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It’s NOT grammar again, just EXCEPTIONS…including Ireland :)

Here is the most important English rule: Almost every rule is about 90% valid!

Yes, I’m afraid it’s true. It is certainly one of the most frustrating things about learning English. All that hard work to learn the correct grammar and then you read or hear something like this:

Peter does want to come this summer. It’s just that he can’t get off work.

As an excellent student the first thought that comes into your mind is; wait a minute, that first sentence is a positive sentence. Does want can’t be correct. It should be; Peter wants to come this summer. Of course, according to what you have learned you are correct. However, in certain instances you can use both the auxiliary and principal verb together to form a positive sentence. We allow this exception to add extra emphasis. In other words:

Peter really wants to come this summer.

You all have plenty of great class, grammar, exercise, and work books that provide all the information necessary concerning the rules of English. I would therefore like to focus on the exceptions to those rules in my grammar features.
This feature will concern the various uses of and exceptions to the SIMPLE PRESENT.
You all know that we usually use the simple present to express:

  1. Habitual actions
  2. Opinions and preferences
  3. Truths and facts

You also know that the standard construction is the following:

  1. Positive: Tom goes to the beach on Saturdays
  2. Negative: Mary doesn’t like to eat fish on Fridays.
  3. Interrogative: Do they work in New York?

Here are some simple present exceptions/extra possibilities

Exception 1

In order to add stress to a positive sentence we can use the auxiliary verb „to do”. We often use this exception when we are contradicting what someone else has said.

A: I don’t think Peter wants to come with us this summer. He told me that he wouldn’t be able to come, but I think he just doesn’t want to come with us.
B: No, that’s not true. Peter does want to come. It’s just that he has too much work and can’t get away from the office.

Exception 2

The simple present can also be used for the future!! We use the simple present to express future, scheduled, events with verbs that express beginning and end, or departure and arrival.

A: When does the train for Paris leave?
B: It leaves at 7 tomorrow morning.

Exception 3

We use the simple present in time clauses when talking about future events. The when is expressed with the simple present. The result is expressed with a future form, usually the future with will. Time clauses are introduced by time signifiers such as when, as soon as, before, after etc. The construction is the same as the first conditional except that we use a time signifier such as „as soon as” instead of „if”.

A: When are you going to come and see the new house?
B: We will come as soon as we finish the Smith project.

The above exceptions are certainly not the only exceptions! However, they are some of the most common exceptions.

Not by chance I have chosen to link these exceptions with Ireland since; Ireland itself is an exception – a unique country with a unique and wonderful people, making the perfect example of exception to the British rules.

Tourists coming to Ireland often complain that even though they expect most people to be native English speakers, they often find out to their horror that they can’t understand one word being spoken. Yes, Irish people speak English; but it’s an Irish sort of English, which can take some getting used to. So, if you are going to have any chance making your way round the island, a few helpful tips on the local vocabulary would be helpful.

Irish people like having fun, and have many words to describe this national propensity. Even ‘fun’ has its own word – the crack. If something is great crack, then it’s likely to be tremendously enjoyable. The word gas is often used to mean hilarious, but if you are called a ‘gas man’ and what you have just said or done was incredibly stupid, be aware that someone might just be piling on the sarcasm nice and thick. If you hear that someone is acting the maggot, or ismessin’ or trick-acting then they are in a mischievous mood designed to get a laugh from others, often at the expense of some poor unfortunate. Aslagging match is where two evenly-matched opponents start to insult each other in a good-natured way. Someone who is having a great time (often while others are not) is said to be having the life of Reilly.

  • Wayward children are never naughty – they are bold.
  • To be tired or broken down is to be banjaxed or knackered.
  • To procrastinate or delay something is to put it on the long finger.
  • A sub-standard dwelling is called a kip.
  • If someone is annoying you, they are blaggarding.
  • To ask someone to be quiet you might say whisht!
  • scratcher is a bed and the jacks is a toilet.
  • To emphasise something the word fierce is often used, as in ‘fierce hard’ (ie difficult) or ‘he has a fierce strong accent’. The words quare or awfulcan also be used to denote emphasis.
  • To accomplish something quickly is to do it fairly lively.
  • Shenanigans refers to intrigue, trickery or hidden manoeuvres designed to effect a certain outcome.

I cannot forget, when discussing Ireland, their world famous dances and, of course St. Patrick’s Day – Irish National Day

I hope you’ll have fun learning how to speak with an Irish accent 😀

….and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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