I have some questions

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-11-27, 16:43

LifeDeath wrote:I was afraid that if I said "we are now studying", it would be understood as if I'm learning right in the moment of speaking. I wanted it to mean something like "these days", or maybe "nowadays" (but I think the latter sounds utterly official in the given context). Which means that we are learning a new topic about the gerund, but when I ask the question, I'm not in the classroom.

If you're not in the classroom when you ask the question, then the natural assumption is that you mean "nowadays". (I think you can trust that we generally assume you're not posting to Unilang in the middle of your English class.)

In fact, the progressive is so often used with the meaning of "these days" or "soon" that it's more common to disambiguate it by adding something like "right now" when it actually does refer to the moment of speaking. (Though, confusingly, context still overrides this. So even the sentence "We're learning the gerund right now" doesn't imply to me "at this very moment" unless I already have reason to believe you're in class when you utter it.)

LifeDeath wrote:Another example came to mind: "Listen to what I say!". Is that a habitual meaning or not?

Most likely, yes. If you want someone to pay intention to what you're saying at that very moment, you would say, "Listen to what I'm saying".

LifeDeath wrote:You told that there were some verbs that didn't have to be put in progressive form because they are already have a progressive connotation. I guess "say" doesn't. But I've heard sentences like that sometimes, when people certainly were reffering to a right-nowthe present moment. Is that possible?

Can you give examples?
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-11-28, 3:49

Red Hot Chili Peppers have the song called "Snow", and there's a line "listen what I say oh". I can't say whether it's a habitual meaning or not, since the following lyrics are "hey oh". But to me it seems like it's about the present moment, like he is refering to the lyrics and is calling us to listen to what he is singing. There's even "now" there: "now listen what I say", which indicates the present moment. So should it be "what I am saying"?
I thought that maybe it was used in that way because the speaker is not native, so there's a mistake "listen what". Shouldn't it be "listen to what"?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-12-01, 10:49

So I'm hoping someone will answer to that example that I gave for my previous question.
Now I want to discuss another thing that happened today. We were taking a test on gerunds and infinitives this morning. And a test is usually a thing where a lot of interesting issues springs. So there was a question like:
"In spite of ___ drawbacks this material has been widely used by people". (In fact I don't remember exactly the words and their order, but I remember the first part of the sentence, and that there was the present perfect in the other). Options for an answer were:
a. to have
b. (I forgot)
c. having
d. having had
I don't remember the first two, but it doesn't matter because they were incorrect. I wanted to ask about the last two options. I was choosing between them. I guess the most natural and common way to say is "having". So you'll get just a common phrase in terms of grammar. But on our classes, we are intensively taught how to use "having had" too, though it's much more less common. So students are usually corrected, would they only venture to use one where a teacher thinks should be the other. But I remember you said that usually there's no difference (at least they can be used interchangeably), and that is a matter I'm going to discuss with you soon, too. But let's sum up what we have with those two options:

1. If we use "having". "In spite of having drawbacks this material has been widely used by people". The first part just says that the material has drawbacks. The second part (because of perfect) says that from a particular momen in the past it's been used until nowadays. So I think the whole sentence can be rephrased in a natural way without gerund in it:
"The material has drawbacks. People have used it", and it seems good I guess.

2. If we use "having had". "In spite of having had drawbacks this material has been widely used by people". Here perfect is in the first part. Unlike in the first sentence, where it's just a state, here it has bearing (as we discussed). It emphasizes that the material has had drawbacks all the way form the past until now. And the second part says, that in spite of it, we have used them (like in the previous). So it can be rephrased:
"The material has had drawbacks. People have used it". I also think that it's not wrong. Maybe it seems a little strange, but can be used with a proper context (which, of course, was not given in the test).

The thing is, when I asked the teacher that there were two options possible, she gave a look at it and said "no, there's only one". So what do you think? How would you say? Even if one really is incorret here, can it be used spontaneously just in a casual and common situation? Or maybe depending on a different context, you would use those options variably? That's a really interesting case.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-12-01, 20:44

LifeDeath wrote:Red Hot Chili Peppers have thea song called "Snow", and there's a line "listen what I say oh".

More idiomatic: "In the Red Hot Chili Peppers song "Snow", there's the line "'listen what I say oh'."

