>BASIC ENGLISH: International Second Language
Section Two, Part One, BBC, pp 168-182
B. I. Other Word-Forms
With the 850 words, and a knowledge only of the forms which have so far been used, a surprising number of statements are now possible, and a still greater number would be quite clear to every reader. This is because the other forms are chiefly designed to make things go more smoothly. A rough idea of the sense may be got without their help; and most of the expansions of the senses of the words are quite natural developments when taken in connection with the rest of a statement.
Let us go back to the example on page 155 and put the nearest form about which we are certain in the place of any word which we have not come across so far:
"The camera-man who make an attempt to take a move picture of the society women before they get they hats off, do not get off the ship, till he was question .
There is no doubt that the story is all in past time, so the sense is clear even here. It is only necessary to get the right time-forms of make, get, and do, the pronoun-form their, and the rule for making 'adjectives' when needed, from names like move and question. When you are clear about the behavior of the very small list of 'operation-words' and 'pronoun'-forms on pages 169 and 170, and the working of the rule on page 176 about the addition of the endings -er, -ing, and -ed when needed, you have the complete system.
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FORMS OF 'OPERATION-WORDS'
| - Present - ||Past||-ing||Special Past|
|One||More than one||Form||Form|
||GAVE ||GIVING ||GIVEN|
||WENT ||GOING ||GONE|
||AM * ||
||I } WAS
||DO * ||DO
||HAVE * # ||HAVE
* Has a use as a helping word.
# The forms of be.
The present form used with he, she, or it is made by the simple addition of 's.' Only be, do (does), go (goes), and have (has) are not regular.
FORMS OF ' PRONOUNS '
Doer of Act
Thing to Which
Act is Done
|Form for |
M = Male . F = Female . N = No sex .
One, in addition to being part of the number system (page 236) has two uses as a 'pronoun.' The first has the sense "a person or thing" (of those, or of the sort, being talked about): I have no pencil. Please give me one. The other has the sense "any person" (and from this is formed oneself): If one has money, one generally has friends. When one is old, one has to take care of oneself.
For "this is my book" and so on, we may say "this (book) is mine" (yours, his, hers, ours, theirs). That is, these new owner-forms may take the place of my (your and so on) and the name of a thing whenever it is clear from what is being said what the thing is: those are their seats and these are ours. The owner-forms of names are used in the same way: John is not my brother, he is Mary's.
This is interesting for two reasons:
1. In other languages (and in normal English) there are generally pages and pages. of 'special' time-forms (which take years to get fixed in the memory for ready use).
2. Even the most strongly supported of the different attempts to make an international language with new words has at least 50 different endings which may be put onto its root-words; and you have to be an expert with most of these endings (and with about 3,000 separate roots) before you are able to make any but the simplest sort of statements, such as those which have been possible in the earlier pages of this 'A B C.'
1. 'VERB'-FORMS (with 'PRONOUNS')
The different forms of the operation-words and 'pronouns' may be given in examples which make it clear when and how they are to be used.
Here is be, used with the different 'pronouns' in the present.
1. I am where he (she, it) is; so we (you, they) are all in the same place.
Then we have be in the past, and with it the special form which is only used with have or be.
2. This (that) was where these (those) were seen (made, kept, put, given, sent, taken) yesterday.
Example 3 (and 5) gives us the form of the operation-word with the sense 'in the process of,' which is used with all the different past, present, and future forms of be.
3. I am (was, will be) going (coming) where he is (was, will be) getting (making, putting) what we are (were, will be) having (giving, keeping) for our meal.
Example 4 gives the present form of have.
4. I (we) have some things which he (she, it) has.
Example 5 gives two complex ways of making the past by using the 'auxiliary' have or the complex auxiliary have been with the special forms seen in 2.
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5. I (you) have had (got, seen, taken, and so on) what he has been having (saying, seeing, sending, taking).
Examples 6 and 7 give the simple present of all the operation-words other than be and have, with examples of the complex present formed with be.
6. Whenever he lets us, we take (do, get, keep, make, say, see, send) what he makes (does, puts, says, sees, sends, gives); but now he is being (seeming) kind, and is letting me see how he is doing it.
