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Standard English 01
You would say or write "They did the cooking". You would never, never, never say or write "They done the cooking"!

Standard English 01

Correctly written English could be called standard English. "Standard English" might be described as the English language as it is spoken and written by educated native users. Your English teacher is undoubtedly trying to teach you Standard English!

Standard English is the form of English which is most likely to be understood everywhere in the UK. As a commonly agreed dialect, it has many of the features of local dialects ironed out. This is not to say that words or sentence structures acceptable in local dialects but not in Standard English are always incorrect. Sometimes local dialects preserve much older versions of English, including ways of pronouncing words or conjugating verbs. For example, in certain parts of the UK, you might hear someone say something like, "That's me mam" for "That's my mum". Your first thought might be that the speaker is being ungrammatical by using "me" where Standard English would use "my". But, historically speaking, the word "my" was many centuries ago pronounced "me" and it is this pronunciation which has been preserved.

Nevertheless, it is important to master Standard English in order to be able to communicate well with the widest number of people, rather than only those who share the same dialect.

Check your knowledge of Standard English forms by taking this quiz.

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1.
Select the word(s) that make the sentence correct.
We couldn’t ..... finished the work without you.
had
have
not have
of
Always use "couldn't have", NEVER "couldn't of"! When someone writes "couldn't of", they are trying to reproduce the sound of someone saying "couldn't've" (a double contraction of "could not have"), which is not Standard English in writing, even though you might hear people say it!
2.
Select the word(s) that make the sentence correct.
I could ..... written to him if I ...... ..... enough time.
have, had had
have, had of had
of, had had
of, Had've had
Never, never, never use "had of had" - it is always wrong!
3.
Select the word(s) that make the sentence correct.
He only ..... his homework this morning.
did
doing
done
will do
"He only done his homework" would not be Standard English
4.
Select the word(s) that make the sentence correct.
He should ..... ..... his work by midday but he was late.
have did
have done
of did
of done
He does, he did, he has done, he had done, he will do!
5.
Select the word(s) that make the sentence correct.
She ..... her work early but she ..... her piano practice late.
did, did
did, done
done, did
done, did
Never "she done"!
6.
Select the word(s) that make the sentence correct.
They ..... the cooking while he ..... the cleaning.
did, did
did, done
done, did
done, done
Use "done" when you want to say that something is finished: "the dishes had been done", "her shift was done"
7.
Select the word(s) that make the sentence correct.
I mightn't ..... arrived today if I hadn't booked my ticket.
have
never
not
of
"I mightn't have" is rather a mouthful!
8.
Select the word(s) that make the sentence correct.
Mum would ..... ..... the shopping if she ..... ..... time.
have done, had had
have done, had of had
of done, had had
of done, had of had
Always use "would have", NEVER "would of"! When people make the mistake of writing "would of", they are actually thinking of the contraction "would've", which is short for "would have", of course!
9.
Select the word(s) that make the sentence correct.
I would ..... made the cake if you ..... already done so.
have, had of
have, hadn't
of, had have
of, had'nt
"Hadn't" is a contraction of "had not"
10.
Select the word(s) that make the sentence correct.
The boys are asking for ..... books as ..... ready to read.
their, their
their, they're
they, they're
they're, their
"They're" is a contraction of "they are". "Their" means belonging to them. We use "there" in sentences such as "I would like to go there"

 

Author:  Sue Daish

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