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is or are
Thread poster: Morten Olesen

Morten Olesen
Denmark
Local time: 23:33
English to Danish
Jan 8, 2009

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" Bush has said. "Is" is not correct..it should be "are"..? Or is it merely the fact that Bush says it that makes it funny..........:-)
Morten
Denmark
www.mortensgallery.com


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Rosemary Moraes
Spain
Local time: 23:33
Spanish to Portuguese
Are Jan 8, 2009

Dear friend,

The correct is are (children).

The is should be correct for child.

Regards


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
Are Jan 8, 2009

I was taught at school to say "children are", but maybe an English native can confirm it...

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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 23:33
Dutch to English
Are Jan 8, 2009

I believe it should definitely be are our children learning.

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Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 23:33
German to English
are Jan 8, 2009

I would ask "are our children learning". The original question is a classic bushism and is funny. I love when he refers to "nucular weapons" instead of the "nuclear" ones

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Are, of course. Jan 8, 2009

WilRoy wrote:

I would ask "are our children learning". The original question is a classic bushism and is funny. I love when he refers to "nucular weapons" instead of the "nuclear" ones


Of course it should be "Are our children learning?"
Poor old Bush - he just can't cope with the English language (or any other, I posit). I remember a news clip in which he said "Democracy is the misrepresentation of the people". Well, he should know ...
Best wishes,
Jenny


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Simon Cole  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:33
Member (2008)
French to English
British v American ? Jan 8, 2009

Of course it's "are" for plural.
As a Brit, I am amazed that anyone would consider an American President as an arbiter of the English langauge.
As someone once said (probably Winston Churchill or GB Shaw) - "Two nations divided by a common language".


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Is this is a step in the right direction ? Jan 8, 2009

moggy wrote:
"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" Bush has said.


While I agree that it should be 'Are', not 'Is', I applaud President Bush for taking a step in the right direction -- simplifying our language and getting rid of irregular verbs.

That is one of the advantages arising from the complicated and mixed up origins of English -- Germanic roots, overlaid with Norman French, underpinned by Greek and Latin, and blended with words from almost every other language in the world. Thanks to that, we have got rid of excrescences such as gender that bedevil other languages, and we have simplified most of our verbs. That trend is still underway -- many people in England say 'You is', not ''You are'. Other versions of English say 'I is'. There is the famous song "Is you Is...Is you Aint my Baby". Ungrammatical, but great.

In time, I suspect we will all say I is, you is, he is, we is etc. Good thing too. Perhaps President Bush will be seen as a linguistic pioneer.


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Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 23:33
German to English
Here Jan 8, 2009

Here in Austria, I always tell my friends that learning english from an American is dangerous (jokingly) since we like to reinvent (or butcher if you like) the enlish language. The soon to be former prez takes it to a new level however. That's the one thing I'm going to miss; Obama doesn't seem to have that kind comedic value.

Lets also take moment to remember former defense sec. Rumy Pumpkin: There are things we know and there are things we don't know...


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Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 23:33
German to English
A real screamer! Jan 8, 2009

Jenny Forbes wrote:


I remember a news clip in which he said "Democracy is the misrepresentation of the people". Well, he should know ...


Sounds like the Bush administration credo


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:33
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Thanks for making me smile :- Jan 8, 2009

Most definitely "Are our children learning"...


Perhaps this is the one time Bush said something correctly


Joke!!

I am just waiting to see what the British comedians do to the new American President...and how the impressionists portray him.

BTW

As a Brit, I don't have a problem with US English. We are all products of history...

As long as we keep UK English and US English as two separate entities, I won't have a problem and I will continue to respect both -:)

Happy New Year to you all:-)

Liz

[Edited at 2009-01-08 15:17 GMT]


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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:33
German to English
Ali G... Jan 8, 2009

...has been known to express himself this way. Was Dubya addressing the Staines Massive by any chance?
Respeck.


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Phillippa May Bennett
Portugal
Local time: 22:33
Portuguese to English
Some more "Bushisms" Jan 8, 2009

Check out the page on the BBC which summarises some of the best "bushisms".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7809160.stm

Enjoy!


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Morten Olesen
Denmark
Local time: 23:33
English to Danish
TOPIC STARTER
thank you for the input all you lovely people Jan 8, 2009

Just wanted to make absolutely sure - studied English in a very distant past, so should know. For those of you who value the British sense of humour I can recommend Steve Coogan in his 'pest control show' where he plays a former roadie - here's a true linguist! (can't remember the name of the show offhand)
morten


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:33
English to Arabic
+ ...
Bushism Jan 8, 2009

A search for the sentence took me to this Bush speech, in which he makes fun of his own linguistic mishap:
"Then there is my most famous statement: "Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning." (Laughter.) Let us analyze that sentence for a moment. (Laughter.) If you're a stickler, you probably think the singular verb "is" should have been the plural "are." But if you read it closely, you'll see I'm using the intransitive plural subjunctive tense. (Laughter.) So the word "is" are correct. (Laughter and applause.)"
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/03/20010330-1.html


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