The parable of the article or how Russian poet Samuil Marshak visited London

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virtualmod
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The parable of the article or how Russian poet Samuil Marshak visited London

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This story happened to Russian poet Samuil Marshak. He visited London for the first time in 1912. Marshak's English was not too good and when he asked a man in the street "Please, what is time?", he received the surprised response, “That’s a philosophical question. Why ask me?”
P.S. Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak was a Russian and Soviet writer of Jewish origin, translator and poet who wrote for both children and adults. He translated the sonnets and some other of the works of William Shakespeare, English poetry (including poems for children), and poetry from other languages. He is well-known for his play-tale "Twelve Months"
virtualmod
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Re: The parable of the article or how Russian poet Samuil Marshak visited London

Post by virtualmod »

One may ask what was wrong with Marshak's English. The clue is in the sentence "what is time?" The time without the article "the" means "Time" as the term, not the time by your watch. As you see there are not unnecessary words in English. Even such small words as articles make sense in English speech.
Have you ever had a confusion situation about your English or other foreign language? Share your experience with us. Let's study English together from our mistakes.
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