We now come to certain uses of the Basic words which are not expansions of the sense but changes of sense (sometimes not clear from the senses of the separate words) which come about when certain words are used together, as a group. They are named 'idioms' in the language books, and have three chief causes:
1. Attraction to the uses of other words-when we come to a stop (like a place). 2. Loss of some of the words normally used-as when fear of change keeps a government in (the same place, that is, keeps it in power). 3. Some special picture formed in the past, but no longer clear to everyone-as in the example of put up with.
There is no need to take much trouble about these special uses if your interest in Basic is limited to business letters, or to hearing radio talks; or if you will be talking chiefly to persons without a knowledge of normal English. But it is a good thing to have them all together, so that the learner may see the complete story in front of him. The best way is to get used to them by experience-by reading books in Basic and making a note of uses which do not seem natural to you from a knowledge of the words by themselves. Then you may go quickly on to the list of Fixed Uses which are necessary; there you are given a selection of 'idioms' which it would not be possible to go far without. The only words for which more than a very short note is needed are in two groups:
1. Come and go, put and take, give and get, together with let and keep, have and make. (All with 5 examples.) 2. At, by, in, on, to, and up, together with for and of. (All with 10 examples.)
This gives us 130 examples, and there are 20 other special uses with words in this group. In addition, there are 100 special uses with the rest of the Basic list-making 250 in all. In fact, a quick writer would make a copy of the complete list (giving every use in Basic English which is not quite regular) in less time than it takes to get through a normal meal. These fixed uses are unnecessary for anyone who is going through the Basic system for the first time; but they are listed here, so that at the end there is nothing more to come. The learner may then go back to them when the working of the rest of the system is clear. Most of them are important chiefly for purposes of ornament or smooth writing, but there are some by which very common needs are covered without going a long way round. It may be noted that for memory purposes all the 250 special uses are given in the form of stories, and the reader may be interested in working out the connections.
Acts (10 groups of 5)
- The governments will come to an agreement about the taxes.
- The train will come to a stop at the station.
- Strange facts will come to light.
- A newspaper man came across some private papers under the seat.
- How did this come about?
- He had no money because he got a book out last year.
- His friends said they would get a play up for him.
- But he did not get on (well) with the chief actor.
- He got (himself) into bad ways through drink.
- He got (himself) out of doing any more work.
- Mothers give birth to babies.
- She gave her word to the family that she would take care of the little boy.
- The wall gave back the sound (light).
- They did not give up hope till the news was certain.
- Newspapers are given to printing false statements.
- The color of the walls did not go with my dress.
- An old man in the front had gone to sleep.
- Something (the gun) went off with a loud noise.
- The light went out in the middle of my talk.
- I am going to make a protest to the gas company.
- I had a talk with him this morning.
- His arguments had no effect on me.
- Our thoughts have no existence outside our heads.
- They have to go into such questions because of their interest in history.
- I will have nothing to do with foolish discussions.
- She keeps house for her father.
- He has only her to keep him company.
- We kept the manager on till everyone was out of work.
- He kept his interest up all through the winter.
- I will keep up with the changes in public opinion, and take his place.
- The teacher let the boy off (punishment) when she saw how unhappy he was.
- She will not let us into her secret.
- She had been letting out the skirt because it was getting tight.
- A good man would not let his friends down.
- Please let me (the machine) be.
- He made up a story which was not quite true.
- It was not hard to make out the sense of his words.
- He had made the material into trousers in error.
- She made much (little) of it.
- It is unkind to make sport of persons dressed in a strange way.
- A common way of putting an idea (suggestion) across is by advertisement.
- He put up an argument (fight) when the trainer said the horse had been poisoned.
- Someone had made an attempt to put it to death.
- They put the discussion (talk, meeting) off till the morning.
- The chances are generally against you if you put money on a horse (event).
- He took up the question (painting) with great interest.
- He did not take into account all the details.
- He said he would take a picture, but he had no camera.
- We took him for an expert.
- The news took us by surprise.
Directions (8 groups of 10)
- The men are at war (peace, work, play, rest).
- They were happy at first (last).
- They were at a great distance from their country.
- They did not go to bed at night.
- At times they were covered with small insects.
- There was some surprise at their desire to get back.
- There were at least (most) 1,000 persons at the station.
- They had the interests of their country at heart.
- They were bad at (good at, quick at, slow at, expert at, working at) languages.
- They are looking at (pointing at, laughing at, firing at) the camera- men.
- Robinson Crusoe was on an island by himself.
- He had to make everything for himself by hand.
- I was working there by night (day).
- I had come across some coal on the island by chance.
