English

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My new boss is being picky about a test I made for students.

I wrote a question that reads "how many people in your family?"

It seems perfectly acceptable to me in an MC quiz for beginners, however the boss is saying it should read "how many people are there in your family?"

Is the former not acceptable English. That is in essence how we speak. I am sure they are both acceptable ways of posing the question.

Please give an opinion.

  • English -

    Spoken English is often filled with shortcuts and slang -- it's casual English.

    Your boss clearly wants you teaching what's known as "standard English" -- no slang, not casual, and certainly no "gangsta-speak"!!

    Your original question up there is missing the verb. Complete sentences have subjects and verbs. It's not enough to teach new English speakers sidewalk-English (or schoolyard-English). Clearly, your boss wants better than that for the students.

    Consider: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/08/13/is-our-children-learning-enough-grammar-to-get-hired

  • English -

    Goodness, that you have to ask the question. If this seems perfectly acceptable to you, look for another job, you should not be modeling the use of the English language to students.


    To your question: Sentences require verbs. The boss is correct. Notice I did not write "The boss correct".

    Because you speak this way, apparently, does not make it correct, nor proper.

  • English -

    I also agreed, eh...

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