EL150: Why did I not know this before?

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Essential Literary Terms by Sharon Hamilton

Page 184

"Syntax is sentence structure: the sentence and connection of the words, phrases, and clauses that constitute the sentences in a work. A sentence in English contains a subject and a predicate and can stand alone as a grammatical unit, or independent clause."


Why didn't I learn the word syntax in high school? Honestly, I was reading through the assigned reading and stopped at page 184 because syntax is written real big on the top and I was like, ummm what is this - some kind of medical drug term? (I'm sorry, it's not my fault that I never learned it.)

It's a pretty obvious thing though, like did they just expect us to know that? "Oh this sentence has structure, that means syntax." WAKE UP LHS!!! Teach your students these words! Gosh, there I go again, over using the exclamation point, just because my alma-mater is apparently not up on the cool English lingo.

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Well, there's always this for stuff like that.

Angela Palumbo said:

This is funny. It kind of goes back to one of my blog entries about grammar. English teachers don't like to teach it because their students find it boring and it isn't fun to teach. It does seem like one of those things that might be mentioned some time during your high school career, though.

Greta Carroll said:

I understand what you mean Chelsea. To be quite honest, I’m not sure anyone ever told me what it meant either. I remember the word being thrown around a lot, but no real explanation of its meaning being given. However, I don’t think it is really a matter of it being fun or not fun to teach. Honestly, I don’t think some of my teachers cared whether what we were learning was fun or not; they were just concerned if it was important and that students should know it (I would also like to mention that there is probably a way to make syntax fun and interesting). I think it is more an issue of the teachers assuming that someone else had already explained the term and that students already knew what it was, more than teachers avoiding teaching it.

Kaitlin Monier said:

I didn't learn about this in high school either, but it is important and should have been taught. I thought it was one crazy computer programming term

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