All my life, I have been careless on everything especially in grammar. I always try to challenge myself to achieve fluency. BUT, I had enough of it. I think it is about time to move on to accuracy. Now, the journey begins here at the TESOL class. And tonight, we are puzzling ourselves on how a pronoun works with Ms. Larsen. When you try to look at it, it just so easy, but I have realized it is the most tortured parts of the speech. “We”, “them” and” me” in the beginning in the sentence which sounds so right; however, after the class, I have learned that I have been using them descriptively. Even though it sounds right, it is not right. The same thing happens in our life, we do things which most common people do, and we think it is the right thing, but it is not.
It sounds good when you are doing the right thing like saying the right grammar in a conversation, for example. You will sound different from others because you are saying the prescriptive or the right grammar, which in fact well-accepted by most professionals.
Wait… do you know why Filipinos have a difficulty of using pronouns and we always mix he/she, him/her? Actually, in our culture, we only use one pronoun to address both female and male and that we use “Siya” for both genders. No wonder why even up to now every time I switch my brain from my local language to English, still made me confused, but I know I said it wrong, so I correct myself immediately. But still, I made a mistake.
Puzzling of pronouns is exactly I have experienced in my life. The questions rise that asks “Am I writing or saying the right one? The perplexing confusion comes in. I am glad that I have become aware on my mistakes, and I am making my pronoun usage correctly. I have learned to identify different cases of pronouns and how to use them in sentences. Through this very significant activity of identifying and completing the maze in finding the right pronouns, it has taught me not only about pronoun but how to entangle and solve my own confusion. Well, mistakes are unavoidable even how many times I master it. Once I stop using these tons of pronouns in my head, I will forget them and then, I will just switch to “Siya”(both genders).
So, Ms. Larsen suggested a very effective technique of remembering them. She said I have to do mental practice. For example, while I am riding in a jeepney (it’s a public transportation), I should have tried to rehearse in my mind identifying he/she among the passengers. I have to observe what they do and in my head, I will construct basic sentences using these pronouns. Sounds weird… but, it is worth to try. Once you practice your mind, it follows on your speech.
At the end, I went home happy and satisfied while taking the pronoun usage exercise — filling in the boxes with appropriate pronouns. Taking away with me the practical lesson on how to master and defeat my own pronoun confusion.
What about in your local language? Which grammar usage in English you are confused about because it uses differently in your language? Tell us about it.