Basic Step by Step - notes to step 8





because, where,

Take note here of the complex words farm-

animal (animal for use on a farm), fowl-house.

(building for fowls), and farm-house, (house for

the farmer on a farm).

" The only tree." Though only is among those

words which are used for limiting the names of

operations or qualities, it may in addition, unlike

most of the others in this group, take the place

of a quality word itself, but only after the or an

owner-form (such as my),

" In the field is an old goat." When the

words for place, time, and so on are put first in

a statement (see Notes on Step 4) and there is

nothing more to come after the operation, the

name of the doer,' which would normally come

before it may be put at the end, and if the operator

is be, it has to be put there, as in this example.

The straightforward order, "An old goat is in the

field," is, however, at all times quite clear, and

though these possible changes may be noted by

the learner, he will do well not to make use of

them at the start, specially when the doer is

named by I, he, she, and so on.

" Give my body a push." Give is frequently used

without to before the name of the getter, and

then the order is changed, and the name of what

is given comes last. This is an important trick of

natural English, and the learner will do well to

give special attention to every example of it he

may come across, and to the fuller account given

in the ABC p. 103. It is a safe rule for the learner

that this change of order is not to be attempted

when what is given is named by one of the

' pronouns ' it, him, her, and so on.

Sheep has no special form for more than one.

We say equally " one sheep (is) " and " two sheep

(are). "

"'In others," Other may not only be used

without a name after it, but when it is so used one

makes the addition of s for more than one, as with

the name of a thing. Unlike other words of this

sort (see N7-4), other may be used, without a

name after it only in the form of the complex

word, another or when it has the, my and so on

before it ; others, on the other hand, may be used

by itself, as here.

Leaves See the Note on forms for number at

the end of Step 5.

" We do not see any flowers." The sense of this

statement is the same as if we said " We see no

flowers," that is, not . . . any=no. The word any

has roughly the same sense as some, but it is used

differently, regularly taking the place of some in

not-statements, and commonly in questions and

if-statements, so that in fact it has-the effect of

"even one " or " one bit of, however small." The

use of any in other sorts of statement will be

noted later (see N14-2) ; for the present, it is to

be used by the learner only in the sort named here.

" Places where the weather is still warm," The

joining-word where may, as here, be put after a

word naming a place, for hanging onto it a

statement about conditions or events there-

that is, it may have the force of " to (in, at)

which " (place). Or it may be used for starting q

dependent statement making clear the place of

at act or condition named by the operator of

another statement, as in : They go where the

weather is warm-that is, it may have the force

of " to (in, at) a place at which."


Basic Step by Step -notes to step 9


even, together

though, why,

(what), (which)

Which. The form of who used with the names

of things and animals. It may be used of one

or more than one,

" Over my body." A thing which is over

another may be at a distance from it or it may be

touching it. This second sense is very like that of

on, but it has in addition the idea of ' covering.'

"On my body " would be equally possible here,

but it would not give as clear an idea of dis-


" That is why I keep . . ." This and that are

used for pointing not only at physical things

but at acts, facts, events; or statements-at

anything, that is, which may be ' pointed at' by

the mind. This is a simple expansion of the idea of

pointing which it will be well to make clear, but

there is no change in the sense of this or that. In

our example that is equal to " the fact that if I

get a grain of sand in my eye the pain will be

very great," and, why is the regular sign of

connection between a reason and what it is

given as a reason for.

" I keep it from my face." As we may get

things into any direction or condition, by a

parallel development we may keep them in any

direction or condition. In this sense keep is

frequently the opposite of let . . . go, and keeping

sand from my face is the opposite of letting it go to

it (or on it). The later example, " small boys and

girls keep (themselves) together " is parallel in

structure to " they get (themselves) in the

current " and so on.

" All the sand." What is limited by all in this

statement is clearly not the general substance,

sand, but the sand which has been pointed'out ar

having been put on the body. For this reason

the is needed, and take note that all is put before

it. All is the only ' adjective' which comes

before the, this, that, my and so on when used

with them.

