Bushisms 01 – for Básico students

Dear Students,
Do you make mistakes?
Bushisms can cheer you up! 😀 Bushisms are sentences with grammar mistakes, or that don’t make any sense, said by George W. Bush — the “War President” in his own words! He said so many, that a word was created in Linguistics just for him!
Can you spot the mistakes  is in each of the following Bushisms? 🙂
1. “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”— 2000
2. “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.”01
3. “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.”— Chamber of Commerce, 2000. Listen to him
4. “One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.”—U.S. News & World Report, 2000
5. “We ought to make the pie higher.”— Republican debate, 2000

Language Tip: I’m going to comment sentence no. …   “…” is not right. The correct sentence is “…”


2 responses to “Bushisms 01 – for Básico students

  1. julia Elementary I

    I’m going to comment sentences nº:
    1)”Rarely is the question asked” is strange,I’d say: Rarely it’s done this question.
    “Is our children” is wrong, it would be :Are our children learning?
    2)…and he or she …. It’s right
    3)”I know how hard it is for you” it is odd , I think it’s better.I know it’s hard for you
    “To put food on your family ” it sound strange , I’d say :To get food for your family
    4) I’d say “fantastic pictures” without some
    5)I think the correct sentence is “we ought to make a higher pie”

  2. Wow, Julia! You are certainly a courageous English learner! Well done!!!
    Your comments on 1) “Rarely”, 3) “how hard” and 4) and 5) are not correct. But it was amazing to read your reflections! 🙂
    However, you managed to work out the mistakes in 3 of the sentences, which was what I was expecting good Básico 1 students to be able to do! So congratulations!!! 🙂
    In 1) the mistake was the verb, yes, because “children” is a plural. Bush said “Is our children learning?”, but the correct sentence is “Are our children learning?”
    Could you have ever imagined a native speaker would have trouble with Subject – Verb agreement? Well, as you can see, yes! Bush did here!
    In 2) Bush’s mistake is really strange, when he says “he or her” instead of “he or she”, referring to a child. “He” is a subject pronoun, but “her” is an object pronoun, or a possessive adjective, as we studied in Unit 4 (Ba1), and we can’t have both in the same phrase because they perform different functions! So well done! You got it right!
    In 3) we don’t find a grammar mistake, you are right. The sentence doesn’t make sense! Well, better said, we find a sentence which is completely hilarious because what people visualize is other people actually putting food ON their families! hahahah… The sentence you found to replace Bush’s is perfect, Julia! Again, congratulations.

    So… Two more to go! Anyone interested can take part. When you solve this, we’ll continue posting Bushisms! 🙂

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