I have some questions

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-10-21, 20:25

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:"extendedly"?

I hoped to mean "using a lot of words". It's like when you are well educated, you can use many different words and your statements are pretty flexible in meaning. But if you are poorly educated, you do not sound "extendedly", because you use simple words (like I do), your vocabulary range is small, etc. Is that a wrong word to use here?

I'm still not sure what word it is you're looking for here. Can you give me a corresponding term in Russian?

LifeDeath wrote:Then I think the problem here is to make you partner acknowledge that "bearing". I mean, if I understood you correctly, we use the perfect if something that happened in the past still resultingpersists inat the moment of speaking.

"I've broken that arm twice before. I don't want to risk breaking it again."
He broke his arm in the past, but it still has the bearingan effect, it makes him think twice before risking it again. As I understood, the bearingeffect is his fear toof breaking it again (which is not in the past, he experiences it right in the moment of speaking, that's why he chooses the perfect).

"Have you ever eaten that? Then how do you know you wouldn't like it?"
I think in this case the second part is important. The bearing is the person's knowing that he would not like it, and his partner asks him how he could know that. He uses the perfect because it's in the moment of speaking that it is important that his partner might never have eaten something like this before.

"He's been learning English in Russia but he should study in an English-speaking country if he really wants to master it."
Honestly, I can't see any bearing in that example. I guess that the perfect progressive here implies that the action is still in process, like he hasn't dropped it out. But, I guess, that it is the very function that any perfect progressive tense fulfills - it connects something in the past with the present moment, moreover, it means that the action has been in process through all this period. That's why "He's been learning English in Russia" means that he started it some time ago, he was doing that, and didn't actually stop. That said that it is untilup to the present moment that he still learns English. Maybe the bearing is that a person understands that his partner's English could be better (and he understands it in the present moment) and that's why advises him to go to learn it abroad?

Not all perfect progressives serve to connect the past with the present moment. Remember that the past perfect progressive exists:

"He had been learning English for seven years when he decided to drop it and study Urdu instead."

Here it only serves to connect two past events.

LifeDeath wrote:So let's get back to what I started with. What if a sentence makes any bearing to meimplies a connexion for me but not to my partner? Should I know at first if it does and only then use the perfect? But if so, speaking would be so complicated.

For example, my friend suggests me tothat I break a concrete wall by the hit of my armhitting it with my arm. And I say "I've broken it twice before". So I used perfect because I don't want to risk it (like in your example). But what if my partner does not understand it? Why I used perfect, he does knot know that it has any bearing for me.

Here the issue isn't the tense, it's the lack of context. It's not even clear what "it" refers to in that sentence--the wall or the arm.

LifeDeath wrote:Another example, me and my friend are reading different stuff on the internet, and I see a riddle. I think to myself: "Mmm, I've seen this riddle many times before, I already know how to solve it". But I just say to him "I've seen this riddle many times before". So I used perfect because it has a bearing in the present moment, a result - I know how to solve it. But my partner does not know about that, so he may not understand why I used the perfect and may think that I made a mistake.

Yeah, no, English doesn't work that way. Your partner will assume you have some reason for choosing perfect and they simply don't know what it is.

LifeDeath wrote:I mean, people cannot know exactly what happens in your partner's head. Especially some self conscious people, they think a lot, and when they say something, it is just another part of their thoughts, and they may use different kind of tenses according to them. But those who are being talked to, cannot possibly know everything about that, that's why sometimes they can be confused. So my question is, might something like this occure in a real conversation? Do you always have to make sure that your partner fully knows the context of what you're talking about? Or is it a typical thing when you hear one tense from your partner when you expected another, just because it compliesfits with his thought which he didn't tell you?

The latter. You might want to read up on Gricean maxims, which are an attempt to summarise the unspoken rules people apply when trying to make sense of the things their partners say in conversation.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-10-24, 14:08

Alright. The cooperative principle says that to be fully understood averything in a conversation has to be clear, as I think.

linguoboy wrote:I'm still not sure what word it is you're looking for here. Can you give me a corresponding term in Russian?

I'd say "богатая речь" or "разнообразная речь" or "выразительная речь".
I don't know if "extendedly" is an adjective. Maybe it's an adwverb but I intended to use it as an adjective.

linguoboy wrote:suggests that I break...

