Scroll To Top

Folk Friday and a lesson in canine grammar

Friday again!

This week has flown by with lightning speed. We have very few students in our ESL program right now, so I’ve been busy doing the prep work I didn’t have time to do before the term started. That includes dusting off the grammar lessons I’ve had packed away since I took my CELTA course in the summer of 2009.

I’m having a wonderful time (not!) with verb tenses. I think of it in dogspeak.

Chance woofs. Present simple
Chance is woofing. Present continuous
Chance has woofed. Present perfect
Chance has been woofing. Present perfect continuous
Chance woofed. Past simple
Chance was woofing. Past continuous
Chance had woofed. Past perfect
Chance had been woofing. Past perfect continuous
Chance will woof. ‘will’ future
Chance is going to woof. ‘going to’ future
Chance will be woofing. Future continuous
Chance will have woofed. Future perfect
Chance will have been woofing. Future perfect continuous

No wonder English is such a hellish language to learn. Good grief, my head is spinning! Generally only one of these applies to Chance at any given time, but two or three are likely to apply to Echo all the time. She woofs a lot. She is woofing most of the time. She will woof when I get home tonight. She woofed this morning at 5:30 to get me up, just because she felt like it. I’m convinced that she will have been woofing most of her life when she crosses the Rainbow Bridge. The rest of her time will have been spent eating my shoes.

I like to believe my grammar is fairly good, but the thing is, I was never actually taught grammar. I absorbed it by reading and listening. Tenses make me tense! But it’s Friday, so enough grammar woes. For today, I found a clip containing a few of Stan Rogers’ best tunes, including his national anthem, Northwest Passage. The man and his music need no introduction, but I haven’t listened to him for a while and I thoroughly enjoyed this. One caveat: it’s eight minutes long. If you’re like me, you’ll consider it time well spent.


  1. Janet
    September 25, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Ha – I love your commentary on Echo's woofing! Hopefully she grows out of eating your shoes – I'm pretty sure the woofing will be forever 🙂

    And I'm a grammar hater! I did poorly with it in school – just couldn't get it. Just the thought of grammar makes me tense (Ha). Good luck with the ESL, Jennie – I've always felt for non-English speaking immigrants, the language being so complicated to learn. Way too many rules!

    And thanks for Stan Rogers – that took me back 🙂

  2. Donna Alward
    September 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Forget the Grammar. I'm convinced Echo and Dreamer are sisters (despite the age difference, lol). That pic is ADORABLE. She looks so much like our Dreamy with her dark eyes and that innocent expression!

  3. Jennie Marsland
    September 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Hi Janet, I really don't know how my students cope. And so much of formal grammar is basically useless. I think Echo has the right attitude. Who cares?

    Donna, I'm sure all Tollers are cut from the same cloth. That innocent face is all a front to hide a diabolical mind, and the eyes ensure that they get away with it.