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I had always wondered about a construction (of conjugation within a sentence) but never could write it down properly. I have since found that construction. This is a quote from “The Day It Happened” by Rosario Morales.
A) “I wouldn’t have known anything about any of this [if Olga next door hadn't rung our doorbell and banged on the door just when Mami was too deep in prayer to hear and Maria was leaning out over the sill with her eyes bugging out].”
Specifically the verbs in that clause. My question here is why is “when Mami was... and Maria was...” past tense instead of past perfect. I’m perfectly aware that the actions of Mami and Maria are happening simultaneously with Olga’s banging of the door. I concluded that it was because that it would be interpreted further in the past than Olga’s banging. But I have supposed I’m looking for a logical consistency similar to math.
Please look at the following examples:
a) The plants died. ( an event - intransitive verb)
b) The plants were killed. ( event -passive verb)
c) The plants were dead. ( state - adjective)
d) The plants were withered (state? - adjective?)
e) The plants were withered by the sirocco. (event? - passive)
f) The plants shrank. (event - intransitive verb)
g) The plants were shrunk by the dry wind (event - passive)
h) The plants were shrunken. (state - adjective)
i) “I was bored” - is this a passive or an adjective, an event or a state?
Is it ambiguous, context-dependent or a case of “unmarked-grammar”?
I’d like to ask your opinion on the following sentence:
“I have gone to X High School since I was fifteen years old.”
A student recently asked me whether or not this sentence was grammatically correct. I said that it sounded correct to me, but I couldn’t answer with confidence.
I understand that, if we are talking about our experiences and completed trips, we use (the past participle) ‘been’ instead of ‘gone’. (For example, ‘I have been to California.’)
But what about ‘go’ in the sense of ‘to attend’? For example:
A: What school do you go to?
B: I go to X High School. I have gone to X High School since I was fifteen years old.
I understand we could phrase it a different way, for example:
“I have been at X High School since I was fifteen.”
“I have been going to X High School since I was fifteen.”
But I am specifically interested in the use of ‘have gone’ here. (Not least because there are situations when ‘been at’ might be inappropriate. For example, the below sentence sounds wrong to me:
“I have been at cookery classes since I was a child.”
I think here I would prefer to say:
“I have gone to cookery classes since I was a child.”)
I’ve been thinking about this type of sentence for far too long today, and now I have no idea at all whether it’s correct or not. I tried searching the internet for the answer, but couldn’t find any posts discussing this usage of ‘to go’. I’d very much appreciate your opinions on this matter.
Thank-you in advance!
“I’ve (You’ve) to go swimming” vs. “I’ve (You’ve) got to go swimming”
“I’ve (You’ve”) the Frisbee” vs. “I’ve (You’ve) got the Frisbee” vs. “I have the Frisbee”
They could all be correct or not, but the ones I believe are wrong, at least the ones that sound wrong, are when there is a contraction used without “Got”. Anyone know a definite answer to which is correct grammatically, and if it is grammatically correct, whether it is correct common usage.
In the third conditional, the structure uses the past perfect with the if clause (e.g. “If I had studied...” and the conditional modal + present perfect in the second clause (...I would have gotten a good grade.”)
When and why is it also acceptable to say “If I had studied, I would have a good grade,” where “have” is used as a possessive auxiliary instead of a conditional modal?
Can clauses be misplaced because I always thought that they were superordinate of that. While searching for math accuplacer questions, I was given a set of problems, which I did not want, and, in boredom, did the first one and was wrong. The question was this:
Select the best substitute for the parenthesized parts of the following ten sentences. The first answer [choice A] is identical to the original sentence. If you think the original sentence is best, then choose A as your answer.
Although she was only sixteen years old, (the university accepted her application because of her outstanding grades).
A. the university accepted her application because of her outstanding grades.
B. her application was accepted by the university because of her outstanding grades.
C. her outstanding grades resulted in her application being accepted by the university.
D. she was accepted to study at the university after applying because of her outstanding grades.
I chose A, but it said D was the correct answer on these grounds:
The clause Although she was only sixteen years old describes the characteristics of the female student. Remember that clauses always need to be followed by the name of the person or thing they are describing. Therefore, “she” needs to come after this clause.
So, to reiterate, is there such a thing as misplaced clauses?
I’d like to go back to an old question which was discussed here in 2011. What is the correct preposition to use with “different?”
Every time I hear the BBC’s “different to” it grates on me. I distinctly remember my 6th Grade teacher, Mrs. Murphy, explaining to us that “different” takes “from” because in arithmetic, when you subtract one number from another you obtain a difference. Her analogy was faulty, of course; but her grammar was correct. The abuse she was trying to correct was “different than.” I never heard “different to” until relatively recently, on the BBC World Service.
The consensus of the 2011 discussion seemed to be that “different to” is British usage and “different from” is American.
Well – yes and no. I’ve gone through some quotation websites looking for 19th and early 20th century British examples and could find not one “different to.” They all use “different from.”
I did also find this, however, from the 1908 edition of Fowler’s “The King’s English.”
“. . .’different to’ is regarded by many newspaper editors and others in authority as a solecism, and is therefore better avoided by those to whom the approval of such authorities is important. It is undoubtedly gaining ground, and will probably displace ‘different from’ in no long time; perhaps, however, the conservatism that still prefers from is not yet to be named pedantry.
Well, that was prescient – if you concede that 100 years counts as “no long time” when it comes to the English language.
(In response to some of those 2011 posts which mentioned “more different than” as an acceptable use of “different than”: in that case “than” refers to “more” not “different.”)