That's what I've also wanted to ask and not it seems to be the time. As far as I now, a verb can take a following word (verb) by two main ways.
1. WIth the "to" particle. Most of verbs I assume. Like "I want to go", "He needs to think".
2. Without "to", after verbs like "let", "make", "help". "Just let it go", "Make him let her go!". (Are there any other verbs that take the following verb without "to"?
But I've many times noticed that sometimes some verbs form sentences peculiarly, like there's a third way. I mean they do not follow those principles that I described above. One of those verbs is "suggest". I didn't actually know how it constructs in a sentence. Is that that you corrected a general form? Like "One suggests that another one does something"?
I think that another verb that is used strangely in a sentence (to me) is "reccomend". Does it also take "that + pronoun + action" after itself? Like "I reccomended that he arranges a rendez vous with her".
Would it be incorrect with common "to"? "He asked for my advice, and I reccomended him to tell her the truth"?
Or "I think that I need to suggest him to go there".
So my questions are: how exactly do those verbs work in sentences? Are there any other verbs except "suggest" and "reccomend" that work like that?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby OyVey » 2016-10-24, 14:32

Examples with suggest:
I suggest that you do it.
I suggest that you go to the store.
He suggested that I do it as soon as possible.

"I reccomended that he arranges a rendez vous with her".
"He asked for my advice, and I reccomended him to tell her the truth" or "I recommended that he tell her the truth."

"I think that I need to suggest to him to go there"
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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-10-24, 17:01

LifeDeath wrote:Alright. The cooperative principle says that to be fully understood everything in a conversation has to be clear, as I think.

But what constitutes "clear"? Certainly the maxims don't state that everything has to be completely explicit, since this would violate the Maxims of Quantity ("Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.") and Manner ("Be brief").

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I'm still not sure what word it is you're looking for here. Can you give me a corresponding term in Russian?

I'd say "богатая речь" or "разнообразная речь" or "выразительная речь".
I don't know if "extendedly" is an adjective. Maybe it's an adwverb but I intended to use it as an adjective.

It is an adverb. The correspond adjective is "extended". It basically corresponds in meaning to "longer".

All of the words I can think of which mean "using a lot of words"--prolix, verbose, wordy--are negative. Maybe what you are looking for is a word which means "having a rich vocabulary" or "knowing a wide range of words and how to use them correctly", but I'm struggling to find a single English adjective which expresses that.

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:suggests that I break...

That's whatis something I've also wanted to ask about and not it seems to be the timethere hasn't been a good time. As far as I now, a verb can takegovern a following word (verb) byin two main ways.
1. WIth the "to" particle. Most of verbs I assume are like this. Like "I want to go", "He needs to think".
2. Without "to", after verbs like "let", "make", "help". "Just let it go", "Make him let her go!". (Are there any other verbs that take the following verb without "to"?

In both cases, you are dealing with an infinitive. The form with "to" is often called the full infinitive whereas the form without "to" is the short infinitve. (Some grammarians prefer not to speak of an "infinitive" in English and instead call this the "plain form", but searching "infinitive" will find you a lot more in the way of helpful webpages.)

LifeDeath wrote:But I've many times noticed that sometimes some verbs form sentences peculiarly, like there's a third way. I mean they do not follow those principles that I described above. One of those verbs is "suggest". I didn't actually know how it to constructs in a sentence with it. Is that thatwhat you corrected a general form? Like "One suggests that another one does something"?

Yes. This is a rare survival of a subjunctive construction in English. The so-called "present subjunctive" in English is identical to the "plain form" (or "short infinitive").

LifeDeath wrote:I think that another verb that is used strangely in a sentence (to me) is "reccommend". Does it also take "that + pronoun + action" after itself? Like "I reccommended that he arranges a rendezvous with her".
Would it be incorrect with common "to"? "He asked for my advice, and I reccommended him to tell her the truth"?

Yes, the version with the full infinitive is incorrect.

Careful with recommend. You can recommend someone and you can recommend something to someone, e.g.:

"We need someone to help us finish the project. Do you know any good coders?"
"I recommend Mariya. She's a hard worker and a terrific problem-solver."