LifeDeath wrote:I can't say whether it's a habitual meaning or not, since the following lyrics are "hey oh". But to me it seems like it's about the present moment, like he is referring to the lyrics and is calling us to listen to what he is singing. There's even "now" there: "now listen what I say", which indicates the present moment. So should it be "what I am saying"?

I'm going to repeat my caution here about taking too much of your cues on acceptable usage from popular song lyrics. This is a poetic genre and you can sing things that would sound quite odd if you just dropped them into ordinary conversation.

LifeDeath wrote:I thought that maybe it was used in that way because the speaker is not native, so there's a mistake "listen what". Shouldn't it be "listen to what"?

I would say that the most common way of expressing this is, "Listen to what I'm saying." But "Listen what I say" is perfectly comprehensible and seems quite natural in song lyrics, where the exact number of syllables is an important consideration. (Anthony Kiedis, incidentally, is a native speaker of American English born in Michigan.)

LifeDeath wrote:I guess the most natural and common way to say is "having".

Actually, IMHO, the most natural and common formulation would be "In spite of its drawbacks..." It's not the fact of it having drawbacks that causes an issue (what materials don't have drawbacks?), it's the particular drawbacks it has.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-12-02, 7:49

Alright, thanks a lot!
Well I thought that if you use simple instead of progressive in a song, it might be acceptable, but when you omit a particle, where it's always used (after listen), that seemed peculiar.

linguoboy wrote:Actually, IMHO, the most natural and common formulation would be "In spite of its drawbacks..." It's not the fact of it having drawbacks that causes an issue (what materials don't have drawbacks?), it's the particular drawbacks it has.

And that's what tests are about. Sentences usually seem awkward, if not incorrect. So since we learnt about the gerund and the infinitive, our teachers have designed a test where you have to choose between them, and moreover, choose a proper form (if needed). Maybe the sentence was "In spite of ___ drawbacks, people have used this material" (without passive) but I don't think it matters a lot. Almost every sentence in a test can usually be rephrased to a natural form. But since I needed to use particulat grammar elements (gerunds and infinitives), the problem appeared.
So, what do you actually think about using "having" and "having done" in the sentence? I explained my visions above, are they correct?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-12-24, 17:43

I didn't want to ask another question not to seem impudent, before the previous has been answered. And still if you will, you can just answer it at least in a couple of words what you think on the matter.

So today I just have a couple of simple questions.

What is the differense between "for" and "in" when talking about time periods? Are they usually interchangeable?
For example "I think I will do it for a month", "I think I will do if in a month". Are they both correct? I think that the first puts emphasis on the action of doing, more, then the second, while the second just shows that there's a limited period of time, by the end of which the action must be finished. Right?

Can the word "consult" be used as a noun? Google says it can, but I'm not sure, because I thought that the proper form was "consultation". But I wrote a review for a text about telecomunications on my English class, and I came up with a sentence, something like: "This is a really short, but comprehensive text, especially if one needs a brief consult about telecommunications". So the teacher underlined the word. Does it sound wong here? Why? If it may work as a noun, I don't see why it should not work here, so please help.
And one more question about that case, is the following particle "about" the only one can be taken by "consult"? I thought to use "over", at least I didn't seem completely wrong, and, for some reason, looked familiar. Like "A brief consult over this matter".

And the last question. What is the correct option, "sounds nonsense" or "sounds nonsensual"? If I want to say that something is illogical, incoherent, doesn't make sence as spoken.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-12-29, 18:15

LifeDeath wrote:So, what do you actually think about using "having" and "having done" in the sentence? I explained my views above, are they correct?

["Visions" are imaginary things one sees.]

I think using the perfect implies that the drawbacks were removed before the material was used. If the drawbacks are still present, the imperfect infinitive (having) is preferable. So I disagree with your teacher. I think both are acceptable, but they have different meanings.

LifeDeath wrote:I didn't want to ask another question not to seem impudent, before the previous has been answered in order not to seem impudent. And still if you willwant, you can just answer it in at least in a couple of words with what you think on the matter.

So today I just have a couple of simple questions.

What is the difference between "for" and "in" when talking about time periods? Are they usually interchangeable?
For example "I think I will do it for a month", "I think I will do it in a month". Are they both correct? I think that the first puts emphasis on the action of doing, more, then the second, while the second just shows that there's a limited period of time, by the end of which the action must be finished. Right?

