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Yang sir,

How are you, Can you help me to eliminate my doubt below.

The message was recorded from newspaper.

The Customs and Excise Department on Thursday urged the public not to bring meat and poultry into Hong Kong from China without a certificate.

My question is "Can I use does not instead of not to? & what is different meaning & usage?"

Thank you for your attention.

Best Regards
Edmond

 

 

Dear Edmond,

“Does not” is wrong. “Not to” is correct. “Does not” begins with a subject. E.g. He does not like dogs. “Not to” implies a command or request or instruction. E.g. The teacher tells the students not to be noisy.

TLY

Dear Mr. Yang,

I would like to purchase a reference book on preposition. Would you please give me some advice.

Best regards,
Catherine Tse

 

 

Dear Catherine,

Do not have in mind specifically on preposition. A good grammar book should help and the Oxford Concise Dictionary.

TLY

Dear Mr. Yang,

Although you advised us not to say "congrat", some US folks did use "congrat" in email. Is it acceptable in American colloquial?

Thanks.

Regards,
Florence

 

Dear Florence,

E-mail often uses abbreviated or incorrect forms. The prime object of the E-mail is to make the message simple and short, so incorrect grammar and spelling are often used, so long as the meaning is clear.

TYL

Hi Mr. Yeung,

Thank you for a chance that I can express my concern over English in Hong Kong since the hand-over.

I can understand why people say that the Hong Kong standard of English is slipping.

I recall when I was little, my father used to teach me English anywhere, anytime of the day, as there was so much English about. They were on buildings, shop signs, posters, commercial organizations, building lounges etc, etc.. Every time we went out together, he would point out words and ask how do you read that, what does it mean. I used to hate it to the point that I sometime made excuses not to go out with him. Later I realize I know so much more than my class-mates. Just because these opportunities. Especially poster were bilingual, one can learn so much from it. Even from shop names I pick up so much, simple words like "store, company, department store, restaurant, etc, etc."

I remember once my daughter ask me how to spell "astronaut". I had to think. She said to me "did you ever go to school Mummy". I told her that when Mon was at school, astronauts were not about, there is no such word. I had to learn it myself picking up from various media.

Nowadays, I look around, most of the advertisings are in Chinese only. Even in the airport, I come across poster in Chinese only. These are advertisements of various trade. Airport is an international place. How would a non-Chinese speaking visitor feel welcome. I do have a number of non-Chinese speaking friends, they said that before 1997, they can get around HK much easier and can guess what's round them. Now they have no idea, as most of the notices they do not have a clue.

I also notice posters of Hollywood movies, they are all around bus stops. Again the English on it is to the minimal. The casts' names are in Chinese in huge print (like what we Chinese call "mother hen size".) often on the top of the page. While the English prints, one almost have to read it with a lens at the bottom of the page. We call HK an international city, we are not even familiar with the names of some people with international recognization in English, unless they are long time movie stars like Paul Newman, Julie Robets etc, etc. Is it that difficult to put down the English as well, or is it that poster designer think we cannot handle English anymore (now that the English has gone), or is it mainly commercially cater for non-English speaking people.

I do think that since 1997, we have been stripped off a lot on the opportunity to learn English. I am missing those opportunity my father use to have as teaching material to teach myself now of new words, new phases, new terms.

I quite often wonder if this lack of English is noticeable and if anything can be done to restore it.

Thank you
Christine Manville (Mrs.)

p.s. I am infect Chinese only I married to an English name.

 

 

Dear Christine,

Thanks for your letter. Much of what you say is so true.

TLY

 
 
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