"We were talking about courses of study and, because Mariya's a terrific problem-solver, I recommended computer programming to her."

LifeDeath wrote:Or "I think that I need to suggest him to go there".

Same issue:

"I suggested him for the job."
"I suggested to him that he apply for the job."

LifeDeath wrote:So my questions are: how exactly do those verbs work in sentences? Are there any other verbs except suggest and reccommend that work like that?

The article I linked to has some other examples. Doubtless there are pages on the "present subjunctive" which would give more.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-11-02, 21:07

linguoboy wrote:All of the words I can think of which mean "using a lot of words"--prolix, verbose, wordy--are negative. Maybe what you are looking for is a word which means "having a rich vocabulary" or "knowing a wide range of words and how to use them correctly", but I'm struggling to find a single English adjective which expresses that.

Maybe "diversely"?

So I read the article you linked in your previous post, and there I followed a couple of directions and ended up with an article about conditional sentences just to repeat it once more. When I was reading the article it recalled me about an interesting issue that I wanted to ask about before. So I think everything is quite clear with the the first and second conditional sentences, but I have problems in understanding the mixed conditionals. Let's start with the third conditional, the general form is "if I had done, I would have done something else". I think this is used when events are wholly in the past. "If you had had a map, we wouldn't have been lost". So you can use a sentence like that after a couple of days after events, when they are in the past, like you cannot do anything now. (When the 2rd conditional "If you had a map we wouldn't be lost" implies that the action is not finished yet and kind of suggests him to find the map. Like he still has time (or possibility) to do). Well it is clear with the 3rd conditional, too. But it seems difficult when it comes to the mixed conditionals, when you have one part of the 2nd and the other of 3rd. The first option is:
"If you had had a map we wouldn't be lost". Here we use the past perfect in the first part which shows us that the action is completely in the past and nothing can be done about it, but you still, for example, it the city and that's why you use the simple past in the second part - because the actions is not finished, you experience it right in the moment of speaking. But after some time, when it becomes the past, too, you can refer to the situation by the 3rd conditional: "What a fool you were! If you had had the map we wouldn't have been lost! But we lost the whole day searching for our way back to the hotel". In general, you use this type of the mixed sentences to talk about when something already happened in the past, that you cannot change, but the consequences are yet to happen or are happening in the moment of speaking. So it seems more or less clear to me (though I canoot fully understand how it differs from the 3rd conditional, if you cannot fix the past, you already can say "would have been" (because undesirable cousequences will happen anyway), why say "would be" (like you've got chances to fix)?)

But the reason I've written all that is that I cannot understand the other type of mixed conditionals. It's when you use the simple past in the conditional part, and the future in the past in the other. Like "If you had the map we wouldn't have been lost".
Here's the part with an example.
It sounds really strange to me, like the counsequences happened before the reasons. "We wouldn't have been lost" is something that is being viewed as a complete past event that cannot be fixed, and it is a consequense! When "if had the map" is something in the present ("if you had the map right now!").
So, what does this kind of conditionals means? What does it imply? When would you use it yourself?
Let's look at the tree examples:
"If you had had a map, we wouldn't have been lost" (common one).
"If you had had a map we wouldn't be lost" (mixed 1).
"If you had a map we wouldn't have been lost" (mixed 2).
What is the main difference between them in your opinion?

And another question tightly connected with the previous one. I was talking with a friend a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to say "I've been practicing my spoken English and accent only for a year, I wish I had started earlier". And then I wanted to add some regret: "If I had done, my spoken English and accent would have been better now". It is the common 3rd conditional. I didn't actually start, and I used this sentence to show that nothing can be done already. The opportunity is lost. But for some reason I wanted to say "If I did, my English would have been better now" (mixed 2). Is it possible here? It's like I suppose that I could really do, but didn't, and I have no chance to fix it (because "would have been", not "would be"), right?
I think that the "mixed 1" doesn't make sense here, because it would imply that I cannot still improve my English, despite "If I had done..." (which means that I didn't actually).

It is an interesting issue for me, I've wanted to ask about it for a long time yet. Sorry if I repeated any thought several times, it was hard to explain it clearly.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-11-02, 22:28

LifeDeath wrote:Maybe "diversely"?

