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I recently came across a sentence which was grammatically wrong, but I couldn’t understand why. I’ll appreciate if you could help. The sentence reads, “I find Chinese English quiet funny, because they don’t use proper English grammar”

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    I suspect that "quiet" should be "quite" and it's missing a full stop at the end. – KillingTime Nov 26 '19 at 10:02
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    What makes you think it could be "grammatically wrong?" What part of it is troubling you? – Kris Nov 26 '19 at 11:27
  • Welcome to ELU. See also English Language Learners Good Luck. – Kris Nov 26 '19 at 11:30
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There are 2 things to be noted in the above mentioned sentence:

  1. The word 'quite' must be used insted of 'quiet'.
Quite means to a certain or fairly significant extent or degree; fairly.

Quiet means making little or no noise.
  1. There's no need of using a comma before 'because' as it's preceding a dependent clause. For more information see this link in regard to comma usage before the word 'because'. But using comma doesn't make the sentence grammatically incorrect, it's just unnecessary.

Therefore, we conclude that the more grammatically well structures sentence is:

I find Chinese English quite funny because they don’t use proper English grammar. [Correct]

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    That comma use is not an error by itself. – Kris Nov 26 '19 at 11:29
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Wrong pronoun. "They" is not the correct antecedent for "Chinese English".

“I find Chinese English [quite] funny, because it doesn’t use proper English grammar.”

According to Fowler's the comma may be used, depending on context. That said, a good maxim is the fewer commas the better.

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  • I agree with this answer and wonder what the score of -1 represents about it. The sudden "they" is not a grammatical error, exactly, but the lack of any plural noun to which "they" might be related seems to be the problem here. – Chaim Nov 26 '19 at 23:09
  • It's a grammatical error because "Chinese English" is singular, but "they" is plural–pronoun-antecedent disagreement. I think "they" contemplates Chinese people, but they're not in the sentence, just then singular "Chinese English". The -1 may be over the comma, which is a pedant's being silly. Use it or not, no biggie. – JMR Nov 28 '19 at 1:35
  • Well I see that way of looking at it. But I would assume that the context was something like this. "Many Chinese people study English in school. They believe it will help them in the global economy. But they don't speak it at home. I find Chinese English quite funny, because they don’t use proper English grammar.” In other words, the author conceived of the words "Chinese grammar" as equal to "the grammar of Chinese people." If I'm right about that, then in context it would be clear that "they" refers not to grammar, but to Chinese people. Still, it's a distracting jump. – Chaim Nov 28 '19 at 19:47
  • I'm not the down-voter, but interpreting "Chinese English" as "people (plural) of Chinese descent who are now considered British citizens who live in England" or similar sidesteps the issue with the pronoun. Alternatively, 'singular they' also sidesteps the problem neatly, as does metonymy. – Lawrence Dec 27 '19 at 1:23

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