Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Powderful Singlish

Nice examples of monophthongization of the diphthong in Coke and a not fully open front vowel in have.

I’m reliably told that this conversation was authentic, but to me it still sounds like a magnificent performance by the ‘auntie’!


jonn said...


i have a question to ask.

is it right to say

1) i have heard him PLAY the violin twice


2) i have heard him PLAYED the violin twice?



Kazzzzzzz said...

Wonder if it's anyone's mom... would be kinda hard for that person to hear the recording and go... "I think that sounds like my mom"... lolz.....

The Grammar Terrorist said...

Hi, Jonathan

1) i have heard him PLAY the violin twice.

2) i have heard him PLAYED the violin twice.

(1) is correct, and (2) is wrong. That's because, in English, verbs agree with subjects, and in this case, the subject is 'I'. 'Him' is the object in the main sentence ('I heard him...'), so it cannot control the verb 'play'.

Although 'play' may look like it's present tense, it's actually tenseless (non-finite), because it cannot agree with 'him' since 'him' is not a subject.

This explains why you have a choice between non-finite forms only, e.g. 'I heard him playing/play the violin.' (Like 'play', 'playing' here is tenseless'.)