Nope, that doesn't work at all in the original context ("to sound more accurate and X"). I'm not sure how people would interpret "sound diverse" because it's just not something people say.

LifeDeath wrote:So I read the article you linked in your previous post, and there I followed a couple of directions and ended up withat an article about conditional sentences just to repeat itreview/revise them once more. When I was reading the article it recalledreminded me aboutof an interesting issue that I wanted to ask about before. So I think everything is quite clear with the the first and second conditional sentences, but I have problems in understanding the mixed conditionals. Let's start with the third conditional, the general form is "if I had done, I would have done something else". I think this is used when events are wholly in the past. "If you had had a map, we wouldn't have been lost". So you can use a sentence like that after a couple of days after events, when they are in the past, like you cannotcan't do anything now. (When the 2nd conditional "If you had a map we wouldn't be lost" implies that the action is not finished yet and kind of suggests him to findthat he find the map. Like he still has the time (or possibility) to do). Well it is clear with the 3rd conditional, too. But it seems difficult when it comes to the mixed conditionals, when you have one part of the 2nd and the other of 3rd. The first option is:
"If you had had a map we wouldn't be lost". Here we use the past perfect in the first part which shows us that the action is completely in the past and nothing can be done about it, but you still, for example, it the city and that's why you use the simple past in the second part - because the actions is not finished, you experience it right in the moment of speaking. But after some time, when it becomes the past, too, you can refer to the situation by the 3rd conditional: "What a fool you were! If you had had the map we wouldn't have been lost! But we lost the whole day searching for our way back to the hotel". In general, you use this type of the mixed sentences to talk about when something already happened in the past, that you cannot change, but the consequences are yet to happen or are happening in the moment of speaking. So it seems more or less clear to me (though I cannot fully understand how it differs from the 3rd conditional, if you cannot fix the past, you already can say "would have been" (because undesirable consequences will happen anyway), why say "would be" (like you've got chances to fix things)?)

I don't understand what you don't understand. "Being lost" is a state, not an action. If you say, "If you had had a map we wouldn't be lost," it means you're still lost at the time of speaking. If you say, "If you had had a map we wouldn't have been lost," it means you're not lost any longer. These are two completely different sets of circumstances.

LifeDeath wrote:But the reason I've written all that is that I cannot understand the other type of mixed conditionals. It's when you use the simple past in the conditional part, and the future in the past in the other. Like "If you had the map we wouldn't have been lost".
Here's the part with an example. It sounds really strange to me, like the counsequences happened before the reasons. "We wouldn't have been lost" is something that is being viewed as a complete past event that cannot be fixed, and it is a consequence! When "if had the map" is something in the present ("if you had the map right now!").
So, what does this kind of conditionals means? What does it imply? When would you use it yourself?

Offhand, I can't think of a case where I'd use it myself. That is, it sounds odd to me, too.

LifeDeath wrote:Let's look at the three examples:
"If you had had a map, we wouldn't have been lost" (common one).
"If you had had a map we wouldn't be lost" (mixed 1).
"If you had a map we wouldn't have been lost" (mixed 2).
What is the main difference between them in your opinion?

I've already explained the difference between the first two: Are you lost at the time of speaking or aren't you?

I suppose I could use something like the third sentence if the meaning where habitual. Something like:

"If you kept a map with you, we wouldn't have been lost."

This is a counterfactual sentence corresponding to something like "I keep a map with me so we won't ever get lost". The first clause is habitual, so it covers a span of time from before the period in which we got lost all the way to the present.

LifeDeath wrote:And another question tightly connected with the previous one. I was talking with a friend a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to say "I've been practicing my spoken English and accent only for a year, I wish I had started earlier". And then I wanted to add somea regret: "If I had done, my spoken English and accent would have been better now". It is the common 3rd conditional. I didn't actually start, and I used this sentence to show that nothing can be done alreadyanymore. The opportunity is lost. But for some reason I wanted to say "If I did, my English would have been better now" (mixed 2). Is it possible here?

It's common in American English, but nonstandard. (I personally think it sounds terrible and would never say it.)

