Blog entry by Joanne Chuang
我在台灣常聽到一些常見的英文錯誤，總在我這老外耳邊縈繞不止。最近，我寫了一篇關於 'police 警察' 這個字彙大家常犯的錯誤 ( 你可以在此讀到該篇文章 ) 。不過今天，我們要談論一個比 'a police' 更普遍的錯誤。
There are a few super common mistakes that I hear all the time in Taiwan, and they really clang on my foreigner ears. Recently, I wrote an article about the mistake people often mistake with the word 'police' (you can read that article here). But today - we are going to talk about a mistake that is ever more common than saying 'a police'.
『Children 孩子們 』。是的，我們要談談 Children 這個字彙。你也許知道孩子的單數是 'a child'，而複數則以 'children' 來表示。但這點似乎很容易被遺忘，在台灣我常會聽到 'a children'，這對一位母語人士而言是個很難一笑置之的錯誤。即使我3歲大、以英文為母語的女兒，有時仍不免會犯這個錯，自稱為 'a children'。此外，有時我會看到台灣的學生寫 'lots of childs' ( 有趣的是，我女兒倒是從未犯過這個錯誤，可能是她從未聽我說過 'childs' 這個字 - 所以這個字對她而言並不存在 - 儘管 'child's' 這個字倒是可能出現…)。
Children. We need to talk about children. So you probably know that one çhild is a 'child' and a group of them is 'children'. But it can be easy to forget - I often hear 'a children' in Taiwan - which sounds really terrible to a native speaker. Even my three year old daughter who is a native English speaker still makes this mistake sometimes and calls herself 'a children'. I sometimes see students in Taiwan writing 'lots of childs' (my daughter never makes that mistake, interestingly, probably because she never heard me say the word 'childs' - it does not exist - though of course 'child's' is possible).
其實這樣的錯誤無可厚非，英文中要在字尾加上 's' 讓名詞成為複數已經是一件麻煩事，當有些名詞不能只靠加 s 來表示複數，而必須改變整個單字時，只會讓人更抓破腦袋！因此，如果是你、你的孩子、或學生犯了同樣的錯誤，這下該如何是好？
I don't blame anyone for making this mistake - it is already a pain in the ass to need to add 's' and make nouns plural in English. It gets worse when you can't just add s and have to change the whole word! So if you are making this mistake, or your children or students are - what can you do?
Try repeating this simple drill:
I saw a child, then I saw many children.
That gets you swapping the forms over. But listening is still the best way to improve your English speaking - you want to be hearing lots of good native speaker English that you enjoy listening to - the more you hear the right grammar, the more you will repeat it! So get on Netflix and watch some English cartoons, movies or TV dramas! You don't need to learn English grammar - just absorb it as children do!