I'm looking for proper use of ARE and IS

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Stromm
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My son has a bad habit of improperly using ARE and IS. So, I gave him what I thought would be an
easy weekend research project. To find out why one uses ARE and IS.

Sadly, even I could not find anything such that a 12 year old can understand. The definition of
these words is not enough.

Does anyone have or know of where I can get help with this?

Thanks, Stromm [email protected]

p.s. sorry for the cross-postings.
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Don Phillipson
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"Stromm" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

[q1]> My son has a bad habit of improperly using ARE and IS. So, I gave him what I thought would be an[/q1]
[q1]> easy weekend research project. To find out why one uses ARE and IS.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Sadly, even I could not find anything such that a 12 year old can understand. The definition of[/q1]
[q1]> these words is not enough. Does anyone have or know of where I can get help with this?[/q1]

The general context is that the English verb To Be is highly "irregular" i.e. its correct
inflections are not made by the uniform means observed by regular verbs. E.g. I pass (present
tense), I passed (past tense) and not I am (present), I ammed (past) but I am (present), (I was) and
other irregularities, e.g. I am, you are (cf. I pass, you pass.)

You can write the basics on one side of a postcard, leaving room for notes:
1. Verb conjugations are a matter of convention.
2. You must learn the convention before you can (safely) break it.
3. Lots of English verbs are irregular, including many of the most common.

--
Don Phillipson Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada) [email protected] ess2
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Jklowe
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Stromm wrote:
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> My son has a bad habit of improperly using ARE and IS. So, I gave him what I thought would be an[/q1]
[q1]> easy weekend research project. To find out why one uses ARE and IS.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Sadly, even I could not find anything such that a 12 year old can understand. The definition of[/q1]
[q1]> these words is not enough.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Does anyone have or know of where I can get help with this? <snip></snip>[/q1]

A quick rule-of-thumb: A single thing IS while multiple things are.

"He is doing the research, the newgroups are a source of enlightenment."

Where I think it get's tricky is when you're dealing with a subject that could be either singular or
plural; e.g. The united states are a republic called the United States of America.
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Phuque Ewe
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On Sun, 30 Jun 2002 16:21:24 GMT, Stromm <[email protected]>wrote:

[q1]>My son has a bad habit of improperly using ARE and IS. So, I gave him what I thought would be an[/q1]
[q1]>easy weekend research project. To find out why one uses ARE and IS.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Sadly, even I could not find anything such that a 12 year old can understand. The definition of[/q1]
[q1]> these words is not enough.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Does anyone have or know of where I can get help with this?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Thanks, Stromm [email protected][/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> p.s. sorry for the cross-postings.[/q1]

There is no why or how to "is" and "are." It seems that what is needed here is a rudimentary grammar
lesson. To understand the present issue, your son needs to know about two things: 1. the concept of
"person", and 2.irregular verbs vs regularr verbs.

1. Person In English there are three "persons," each of which has a corresponding singular and a
plural. For instance, first person singular = "I", second person singular = "you" (talking to one
person), and third person singular = "he, she , it." Likewise, first person plural = "we", second
person plural = "you"(talking to more than one person), and third person plural = "they."

2. Regular verbs vs Irregular verbs Regular verbs are verbs which follow more or less clear rules.
For most verbs in English all you have to know is that all the conjugation for all persons is the
same except for third person singular, which adds an "s" to the end of the word. ( In the present
tense, that is. Past tense is an entirely different story. ) For example,

Singular Plural First Person I run we run Second Person you run you run Third Person he she it
runs they run

Irregular verbs are verbs that have seemingly arbitrary conjugations. As such they simply have to be
**memorized**. This is, I suppose, what your son must know. Irregular verbs have no rules. There is
no particular why or how to it. "Is"and "are" are conjugations of the verb "to be," which is an
irregular verb.

Singular Plural I am we are you are you are he, she, it is they are

So, to put it briefly, if you are speaking about more of one of anything, or if you are talking *to*
another person, you use "are." If you are talking *about* another person or another thing (be
certain it is just one), you use "is."

See if this page helps. http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/to_be.htm
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Stromm Sarnac
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I tried being this "simple" but he just wasn't getting it. That is the rule that I was taught in 3
grade (early 70's), and it's scary that they don't teach this even through to 8th grade anymore.
Most teachers I've talked to can't even explain this rule (same with A or AN).

The other posting gives me something that I can use in working with my son.

Thanks though.