LifeDeath wrote:It's like I suppose that I could really do, but didn't, and I have no chance to fix it (because "would have been", not "would be"), right?
I think that the "mixed 1" doesn't make sense here, because it would imply that I cannot still improve my English, despite "If I had done..." (which means that I didn't actually).

Actually I think that sounds better than your version. Again, you're talking about a state of being which exists at the time of speaking: Your accent is not as good as it could be (and would be had you studied).

LifeDeath wrote:It is an interesting issue for me, I've wanted to ask about it for a long time yetalready. Sorry if I repeated any thoughtmyself several times, it was hard to explain it clearly.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-11-05, 18:37

Alright, thanks.

linguoboy wrote:I suppose I could use something like the third sentence if the meaning where habitual.

So "habitual" means something that happens not once but several or many times throughout a certain period (usually long one) of time. So "having no map" caused "being lost". But how can the first be a "habitual" thing? Is this a rethorical thinking, or stressing a regret?

linguoboy wrote:This is a counterfactual sentence corresponding to something like "I keep a map with me so we won't ever get lost". The first clause is habitual, so it covers a span of time from before the period in which we got lost all the way to the present.

I'm sorry for being stupid. But I still can't understand it. Maybe because there's absolutely nothing like that in Russian, so I'm not used to the intention (effect?) that this kind of a sentence is supposed to produce upon me.
So you say that it takes the period of time from getting lost until the present moment. But why would one need to use that? What "colour" (I don't know a proper word for this, maybe "note") does it add in a conversation? Why say that instead of the common 3rd conditional?
So I came up with some examples to examine the matter thoroughly.

With long processes in the main part:
"If he knew the answers he would have passed the test."
"If I hated music I wouldn't have gone to that party."


With brief actions:
"If she found the wallet, she would have given it back to you."
"If I met her in the park, I would have offered her to marry me."


Does these make sense to you? Are there contexts where you would use them? What intentions do they have?
Let's talk about that example from the article.
"If we were soldiers, we wouldn't have done it like that". It says that we use it when "the condition is not expresse as being limited to the past". Is that what you explined? Does it mean that I am still a soldier when saying this sentence about a past event? Does it mean that the condition part is always true? And that's why we use it in a simple past (not past perfect) because it's true in the moment of speaking, too.
Something like: "If I was a girl, I would have had long hair". I say "I was" because the condition is still and always true (I'm not a girl) and "would have had" because it's someting that can't be changed and thus impossible. Is that logic correct?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-11-05, 21:52

I'll reply at length later, but I just want to quickly clear something up:
LifeDeath wrote:Something like: "If I was a girl, I would have had long hair". I say "I was" because the condition is still and always true (I'm not a girl) and "would have had" because it's something that can't be changed and thus impossible. Is that logic correct?

It has nothing to do with being something that can't be changed per se. It's just about how the past is being viewed. "I would have had long hair" refers to a closed period in the past. That is, the hypothetical stretch of time during which you have long hair ends at some point (maybe minutes, maybe decades) before the moment of speaking. Let me see if I can represent this graphically:

I was a girl: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (Present time)
I would have had long hair:----------XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX----------------------------

So there's an overlapping period there where you both are a girl and have long hair, but being a girl extends all the way to the present moment and having long hair doesn't. Whereas if you said:

"If I was a girl, I would have long hair."

That would look like this:

I was a girl: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (Present time)
I would have long hair:----------XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

It's parallel to the contrast between "I am a girl and I have long hair" (present conditions) and "I am a girl and I have had long hair" (one present condition, one completed in the past).
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-11-07, 10:59

Then let me try other two options.
"If I had been a girl, I would have had long hair":
------XXXXXXXXX------------(Present)----------------------------->> - I had been a girl
------XXXXXXXXX------------(Present)----------------------------->> - I would have had long hair
So we consider both parts as being completely in the past, moreover, they are fully overlapping.

"If I had been a girl, I would have long hair":
------XXXXXXXXX------------(Present)----------------------------->> - I had been a girl
-------------------------------(Present)XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX>> - I would have long hair
So the first is still in the past, but the consequence is viewed as a possible event in the present or even in the future.
Are those correct?

