LifeDeath wrote:I meant that some people who were born in an English-speaking country can never learn rules but they would speak the language after having a hugegreat deal of experience.
What linguists like me would argue is that they have learned the rules subconsciously and apply them without thinking about it. (Here I mean the real
rules of the language, not what prescriptivist think those might be.)
LifeDeath wrote:1. Which should I say, "I talk to him" or "I talk with him"?
Depends on your intention, as the meanings are slightly different. "Talk to" can imply an unequal relationship. If someone tells me one of my employees messed up and I say, "I'll talk to him", the implication is that I will do most of the talking. In fact, a "talking to" means a scolding (and you "give someone a talking to"). But this isn't necessarily the case. "I talk to him every day" means just that we speak daily, with no other implication.
"Talk with" is of more limited use and generally means something like "consult", e.g. "Let me talk with the others and I'll get back to you." You could use "talk to" here and it would mean basically the same thing.
LifeDeath wrote:2. I learnt that questions are made by having the auxiliary verb in the beginning of a sentence thus making thean inversion. Like: "Do you want?", "Did they go", "will it be", etc. But I was thinkingwondering if I can use just the common order of words. I know that's not fully grammatical but maybe that would be acceptable on streets when talking with friends or like that.
Actually it's fully grammatical. All you really need to make something a question in English is the correct intontation.
LifeDeath wrote:So I sometimes hear: "What happend?", and I guess I never heard "What did happen?"
Wh-question are a special case. They use words like what
which are interrogative in nature, so there doesn't need to be any inversion. "What did happen" can't be a simple statement in English; it's always a question.
On the other hand, both "What did happen?" and "Did what happen?" exist. The first is emphatic. You would use, for example, to stress that you want a truthful account. For instance, there's a Facebook page "What DID happen to Michael Jackson?" The title expresses doubt about the official accounts of what happened and stresses a desire to know what really
"Did what happen?" is a question you would use when you need to know what someone means. For instance:
"Did it happen while you were asleep?"
"Did what happen?"
The second speaker is indicating that they don't know what "it" refers to in the first speaker's question.
LifeDeath wrote:But does this work with other sentences? Can I ask like:
"You wanted to tell me something?"
"Where you were?"
"You understood what I said?"
The first and last examples are fine (and quite common). "Where you were?" is odd. Again, you'd only use it to ask for clarification on something someone else has said.
A: What did he ask you about?
B: He wanted to know where I was.
A: Where you were?
For whatever reason, A didn't expect this person to ask B where B was. You can think of "Where you were?" as being short for a longer question like "Why did he ask you where you were?"
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons