With so many teachers bringing their English classes to Abernethy we thought that we’d put our favourite poems up on our site for them to use. We do not learn Grammar, spelling and punctuation the same way as many of our foreign visitors have done in their lessons. They have often expressed a concern over our lack of rules – so here we go, there are some!


A Noun’s the name of anything As school, or garden, hoop or swing
Adjectives describe the kind of noun As great, small, pretty, white or brown.
Instead of nouns the Pronouns fit- As he, you, they and it
Verbs tell of something being done- To read, write, count, sing, jump or run.
How, when and where are the Adverbs tell, As slowly, near, now or well.
Conjunctions join the words together, As men and women, wind or weather.
The Preposition stands before A noun, as in or through a door.
The Interjection shows surprise, As Oh, how pretty, Ah, how wise.
Three little words you often see, Are Articles a. an and the.
The whole are called Nine Parts Of Speech, Which reading, writing, speaking teach.


Start sentences with a capital letter, That way you’ll make your writing better.
A full stop always marks the end. It closes every sentence penned.
The comma is for small, short breaks, And for lists the writer makes.
Dashes – like these – tell you something by the way;
They give extra information (so do brackets, I may say).
Full stops finish off : colons pause to compare. They also do this: list, explain and prepare.
The semi-colon makes a break; then comes another clause .
It does the job of words that link – it’s a medium-length pause.
An apostrophe shows the owner of anyone’s things, And it’s also handy for shortenings.
I’m so glad! He’s so mad! She’s having such a lark!
To show strong feeling you should use the exclamation mark!
A question mark comes after What? When? Where? and why? and how?
Do you? Could I? Shall we? Why not? Give your answer now!
“Quotation marks” enclose what’s said.
Sometimes they’re called “speech marks” instead.

Four All Who Reed and Right!

Let’s face it, English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea, nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends, but not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends & get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes, I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play & play at a recital?
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run & feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, How come a wise man & a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down; in which you fill in a form by filling it out & in which an alarm goes off by going on.
In the US the ‘mail’ is delivered by the US ‘Post’ who has ‘mailmen’ and in the UK the ‘post’ is delivered by the Royal ‘Mail’ who employ ‘postmen’!

Misused or Confused

Home educating our grandson has shown us how often words are misused. A German friend asked us to write some of them down, so here they are!

Please feel free to send me your favourites…

‘me’ or ‘I’? Take away the other person and it becomes clear!
Wrong: ‘You and me went shopping’. (You wouldn’t say ‘Me went shopping’)
Wrong: ‘He gave it to you and I’ (You wouldn’t say ‘He gave it to I’).
Correct: ‘You and I went shopping’
Correct: ‘He gave it to you and me’

‘me’ or ‘myself ‘& ‘you’ or ‘yourself’
‘myself’ & ‘yourself ‘is often used incorrectly and often in a pretentious sense
Wrong: ‘Please talk to my wife or myself’
Correct: ‘Please talk to my wife or me’
A good test is to remove the other person and read the sentence aloud

Wrong: ‘between you and I’
Correct: ‘between you and me’

Thank you is two words
Wrong: ‘thankyou’

Wrong: a ‘pack’ lunch.
Correct: You eat a ‘packed lunch’

I ‘brought’ the sandwich that I ‘bought’ earlier