If we possess a thing
and if we own it
If we control it
If we know a thing
and if we worry about it
If men argue over something
and if they fight
If a person wants something
and if he needs it
If he must do a thing
and if he needn't do it
When we breakfast with a man
and when we board in his house
If a woman bears a baby
and if a man suffers from gout
X IS (or seems) Y. / Gives gets \ / puts comes goes takes \ X keep. DOES lets Y \ makes sends / \ sees says / X HAS YOne feature of the Basic vocabulary that makes it simple for foreign learners to handle is the distinction made between structure and content vocabulary. The remaining words in the OPERATIONS column on the list are also "structure" words. Besides operators and directives (prepositions) which we .use to express relations between things, there are conjunctions and adverbs of time and place and degree, and there are also pronouns, which add nothing to the referential range of our language but smooth and clarify our expression of ideas. These words, like the THINGS and QUALITIES Basic selects, are kept down to a minimum for the protection of the beginner. English-speaking people learning to manipulate Basic quickly see how they may circumvent such seemingly essential words as must and can, many and too and each and just and also, and give up the niceties of the subjunctive while they are using the small vocabulary. Their facility with full English is not lessened by such experience but increased. They get some of the sharpened awareness of their language that comes with any attempt to explain it to a beginner.
The separation of the "operations" from the rest of the vocabulary as is done in Basic English seems to us a fundamentally important contribution to the solution of this problem of teaching a foreign language. . . . It seems linguistically sound, too, to include among the "operators" whatever verbs are used in a list for the first approach to English as a foreign language. The verb is a means of "relating" just as much as are adverb-preposition and conjunction. To classify the verb as an "operator" and therefore to use only a minimum number of verbs in a first vocabulary list seems not only theoretically sound but helpful from a practical point of view.3Here is Bodmer's recognition of the debt -- one among many recurring in his recent examination of the problem of learning any language.
Our first concern, and it is usually the last thing grammar books help us to do, should be what a foreigner has to do when he starts to learn Basic English. We should begin our study of a modern European language by committing to memory the essential particles; and a very small class of exceedingly common words, such as I, him, who, called pronouns. 4Of the "link words" (conjunctions) mentioned here by Bodmer, only often, perhaps, and soon fall outside the Basic list: the first is unnecessary since the Basic rules permit the addition of -ly to qualities, and frequent is on the quality list; the second is easily circumvented when may and be and not and certain are on the list, and when possibly may be made from the quality possible; the third may be handled by such phrases as in a short time, in ten minutes, in a day or so, according to the needs of the particular context in which it occurs.
One of the reasons why Basic is so thrifty in its use of verbs is that we can do much in English by combining some verbs with another class of words called directives. We do so when we substitute go in for enter, go up for ascend, go on for continue, go by for pass, go through for traverse, go off for leave, and go away for depart. In modern European languages, these words recur constantly. There is a relatively small number of them. Unlike nouns (name words), such as train or automobile, which are sometimes the same and often similar in different languages, they are difficult to guess. The same remarks apply to link words such as and, but, when, because, or; and to a large class of words called adverbs, such as often, again, perhaps, soon, here, forward. These three groups of words together make up the class which grammarians call particles. Since they are essential words for clear statement, and are not the sort of words of which we can guess the meaning, it is interesting to know how many of them there are, and how frequently they occur.5
The most capricious words in a language like our own are particles, especially those classified as directives (to, with, for, etc.) and the link words or conjunctions (and, because, though, etc.) . . . . Any particle has a characteristic meaning in the sense that we can use it in a large class of situations to signify the same kind of relationship.6Bodmer has followed Ogden here and in the later diagrams for displaying the characteristic meaning of common directives. Ogden calls it the root sense. On the page opposite are his root senses of the 20 directives displayed in a diagram reprinted from Basic English and Its Uses, page 35.
1 . The ball was ________ hard ________ iron.
2 . He had a desire ________ food.
3 . He took a bit ________ cake.
4 . He is waiting ________ tomorrow, but no longer. He was unhappy ________ they came.
5 . She is a better worker ________ her sister. There is nothing other ________ that.
6 . This is ________ box of bricks. That is ________ apple.
7 . All ________ skin has been taken off the apple.
8 . ________ insects have six legs. That is ________ they have.
9 . He hadn't ________ money whatever. He would not take ________ from me.
10. He comes ________ . day, seven days a week. (Compounds: -body, -day, -one, -thing, -where.)
11. ________ , I will not do it. I have ________ money at all.
12. India is the ________ side of the earth from here. One or the ________ of us will do it.
13. ________ old men are bent. ________ are bent and ________ are straight. (Compounds: -body, -how, -one, -thing, -times, -what, -where.)
14. There is no ________ thing as a round square. Things ________ as these are not possible. (Compounds: -like.)
15. ________ man there did it. ________ is an airplane in the sky. He was so angry ________ he said nothing. I said ________ he was foolish. ________ (plural form) books are for her. (This word is not used in Basic in place of which as a relative: e.g., The letter which came was mine.)
16. ______ man here did it. ________ is my left hand. My point is ________. Those needles are like ________ (plural).
17. ________ am here. My hand is part of ________. It is ________ hand. ________ (you and I) are here. Our hands are parts of ________. They are ________hands.
18. ________ (my brother) is here. ________ (my sister) is not here. You see ________ but you do not see ________. This is ________ (my brother's) hat. _______ is ________ hat. That is not ________ (my Sister's.) hat. ________ are my relations. I am ________ (my brother's and sister's) brother. One of ________ is my brother.
19. ________ are wrong ________ self, John. ________ did not take cold from going without ________ coat when ________ were working. ________ men are like babies!