7. Whose are these (those) dogs which come (go) where my (his, her) dog comes (goes), and gets (keeps, puts, takes) its food?
Examples 8 and 9 (10 and 11) give some simple past forms of the operation-words.
8. Our (your, their) dogs came (went) and got what the other dog kept (put, took) there.
9. Before he went (came), I saw how he (they) did (had, kept, said, made, sent) it.
Example 10 gives us another complex way of forming the past by using the past of have with the special past forms which came into example 2.
10. Others, who had done (had, said) it before, gave me (him, her, us, you, them) no help.
Now comes an example of do when used to make a Past statement with not. In addition, you are given the Past of may and will.
11. It seemed that if I (we) let (did not let) the boy whom I saw have it, he might take what he did (would) not take before.
Last of all, we get two more ways of puffing words together to make complex pasts, for which may, might, and would are used.
12. He says that we may have been wrong, because we might (would) not have seemed so foolish if we had not let them take it.
For those who have no knowledge of English, or are only in the early stages, the learning of these different forms and their uses will probably be the hardest part of their work. Putting together examples of all sorts is the best way; and the learner will do well to make lists of such forms which he comes across in reading.
QUESTIONS AND EXAMPLES
Here is a bit of prose:
"Caesar take most of the men what had been with Pompey into her army, and makes peace with the important persons among they. Brutus, which later putting Caesar to death, is one of these, and they says that Caesar be full of regret when, after the fight, no one had saw him, and that she was very happy when he gives himself up."
Put the words in italics into their right form, using the past form for the names of acts. Then put them into the present and future form. If Caesar and Brutus were women what changes would have to be made?
We may now give some examples of the special use of it for starting statements (see page 147). In it seems to me . . . , it is true that . . . , it is wise to . . . , the it is pointing to what is going to be said. In it is raining (see page 178) the sense of it is open to argument, but seems to have some suggestion of a strange power which is responsible for events.
The use of have with had in example 5 is very like the use of have with the name of a quality. I have the food ready = I have the food got = I have got the food. Here are some other statements in the same form:
I have done the work.
A rat has taken the cheese.
The experts have made a test.
The workmen have made a hole.
In the same way in which there are different degrees of heat, it is possible to have different degrees of any quality, and different amounts of a thing or substance. How are these degrees made clear in Basic English? For this purpose, there are the 'adverbs' almost, enough, little, much, only, quite, so, very; but sometimes we have to make statements about one thing in comparison with another, and these comparisons are made possible by more and most, which are formed from much. An example will make the use of these two words clear: If I had much money yesterday, and my friends had the same amount; and if I get more money today though my friends do not, I will then have most money. This gives us a sort of rough scale which is used in the same way with qualities. An event may be frequent, more frequent, or most frequent; a person may be tired, more tired, or most tired; an act may be done quickly, more quickly, or most quickly.
RULE. Statements of comparison are made by putting more and most in front of an 'adjective' or 'adverb.'
Though more and most may be used with any quality word, a certain number of these words take the endings -er, -est, which have a more natural sound to English ears. These are generally the shorter words like fat, long, red, true.28 The learner will best get these into his head by reading and talking; the sense is the same whichever form is used. But it is necessary to give special attention to two words which are not regular: bad, which makes comparisons with the forms worse and worst, and good, forming better and best.
The 'adverb' little, like much, has special forms for comparison.29 These are less and least, and when used with names of qualities, they make the opposite end of the scale to that which is formed by more and most.
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The only quality words about which statements of comparison are not made are those whose sense gives no suggestion of degree. Examples of these are first, last, male, female, same.
To make a statement of comparison complete the joining word than is used when the comparison is between unequals, as in: the country is more beautiful than the town; women are less strong than men; and equal comparisons are put into the form as . . . as, so that we say she is as good as her sister; butter is not as cheap as it was.
In addition, this as form is used for making comparisons with the help of some of the 'adverbs' of degree. We say he is almost as old as the manager, the leaves are quite as green as the grass, the coat is only as new as the hat.