I also wanted to ask something. I needed to write a small essay about robots. So I tried to use the grammar I am fully familiar with, but there are still a couple of things I'm not sure about. Can you look at this?

"Robots are friends to people.
Undoubtedly they are. In my opinion, the robot is a complex machine which can fulfill some difficult and complicated tasks people are not usually able to do. The progress has robotized a lot of factories thus they can produce more devices of a good quality. If it were people who needed to produce those details and electronic devices themselves, it would take such a lot of time, or so many people to do, that we would hardly have free time, or enough devices for all those who need them. But automatic conveyor systems helped us solve this problem.
Another field is research and science. Can we possibly have known so much as we do, unless we had proper machines for discovering? No human being can survive in the sorely cold air, or in conditions of high temperature. One would surely die of the lack of oxygen under the ground, or on another planet. Bur we have discovered machines and special devices that can do. So we send them deep under the water surface to examine the bottom of an ocean, to other planets to research their ground. We even use them to discover the secrets of ancient buildings and monuments.
That is to say, robots are friends to us. Though some people might think they are enemies, because people also developed the artificial intelligence. But anyway, they are not nearly as clever to harm us. So I don’t think we’ll ever be enemies."


"...which can fulfill...". I was choosing between "fulfill" and "accomplish", what do you think is the most appropriate option? Maybe "execute"?

I underlined where I used "to do" many times, so is that way of using correct? Or maybe it can be replaced by other verbs not to sound repeating?

"Can we possibly have known so much as we do". Here again about "do". Does it sound correct in a simple present? So we discovered many thing in the past, but I wonder now if we could without robots, that's why I used perfect "can have known" (my wondering - bearing in the present moment). But, in fact, if we discovered in the past, then the "do" in the end should also be put in the past, because it's reffering to those discoverings, right? But I'm not sure if that's correct.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-11-10, 22:56

LifeDeath wrote:Then let me try other two options.
"If I had been a girl, I would have had long hair":
------XXXXXXXXX------------(Present)----------------------------->> - I had been a girl
------XXXXXXXXX------------(Present)----------------------------->> - I would have had long hair
So we consider both parts as being completely in the past, moreover, they are fully overlapping.

The first part is true but not the second. The speaker still could've had long hair for only part of the time that they were a girl.

LifeDeath wrote:"If I had been a girl, I would have long hair":
------XXXXXXXXX------------(Present)----------------------------->> - I had been a girl
-------------------------------(Present)XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX>> - I would have long hair
So the first is still in the past, but the consequence is viewed as a possible event in the present or even in the future.

The consequence continues into the present, yes, but that doesn't exclude it continuing into the past as well. Consider a situation where the speaker was girl, grew their hair long, transitioned to male gender, but kept their long hair. That's what the speaker could be imagining.

LifeDeath wrote:"Robots are friends to people. Undoubtedly they are. In my opinion, the robot is a complex machine which can fulfill some difficult and complicated tasks people are not usually able to do. The Progress has robotized a lot of factories thusso that they can produce more devices of a good quality. If it were people who needed to produce those details and electronic devices themselves, it would take such a lot of time, or so many people to do, that we would hardly have free time, or enough devices for all those who need them. But automatic conveyor systems helped us solve this problem.

LifeDeath wrote:"[i]...which can fulfill...". I was choosing between "fulfill" and "accomplish", what do you think is the most appropriate option? Maybe "execute"?

All three are acceptable here.

LifeDeath wrote:I underlined where I used "to do" many times, so is that way of using it correct? Or maybe it can be replaced by other verbs in order not to sound repeatingrepetitive?

I would leave out the second occurrence of "to do". It's understood from context.

LifeDeath wrote:No human being can survive in the sorely cold air, or in conditions of high temperature. One would surely die of the lack of oxygen under the ground, or on another planet. But we have discovered machines and special devices that can do.

Either "that can" or "that can do these things". That is, if you include a non-finite verb here, it needs an object.

My ex was fond of including a pleonastic do in these contexts, e.g.:

"Did you forget to put the milk away yesterday?"
"I may have done."

Everyone else I know just says, "I may have" and leaves out the rest of the predicate.

