not correct to pronounce it as it is
spelled. The English language is con-
(b) The verb is to pronounce, but the
noun is pronunciation---another peculiar
difference in English spelling and pro-
6. This is mines (incorrect). The fol-
lowing is a list of the demonstrative
pronouns: mine has no "s"
• mine, yours his, hers, its, ours,
Mine is the exception. There is no
extremely poor grammar to pronounce
mine adding an "s." Practise omitting
This is mine. Or The tall ones are
yours, the short ones are mine.
7. Pronounce the ending of words
and spell them correctly: curried chicken,
stewed pork, fried plantain, roast bake,
stuffed toys, knocked, protect, respect,
supposed, strict, frightened, vexed.
8. He should not have drank that
He should not have drunk that water.
There is a group of verbs whose past
participles change the "a" in the past
tense to "u," eg, sing, sang, has sung;
swim, swam, has swum; begin, began,
has begun; ring, rang, has rung; drink,
drank, has drunk; sink, sank, has sunk.
9. Someone wrote and begged me to
point out that there is no such verb as
"to have was to do" something. Simply
"I had to do something." Leave out the
"was," please, I beg you.
10. It s not "God s willing" or "Gods
willing" or, worse, "gods willing". Orig-
inally, "God willing" was uttered as a
prayer or a plea to God to spare life: "I ll
see you next Tuesday, God willing!"
This is correct, meaning may God be
willing, or if God is willing to let us live
"God willing!" without the irrelevant
Trini "s" is a Latin phrase "Deo volente,"
which is sometimes abbreviated to "DV."
It is not a statement of fact, but should
be uttered with the prayerful purpose
of asking God or pleading with Him, if
He would let us live long enough to meet
at a later date. It is equivalent to the
charming, hopeful: "Tomorrow, please
God" said by so many with faith and
love. So, until next Sunday, God willing,
There will be more misused words
in a future column.
Ten most frequently misused
words in everyday speech
Retired Justice Ulric Cross is ushered into the Hilton Ballroom past a canopy of
national flags held by young dancers who performed an opening cultural dance
at the National Icons award ceremony at the Hilton Trinidad, Port-of-Spain, last
Monday. Cross and more than 170 other people who contributed to the nation
building were honoured in a ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Planning and
Development. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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