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"Understanding Common Errors In English" Talk

On 10 January 2015, Dr Ludwig Tan, Vice-Dean of SIM University's School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS), gave a talk entitled "Understanding Common Errors In English", which attracted an audience of more than 70 new SASS students. In his talk, held every semester on Student Orientation day, Dr Tan explained that there were two types of grammarians – prescriptive grammarians, who are more concerned about users observing fixed grammar rules, and descriptive grammarians, who are more interested in forming rules based on what real speakers say in real situations.

Dr Tan then introduced some basic grammatical concepts, and proceeded to examine common English errors involving tense, agreement, and so on. He punctuated his talk with mini-quizzes, which got students to apply concepts they had just discussed by judging whether a sentence was correct and explaining what, if anything, was wrong with it. Some students used the opportunity to ask about usage issues they were perennially confused about, such as the difference between "you and I" and "you and me".

H2015_10Jan3_p

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