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.


Basic Step by Step- notes to step 11




We come now to the form-change which is

necessary in all names of operations when an

act is said to be done in the present by one thing

(that is, when put after any word naming one

person or thing). This special form is generally

made by the simple addition of ' s,' but in do and

go an 'e' is put before the ' s' (does, goes), and in

have, the last two letters are dropped before the

' s''(has). Last on the list comes is, the special

form of be, which came in in Step l. Examples of

eight of these forms are given here, the others in

Step 12.

"At the right side and . . . at the left." Here

are two more words, left and right, to be put on

the list of those after which the name of a thing

may be dropped when the sense is clear without

it. See N7-4.

Like. The quality for which like is a sign is one

which things have only in comparison with other

things. For this reason its behaviour is generally

nearer to that of the name of a direction than to

that of a quality, that is, it comes before the name

of the second of two things between which a

comparison is being made, sometimes joining the

two'(for example," The base of the machine has

parts like knives ") ; sometimes, when the first

name is put before some form of be, coming after

that (for example, " The parts are like knives ');

sometimes, as here, coming after the name of the

quality in which the one is s aid to be like the other.

-Like may however, be used in the same way as a

simple quality-word : Like effects frequently come

from like causes. A like attempt was made before. The

'two brothers are very like.(But see ABC p. 58.)

--But it is to be noted that before names

(as in the first two examples)

like generally has the sense ' of the same sort '

and that in such statements it is more natural to

an English person to make use of these words, or

of the same : The same effects frequently have the

same causes. The same attempt was made before.

" When you give the machine a push." We

have here a use of you very like the general we

noted in Steps 7 and 9. The statement here is

clearly not limited to any special 'you' who is

being talked to. It is representative of " a person, "

" anyone," and is commonly used in this sense in

English where in some other languages a special

word would be necessary (as 'man' in German,

'on' in French). English has, itself, such a special

'word,' one,' but it is much less used for everyday

purposes than you (or we, which frequently gives

the some effect as you).

Sometimes. This complex word is used in

place of " at some times," the sense of which

will be quite clear from the sense of the parts.

" With care." The use of with here is quite

straightforward, the only point being that it is

a sign of connection, not between two things,

but between an operation and the condition of

mind (sometimes, as here, having an effect on

the act) of the person who does it.

Knives. See Note at the end of Step 5.

Match-machines. Machines from which boxes

of matches may be got if money is put in.

"As quick as." Another point for special

attention in connection with this Step is the

making of statements of comparison pointing out

that two things are (or are not) of equal degree in

some way by the use of the joining-word as. See

The ABC, p.80.

" Very quickly." In addition to its general

use before names of qualities, and its special use

before near and far, very is used before words

formed with the ending -ly (and, others, such as

well, used in the same way).

On the three pages after this we give an

example of another sort of teaching-picture

covering the new words given in this Step.


Basic Step by Step - notes to step 12




(her), (him), (me), (your)

This Step is in the form of a talk between two

persons, and their words are put between the

marks "-" as a sign that statements are being

made, first by one and then the other.

Attention is again to be given here to the use

of as ... as, noted in connection with Step ll,

in pointing out that one thing (or act) is,or is

not, equal in some way to another, of which

use we now have a number of examples.

Business. The first sense of the word business

is "what one does for a living or as one's regular

work." From this it is a very simple expansion

to the sense of "trade, and all the forms of

work which have a special connection with that."

It is in this second sense that the word is used

as the heading of this Step, and in " do business

with," and " in business,' lower down. " What

is the business of your father?" gives us an

example of the first sense

What? Questions needing answers other than

'Yes' or ' No' are formed by putting one of

certain words (up to now used only as joining-

words) at the front of a simple question, (or, with

our first example, what, it may be at the front of

a statement, as will be made clear on N12-2), to

make clear the sort of answer desired. What is

used in this way for requesting the name or some

account of the thing, quality, and so on pointed

to by the rest of the question. The relation of this

use of what to its use as a joining-word may

readily be seen from the present example. If

you are interested in learning " what the business

of . . . is " (see N9-2), you put the question :

"What is the business of . . . ? " It is to be noted

that what may be used by itself, as in the first

two examples given in this Step, or before the

name of a thing, as in the third, when the question

is limited by the name to some special quality

and so on of the thing about which knowledge is

desired. " What is this?" is answered by a

general statement about " this ;" but " What

"colour (size, sort of thing, and so on) is this?"is

answered by a special statement about its

colour (size and so on).

