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The Best of the Blog

Ottobre 2014
The Speak Up blog answers any questions you may have either about the English language or our articles. Write to us (preferably in English) at: http://blog.speakuponline.it. The most interesting questions will be published on this page. A word of warning, though: our blog is not a translation or homework service!

Love me do
I have a question for you. It is about the song “Love me do” by The Beatles. I know perfectly well the meaning of “love me” but what about “do”? I don’t understand.

This famous song has a strange grammatical structure that you wouldn’t normally find in English. Here “do” is a “rafforzativo” like “Please” or “go on.” The Beatles undoubtedly added it for musical reasons and because it made for a better rhyme. This often happens in songs but not usually in the title. The basic meaning is “Please love me.”

Spoken English
In the February issue (Underground Culture, page 15) it says: “And why does it look like that and why is this one different from that one.” In your opinion, is the use of the auxiliary verb “does” correct? And is it OK to invert the auxiliary verb “is” in indirect speech?

This is an example of spontaneous spoken English (rather than written English), so the rules are less precise, but still Jay Foreman’s grammar is perfectly OK. First he makes a statement: “if you know which one came first,” then he asks two questions “why does it look like that” and “why is this one different from that one.” In a letter or article he might have expressed himself differently, but in conversation it’s absolutely fine.

Lost in translation
I’m an English teacher and a pupil recently asked me how to translate the word  “patronato” (in the sense of a meeting area run by the local church). Please can you help me?

These places are called recreation centres in England, but they are usually run by the local town council (“comune”). It is very rare for the church to be involved.

Yes, indeed!
Could you explain how to use “indeed?”  Thank you!

Indeed is used to reinforce a statement. For example: “Yes, indeed” is stronger than just “Yes.” Likewise: “Do you know Frank Smith? I do indeed.” (meaning “Yes, I know him very well”). “Have you been to Paris? I have indeed” (i.e. “Yes, I’ve been there many times and I know it well”).

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