- By the way, have you ever been down a coal mine?
- No smoking, by order.
- A young miner got the Basic words by heart in less than a week.
- He got the word order into his head by slow degrees.
- Little by little (bit by bit, day by day), he made himself expert at the special uses.
- He is coming here at 4, by this clock.
- He has no regret for his acts.
- For example, he was cruel to his sister.
- He was responsible for her death.
- He went away for this reason.
- He kept away for fear of the law.
- He will go to prison for the first (second, last) time.
- He will be there for a long time.
- There is no cause for protest.
- Every judge would say the same thing, word for word.
- Men are like animals, but for their brains.
- The Judge said that the prisoner was in the right (wrong).
- He took a tin tray in exchange for his picture.
- The picture itself was done in metal (wood).
- The head is turned in a strange way (direction).
- Strange things are done in the name of art.
- He is in love with a woman who is not in love with him.
- The machine was in motion when he got out.
- It will be in operation (use) again today.
- He gave the facts in answer to a question.
- Basic is a very good system in fact (and in theory).
- Do not go out of the room so quickly.
- You were talking of writing a book of general knowledge.
- I am full of good ideas.
- These facts may be of use (value, help, interest) to you.
- Clothing made of wool is best in a cold country.
- The Englishman's love (care, control) of animals (the boy's grip of the facts) is surprising.
- A man of 50 (years) is not old.
- In the future, we may be conscious of events at a distance.
- Basic is the best system because of its simple rules.
- That was very kind of you; and your last point is a good example of advertisement.
- The light (water, gas, play) is now on.
- The pictures are on view.
- I came on purpose to see them.
- This design is on a great (small) scale.
- I have a friend on the committee.
- He is an expert on old prints.
- He has gone on a journey to the East to get some more.
- The profit (loss, interest) on his business is chiefly through insurance.
- Look! The house is on fire!
- Let us go (keep) on putting water on it. We will go on with the fight till the firemen come.
- That music is not to my taste.
- They are dancing to bad music.
- The question is not open to argument.
- The machines are face to face (back to back).
- Your answer is not to the point.
- To my surprise and regret, it is still going on.
- Bad music is dear to the public.
- The chances are 10 to 1 that it will be better in the future.
- Most of us are slow to get used to new forms of art.
- I was able to make this last use clear earlier.
- At school, dressing up was one of my greatest pleasures.
- Now, it is hard even to get my overcoat buttoned up.
- In a cold country, all one's force is used up in the attempt to keep warm.
- Bread has to be cut (broken) up for the birds.
- Even if your house is shut (locked) up, the rain may get in.
- Yesterday there was ice in the bath and the drains got stopped up.
- Get the pipes fixed up again before the spring!
- The wet places on the walls will have to be touched up.
- There is no need to get worked up about it.
- In England, they have to put up with small troubles of this sort.
In addition to the special uses so far listed, there are 10 more names of operations and directions with separate special uses, making another 20. These are:
- The bricks will DO damage to the window.
- They did well (badly) because they had the support of the authorities.
- The glass is ABOUT to be broken.
- It was a foolish act, but AFTER all they were young.
- A girl was looking after the store.
- He took a walk DOWN (up) the street (road).
- If you are good at fighting, that is no reason for looking down on lovers of peace.
- His ideas took form FROM day to day (year to year and so on).
- It was clear from their strange behavior that they were almost OFF their heads.
- His experience in the war did not put him off his balance.
- He said straight OUT what he had in mind.
- All the details of the Basic system have been worked out.
- The teacher is reading the list out loud.
- When the page is turned OVER, you will see another list.
- You will get the words into your head if you say them over frequently.
- Being UNDER fire makes learning harder.
- The idea was under discussion for a long time.
- A simple system has weight WITH the education experts.
- There is no need to be angry (pleased) with slow learners.
- I went without sweets for a month to get the money for this book.
We are now at the end of the 150 special uses of names of acts and directions. Here are 100 more with some of the other words in the Basic list, making the 250 complete.