" Your father." Your is the owner-form for you'

" No, he is only . . . " In addition to its root

use as "not any,"no is used as the opposite of yes,

" Does the store make much profit ? " A most

important new point in this Step is the use of the

word do, as a helping-word in forming questions

with all 'operators' but be, have(But see N15-2),

may , and will.

In such questions do, like the other helping-

words (see N10-1). is put before the name of the

person or thing doing the operation, and the

name of the operation itself comes after this.

Take note that when the question is about one

person or thing, it is do which takes the form-

change" (does) and not the name of the operation.

(Statements with do and not are covered by the

same rule).

"Make profit." Though the simplest example

of making is forming a physical thing, it has the

general sense of causing anything to come into

existence by any conscious act or operation. So

'profit' (that is, an addition to someone's money

effected in certain ways) is quite rightly 'made'

(though clearly it may equally well be 'got').

" What does a manager do?" lt is to be noted

that there are two sorts of questions starting

with what. In one sort, that about which

knowledge is desired is the doer of whatever

operation is being talked about, and the question

is formed simply by putting what in the place

of the name of this 'doer.' So we say " What

makes (takes, keeps, and so on) this?" There

is no change of order, and to make the

question into a statement we have only to

put some name in the place of what. But in

the second sort of question what is repre-

sentative not of the doer of the operation but

of that produced by the operation, or to which

the operation is done, and when this is so, though

what is still placed at the front, the part which

comes after it is in itself a question, formed by

changing the word-order and making use of ' do',

if necessary, under the rule. In other words,

we say" What does he take?" not " What takes

he?" What profit does tho store make?"

not " What profit makes the store?"

He does not let me go with him." Me is the

form of I, and him of he, used after names of

operations or directions for naming the person

acted on or pointed to. (But take note that these

special forms are not used after be.) Her, of

which examples are given lower down, is the

parallel form of she. At this point, having now

seen most of such forms in use, it will be simple

for the learner to get by heart the complete list

on p.76 of The ABC in examples, though to some

teachers it may seem better not to put it

before him till every form has been used in the


"She says that . .. " This use of that as a

joining-word between say and the statement of

what is said-when this is not put between the

marks "-" to give the effect of the person

himself talking-is an example of a more general

rule by which all opinions or observations are

joined to the word (such as say) or words (such

as have an idea, feeling, and so on) on which they

are dependent,by that. A fuller statement of

this rule is given in the ABC' P. 59.

" The market price," " the store price." That

is, " the price at the market " and so on. A

further example of the way in which the name

of a thing may be used as the name of a quality

(See N5-2).

" The price is not as great." Take note that

in a comparison with as . . . as, the second as

and what comes after it may be dropped if the

sense is clear without it. The complete statement

here would be: " . . . not as great as the store


" She does not got as much for it." Here the

complete comparison is a little less straight-

forward. The full form would be: " She does

not get as much for it at the market as she gets at

the store." Give special attention to this use of

as . . . as for joining statements, of which a

somewhat different example, using not a simple

quality-word but an -ly form, may be seen in :

" They do the work today as quickly as (they did

it) when they were young."-Much in the state-

ment under discussion clearly has the sense

" much good fruit," and so gives us another

word for the list started in connection with

another N7-4. The same thing is true of its

opposite little.

" The store sends." When there is no reason

for naming the special persons who are responsible

for any part of the work of an organization (or

group), the organization itself is said to do the


" He was in a boot and shoe store." Because

the work by which we get our livings is generally

done in some special building, we come naturally

enough to say of a person that he is in such a

place in the sense that he does his regular work

there. What we are talking about makes the

point clear. In this example the statement that

the father " was in a boot and shoe store "

would have no sense if taken in any other way.