In article <[email protected] >, [email protected] says...
[q1]> Stromm wrote:[/q1]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > My son has a bad habit of improperly using ARE and IS. So, I gave him what I thought would be an[/q2]
[q2]> > easy weekend research project. To find out why one uses ARE and IS.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Sadly, even I could not find anything such that a 12 year old can understand. The definition[/q2]
[q2]> > of these words is not enough.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Does anyone have or know of where I can get help with this? <snip></snip>[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> A quick rule-of-thumb: A single thing IS while multiple things are.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> "He is doing the research, the newgroups are a source of enlightenment."[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Where I think it get's tricky is when you're dealing with a subject that could be either singular[/q1]
[q1]> or plural; e.g. The united states are a republic called the United States of America.[/q1]
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Stromm Sarnac
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#6
Report 17 years ago
#6
Great, thanks. I didn't want to explain this to him myself. I wanted him to find this out on his own
and be able to explain it without using someone else's words. Smart kid remembered that I use
www.deja.com and searched for "are and is" and found your reply

I really appreciate your typing time. It's sad that this isn't explained anywhere easily found
(and I've been through many grade-school and college books, not to mention 3 hours of web
browsing). I thought this would be a simple search for him on the net, but MAN there just isn't
anything there.

Stromm.

In article <94duhug4n1mcru53ojqudkhlefu646d [email protected]>, phuhque- [email protected] says...
[q1]> On Sun, 30 Jun 2002 16:21:24 GMT, Stromm <[email protected]>wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]> >My son has a bad habit of improperly using ARE and IS. So, I gave him what I thought would be an[/q2]
[q2]> >easy weekend research project. To find out why one uses ARE and IS.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Sadly, even I could not find anything such that a 12 year old can understand. The definition of[/q2]
[q2]> > these words is not enough.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Does anyone have or know of where I can get help with this?[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Thanks, Stromm [email protected][/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > p.s. sorry for the cross-postings.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> There is no why or how to "is" and "are." It seems that what is needed here is a rudimentary[/q1]
[q1]> grammar lesson. To understand the present issue, your son needs to know about two things: 1. the[/q1]
[q1]> concept of "person", and 2.irregular verbs vs regularr verbs.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> 1. Person In English there are three "persons," each of which has a corresponding singular and a[/q1]
[q1]> plural. For instance, first person singular = "I", second person singular = "you" (talking to[/q1]
[q1]> one person), and third person singular = "he, she , it." Likewise, first person plural = "we",[/q1]
[q1]> second person plural = "you"(talking to more than one person), and third person plural =[/q1]
[q1]> "they."[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> 2. Regular verbs vs Irregular verbs Regular verbs are verbs which follow more or less clear rules.[/q1]
[q1]> For most verbs in English all you have to know is that all the conjugation for all persons is[/q1]
[q1]> the same except for third person singular, which adds an "s" to the end of the word. ( In the[/q1]
[q1]> present tense, that is. Past tense is an entirely different story. ) For example,[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Singular Plural First Person I run we run Second Person you run you run Third Person he she it[/q1]
[q1]> runs they run[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Irregular verbs are verbs that have seemingly arbitrary conjugations. As such they simply have to[/q1]
[q1]> be **memorized**. This is, I suppose, what your son must know. Irregular verbs have no rules.[/q1]
[q1]> There is no particular why or how to it. "Is"and "are" are conjugations of the verb "to be," which[/q1]
[q1]> is an irregular verb.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Singular Plural I am we are you are you are he, she, it is they are[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> So, to put it briefly, if you are speaking about more of one of anything, or if you are talking[/q1]
[q1]> *to* another person, you use "are." If you are talking *about* another person or another thing (be[/q1]
[q1]> certain it is just one), you use "is."[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> See if this page helps. http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/to_be.htm[/q1]
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Britt Nolan
Badges:
#7
Report 17 years ago
#7
Stromm Sarnac wrote:

[q1]> I tried being this "simple" but he just wasn't getting it. That is the rule that I was taught in 3[/q1]
[q1]> grade (early 70's), and it's scary that they don't teach this even through to 8th grade anymore.[/q1]
[q1]> Most teachers I've talked to can't even explain this rule (same with A or AN).[/q1]

Where are these teachers that can't explain A or An? Good God! If they're teaching English and they
can't explain the difference between A and An, they really shouldn't be teaching English!

[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> The other posting gives me something that I can use in working with my son.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Thanks though.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> In article <[email protected] >, [email protected] says...[/q1]
[q2]> > Stromm wrote:[/q2]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > > My son has a bad habit of improperly using ARE and IS. So, I gave him what I thought would be[/q3]
[q3]> > > an easy weekend research project. To find out why one uses ARE and IS.[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > > Sadly, even I could not find anything such that a 12 year old can understand. The definition[/q3]
[q3]> > > of these words is not enough.[/q3]
[q3]> > >[/q3]
[q3]> > > Does anyone have or know of where I can get help with this? <snip></snip>[/q3]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > A quick rule-of-thumb: A single thing IS while multiple things are.[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > "He is doing the research, the newgroups are a source of enlightenment."[/q2]
[q2]> >[/q2]
[q2]> > Where I think it get's tricky is when you're dealing with a subject that could be either[/q2]
[q2]> > singular or plural; e.g. The united states are a republic called the United States of America.[/q2]
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