20. ________ is that man? ________ is his name? It is the man ________ came yesterday, the man to ________ I gave the coat, the man ________ leg was broken. ________ leg was it? It was ________ his right one, the one ________ is a bit shorter than the other.
21. Two _______ two are four. He ________ I went on foot ________ the others took their Buick.
22. He didn't come ________ he was not sent for. It is no good ________ it is broken.
23. He is tall ________ he is not six feet high. All ________ the foolish have ideas. He is not only quick ________ able.
24. You will be first ________ I will. Was he going ________ coming? Was she there ________ not? Two ________ three were there. We say the foot ________ the base of a mountain but the floor of a room.
25. There will be room ________ you come early. Take the top off and see ________ it is inside. ________ he is right then you are wrong. ________ only he had a good voice! There were at least three ________ not more.
26. ________ old, he is still strong. The grass is dry ________ it was raining early this morning.
27. He was happy ________ he was there. Do it ________ there is still time. (This word may not be used in Basic in place of time: e.g., For a short time.)
28. I will see ________ cold it is. ________ is your mother feeling? ________ much is this dress? I will see ________ it is done. (Compound: -ever.)
29. ________ will the war come to end? He was in bed ________ the news came. ________ he took up the gun it went off. (Compound: -ever.)
30. ________ is the Amazon River? That is a place ________ there is never any rain. Take care ________ you go at this time of night. (Compounds: -as; -by; -ever.)
31. ________ are you here, if not for that? There is no reason ________ it is necessary.
32. He did the work ________ when I said it was badly done. Then ________ there is this other point. ________ and ________ the thing was attempted, but to no purpose.
33. Have you ________ seen the president? No man will go on living for ________. There is not ________ time for all one is hoping to do. (Compound: -green.)
34. Do not go ________ from the house. They sent him ________ away. Nothing has been done about it so ________. London is ________ (comparative degree) from San Francisco than from New York. Moscow is the ________ (superlative) away.
35. They went ________ 10 yards. He was in the ________ part of the boat. She put ________ a suggestion. His behavior was ________.
36. He is ________ with me now. ________ is a book for you. Come ________ to me. (compounds: -after; -with.)
37. They got ________ enough to see the bird's markings. Her house is ________ ours, only half a mile away. They came ________ and ________ (comparative). Take him to the ________ (superlative) hospital. (-ly is not Basic. Almost does its work.)
38. I will go ________ , before it gets late ________ is the time to do it. You will ________ see a strange thing. From ________ on I will do it myself.
39. He has gone ________ into the garden for a minute. Flowers come ________ in the spring. He had a tooth ________ yesterday. The book had an ________ (comparative) cover. (Compounds: -burst; -come; -cry; -door; -going; -house; -law; -let; -line; -look; -put; -side; -skirts; -stretched.)
40. He is ________ strong at 70. The play is ________ going on but it will be over in a short time. ( ________ for quiet, not moving, is not Basic.)
41. He was young ________ but now he is an old man. ________ he got angry. He did it ________ and there.
42. He was not ________ when it took place. ________ it is, on that table. Are you ________, John? I am in agreement with him ________. He did it then and ________. He says ________ were three men in the boat.
43. They all four did it _________ till one man had to go. He put the clock _______ but it would not go. We will get _________ for another meeting next week. He put his things _________ before he went.
44. He does his work very ________ for a little boy. You may ________ say so. The table was ________ polished. He was ill last week but he got _______ quickly. He is ________ over 50. He does ________ (comparative) than that when he takes time. This is good, the ________ (superlative) thing you have done. (Compounds: -being; -off.)
45. She will not be long, she is ________ ready. We are ________ there now. The boy is ________ a man now.
46. There is not ________ food to go round. I will take this; it is good ________. If you go far ________ you will see a red house.
47. It is cold today everywhere ________ in the sun. They took him ________ though he said he would not go. He has no fear ________ of death. ________ if I did go with him, I didn't do anything. This is a good book but this is ________ more interesting. ( ________ may not be used in Basic in the sense of equal, smooth, level.)
48. The man is ________ more than an animal. It makes me a ________ angry. He is able to do very ________. A ________ goes a long way. She was a ________ baby, only five pounds. He comes ________ (comparative) frequently now because he is unable to get gas. He is the poorest; he has the ________ (superlative) money of them all.
49. How ________ is that hat? There is ________ to do and we may not get to the end. It is not raining ________ now ________ of what he said was true but he was wrong in one thing. This is very cheap, ________ cheaper than that. There is ________ (comparative) water in the sea than ever came out of it. This is the ________ (superlative) private room I have.
50. No, he is ________ here today. ________ one of them would go with him, so he went by himself. It was ________ good, it was bad. He did ________ go till later.
51. This came ________ yesterday and has not been opened. It was not ________ cold, but wet. I was________ feeling it, not moving it. If ________ you were here! He was an ________ son.
52. It is ________ ready so you will not have to be kept waiting. That is almost but not ________ the right color. Yes, it is ________ a good book.
53. I am ________ tired that I am going to bed. I am certain he did it because he says ________. I was wrong and ________ was he. I will do it myself ________ there is nothing to keep you.
54. He is ________ ill and may not get well. He came ________ much more quickly this time.
55. ________ is the day after today. ________ .morning I will come.
56. ________ was the day before today. ________ morning was wet.
57. The United States is ________ of Mexico.
58. Washington is ________of New York.
59. The sun comes up in the ________.
60. The sun goes down in the ________.
61. May I ________ go with you? ________ take me with you. Say ________ and then I will give you some. (Note : ________ may take the -er, -ing, -(e)d endings in Basic: e.g., I am ________d with my new hat. She has a ______ing face.
62. ________, I will do it. He said ________but his brother said no. answers
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