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'Good stopping' 'nice walking'

(43 Posts)
princessx Sat 23-Feb-13 15:33:50

Am I the only one to shudder when I hear this new way of praising children? It's not grammatically correct is it?

Should you really say: 'well done, you stopped at the appropriate place.'?

Any thoughts?

Grockle Sat 23-Feb-13 22:17:07


MrsShrek3 Sat 23-Feb-13 22:17:49

tiger, the gerund is the nearest we have in English. Agree it works so much better in Latin - from the pov of being simpler to explain at least! grin (actually, did I really just say that?)

Goodwordguide Sat 23-Feb-13 22:22:42

Reminds me when DD had a poem for homework where she had to underline all the verbs.

The poem contained not one main verb but lots and lots of gerunds. <sigh>

Grockle Sat 23-Feb-13 22:28:20

<whispers... I don't know what a gerund is blush>

munchkinmaster Sat 23-Feb-13 22:33:25

I suppose if you substituted another adjective ( e.g. excellent or pitiful) the construction would sound fine so grammatically it's okay but just sounds naff rather than wrong.

Whilst I understand such phrasing is very helpful for small children and those with limited receptive language, I think it's the Americanness which makes people itch a bit.

Goodwordguide Sat 23-Feb-13 22:33:31

When DD had her homework problems, practically none of the British-educated parents (or teachers) knew what a gerund was and all the non-native English speakers did. We're not usually taught English grammar in that way, or at least, my generation (40-something) wasn't.

It's a verbal noun ie, a verbal form that functions as a noun - always ends in '-ing' eg,

Smoking is bad for your health.
The whistling of the kettle.

Lollydaydream Sat 23-Feb-13 22:34:18

A verbal noun; we don't use them much in English, which is probably why the op finds 'good sitting' etc sounds odd.
Awaits correction; it's a bit scary posting in pedants' corner.

Goodwordguide Sat 23-Feb-13 22:36:08

I still don't see what's wrong with it or why it should be American - it's just an adjective + noun. Why is it different to eg, 'Nice dress!' Or 'lovely weather'. Is it the brevity you object to?

MrsShrek3 Sat 23-Feb-13 22:36:48

try this?

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 23-Feb-13 23:13:11

As others have said, it is grammatically correct; it just sounds a bit unusual, and nothing wrong in that; language evolves and changes to meet needs. FWIW, it is not a construction in common use in the US, either.

TolliverGroat Sat 23-Feb-13 23:25:24

It's a gerund rather than a present participle, innit? It's just that in English gerunds and present participles look the same. I suppose that "Your stopping is good" or "Your listening is good" would be more technically correct, but there's no need to get sniffy about the ingishness of the construction.

Grockle Sun 24-Feb-13 03:45:46

Only on mumsnet!


munchkinmaster Sun 24-Feb-13 07:33:23

It feels American to me as much of the positive parenting materials which use this construction are from the US. That may be just my experience though.

Goodwordguide Sun 24-Feb-13 09:28:49

Interesting - I hadn't associated it with parenting language in particular.

giraffesCantFlipPancakes Sun 24-Feb-13 09:33:26

Better than "fuckin STOP you wee shit!".

Pagwatch Sun 24-Feb-13 09:34:13

I love this thread.
I don't understand chunks of it,yet I love it.


Pagwatch Sun 24-Feb-13 09:37:08

I remember when we had the DSs bedroom painted and DS2 almost immediately wrote his name in huge letters across the wall.
He had never written his name unprompted before so DH and I gave him a great big thumbs up and "good writing name!".
Ds1 just stood there looking at us with 'you're fucking kidding me!" etched across his little face.


Goodwordguide Sun 24-Feb-13 09:38:53

grin pag

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