Opposites : yes-(no)



Basic Step by Step - notes to step 13

(his), (their), (them).

(more, most), (less, least), than.

In this Step we come to a very important

point : the forming of quality-words from the

names of operations. Such words have in addition

a use with have to make complex past statements

and so are named " special past forms." Only

come, let, and put are used in this way with no

change of form. The changes in the others are

all different, and attention has to be given

to every one separately. Those used in this

Step are :,done (do), given (give), gone (go),

got (get), kept (keep), made (make), put, sent

(send), taken (take).

As quality-words these are used chiefly after be.

Because the quality to which such words are

pointing is the effect of an act (done by something

to something), by with the name of that which

does it, and to with the name of that to which it

is done, frequently come after them.

In addition, we have here an important

further step in the comparison story: the use of

more and most (and less and least) before names

of qualities and -ly forms as a sign of degree, and

the use of more (less) . , , than for comparisons

pointing out that two things are (or are not) of

unequal degree in some way. The structure of

such statements is parallel with that of com-

parisons made with the help of as . . . as, and they

may take all the same forms. (See N12-4).

" When you go." This is clearly the general

you (see N11-3).

" You give money for." This is the second

important use of for, as a sign of exchange. It is

very near in sense to the first (see the Note to Step

5), because when we give something for something

we give the one for the purpose of getting the

other. When we get something for something, we

are going a little further from the root sense, but

it is only the same idea turned round, though by

a further development the sense of purpose may

be completely dropped, as in such statements as :

" He got only blows for his work."

" Gives you credit," " is sent to you." Take

note that you has no special form for use after

names of operations and directions.

" Puts down on paper." It is clear that, in the

act of writing, the position of the paper is such

that we normally do 'put' words 'down,' We

may, equally, put them ' up ' on the blackboard,

but 'putting down' in connection with such

things as words, letters, or numbers, has come to

have the general sense of 'writing,' without any

thought of the direction of the arm, and is

frequently used even in talking of such things as


Their is the owner-form for they. His and her,

which are used lower down, are the parallel

forms of he and she.

" From which we may see." Because the eye

is our chief instrument of observation, it is not

strange that the act of seeing has been made

representative of whatever takes place in our

minds when things become clear to us. We do

not see the valuer of the money, in the simple sense

of see, but we get a knowledge of it. And we get

this knowledge from the stamp, which is a quite

straightforward use of the word from.

" Great bits ...get...." That is, we get

more for great bits; but it is very natural for

any instrument to be talked of as itself doing

the act which it makes possible.

" More things," "get more than." In addition

to its 'adverb' use before quality-words as a

sign of degree, more,like much itself, may be used

before names of things (that is, as an 'adjective '),

or independently (as a 'pronoun'), in the sense of

" a greater amount or number (of) ". The same

thing is true of less. Most and least have like

uses, but with certain conditions, to which we

are now coming (and see N14-2 and N14-3).

" The most value . . .the least." The is commonly

used before most, least, and the -est forms of

quality-words (to which attention will be given

later) because such words are signs of the end

point on any scale of comparison, and there is

only one such point. On the scale measuring a

quality, there are any number of degrees which

may be said to be 'more ' or 'less' in relation to

some other, but only one is 'most' or 'least'-

it is the most, or the least.-Take note of the

dropping of the word ' value ' after least, and of

the fact that a word may be dropped in this way

not only after much and little but after all their

forms of degree (more,most, less, least). Another

example in this Step is " . . . no money, or very


" Very little." The general rule, as has been

noted (N4-2, N7-3, N11-3) is that very is used

only before the names of qualities and -ly forms

or other ' adverbs ' of like use. But in addition it

may come before much and little (though not

before more, most, and so on) however these are

used-as 'adverbs', as 'adjectives' of amount

before a name, or, as here, as 'pronouns.'

Them. The form for they which' is used, like

him and her, only after the names of operations

(not be) and directions.


Basic Step by Step - notes to step 14


(us), (our)

The chief teaching-point here is the use of the

-er ending in place of more and of the -est ending

in place of most as signs of degree or in compari-

sons using than. With some names of qualities,

these endings are normally used, but they are

not possible with all, so the learner will be wise

to make use of more and most till he is quite

certain which names may have the endings.