Another form of comparison is possible with as and such; for example, such comforts as these, or comforts such as these.
28. Take note of the forms: fatter, flatter, redder, sadder, thinner, wetter; and of the fact that in words ending in y, the y is changed to i before the addition of -er, -eat: dry, drier, driest.
29. There are only three other 'adverbs' which have such forms: far, farther (further), farthest; near, nearer, nearest; well, better, best. In addition, inner and outer are formed from in and out.
QUESTIONS AND EXAMPLES
When one is talking to businessmen it is a good thing to make one's statements as short as possible. How would you say this in 9 words: There is not as great a number of snakes in England as there is in Africa? (There are less snakes in England than in Africa.)
Does it seem strange to you that there are some quality words which do not ever come into statements of comparison? If two things are the same is it possible for them to be more or less like one another than they are? Have you ever been earlier than the first person at a meeting? If so, you may be of the opinion that it is possible for an only son to have brothers.
Put the right words into the spaces in the statement:
When you go _____ from the north you get _____ to the south. Would this be equally true if we put west and east in place of north and south?
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Are there any words of which you are able to say certainly from the sound that they do not take the endings -er, -est? What about dependent, necessary, foolish? Would you put fiat and thick in the same group?
What are the errors here:
The baddest boy did wellest in the test?
[Picture of birds 1] [Picture of birds 2]
Pointing at one or other of these pictures, make statements like These birds are wiser than these birds, these birds are less wise than these birds, with happy, angry, foolish, quiet, kind, and violent.
3. ENDINGS IN -ER, -ING, -ED
RULE. 300 of the 600 names of things may take the endings, -er, -ing, -ed30 to make new words having a straightforward connection of sense with them.
Of these names, 200 are general and 100 are the names of pictured things.
The name of a thing is formed by the addition of -er (person who, thing which, does a certain act), and
-ing (the doing of the act); the name of a quality by -ing (in the process of doing the act) and -ed (having undergone the act). Though all these endings may be used with any of the 300 names, there are some with which -er and -ed will probably not ever be needed because of the sense. 'Rainers' and 'snowers' have no place in our experience, and it is a little hard to see what sort of thing would be 'smiled.'
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The names of acts are the most straightforward. Here the -er
form becomes the name of the person or thing which does the act in question; -ing makes the 'adjective' used about the doer and the name of the act when in process of being done; and the
-ed form gives the 'adjective' of the person or thing to which the act is done.
Act,31 attack, exchange, kiss, roll, smash, turn are among the words in this group.
Another simple group is made up of the names of conditions of feeling or being. With a number of these the change of sense is parallel to that which takes place with the names of acts, -er forming the name of the person or thing having the condition, -ing the 'adjective' used about such a person, and so on. Examples are desire, fear, love, regret. With the other words in this group, -er makes the name of the thing causing the condition: comfort, heat, surprise; -ing then naturally gives the 'adjective' used of this cause, and -ed that of the thing in which the condition is caused. It may be noted that 'resting' and 'balancing' are used in two ways -- of persons or things in a condition of rest or balance and of those causing such a condition. The only condition word which is not like one of the two sorts of examples given is motion. This is because it is only a special use of the word, for a sign made with the arm or hand, which takes the endings.
There is a very important group of words in which the -ing form is used for the doing of some act for which the thing named is used, or in which it takes the chief part. With substance words the act is frequently that of putting the substance onto something. 'Oiling' is putting oil on, an 'oiler' is a person or apparatus which does this, and an 'oiled machine' is a machine into which oil has been put. Butter, chalk, coal, ink, polish, sugar, water, and a number of other words are of the same sort. ('Dusting,' on the other hand, has the sense of taking dust off.) Some words which are not names of substances, such as cover, feather, letter,
stamp, have the same behavior. Another list might be made of names of things whose -ing ending gives the sense of putting. 'Bottling' is putting into a bottle, 'pocketing' is putting in one's pocket, and 'potting' is putting into a pot. With most of the other words in this group the -ing act is clear enough from the purpose for which the thing in question was made. Brush, cart, comb, drain, hammer, plow will give no trouble to anyone. But possibly it may not be quite so clear that 'detailing' is giving all the details of something, that 'wheeling' is pushing a thing on wheels, or even that 'handing' is offering in the hand.
