Date: February 01, 2017

Q21: Dear Colleagues,

I teach Romanian, Spanish, and German at Karl Marx University in Leipzig, and at the Popular University of Leipzig.
(. . .)

In my work I encountered a problem which I couldn't solve. How can I attach a "reflexive infinitive verb" to the modal auxiliary verb "can".
(. . .)

Thank you for your detailed answer. I hope that in March I can go to Romania, and I'll buy the GRSL set of books
[perfectly similar to the LSEG4 set of books] myself. I am very curious about your books; how do they look like?

Most grammar books contain quotations of famous old writers, instead of simple day to day life examples which ordinary/common people can understand. This is the reason why, as a German teacher, I have to explain to my students the grammar of their own language. We managed to get to a point in which ordinary people do not understand what the scientists strive to explain in their native language!

Here (in Germany) the press says that we use "poor and insufficient educational means + we have lazy and unmotivated students + the teachers are under-qualified". This is a terribly poisonous mixture. Even a single element of the three listed is sufficient to push the entire nation into regression.
(. . . )

The press says that mental regression of the younger generation these days is terrible. We need to come up with new educational means specially tailored to suit their needs. It looks like the first foreign language they need to learn is the very native language they use!
(. . . )

Regarding the "reflexive voice verbs", in German we use
„reflexives Verb” (Kleines Wörterbuch sprachwissenschaftlicher Termini VEB Bibliographisches Institut Leipzig, 1978, p. 278) while in Spain it is „verbo reflexive” („El Habla de mi Tierra”, Editorial Don Bosco, Buenos Aires, 1960).

G. F. - Germany (Deutschland)


Before anything, there are no reflexive voice verbs in English grammar. However, the concept of "reflexive voice verbs" is quite a common topic in very many foreign grammars—German, Spanish, French, Romanian, etc. Sure, at Corollary Theorems we criticize a lot the USA/UK/Canada/Australia/S Africa (and so on) English grammar curriculum; however, things in grammar are even worse in many foreign countries. It is a disaster out there in people's education and, unfortunately, "the signs" are everywhere around us lately.

Now, the answer to section A of GF's question is rather complex, and it is specific to a few foreign grammatical concepts; therefore, it makes no sense to elaborate it in this page. The foreign topic of "reflexive verbs" is explained briefly in section C.

We take this opportunity to highlight again that all examples in LSEG4 series are common, day to day expressions that ordinary people use "on the street", or at the (public relations) office. True, there are a few contextual literary excerpts from O G POPA's SF books in L4EW, though you could notice even there that the "literary style" used is also of the common-language type.

The language used in a specialty book [this is called "the style"] is very important, particularly in a grammar book, because most of them are so difficult to "decipher". Therefore, we are really proud that our grammar books are written in such a clear, simple, common, accessible style.
We emphasize a lot that LSEG4 is a template of grammar for any other language on the Planet. Therefore, the (foreign) topic of "reflexive verbs" is best explained by the voice of the English verb. Note that the voice of the verb explains only "who executes the action of the predicate-verb". Thus, we may have:
     1. the active voice, when grammatical subject executes the action of the predicate-verb (or);
     2. the passive voice, when logical subject executes the action of the predicate-verb.

The action of the predicate-verb may be executed only by the subject (grammatical or logic); therefore, there are only 2 instances possible. The nature of object that may or may not suffer the action of the predicate-verb has no bearings on verb's voice grammatical construction. To summarize, the so called "reflexive voice grammatical category" cannot exist in ANY grammar!

Note again that LSEG4 and L4EW may be used to tailor/adjust ANY FOREIGN GRAMMAR to the simple, logic, international/universal grammar. Never forget that Grammar has been particularly designed to be A SINGLE ONE for all the existing languages. In other words, Grammar is needed to eliminate those thorny and difficult language specific barriers—and we have the best grammar books in the entire World, for you, believe it or not.
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