There are, however, two words, good and bad,

which have special forms for comparison and

never take more and most before them, and these

it will be necessary to keep in memory from the

start. The comparison of bad' (worse, worst) is

given in this Step; that of good will come into

Step 15.

Further examples of the special past forms of

operation words : said (say), and seen (see).

" Like that of," that is, " like the sound of."

That may frequently take the place of a word

which has been used before in the same state-

ment. The sense of that in this use is quite

normal. It is simply pointing back to the word.

" Give a cough or sneeze." Here is our first

example of the use of an operator other than

have or do with the names of acts, and attention

is again to be given to the general note on this

point, N10-4. Give is used specially for the pro-

ducing of acts which are short and sudden; we

give cries, coughs, sneezes, laughs, and so on.

The relation of this use to the simple root sense

of give will readily be seen ; it is only a step from

the idea of giving to some special person or

thing to that of giving generally, to whatever is

about us. " Give attention," which is seen further

down, is an even more straightforward use,

because attention, care and other acts of the

mind are, in fact, done in the direction of, or

given to, special things, which are said to get

them from us.

Our is the owner-form for we, and us is the

form for we parallel to me, her, him, and them

(see N12-3).

Cow-bell. Bell fixed to a cow.

" Not one word . . . comes to your ears." This

is a simple statement of what takes place, but

though it will give no trouble, it may be pointed

out to those whose language does not put the

idea in the same way.

" The sun goes down." Again a simple account

of what is clear from observation, whatever the

learner's language

Night-bird. Clearly,bird of a sort which is

awake at night.

" Makes a noise." Take note that we say

makes and not gives a noise.

" Any person." Any has two uses, In the first,

as we have seen, it has a sense like that of

some and is commonly used in place of some in

questions and in statements with not. In the

second, in other sorts of statement, it gives the

special idea of a free selection of 'one' or 'some'

(=" it is not important which") and so some-

times has the force of all or every. For example,

" any man would do that " comes to the same

thing as " every man would do that." In the

present statement " when any person " has the

same force as " every time a person."

" Those . . . made by the wind." Another

example of the very important use of by for

pointing to the producer or cause of something.

" Most of the noises." The is regularly dropped

before most when it is used with of in the same

way as much (see N7-1), in the sense of " the

greatest number or part ". But take special

note of the fact that this is not true of least, which

is never used with of in a parallel sense.

" Takes our attention off our work." Taking

attention off anything is the natural opposite of

keeping it on that thing, and it is not hard to see

why attention is pictured as being on things, in

the same way as a ray of light is looked on as

being on them.

" One of the worst." Here we have an example

of the use of one with of noted in connection with

the like use of some (N7-1). The sense is simply

" a noise of the group ' the worst noises'." In

addition, take note of the dropping of ' noises'

after worst, and of the fact that this is possible

after all -est and parallel forms on the condition

that they have the (or, less generally, an owner-

form) before them. Only most and least do not

come under this condition, (see N13-2). (The

same thing is true of -er forms, but to a degree

much more limited in use, and in connection

with these the learner will be better guided by

experience than by rule.)

"Outside in the streets." Outside, and its opposite

inside,are used as position and direction words in

addition to being names of things.

" Every time" The note for Step 10 will

make clear this use of time as a point, but it is to

be noted further that when if is used in this

sense with every the word at is not put in.

" Takes a step." Give attention to the fact

that with step, takes is used.

" Most animals." Before a name not limited

by the, this, that, or some owner-form, most by

itself is regularly used in place of most of (see

N14-2). But take note again that this is a use

special to most, which has no parallel with least,

and that it is possible with most itself only in the

given sense (see N13-2).

Anywhere. Where is used with any, every,

some,and no, for forming complex words which

have the sense of " to, in, or at any (every, and

so on) place." The sense of any here will be

clear from the Note above.

" Men are the only animals . . . " That is,

persons, men and women, are the only animals. . .

A very simple and common expansion of the

word man makes it the general name of the sort

of animal of which it is normally the special

name of the male.