A fourth group is made up of words to which the addition of -ing gives the name of the act by which those things are made. Some of these words are fictions; for example, answer, damage, effect, request, stop. But others are the names of things which are formed by a quite straightforward physical process. We may see a bit of wood 'cracking,' or a house 'burning,' and we ourselves do the 'folding' which makes a fold, and the 'roofing' which gives us a roof. It may seem a little strange to some that 'raining' is the process of making rain, because it is the rain itself which comes down. But because the rain does not become rain till it comes down in the form of rain, there is a good reason for placing it in this group. With flower it is the process of producing flowers which is named by flowering, so it frequently, as an 'adjective,' means simply 'in flower,' 'having flowers out' Branch, curve, and arch are a little different from the others, because the 'branching,' 'curving,' and 'arching' generally go on all the time, that is, they are representative more of conditions than of acts. One sense of 'forking' (as used, for example, of a road branching into two) comes into this group.
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In addition to the four chief groups which have been given attention so far, there are some words which make up only very small groups, or even do not go into any group at all. One such group is that formed by cook, guide, judge, in which the -ing form gives the name of the work which it is normal for a cook, guide, or judge to do. The -er form is here unnecessary, though
'cooker' is used for a cooking-apparatus. From farm, garden, market, and mine are formed by the ing ending the names for the work which is done in those places. But 'harboring' is acting like a harbor to, 'landing' is coming to land, 'placing' is putting in a place, and 'schooling' is a form of training which is not necessarily given in school. 'Causing' (being a cause of), 'milking' (getting milk from a cow and so on), 'pricing' (putting a price on) are examples of words with which the endings may be worked quite simply from a knowledge of the root sense. 'Viewing' (looking at something as if it was a view), 'facing' (turning one's face in the direction of), and 'skirting' (going round the edge of) seem a little less natural. And the learner will probably not see how 'training' becomes teaching or education, or 'watching' has the sense of keeping an eye on, without a word of help from the teacher, pointing out the connection between a train of carriages and the train of events which makes up the process of learning, and between the watch which a man's eye keeps on the clock and the watch which keeps an automatic finger on the time.
Where the act named by a word with the -ing ending may be done in a certain direction or to some thing, it is natural to say looking at the sky, painting a picture.
Another sense given by -ed is 'with, having, whatever is named by the root word.' Some -ed forms have only this sense, others have it as a second sense: flowered (of material) --'with (a design of) flowers on it'; hooked -- 'fixed on (by) a hook' or 'with (the form of) a hook.' Some words take -ed in this sense only for forming complex 'adjectives,' as bright-eyed.
Certain words which do not take the other endings may have -ed in this sense, as winged, dark-haired, glassed (a glassed-in summer house), leaded (leaded windows). These are not listed for the learner, but will be come across in his reading.
In addition to the 300 names which take 3 endings, all those ending in -ing have a use as 'adjectives' and all but meeting may take -er in place of the -ing. A 'builder' may be 'building' a building, a 'learner' may be 'learning' (learning) and so on. With them are grouped the
-ing 'adjectives'-- boiling, hanging, living, and waiting.
There are twelve names of qualities with -er and -ing endings:
clean, clear, complete, cut, dirty, dry, free, open, separate, smooth, shut, and wet. Of these, all but cut and shut may take -ed as well. The rules for changing certain letters before the endings are the same as with names of things, so we get dried, dirtied, wetted, wetting, wetter, and so on. 'Cleaning' is making clean, and a man who does this is a 'cleaner.' Please, like the names of qualifies, takes two of the endings, -ing and -ed.