Not quite. "In" (as opposed to "within") means "X time from now". For instance, "I'll do it in an hour" means "One hour from now, I will do it." So if the action is not instantaneous, that means it will be more than an hour from the time of speaking before the action is finished. "For" is completely different. With time, it means "with X duration". That is, if you do something for an hour, you start doing it at a certain time and an hour later you are still doing it (or have just finished doing it).

So: "I will do homework in a month". (A month from now, I will do homework, but I won't start it before then.)
"I will do homework for a month". (For the duration of month, I will do homework.)

LifeDeath wrote:Can the word "consult" be used as a noun? Google says it can, but I'm not sure, because I thought that the proper form was "consultation". But I wrote a review for a text about telecommunications on my English class, and I came up with a sentence, something like: "This is a really short, but comprehensive text, especially if one needs a brief consult about telecommunications". So the teacher underlined the word. Does it sound wrong here? Why? If it may work as a noun, I don't see why it should not work here, so please help.

Without seeing more context, it's hard to tell whether it sounds natural there or not. Consult and consultation are basically synonymous, but the former is more restricted in its usage. (It's apparently not used much at all in British English, for instance, and even in US English can't be used everywhere that "consultation" is.)

LifeDeath wrote:And one more question about that case, is the following particle "about" the only one that can be taken by "consult"? I thought to use "over", at least I didn't seem completely wrong, and, for some reason, looked familiar. Like "A brief consult over this matter".

I would say it sounds odd to me. Over can be used to specify the means. E.g. "a brief consult over the telephone" would be most commonly interpreted as "a consultation which took place by telephone rather than in person" and not as "a consultation on the subject of telephones". So using it before "telecommunications" is awkward. Stick with "about" here.

LifeDeath wrote:And the last question. What is the correct option, "sounds nonsense" or "sounds nonsensual"? If I want to say that something is illogical, incoherent, doesn't make sense as spoken.

Neither. The accepted adjectival form of "nonsense" is "nonsensical". "Nonsensual" means something completely different.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-12-29, 19:30

Thank you.

linguoboy wrote:Without seeing more context, it's hard to tell whether it sounds natural there or not.

Here's the original text. Which maybe contains a lot of non-native mistakes.
Here's the photo of my review. The last sentence is where I used "consult". So is that grammatical? What would you use? Rereading this I also recalled one thing. What verb do we use with "information"? I see the teacher corrected "gave". (Honestly, I don't think I'm able to discern her option). I thought that "give" was a proper option. It's like you give a part of informations to one's mind, so he can think it over. I also assumed "provide" would work. What word would you choose here?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-04, 17:07

LifeDeath wrote:Here's the photo of my review. The last sentence is where I used "consult". So is that grammatical?

Grammatical but not idiomatic. That's not what a "consult" is. A consult or consultation is a form of meeting involving two or more people where one party answers questions asked by the other party. (For instance, a visit to a doctor, who answers your questions about your health.) It never refers to an essay like the one you linked to.

LifeDeath wrote:What would you use?

"summary"

LifeDeath wrote:Rereading this I also recalled one thing. What verb do we use with "information"? I see the teacher corrected "gave". (Honestly, I don't think I'm able to discern her option). I thought that "give" was a proper option. It's like you give a partportion of informations to someone's mind, so he can think it over. I also assumed "provide" would work. What word would you choose here?

I can't tell what your teacher is suggesting either. "Give" is perfectly acceptable here.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-01-05, 19:01

Alright, thanks!

You know, I was looking for a video on a difference between american and british accents, I was just really interested to see the main differences. So I ended up at nothing better but two teens aping in front of a camera. But anyway, at 1:44, if I'm not mistaken, he says "data". You said that the stressed vowel is either /eː/ or /æ/. But it seems like he pronounced ['data] or even ['dʌtʌ] (which I'm not sure about). So that's what I was asking about in that post. Did the guy pronounce it wrong?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-01-05, 19:38

LifeDeath wrote:You know, I was looking for a video on a difference between American and British accents. I was just really interested to see the main differences. So I ended up at nothing better but (?) two teens aping (monkeying around? messing around) in front of a camera. But anyway, at 1:44, if I'm not mistaken, he says "data". You said that the stressed vowel is either /eː/ or /æ/. But it seems like he pronounced ['data] or even ['dʌtʌ] (which I'm not sure about). So that's what I was asking about in this post. Did the guy pronounce it wrong?
No, he used the /æ/ pronunciation. For me, it's pretty clear that the stressed and unstressed vowel are different, too. I'd transcribe it as /'dætə/ or /'dætʌ/.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-01-06, 12:42

Thanks. They are different but sound so similar, I think. I guess that in a pretty fast speech they would both sound similar like two shwa sounds, wouldn't they? I just was taught to pronounce them completely different like the girl did. And I thought it was the only correct way.