Basic Step by Step - notes to step 15

News. This word has no form for more than

one, and the operators and 'pronouns' used in

relation to it never have that form, even though

in sense it may be representative of more than

one bit of news.

In this Step we come to the simple forms of

operation-words used in talking of the past.

These forms are parallel to was and were. Let

and put have the same form for the past as for

the present, and get, keep,make, say, and, send

make the same changes in the simple past forms

as in the special past forms which the learner has

had ; so that only eight-came (come), gave (give),

went (go), had (have), took (take), did (do), saw

(see), and seemed (seem)-are new here. In the

past there is no special ending after he and,

so on, and be is the only word which has a

different form for more than one. Statements

and questions with do are put in the past by the

use of did.

We have here, in addition, further examples of

the use of joining-words in putting questions.

How? puts a question about the way; when?

about the time ; where ? about the place ; and

why? about the reason, of any act, fact, or event.

All these come at the start of questions formed in

the regular ways. Who? makes the same

request in relation to persons as what ? does in

relation to things. Which? is the form used

for who ? or what ? when there is the idea of

making a selection from two or more. The rules

for framing questions with these words are the

same as those given for what, dependent on their

relation to the operator (see N12-2).

There are two special points to be noted:

(l) who has a change of form to whom when it

takes the place of the person acted on: " Who

is there?" but " Whom do you see there?"

(2) which, like what, may be put before the

name of a thing (" Which apple will you have?"),

but who is only used by itself.

" A man in the street." We have seen before

the use of in with street. Here it is the street'

because it is naturally that street (or one of

them) which was near the building.

" What does the newspaper say?" The

expansion of say from the physical act of

talking to the use of language in any form is a

very simple one.

" About the weather." This use of about as the

word of connection between talk or writing and

its material is a very natural development from

the physical sense of about. Talking and writing

are,from one point of view, examples of op-

erations of the mind, the mind is readily pictured

as going about and viewing things from all sides.

So talk, reading,. writing, opinions, feelings,

thoughts and ideas, are all about something,

circling, as we may say, round the point on which

attention is fixed.

" Took some poison." For the act of taking

into one's body through the mouth, as food or

drink, take by itself is used. It will be clear from

the rest of what is said, as here, when take has

this special sense.

" Gave a cry," " give them a rub." Further

examples of the use of give with the names of

acts. See N14-1.

" Why did his mother have . .. ?" Though the

general rule is that questions with have (as with

be) are formed without the help of do (See N12-2),

in certain questions this rule is broken, and do

is used. This is commonly, though not necessarily,

done: (l) When, as here, the sense of have is

stronger than that of simply " being the owner

of " something. In this example, " having the

poison in the house " is looked on more as an act

than as a condition. (2) When what is being

talked about is (a) a general condition, common

to a group, or (b) a regular bit of behaviour.

Examples are : (a) "Do snakes have ears?"

(But "Has this snake ears?"). (b) " Do you have

a pain after every meal?" (But : " Have you a

pain now ") The same thing is true of the use

of do with have in statements formed with not

" Snakes do not have ears " ; " I do not have a

pain after every meal " ; or, as we might have

said in Step 5, "Very young babies do not have

t€eeth ."

Tall. Things which have naturally an upright

position are said to be tall when the distance

between the base and the top is great in compar-

ison with other things of the same sort. In

connection with buildings, trees, and other such

things, however, the word high may equally well be

used and is safer for the learner because tall is

sometimes not quite right (we would not say

" a tall wall," for example) ; but tall is the

only right word for this purpose in connection

with men and women.

" The best." See the Note on " the most,"

Step 13. Give attention to the forms of com-

prison, good--better--best.

" This one." One is frequently used after this,

that, the, with or without the name of a quality

after them, in place of the name of a thing which

has come in before, and about which there is no

doubt. It is to be noted that it may be used

in this way after a only with a quality-word:

" Is the coat a long one? " In addition one may

take the place of a(n) with a name after it.

So we say: " Here are some apples. Will you

have one ? " (that is, 'an apple'). " Yes, I

will have that red one." Used in this way, one

may even take the form for more than one by

the addition of 's': " Green apples are not as

sweet as red, ones."