Here is a list of the 300:
200 General Names
act, air, answer, attack, attempt, back, balance, base, breath, burn, butter, cause, chalk, chance, change, cloth, coal, color, comfort, condition, control, cook, copper, copy, cork, cough, cover, crack, credit, crush, cry, curve, damage, design, desire, detail, disgust, doubt, dust, edge, effect, end, exchange, experience, fear, fire, flower, fold, force, form, front, grip, group, guide, harbor, hate, heat, help, hope, humor, ice, increase, ink, interest, iron, join, journey, judge, jump, kick, kiss, land, laugh, letter, level, lift, light, limit, list, look, love, machine, mark, market, mass, measure, milk, mine, motion, move, name, need, note, number, offer, oil, order, ornament, page. pain, paint, paper, part, paste, place, plant, play, point, poison, polish, powder, price, print, process, produce, profit, protest, pull, purpose, push, question, rain, range, rate, ray, reason, record, regret, request, respect, rest, reward, roll, rub, rule, salt, scale, seat, sense, shade, shame, shock, side, sign, silver, slip, slope, smash, smell, smile, smoke, sneeze, snow, soap, sort, sound, space, stage, start, steam, steel, step, stitch, stone, stop, stretch, sugar, support, surprise, talk, taste, tax, test, thunder, time, tin, top, touch, trade, transport, trick, trouble, turn, twist, unit, use, value, view, voice, walk, wash, waste, water, wave, wax, weather, weight, word, work, wound.
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100 Picturable Things
arch, arm, band, bath, bed, board, bone, book, bottle, box, brain, branch, brick, bridge, brush, button, cake, cart, chain, circle, cloud, coat, comb, cord, curtain, cushion, drain, dress, drop, eye, face, farm, feather, finger, fish, floor, fork, frame, garden, glove, hammer, hand, hat, head, hook, house, jewel, knife, knot, line, lock, map, mouth, nail, nerve, net, parcel, pen, pencil, picture, pin, pipe, plane, plate, plow, pocket, pot, prison, pump, rail, receipt, ring, roof, root, sail, school, screw, seed, ship, shoe, skin, skirt, sponge, square, stamp, star, station, store, sun, thread, thumb, ticket, train, wall, watch, wheel, whip, whistle, wire, worm.
QUESTIONS AND EXAMPLES
Here is a list of words. Every one gets the same sort of sense from the addition of the endings as some other word in the list. See which of them go together: pump, polish, fold, roll, ornament, mass, crush, brush, group, damage. You may be at a loss to see which word to put with group. Mass is the answer, because grouping is forming into groups in the same way as massing is forming into masses. Which 2 words would you put these with: sponge, whip, wire, cord?
Put the 4 words dress, range, cloud, map32 in their places in these examples:
- We have jewels _____ing in quality from the poorest to the best.
- The mother is _____ing the baby.
- Take the digestion into account when _____ing out a meal for persons in hospital.
- The glass was _____ed with steam.
Make sense of this statement by completing the -ing form with all the words possible from the list on pages 180-81:
She is _____ing the machine.
Put these letters in the right order to make words with one of the three endings:
GITWINTS, DONIDONICET, CURDODEP, ARESUDEM, RESRUPTOP.
Might one say raining the field or smiling the man? (No, because only rain is 'rained' and only smiles are 'smiled.' But we might say raining on the field, smiling at the man.)
A rough guide to the use of the -ed form is: Do not make use of it where it would be wrong to put another sort of 'adjective.' For example, we do not say I have blue the wall, so we may not say, in Basic, I have painted the wall. But The wall is blue is quite right, and so is The wall is painted.
30. There are other words in the Basic List which take some but not all of these endings. For example, run, runner, running (but not 'runned'). It is not necessary to have a knowledge of them, but anyone with enough experience may make use of them.
31. A person acting on the stage is an actor, a seaman is a sailor, and a person to whom the payment of a debt has to be made is a creditor. But the sounds are the same as if the endings were in -er.
32. Most words ending, like map, in one letter representative of a stopped sound (but not r, w, x, or y), with one letter representative of an open sound before it, put in the last letter again before -or, -ing, and -ed: control( ler), net( ting), regret( ted). With all words ending in 'e,' the 'e' is dropped before -er and -ed, and with all but two (shoeing, eyeing), before -ing: hated, lover, hoping. uniting and united are said with a long first 'i' as in night.
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