"I ended up at nothing better but two teens monkeying around". I meant something like "I was searching for a video about accents. I found a video where two teens were monkeying around. That was not what I expected to find for educational purposes. But I watched the video since I wasn't able to fine anything better (more serious)". Isn't it just how we say it in English? I thought the general construction is pretty common. Like: "(first part) but (second part)". Here in the second part of a sentence, we use some a kind of contradistinction to the first part. Here I invented some examples of what I mean:
"To find the evidente of his guilt, you have to look no further but at the crime scene".
"This will leave in your mind nothing good, but only bad memories".
"I received some help from not a friend of mine, but from an enemy".
"It belongs but only to you".

Especially the first three examples, because they have a negation in the first part, like in my discussed example.
So I just have two parts:
"I ended up at not a good video (not better than I wanted)" and "I ended up at watching two teens monkeying around".
How can I mix them into one sentence using the mentioned above construction?
Is "I ended up at nothing better but (at?) two teens monkeying around" incorrect? How would you rephrase it?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-06, 16:04

In all the cases where you have a comparative form (e.g. better, further), I would use than rather than but, e.g.:

I ended up at nothing better butthan two teens monkeying around.
To find the evidence of his guilt, you have to look no further butthan at the crime scene.

But works where you have a positive form (e.g. good) or no adjective or adverb at all:

I received some help from not from a friend of mine, but from an enemy.

When you use only, the but is optional. (And it often sounds better without it, particularly in the second sentence.)

This will leave in your mind nothing good,
(but( only bad memories.
It belongs (but) only to you.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-01-06, 20:56

LifeDeath wrote:Thanks. They are different but sound so similar, I think. I guess that in a pretty fast speech they would both sound similar like two shwa sounds, wouldn't they?
[æ] and [ʌ]/[ə] share certain features, true, but when you natively speak a language where they're separate phonemes, you naturally learn to distinguish them. So to me, no, they don't sound much alike.

LifeDeath wrote:I just was taught to pronounce them completely different like the girl did. And I thought it was the only correct way.
As you yourself pointed out earlier, there are two widely accepted pronunciations: one with /eː/ and one with /æ/.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-06, 21:22

Dormouse559 wrote:
LifeDeath wrote:Thanks. They are different but sound so similar, I think. I guess that in a pretty fast speech they would both sound similar like two shwa sounds, wouldn't they?
[æ] and [ʌ]/[ə] share certain features, true, but when you natively speak a language where they're separate phonemes, you naturally learn to distinguish them. So to me, no, they don't sound much alike.

I imagine it's a very different story for native Russophones, since in Russian [æ], [ʌ], and [ə] are all allophones of /a/. Substituting one of these for another is one of the most telltale signs of a Russian accent in English.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-01-07, 17:48

Yes, Russian is poor when talking about phonetics, we don't have such sounds as [æ], [ʌ], [ə], and [eː], we only have the "a" sound. But it's interesting for me so I'm trying to learn it and understand.
I was watching this video lesson about the shwa sound. I don't know how good the teacher is, since I cannot be sure when I learn on the internet, where, as you said, anyone can make himself a teacher, no matter how competent he is. Well, ironically, at 2:44 she said "data" with "ei", which is neither [æ] nor [eː].
I was also watching her lessons on [æ] Vowel and [ʌ] Vowel. And here I'd want to clarify one thing. If you accidentally happen to know some Russian phonetics (since they can also be fundamental in some other languages you are familiar with), is it right that [æ] sound is like Russian "э" sound(long), and [ʌ] is like Russian "a" sound(brief)?
Like "cat" - "c[ээээ]t" and "lust" - "l[a]st". (Hope you will manage to decipher these hieroglyphs of mine).

And yet one little question about it. I'm not really familiar with IPA alphabet, since I have only recently started learning it, and, as it turns out, not familiar with variety of English phonetics. So, is "a" and "æ" the same sounds?
That's how it looks in my dictionary. ['bad], but isn't the vowel here is "æ"?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-07, 18:48

LifeDeath wrote:Yes, Russian is poor when talking about phonetics, we don't have such sounds as [æ], [ʌ], [ə], and [eː], we only have the "a" sound.

