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How PDP And Zahra Buhari Murdered English Grammar To Welcome Mr. President From London

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How PDP And Zahra Buhari Murdered English Grammar To Welcome Mr. President From London

 

Now, let us look at two of the comments that greeted President Muhammadu Buhari’s return from London. While the first is an Instagram post by Zahra, one of the President’s children, the other is from a tweet by the Peoples Democractic Party.

From Zahra: “Welcome back home Daddy?? Cheers? (apple juice) To the strongest man I know.. Alhamdulilah. Say a prayer for those that want to eliminate him to get their way.. God iswatching. ‘I pray that He guides us all onto the straight path.

And from the PDP: We thank the Almighty for saving his life and pray that He grants him better health and understanding…

For now, we will not be bothered by some of the slips in the first part of Zahra’s post. Emphasis is on the last sentence “I pray that He guides us all onto the straight path.” If it had been configured along the line of normal English structures, the clause would have been okay. But because it is in the subjunctive mood, there is a problem with prays. The s should be thrown away. The correct thing to say or write is:

I pray that He guide us all onto the straight path.

By now you should understand how the PDP too goofed, though it did what is noble by joining other Nigerians to congratulate Buhari — despite being its number one opponent. What is required in the statement taken from their post is grant, not grants, because the expression is in the ever stubborn subjunctive mood:

We thank the Almighty for saving his life and pray that He grants him better health and understanding … (Wrong)

We thank the Almighty for saving his life and pray that He grant him better health and understanding… (Correct)

What this suggests is that you should go back to the lessons in which we discussed the subjunctive mood. It is a tricky aspect of grammar; so, constant attention to it will help.

 

Written by Akeen Lasisi of Punch

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