" Even they." Even may be used, as here,

before the names of persons or things,or it may

equally be put before the names of qualities

("Even small boys " and so on) or operations

("The wind even made a hole in tbe sail ") or

groups of words making clear how, when, and

where(" The boat was wet even before we got

in"). The sense is unchanged in all these uses,

the only point to be kept in mind is that

even regularly comes before the word or words

limited by it.. Naturally, in statements with

helping-words,, may, do, and so on, its position is

not before the helping-word, but before the

operation itself (" We did not even 99 ")' .

" Safely." An important point to be noted ln

this Step is the addition of -ly to names of

qualities to make forms which may be used as

limiting-words in connection with acts. See The

ABC, page 40, for a detailed account.

"Danger from a mist." In the same way as

light comes from a fire, so, by a simple parallel,

danger, pain, pleasure, hope, or any other

condition may be said to come from that by

which it is caused.

"Far out." The direction of the land, with its

harbours into which ships come, is readily

pictured as in; that of the unlimited stretch of

sea , as out. We have the same sort of feeling

about going from the land as we have about

going out from our houses.

"We see great ships." Again this we is general

(see N7-l).

What has the sense of " that which," the

thing at which that is pointing being made clear

by the words which come after it; and it is used

in complex statements in the same way as that

which. The part of the statement starting with

what may come before the chief operation, as

here, or after it (' the smoke is what we see ").


Basic Step by Step - notes to step 10



tomorrow, yesterday

how, when, while,

The chief point to which attention is to be

given in this Step is the forming of questions

which may be answered by 'Yes' or 'No', by

putting the name of an operation or helping-word

first and the name of the person or thing doing

the operation second. This simple change of

order is used with the helping-words will and

may, and with all forms of be and have. The rule

for forming questions with the other names of

operations will be given in a later Step.

Time is the general framework of our experience

in which all events seem to take place; and a

time is any part or point of it. These two uses

have so clear and natural a connection that

it will be necessary to give special attention

to it only when the language of the learner has

two words for these two sides of the same idea.

Bed-cover. The sense of this complex word will

give no trouble if the learner has clearly in mind

the quite general sense of the word cover as

" anything covering."

Awake is different from most of the other

names of qualities, in not ever being put before

the name of a thing. It is chiefly used, as in

this example, after some form of be.

" Good-morning," " Good night." These are

fixed forms such as all languages have for these

purposes. The sense of the words is quite clear,

" A good night to you ! " that is, " it is my hope

that you will have a good night." The marks

which are put before and after them (" ") are

regularly used when we are giving the words

as said by another person, or by ourselves at

another time.

" Are you awake?" A very important point

is that are is used in connection with the person

to whom one is talking, though it is equally, as

we have seen, the form for more than one (" we

are." " they are ").

"Get up!" This is an example of the use of get

in connection with ourselves (or our bodies) and

some direction,which has been noted in Step 7,

and seen again in Step 9. But though we may

"get up" from anywhere, the act of getting,up

from our beds in the morning is so common that

the words " get up," with no further details, are

specially used in this sense.

"After that." See the Note on " That is why"'

Step 9.

"In the morning," " On some mornings"' On,

like in and other names of directions, is frequently

used in connection with time. The key to the

right use of direction-words in connection with

time in English is:at a point ('at this minute,'

; at half-past four'), on a line (' on Monday,' ' on

that day'), in a circle (in that week, month,

year). (See ABC, pp. 117 and 125). The use

of on and in is dependent on the way in which

the space of time is being talked about is viewed,

We say " on some mornings," because the morning

is here taken as the line;"but " in the morning. "

because it is there clearly looked on as the circle.

These rules will be of use as a general guide'

but it is only by experience that the learner will

get the feeling for the right uses.

"After I go," "Before I am." The sense of

before and after here clearly has to do with time,

and will give no trouble, but the fact that these

words are used for joining statements is to be

specially noted.

