Discussion Forum

Please consider registering

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

— Match —

— Forum Options —

Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
correct or incorrect sentence
Is "He speaks PERFECT ENGLISH" "GRAMMATICALLY" correct or incorrect. Regardless of "HE SPEAKS ENGLISH PERFECTLY" being correct.
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I had a long, unnecessary debate with more than one NATIVE ENGLISH speakers, who said the sentence “HE SPEAKS PERFECT ENGLISH” is “GRAMMATICALLY” incorrect, because there is no such thing as “PERFECT English”. (REGARDLESS OF “HE SPEAKS ENGLISH PERFECTLY” being correct !)

I then said so, if my sister says : “I HAVE A PERFECT HUSBAND” is incorrect, because a “PERFECT HUSBAND” does not exist…. or, if I say: “ENGLISH IS A COLORFUL LANGUAGE”, it is incorrect, because a language cannot have colors… !

New River, AZ, USA
Forum Posts: 1096
Member Since:
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

First, welcome to the forum friscon1.

I disagree that there is no such thing as “perfect English.” I agree that virtually nobody actually speaks it. Well, maybe William F. Buckley did, along with a very few others. Fact is, there’s rarely a need to use the language “perfectly,” and that’s the beauty of ALL languages … flexibility, nuance, colloquialisms, dialects, etc.

Saying instead, “He speaks English fluently.” avoids the thorny philosophy of what constitutes “perfection.”

When one uses the phrase “I have a perfect husband/wife/mother-in-law etc.” one is speaking informally, since what constitutes “perfection” in that case is a subjective matter and not really open for debate.


asusena Armenia
Forum Posts: 73
Member Since:
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I would say that ‘speaking English fluently’ refers to speaking with effective speed; neither too fast, nor too slowly. ‘Speaking perfect English’ or ‘speaking English perfectly’ may include fluency and accuracy together. An ideal language user is supposed to speak the language perfectly though nobody can know and speak it perfectly. By the way I heard “speak  perfect English”  many times.  

As far as the statement  “ENGLISH IS A COLORFUL LANGUAGE” is concerned, it is not incorrect either. I once read that the colors of the language are its idioms. Metaphorically it’s possible to say that; and not only to refer to the idioms, but speak about the language in general.

In terms of what is correct and what is incorrect, prescriptively we can debate and finally say this is the only correct way of saying that, descriptively we can explain each usage and each may be right in its own way. It depends on what angle we are considering it from.

Language play and its ludic character allow us to develop the language all the time.  

Forum Posts: 575
Member Since:
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

First time ever I see ‘ludic.’

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 1147

Currently Online:
70 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Heimhenge: 1096

deaconB: 744

Ron Draney: 721

Bob Bridges: 680

RobertB: 575

Robert: 551

tromboniator: 496

Dick: 457

samaphore: 312

dilettante: 287

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 617

Members: 3153

Moderators: 1

Admins: 5

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 1

Topics: 3636

Posts: 18885

Newest Members:

Gghjkertnic, InsstCrape, paintingcontractorscalgary, calgaryinteriorpainters, ScottNergo, a65f85fbk@aaykqfq7d.com, a7dsyzdsf@ababszzd9.com, Alabed, Alicia Huang, Alicia Wang

Moderators: Grant Barrett: 1522

Administrators: Martha Barnette: 820, Grant Barrett: 1522, EmmettRedd: 857, Glenn: 1719, timfelten: 0