" See that." The use of that with see is parallel

to its use with say (see Step 12). We see not only

things but facts (see the Notes to Step 13), and

the facts which we see frequently have to be

made clear by complete statements-before which

the joining-word,that is necessary, as it is with

statements after say.

"A hole in it." See N10-2 if any light is nee€ded

on this use of in.

" Have you any money?" The regular way

of forming questions with have' See N15-2.

" Let us go." This is a very important point.

Let with the name of some operation is the

regular way of giving an order when the person

talking is one of those who are to take part in the

act. If we are desiring some other person to do

something, we say, as we have seen, " Do this."

But if our desire is to do something together,

we say " Let us do this." This form of 'order'

is in fact nearer in sense to a request.


Basic Step by Step - notes to step 16




Further examples of simple past forms

let(let), said (say), seemed (seem).

In addition to these, we have here two other

new forms, would and might, which are the past

forms of may and will. They are used only in

statements joined to other statements in which

the operation is in the past, such as those

starting with that after said, or saw), or those

dependent on a past statement starting with

if " I might go " and " I would go," for

example, are not simple past statements com-

plete in themselves. Like will and may, would

and might may be used before be with, any of

the special forms. (See the Note to Step 13).

Ball. The sense is here clearly the special one

of ' ball for play'.

Trousers. This word, like scissors, has only the

form for more than one, and has to be used with

an 'operator' in the same form, even though

only one thing is being talked of. See N3-1.

Music-box. Take note that this word is not to

be used more generally, as a name for any box-

like apparatus producing music. It is right only

for certain such things. It would be wrong to

say of a radio or a phonograph, for example, that

it was a 'music-box'.

Its. The form for owner from it.

" Opposite the house." Opposite,like like (see

N11-2),is the name of a quality which things

have only in relation to other things. For this

reason it is frequently used between two names

like a direction-word, the full sense being

" opposite in relation to." Sometimes the to is

put in, so we may say " opposite the house " or

"opposite to the house."

Take note of : " make a stop," " give a turn,"

"give a laugh," " give a twist."

" That made us all give a laugh." We have

seen the development of the idea of make from

that of producing things to that of producing

qualities or conditions (Step 5). By a short

further step it cones to have the sense of

producing or causing acts. This form of statement

is clearly parallel to the form used with let, and,

has the same rule of word-order.

" Us all." When used with we, us, you, they

and them, all is put after, not, as commonly,

before, the word.

Everyone. One with the sense of " person "

is used for forming complex words with every,

some, and any. It may have the same sense

after no, but is not generally joined to it.

" Please don't do that." Please is used with

requests in the form of orders or questions. It

may be placed at the front, as here, or at the

end: " Don't do that, please."-Take note of

the short form don't, which is very commonly

used for do not in everyday talk (See ABC p.29.)

" He let the tail go." 'Letting' something

'go,' when no special direction is named, is

simply the opposite of keeping it in the hand, or by

some other act of physical force.

" Cruel to," " kind to." The sense of cruel and

kind makes it clear that these qualities are

forms of behaviour in the direction of others.

When these others are named, this connection is

made clear by to.

" Have a run." As we have seen, give, do, have,

and make are all used with names of acts, and

there is no simple rule about when to make use

of which, though the notes on N10-4 and N14-1

will be of some help. In agreement with what is

said there. we say " have a run " here because

what we have in mind is the dog's experience in

running. But if the chief idea was that of getting

somewhere, the dog might be said to " make a

run forward " and so on. On the other hand, we

never say " make a walk ". So observation is

the only safe guide. Sometimes (but not very

frequently) the name of an act may be used with

one or other of these operators equally well;

sometimes, it goes with one in one sense and with

another in another; but most commonly it has

a fixed use with one or the other, and these fixed

uses have to be noted and got by heart.

" So much food that." A further development

of the use of that as a joining-word noted in Step

12. It here makes the connection between the

sign of degree, so, and the statement of the effect

by which the degree is measured.

