Smart Living This Quirky Rule of Grammar Makes You Sound Smarter Than You Actually Are

00:40  02 february  2018
00:40  02 february  2018 Source:   inc.com

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According to most smart people, only smart people use this ancient and oft-neglected rule of grammar . Ancient English had some of that complexity, but today all that's left are a few quirky idioms. Regardless of how smart you actually are . Published on: Jan 29, 2018.

And like the Coelacanth, it may actually become extinct within the next few decades. Before I explain the rule , here's a quick question. While they sound a bit odd and even caveman-ish while standing alone, when placed in context, they are entirely grammatical .

  This Quirky Rule of Grammar Makes You Sound Smarter Than You Actually Are © Getty Images

According to most smart people, only smart people use this ancient and oft-neglected rule of grammar.

One of the most surprising discoveries of the past century was the reappearance of the Coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish that was thought to have died out millions of years ago. Scientists were astounded that this "living fossil" that ancient had survived into modern times.

Well, the English language also has a "living fossil," a remnant of an ancient way of speaking that's survived--barely--into modern times. And like the Coelacanth, it may actually become extinct within the next few decades.

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This Quirky Rule of Grammar Makes You Sound Smarter Than You Actually Are . 5 Smart Ways To Answer, 'How Are You ?' And Advance Your Career.

This Quirky Rule of Grammar Makes You Sound Smarter Than You Actually Are . 5 Smart Ways To Answer, 'How Are You ?' And Advance Your Career.

Before I explain the rule, here's a quick question. Are the following grammatically correct?

  • "I were rich."
  • "She leave now."
  • "He be guilty."

While they sound a bit odd and even caveman-ish while standing alone, when placed in context, they are entirely grammatical. Like so:

  • "If I were rich, I would buy a Ferrari."
  • "I insist that she leave now."
  • "Should he be guilty, he deserves punishment."

What you're looking at there are the last remnants of what was once a huge part of the English language: the Subjunctive Mood. It was (and is) a quick and convenient way to quickly communicate to listeners that you're talking about something that real (yet).

In English, reality--what actually existed, exists or will exist--is communicated using something called "Indicative Mood." These are the verb forms that everybody uses every day. Like so:

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11 grammar mistakes sound - solo pr pro, 11 grammar mistakes that make you sound like a pompous jerk. (45 pages, 9 examples) and stay up-to-date with in the know from solo pr pro:. Smart living quirky rule grammar sound , This quirky rule of grammar makes you sound smarter than

This Quirky Rule of Grammar Makes You Sound Smarter Than You Actually Are !https Inc.Verified account @Inc. You sound smarter if you use this quirky (and ancient) rule of grammar . http Be your own biggest fan and hero then you can make a huge difference… https

  • "I am rich, so I'm buying a Ferrari."
  • "She is leaving now.
  • "He is guilty and will be punished.

By contrast, you use the Subjunctive Mood when you're discussing something that didn't exist, doesn't exist or might not exist in the future. In other words, if it's real, use the Indicative; if it's not, use the Subjunctive.

Related Gallery: 13 grammatical mistakes that instantly reveal people's ignorance (Provided by Hello Giggles)office work coworker man woman talking conversation 13 grammatical mistakes that instantly reveal people's ignorance

In more formal languages, the Subjunctive mood for a typical verb might several dozen forms (past, present, future, etc., first person, second person, third person, singular, plural, etc.), most of which are different from the same forms in the Indicative.

That's a lot to learn, as anyone who's taken a few years of Latin knows.

Ancient English had some of that complexity, but today all that's left are a few quirky idioms. And even they're starting to disappear.

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Here’s yet another random facts list to make you the smart -ass guy/gal at parties. That kind of sounds obvious, but it's actually an evolutionary reflex. Fat around the belly indicates a low level of testosterone, and that indicates a problem in reproductive capabilities.

You sound smarter if you use this quirky (and ancient) rule of grammar . www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/ this - quirky - rule - of - grammar - makes - you - sound - smarter - than - you - actually - are .html … via @Inc.

For example, it's now much more common (in both senses of the word) for somebody to say "If I was rich..." (Indicative and incorrect) than "If I were rich..." (Subjunctive and correct). Similarly, most people would probably say "I insist that she leaves now" (Indicative and incorrect) rather than "I insist she leave now." (Subjunctive and correct). Same thing with "If he is guilty,..." (Indicative and incorrect) replacing "Should he be guilty,..." (Subjective and correct).

Lest this seem stuck up or arbitrary, almost everyone does the same thing when searching even further down the grammatical chain. Most people, for instance, downgrade speakers' intelligence should they use simplified forms of the Indicative Mood. For example, "you was happy" rather than "you were happy" sounds backwoods and uncultured.

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The sound of chewing annoys you . “To know how skilled or unskilled you are at using the rules of grammar , for instance, you must have a good working knowledge of those rules , an Originally published as 9 Quirky Habits That Prove You ’re Smarter Than Everyone Else on ReadersDigest.com.

9 Quirky Habits of People Who Are Smarter Than Everyone Else. "To know how skilled or unskilled you are at using the rules of grammar , for instance, you must have a good working knowledge of those rules , an GREAT News—Those Funny Cat Videos You Love Are Actually Good for You .

The Subjunctive Mood is just a more extreme case of that kind of cultural snobbishness. Regardless of its reasonability, though, use the Subjunctive correctly and you'll sound smarter to people who pay attention to such things.

Related Video: Need, like, a grammar reboot? This app cleans up your speech (Provided by CNBC)

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