QUESTION 21 -
ABOUT "REFLEXIVE VOICE VERBS" IN FOREIGN GRAMMARS
Date: February 01, 2017
I teach Romanian, Spanish, and German at Karl Marx University in
Leipzig, and at the Popular University of Leipzig.
(. . .)
In my work I encountered a problem which I couldn't solve. How can I
attach a "reflexive infinitive verb" to the modal auxiliary verb "can".
(. . .)
Thank you for your detailed answer. I hope that in March I can go to
Romania, and I'll buy the GRSL set of books
[perfectly similar to the LSEG4 set of books] myself. I am very curious
about your books; how do they look like?
Most grammar books contain quotations of famous old writers, instead of
simple day to day life examples which ordinary/common people can
understand. This is the reason why, as a German teacher, I have to
explain to my students the grammar of their own language. We managed to
get to a point in which ordinary people do not understand what the
scientists strive to explain in their native language!
Here (in Germany) the press says that we use "poor and insufficient
educational means + we have lazy and unmotivated students + the teachers
are under-qualified". This is a terribly poisonous mixture. Even a
single element of the three listed is sufficient to push the entire
nation into regression.
(. . . )
The press says that mental regression of the younger generation these
terrible. We need to come up with new educational means
specially tailored to suit their needs. It looks like the first foreign
language they need to learn is the very native language they use!
(. . . )
Regarding the "reflexive voice verbs", in German we use
(Kleines Wörterbuch sprachwissenschaftlicher Termini VEB
Bibliographisches Institut Leipzig, 1978, p. 278) while in Spain it is
reflexive” („El Habla de mi Tierra”, Editorial Don Bosco,
Buenos Aires, 1960).
G. F. - Germany (Deutschland)
Before anything, there are no reflexive voice verbs in
English grammar. However, the concept of "reflexive voice verbs" is
quite a common topic in very many foreign grammars—German, Spanish,
French, Romanian, etc. Sure, at Corollary Theorems we criticize a lot
the USA/UK/Canada/Australia/S Africa (and so on) English grammar
curriculum; however, things in grammar are even worse in many foreign
countries. It is a disaster out there in people's education and,
signs" are everywhere around us lately.
Now, the answer to section A of GF's question is rather complex, and
it is specific to a few foreign grammatical
concepts; therefore, it makes no sense to elaborate it in this page. The foreign
topic of "reflexive verbs" is explained briefly in section C.
We take this opportunity to highlight again that
all examples in
LSEG4 series are
common, day to day expressions that ordinary people use "on the street",
or at the (public relations) office. True, there are a few
contextual literary excerpts from O G POPA's SF books in
you could notice even there that the "literary style" used is also of
the common-language type.
The language used in a specialty book [this is called "the style"]
is very important, particularly in a grammar book, because most of them
are so difficult to "decipher". Therefore, we are really proud that
our grammar books are written in
such a clear, simple, common, accessible style.
We emphasize a lot that
LSEG4 is a template of grammar for any other language
on the Planet. Therefore, the (foreign) topic of "reflexive verbs" is best
explained by the voice of the English verb. Note that the voice of
the verb explains only "who executes the action of the predicate-verb".
Thus, we may have:
1. the active voice, when grammatical subject executes
the action of the predicate-verb (or);
2. the passive voice,
when logical subject executes the action of the predicate-verb.
The action of the predicate-verb may be executed only by the subject
(grammatical or logic); therefore, there are only 2 instances possible.
The nature of object that may or may not suffer the action of the
predicate-verb has no bearings on verb's voice grammatical construction.
To summarize, the so called
"reflexive voice grammatical category" cannot exist in ANY grammar!
Note again that
LSEG4 and L4EW
may be used to tailor/adjust ANY FOREIGN GRAMMAR to the simple, logic,
international/universal grammar. Never forget that Grammar has
been particularly designed to be A SINGLE ONE for all the existing
languages. In other words, Grammar is needed to eliminate those thorny
and difficult language specific barriers—and we have the best grammar
books in the entire World, for you, believe it or not.
The complete, easy to learn, Logically Structured English Grammar 4: theory plus exercises!