mc2fool wrote:I've heard that the teaching of English in schools in England over the decades has alternated between believing that it is necessary to explicitly teach grammar -- including teaching the terms for and use of every type of word, part of speech, clauses, tenses, cases, punctuation, etc, etc, etc -- and believing it wasn't necessary to teach grammar as pupils would pick up the structure of the language organically, without needing to know what a gerund, a phrasal verb or the subjunctive, etc, is.
I was in one of the latter groups (and indeed only learned what those three are as a result of trying to learn Italian as an adult), and so have only just learned, from a little googling, that the possessive, as signified by 's and s', is only one use of the genitive case and most of the other uses of the genitive also employ 's and s'.
If I were to be made PM, I would give all teachers a large pay rise, but make them pass a grammar test. As far as I know, they only have to pass a Comprehension test.
I belong to our village's Facebook page and it's very rare to read a post without finding at least one mistake.
My particular hates are:there vs their vs they're
it's vs its
were vs where vs we're
we should of gone (AGGH!) vs we should have gone
PS Re. subjunctive, it's very difficult for mother-tongue English speakers to grasp, since it's more or less disappeared, apart from a few examples. I did Latin at school, but never really grasped it until decades later. The French have it easy in that for everyday language, they use it almost exclusively in the present tense. Anyone thinking that Italian may be easier will soon learn that they use the bloody subjunctive in other tenses as well! I believe that German is similar.