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One guy said:

  1. The language I speak before learning English was unique.

It sounded unnatural because the verb "speak" in these sentence. I changed it to a few variations.

  1. The language I spoke(used to speak) before learning English was unique.( It sounds like he don't speak those languages anymore)

  2. The language I speak that I spoke before learning English was unique.( It actually describes the ideal meaning but souns unnatural)

Is 1 correct? If not, are my variations correct(if not, what are the possible variations) and what grammar is this?

  • Aren't all languages 'unique:? – Michael Harvey Sep 30 '19 at 12:04
  • He speaks a language which is more unique. a joke – successive suspension Sep 30 '19 at 12:32
  • that is not important lol i just used it as an adjective. – lollel123 Sep 30 '19 at 12:37
  • but languages can be unique for example there is an language that is spoken by whistling. – lollel123 Sep 30 '19 at 12:39
  • Is the language before English also his primary language or his native language? It may be easiest to ignore all mention of English and just say "My primary language is unique," or "My native language is unique." – Justin Sep 30 '19 at 14:35
1

Out of all your variations the possible options are.

The language I spoke before learning English was unique.

The language I used to speak before learning English was unique.

The other forms can not be used because speak refers to the present time*

  • i think Using past simple or used to makes it seem like the language is now not spoken. – lollel123 Sep 30 '19 at 11:35
  • @lollel123.That is what you mean.Now you are speaking English. – successive suspension Sep 30 '19 at 11:45
  • No. You can speak other languages even though you speak English more often. – lollel123 Sep 30 '19 at 11:47
  • @lollel123.The unique language you spoke was in the past. – successive suspension Sep 30 '19 at 11:48
  • No I want to say that I still speak that unique language in the present. – lollel123 Sep 30 '19 at 11:49
0

The form suggested in another answer:

The language I have been speaking even before learning English is Unique

is not correct. That should be

The language [that] I was speaking before learning English is unique.

if "unique" is meant to describe that other language. However, if "Unique" the the name of an (imaginary) laguage, one might say:

The language [that] I was speaking before learning English was Unique.

compare

The language [that] I was speaking before learning English was Russian.

In the original question the form "The language I speak before learning English" is incorrect because "speak" is in the present tense, but "before" indicates a past event, so "spoke" is needed. This is because one may not use a simple present tense to describe a past action, and this describes the language that was spoken at a past time. The latter verb "was" must agree. This construction can be ambiguous, and additional context must clarify that: "The language I spoke before learning English was Greek. Now I speak both languages." or "The only language i spoke before learning English was Greek."

  • I think it is correct. Why is it not correct? And using "was" make it seem like I don't speak it anymore. – lollel123 Sep 30 '19 at 13:27
  • @lollel123 It is incorrect because you may not use a simple present tense to describe a past action, and this describes the language that was spoken at a past time. The latter verb "was" must agree. This can be ambiguous, and additional context must clarify that: "The language I spoke before learning English was Greek. Now I speak both languages." or "The only language i spoke before learning English was Greek." – David Siegel Sep 30 '19 at 13:32
  • But Present Perfect Simple refers to the past. – lollel123 Sep 30 '19 at 13:42
  • Present Perfect Continious is used to say what you have been doing till now so I think it is correct. So can you tell my why is it not correct more clearly? – lollel123 Sep 30 '19 at 13:44
  • If i say "The language I have been speaking since the day I was born before learning English is Russian. Is it correct? I think if I use past perfect continious, it would sound like I stopped speaking Russian. Correct? – lollel123 Sep 30 '19 at 13:47
-1

The language I speak before learning English was unique. It sounded unnatural because the verb "speak" in these sentence. I changed it to a few variations.


It can be assumed that the person (let's call him Mr One Guy) is still learning English. The sentence makes no sense as it stands no matter how you rearrange the tense etc. It has no context and is not a logical statement.

However it could mean The language Mr One Guy learnt to speak before he studied English was unique. or Mr One Guy's native language is unique which I think is the most likely.

Either way the answer to the question;

Is 1 (the original statement) correct? If not, are my variations correct(if not, what are the possible variations) and what grammar is this?

The original is incorrect grammar and all variations are merely speculation any answer has to be opinion based and has no value because the owner of the statement is not the person who posted the question so any answer cannot be verified.

  • Lets assume that he is referring to his native language. I think present simple is wrong in these sentence – lollel123 Sep 30 '19 at 14:38
  • It is not just one word that is incorrect, as you have pointed out the meaning is unclear, You or anyone else cannot make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. Why analysis something that you can have no definite answer to? The original statement is a mess and without interrogation of the owner anything and everything is speculation. – Brad Sep 30 '19 at 14:48

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