Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is It Really Simple?

“What’s a simple predicate?” Tommy asked me as he did his homework.

My mind went blank.

For some reason I pictured a unicorn.

“A simple predicate is...is...um...simple...and, a, um...predicate,” I answered.

Tommy stared at me as though I admitted that I was temporarily one of Charlie Sheen’s goddesses.

“Well, you see, it’s...it’s...” I scrambled to grab my phone so I could look it up. How embarrassing! And I call myself a writer. All writers should know what a simple predicate was. How could I have forgotten?

I knew the predicate had something to do with the subject. And…and…

Oh man, I’m not always the best with grammar.

I figured out what a simple predicate was and tried to explain it to Tommy.

“That’s weird,” he said as he wrote down his answer on his paper. He read the next part. “What is a simple subject?”

“Er…a subject that’s…simple…”

“MOM!”

Crap. Back to looking it up on the phone. How could I forget what a simple subject was? It was so...SIMPLE! Right?

I need to get back to school.

It’s embarrassing to become baffled over fourth grade homework.

35 comments:

  1. My son is also in fourth grade and I'm terrified of his homework, especially the math. Out of curiosity, shouldn't they have taught him in school what a simple subject and a simple predicate are?

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  2. I have no idea what those are either! I am in so much trouble when my kid is in school!!

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  3. Yikes! I could always breeze through the subjects except MATH. That's when I handed it over to my husband. He could make the kids cry. That was his job.

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  4. That's why writers have editors.

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  5. I;m going to have to read the books when they do. I've forgotten so much of that basic stuff it is embarrassing.

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  6. I always aced grammar and english and lit... but I can't tell you what any of that is now!

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  7. Bella is doing this in second grade! Luckily for me she has a teacher that rocks, AND all the worksheets have a sample of everything so I can "re-learn" without her realizing it, lol!!!

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  8. I totally need to study now then. Because I don't remember a lot of that stuff. :)

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  9. I gave up after 3rd grade math. I made my husband do the checking. It was never my strong subject anyway. LOL.

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  10. And this is one of those things that obviously isn't necessary to have memorized anymore. I mean, really? How will knowing what a simple predicate is influence his life?

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  11. Um, hmm... *runs off to Google what the hell a predicate is*.

    Yeah, it sounds like it should be a dinosaur to me. And if that's what I have to look forward to in 4th grade, I may as well schedule my 2nd grader a tutor now.

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  12. Just wait until they get into Jr. High! Nothing can make you feel quite as dumb (or old!) as Jr. High math!

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  13. oh my gosh, i'm homeschooling my daughter & she's in 3rd grade & i am so thankful for the teacher helps cuz i don't know way too much of what i'm supposed to be teaching.

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  14. wow...
    maybe i need to join you in going back to school!! i couldn't remember what either of them was!!

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  15. Such is the premise of "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?"

    They do ask some tough questions.

    The simple subject of a sentence is “who or what” the sentence is about...

    The simple predicate of a sentence tells what the simple subject
    does, is doing, did, has done, or will do...

    But.. what makes them "simple"?

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  16. You're not alone - I just had to google a simple predicate and subject and had one of those "oh yeah, now I remember moment." But for Pete's sake - fourth grade was a very long time ago!

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  17. Seriously - the people who know I'm a writer ask me those kinds of questions ALL. THE. TIME ... and it's super-embarrasing to admit that I have absolutely zero idea about any of it. Like, I'm not even sure right off the top of my head what a pronoun is. *hides face*

    It's kind of amazing that I can write, and use words and punctuation properly, without knowing any of this stuff. But it just ... happens. It's like it's already in my head, and the rules don't matter. Until someone asks me about them, that is!

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  18. This is exactly why I will not homeschool. There are too many things out there to learn that I just don't remember. Teachers are trained to teach our children the things that they need to know in order to learn other things, but then will promptly never use again until they have to help their kids with it. That is why I feel that my kids will learn from the experts, not me!

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  19. I have no idea what either of those are. But I'm no writer. I mean I write but I prefer numbers and pictures.

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  20. Don't feel bad. I had a coworker who was Russian and she decided I was going to teach her proper English. So she asked me all kinds of questions and I was stumped. The hardest one was "Why do you use The and A?" I was like... "Because you have to?" I don't know!

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  21. Hey, don't forget that the English language (especially the Americanized version!) is one of the hardest languages to learn. There are a LOT of rules to learn whether you are disecting a sentence or learning to speak it.

    Thank you for reminding me what a simple predicate and simple subject are. I'm going to need them in a couple of years!!

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  22. We have a language that doesn't even follow it's own rules. So of course parents are entitled to be a bit confused!!! Heeehehhe!

    Ya'll have a blessed and beautiful day filled with easy homework tonight! :o)

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  23. I have no idea what those are either.

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  24. It's amazing what we forget! At least you know where to get the help. Good ole phone!

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  25. No, no, no. Paste on a knowing smile, send him on an errand, and then look it up. That or tell him to get the dictionary.
    Cute story!

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  26. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but just wait until they get into high school! My kids are taking stuff I never even had to take in college.

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  27. Ugh! This is why I won't be a homeschooler. I have forgotten 100% of my elementary school teachings. So sad.

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  28. I dread first grade homework.

    LisaDay

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  29. LOL! I think that teachers should send parents a curriculum of what the students will be learning ..so they can brush up for these questions! :)

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  30. This post brings to light a deep fear I have had since N was born ... not being able to remember ANYTHING from my childhood to help N with her homework someday! Eeeeeeek.

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  31. I was never so happy as the day my kids could do their homework without any assistance from me!

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  32. Took a minute to look around, nice blog! Maybe we can follow each other through google friend connect? Nice stuff here so I added you, glad to have found your site!

    Hugs from NYC
    TravelDesignery.com

    .

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  33. sometimes i laugh - like hysterically - when i hear those questions on "are you smarter than a 5th grader"...until i realize that i can't answer them either :/

    wm

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