First come those with the other words in the group headed 'Operations':
|1||To some it seems AS if there is very little hope of change in language teaching.|
|2||As to (for) that view, it is natural but probably false.|
|3||Such questions are not at ALL interesting to the normal man.|
|4, 5||He and his friends are happy all day (night) talking to one ANOTHER about business.|
|6, 7||THAT is to say, they are better at making money than at forming theories; though HEREand there a man with money may have respect for someone who has ideas about language.|
|8, 9||But, talking generally, it is as true as (truer than) EVER that THERE is little in common between them.|
|10, 11||So as to get language taken seriously by governments, schools, and so on, some new system is necessary.|
|12, 13||So that Basic may be the VERY thing for that purpose as WELL (as for those we have been talking about).|
|With General Names|
|14||The hole was produced by an acid ACTING on the material.|
|15,16||In ADDITION to this, the color was taken out, which was sad because the coat had been sent on APPROVAL.|
|17,18||The story is that a young woman made an ATTACK on her lover with acid in the BELIEF that he had been false to her.|
|19, 20, 21||The police had no belief in his story till they saw that his coat was in BITS (had come to bits).|
|22||The woman was out of BREATH when they came up to her.|
|23||She was let go on CONDITION that she got married to the man.|
|24||He got a new coat on CREDIT.|
|25, 26||But it was to his credit that he had no DESIGNS on her money.|
|27, 28, 29,30,31||This story is given in DETAIL because it is an example of how, in the END, even in FRONT of one's lover, acting on IMPULSE is sometimes not in one's INTERESTS.|
|32||If you are at a LOSS for something to do, why not go to Chicago?|
|33||In a short time you will probably be making LOVE to the daughter of a gunman.|
|International Second Language|
|34, 35||Then I will be able to put up a stone in MEMORY of you, with a beautiful design I have in MIND.|
|36||This puts me in mind of another friend who came to a bad end.|
|37||I have a (good) mind to make a book about him.|
|38||He had a NAME for keeping on the right side of the law.|
|39, 40||Some businessmen took NOTE of this fact when their accounts were not quite in ORDER.|
|41,42||In PART because he was their friend, and in part because he saw a chance of profit, he said he would take part in the organization of their company.|
|43, 44, 45||A meeting took PLACE at which the public took a different POINT of view from the controlling body about the accounts in QUESTION.|
|46,47||What story the other men gave is not on RECORD, but at any RATE they went free and my friend was sent to prison.|
|48||While in prison he made little ships which were much in REQUEST.|
|49, 50, 51||One day he was walking in STEP with the other prisoners, SIDE by side with one of his new friends, when one of the prison watchmen took him on one side.|
|52, 53, 54||"I am going to put a STOP to this talking,” he said, and in SUPPORT of this statement he gave him a blow across the face, which was not in (very) good TASTE.|
|55, 56, 57||In TIME, the wound became serious, and he was out of (not in) TOUCH with a good medical man, so it was not long before he, in his TURN was taken dead from the prison.|
|58, 59, 60, 61||In VIEW of these sad experiences, if you have a VOICE in the business of your friends, don't let them give WAY to bad impulses, or they may get in the way of the law.|
|62, 63, 64||I had this story by WORD of mouth from my friend at his death, and to keep my word to him, I am now WORKING on a book about crime and punishment. With Pictured Names|
|65,66||They put their boxes in the train at right ANGLES to one another, and sent them 'CARRIAGE forward.'|
|67||The man on the train said he would keep an EYE on them.|
|68, 69, 70||The camera-man had an eye for form, but he hadn't the FACE to say that she was making a face.|
|71, 72, 73,74||He went to the mountains on FOOT, on the one HAND; she, on the other hand, went by train, though her knowledge of the country was at first (second) hand.|
|75,76||When they got there, she took in hand the cooking operations, and he went to get some fish, but his fishing- line was in KNOTS.|
|77||After a time this got on his NERVES.|
|78,79||Resting in the shade of a tree which had taken ROOT near the river, he let his memory go back to his days at SCHOOL.|
|80, 81, 82||These flowers will have gone to SEED before I get up from here, he said to himself, unconscious of what might be in STORE for him from the woman on WATCH by the fire. With Names of Qualities -- general|
|83,84||Make CERTAIN before you get married that you have something in COMMON.|
|85,86||Everything is DEPENDENT on his comfort, so be FERTILE in bright ideas.|
|87, 88||Do your BEST to get the better of bad humor.|
|89||Do not let your GOOD-mornings (days, nights) become automatic.|
|90,91||It is HARD on a man if he no LONGER has any peace because he is married.|
|92, 93, 94||The days may go PAST quickly enough at PRESENT, and everything may seem all RIGHT.|
|95,96||Though two persons do not get TIRED of one another STRAIGHT away, they may later.|
|97,98||But it is clear from watching the happy faces of animals with YOUNG that my worst fears may not come TRUE. With Names of Qualities -- opposites|
|99, 100||Is this a record? I am 100 years OLD and have not ever been the WORSE for drink.|
In The Basic Words are listed another 250 special uses (marked, **) which are of great help in writing high-level Basic, but are not necessary for the learner.