" A knot in my sock." A very important

development of in. From its root sense (in

which a foot, for example, might be in the sock)

it comes naturally to have that of any position

in which something is between the limits of

some other thing and it is used whenever a

more detailed statement of the position is not

important. From this point of view, a sock

may have a knot or a hole in it, as clearly as it

may have a person's foot.

" Ready before I am." The complete state-

ment would be " ready before I am ready,",but

in such comparisons the quality (or other)

word in question is commonly not put in a

second time.

" We were ready." Were is the form used in

place of are when talking of past time.

" While I am in the bathroom, he may . . . ,"

" When I have on... I take. .." While and

when are two more joining-words used for

starting dependent statements. They are like

one another in the fact that the statements

joined on by them have to do with time----while-

statements make clear that something was true

or going on for a certain space of time measured

by the statement : when-statements that some-

thing was true or took place at (in, or on) the

time pointed to by the statement. But they are

unlike in that while-statements may be used only

in relation to an act or condition named by an

operator in another statement ; when-statements,

on the other hand, have in addition to this use a

use after time-names (like the use of where after

place-names), as in " the time when we were

young." Statements headed by while, or by

when in the first use, may come before or after

the statement on which they are dependent, in

the same way as statements headed by if , though,

or because.

Everything. Every, some, no, and any (see N 14-2)

are used with thing for forming complex words,

of which the sense is quite straightforward. For

their full uses see the Note on thing (" Doing


"But my coat." The sense of this is : " but I

have not my coat on." Everyone will have a

feeling of the connection between the idea of

"on the other hand," given in the use of but

between statements, and its sense when used

between words.

" That is how the mornings go." How is the

word used for joining a statement of any act,

event, or process to an account of the way in

which it is done. That is here representative of

the account (which is given in the statement at

which it is pointing); how makes the connection

between it and the process (the going of the

mornings). See the Note on " That is why," Step 9.

Morning in this statement has the limited

sense of "time between sun-up and 12 a.m., or,

more loosely, the middle-day meal." This ex-

pansion has its parallel in a number of languages,

but because others have a different word for this

sense, it will be well to give attention to the point.

The use of go here is based on so natural and

general a feeling of the motion of time that it

is probably unnecessary to make a point of it.

"Through my hair." It will be noted that in

talking of the "hairs " on our heads, the form

for number is not used. This is because they are

viewed not as separate things but as forming

one cover. In reading, the learner may come

across other examples of this trick of using the

form for one when a number of things are viewed

as a group, but this is the only one which it is

important€ for him to make use of himself.

"Do work." " have play," " have a rest,"

" have a wash." When to make use of have and

when of do or some other ' operator ' with names

of acts is something for which there is no simple

rule. It may be said generally that, for the reason

given on N3-2, names of acts which are looked on

from the point of view of the experience of doing

them, that is, as events or processes forming part

of the doer's experience, take have; those, on the

other hand, in which the idea of producing some

effect outside ourselves is strongest take do or

some other operator (see N l4-l and N 14-2). But

this is only a rough guide ; the uses themselves

are fixed, and every example is to be stored in

the memory.

"All the day. " Day is here used as " the time

between sun-up and sun-down," that is, as the

opposite of 'night.' See the note on ' morning'

higher up.

Today. Though the sense of this complex word

would not be completely clear from looking at

its parts, by the help of a comparison with to-

morrow it will readily be fixed in the mind.

" Go to bed," " ready for bed," " in bed."

Bed is regularly used without the, a, or any

other pointing word (such as my and so on),

when what we have in mind is not simply the

'thing' ' bed ' but the resting process or condition

for which beds are used, and of which the word

has become representative. Take note that when

the sense is clearly only that of the thing ' bed ',

a or the or some other such word has to be used,

as in the earlier part of the Step ' put my shoe

far under the bed."

" Are you ready?" You is used equally in

talking to one person or more than one. Here it

is clearly the two boys to whom it is pointing.