You're confusing phonetics with phonology. Russian absolutely has [æ], [ʌ], and [ə], they are just all allophones of a single sound rather than independent phonemes as in English.

[ʌ] is the sound of Russian /a/ or /o/ when unstressed and following a hard consondant but directly preceding a stressed syllable, e.g. потолок [pətʌˈlok]. (In Moscow, the vowel is often lowered to [ɐ]. But [ʌ] is the pronunciation my brother was taught, which is apparently still current in St Petersburg.)

[ə] is the sound of unstressed Russian /a/ or /o/ after a hard consonant elsewhere in a word (like in the first syllable of потолок).

As for [æ], it is an allophone of /a/ which occurs in stressed position between two soft consonants, e.g. пять [pʲætʲ]. It is not the same sound as Russian э, which is [ɛ] before hard consonants and [e] before soft ones, e.g. экс [ɛks], Шарм-эш-Шейх [ˈʂarmˈelʲˈʂɛjx].

LifeDeath wrote:Well, ironically, at 2:44 she said "data" with "ei", which is neither [æ] nor [eː].

There's nothing "ironic" about that, just you misunderstanding linguistic notation again: The most common realisation of /eː/ in American English is [eɪ].


LifeDeath wrote:And yet one little question about it. I'm not really familiar with IPA alphabet, since I have only recently started learning it, and, as it turns out, not familiar with variety of English phonetics. So, is "a" and "æ" the same sounds?
That's how it looks in my dictionary. ['bad], but isn't the vowel here is "æ"?

Depends on the variety. British English generally has [a] where American English has [æ] (both representing underlying /æ/). The most common realisation of /a/ in both varieties is [ɑː] (and as a consequence it is often written /ɑː/ even in phonemic notation).
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-01-14, 15:42

Alright, good examples, thanks. Will be learning more about that.
So today I've got a simple question.
What's the difference between "think over" and "think through"?
I just caught myself on a thought that they both mean kind of similar thing: "to think about something thoroughly, to conceive every detail in order to make a right decision."

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-01-14, 17:25

LifeDeath wrote:What's the difference between "think over" and "think through"?
I just caught myself on a thoughtthinking that they both mean kind of similarsort of the same thing: "to think about something thoroughly, to conceive every detail in order to make a right decision."

No, think over just means "consider". Like if you make a proposal to someone and they're unsure about accepting, it's very common to say, "Well, think it over and get back to me." You wouldn't say "Think it through" in this context. It's only think through that has the sense of "conceive of something in its totality from beginning to end". You could be doing this in order to make a decision about what to do, but not necessarily.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-01-18, 16:39

Okay.

A month ago on my English lesson I needed to put a proper form of a word in a sentence "I would hate ___ there".
The word was "live" and the form that I chose was "living". The teacher said it was incorrect and that we had to say "to" after "would hate". And I ablosutely agree with her, even begginers know such expressions as "would like to do" or "would hate to do". But then I was thinking about what made me choose that strange option. And that's what my question is about.
What do you think, it it at least theoretically possible to say it in that way? Yes, "would hate to do something" is a stable expression in English. But what if we consider it not as an expression, but as the verb "would" plus the rest of a sentence? I guess that's what I unconsciously did when completing that sentence. I googled "would hate" with different gerunds and found hundreds thousand of examples. Maybe there can be any specific context, where it would work? As I keep reminding myself, a language is not a math, it's usually flexible, depending on a person's was of thinking, register, emotions, mood, etc. So, is it possible in theory? I thought about it, and I got to conclusion, that when you say "to V", it is just like a common expression. "I'd hate to live there", it is like you picture it as a period, a long one I guess. Like from now, until forever (if one could live forever). And when you say "I'd hate living there" you just put the emphasis on a process of living, no matter how long it will take. Could be rephrased "Living there - that's what I would surely hate".
I tried to create an example, and I guess it would work as a part of conditionals.
"I hate living there".
"I did hate living there" (I hated living there).
"I will hate living there".
"I would hate living there".
"If we get ourselves to that house, I will hate living there".
"If we got ourselves to that house, I would hate living there".
"If we had got ourselves to that house, I would have hated living there".

So what is your opinion on that matter? What do you think?


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