" Taken about the streets." The first sense of

about is " on all sides of," with the idea of

framing somewhat loosely. (Trees which are

'about the house' do not necessarily make a

complete circle round it). From this it readily

comes to be used for " in all directions," "here

and there in" or "on" (not necessarily round).

'To go about,' by itself, is to go here and there,

roughly covering all directions, and ' to go about

a place' has the same sense.


Basic Step by Step - notes to step 17


In this Step we come to that form of the

names of operations which is a sign that an act

is (or was) still not complete. All such forms

have the ending -ing. For writing purposes there

are only two small points to keep in mind : (a) in

giving, having and making, the ' e' is dropped ;

(b) in getting, letting, and putting a second t is put

in. These forms, like those given in Steps 13

and 14, may naturally be put after any form of

be, because they have the force of names of

qualities-they give the idea of a condition of

acting in which the person doing the act is said

to be. To say that a man is "coming," "going

into the house," or " having a rest," is simply

like saying that he is " angry," " ready for a

meal," or " opposite the station." Statements

with the Special Past forms may be given this

sense of an act which is still going on, by

putting being before the special form. So we

may say that something is, was, will be, or may

be, being made, and so on.

These -ing-forms may, in addition, be used as

names of things, in the same way as, and with

a sense parallel to, the words learning and,


-ing forms of which examples are given in

this Step: being, doing, getting, giving, having,

making, putting, seeing.

" To school." School is used without a, the, or

any other pointing-word before it when what we

have in mind is not specially a school-building,

but the process of education which goes on in a

school, and of which the word has become

representative. That is why we say: School will

be good for him. The boys go to school every day.

They are at school all the morning. They are some-

times late for school. When what we have in mind

is the place or building ' school', however, it is

necessary to make use of a pointing-word, in

the same way as it is with names such as house

or table : I went to the school for a parcel. The

fire 'is at the school. The money is for a school.

We have seen a like rule working with bed, in

go to bed, and so on, N 10-4, and the learner will

come across the same point in connection with

church, prison, and some other words.

" Having a walk." Take note that have is

used with walk as with run.

" Gives an answer to a question." Two lines

of thought make this use of to a very clear and

simple one. On the one hand, an answer is

necessarily a statement pointing to a question, so

that it is quite natural to say of answers that they

are to questions; on the other hand, it is a

simple development from the idea of giving an

answer to the person who puts the question, to

that of giving it to the question itself.

" Which you are putting out your hand for."

As is made clear in the ABC, p.63, which is used

for joining to the name of a thing or animal the

sort of statement which does the work of a

quality-word. In such a statement, which

may be representative of that which does the

operation or that to which the operation is

done, but as a joining-word it is normally put

at the front, even though from its use in the

statement its natural position might seem to

be at the end, after the name of an act or direction.

The other words take their normal order after it ;

and that is why, in the example given here, for

comes last and may seem to be pointing at

nothing. It is, in fact, pointing at the which at

the start, and this is sometimes made clear by

turning the statement round, and putting the

direction-word first : " for which you are putting

out your hand," But this may be done only

with names of directions.

" Such things as plants." In Step 6 such was

used for pointing to a group which is like some-

thing named earlier. Here it is used for pointing

to a group which is like something named after it,

and joined to it by as. Sometimes, as in this

example, such is put before the name of the group;

sometimes it is put after it, and then comes

before as (" things such as plants.").

" See how." See the Note on " see that,"

Step 15. See and say may be used before

dependent statements starting with any of the

special joining-words.

"Doing things and making things." The

sense of the word thing is completely general.

It may be used (as here after make) for a material

thing ; or (as here after do) for any part of our

experience which may be pointed at for the

purpose of discussion, and as such it may be an

act,a fact, an event, or a feeling.

" Much more." Two points are to be noted

here: (l) In comparisons using more,less, or an

-er form, a suggestion of the degree to which

one thing is different from another may be given

by putting much or little before the form of

comparison; (2) The dropping of the word

'knowledge' after more (see N 13-2).

" One fold after another." That is, " one fold,

and then another fold, and then another fold,"

and so on, to whatever number of folds may be

necessary. (See the Note on " from one thing to

another"in connection with Step 7).