LifeDeath wrote:So we send them deep under the water's surface to examine the bottom of an ocean, to other planets to research their groundsoil. We even use them to discover the secrets of ancient buildings and monuments.
That is to say, robots are friends to us. Though some people might think they are enemies, because people have also developed the artificial intelligence. But anyway, they are not nearly asso clever as to harm us. So I don’t think we’ll ever be enemies."[/i]

"not nearly clever enough" is more idiomatic.

LifeDeath wrote:"Can we possibly have known so much as we do". Here again about "do". Does it sound correct in athe simple present? So we discovered many things in the past, but I wonder now if we could without robots, that's why I used perfect "can have known" (my wondering - bearing in the present moment). But, in fact, if we discovered these things in the past, then the "do" in the end should also be put in the past, because it's referring to those discoveries, right? But I'm not sure if that's correct.

The bigger problem here is the use of "can". This sentence is actually counterfactual--unless used as a conjunction is basically equivalent to "if not". That is, another way of expressing the same idea is:

If we did not have proper machines for discovering, could we possibly know as much as we do?

It should be obvious why you can't use "can" here. You're imagining a hypothetical state of affairs where these machines would not exist and asking what it would be possible to know under such circumstances. But we do have those machines.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-11-13, 15:11

Thanks! :y:
But why is it incorrect to say "progress" with the article? If I mean a period ot time when we didn't know a lot and couldn't construct technical and electronic mashines until we learnt how to do?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-11-13, 16:59

LifeDeath wrote:But why is it incorrect to say "progress" with the article? If I mean a period of time when we didn't know a lot and couldn't construct technical and electronic machines until we learnt how to do?

That doesn't make any sense. You can't substitute some other period of time and get a meaningful sentence:

?The present has robotized a lot of factories thus they can produce more devices of a good quality.

?The last decade has robotized a lot of factories thus they can produce more devices of a good quality.

Maybe the intended meaning in the second case is "During the last decade, a lot of factories have been robotised...". If so, better to say it this way. But "progress" doesn't work in that kind of context:

?During the progress, a lot of factories have been robotised...

We simply don't have a tradition in English of using "progress" to refer to a period of time as opposed to an abstract force for change. And when you use a generic abstract force as an agent, you don't need an article:

Anger leads to mistrust.
Conservatism emphasizes the value of traditional institutions and practices.
Expanded access gives some patients the relief they are seeking, but leaves others with shorter lives and more suffering.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-11-14, 9:19

Thanks.
Your examples of sentences beginning with no article recalled me of one issue. As you said, we don't use an article when a sentence begins with an abstract subject. But is there situations when we just do not pronounce the first article in a sentence? I remembered a couple of good examples but I guess I forgot them. One comes to mind "Summer is what I like". So "summer" is not an abstract force, but we do not use any article in this sentence (at least it sounds bad, for some reason). Is there any reason for this, or we just omit the first word?
Another example: "Morning is a moment when people usually change their minds". Here the same, without an article. But I suppose that the "morning" needs to take an article in a sentence: "That happend in the morning".

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Re: I have some questions

Postby Osias » 2016-11-14, 11:06

Isn't summer abstract also? An arbitrary period of time humans define culturally?
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Kramut » 2016-11-14, 16:27

Hello, everyone
My name is Joy. I'm from Thailand. I'm English is not good. I would like to improve in English language. I just find new friends for helping me.
Kind Regards
Joy ^^

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-11-14, 18:13

LifeDeath wrote:Your examples of sentences beginning with no article recalled me of one issue. As you said, we don't use an article when a sentence begins with an abstract subject.

That's not what I actually said. Not every subject is an agent and not every abstract noun is a force.

LifeDeath wrote:But isare there situations when we just do not pronounce the first article in a sentence?

There's no such thing as "silent articles" in English (though sometimes they may be elided to a very brief [ə]).

LifeDeath wrote:I remembered a couple of good examples but I guess I forgot them. One comes to mind "Summer is what I like". So "summer" is not an abstract force, but we do not use any article in this sentence (at least it sounds bad, for some reason). Is there any reason for this, or we just omit the first word?

"Summer" is not an agent in this sentence. The basic form of this statement could be said to be, "I like summer", which makes it an object. But if we want to make "summer" the first word in this sentence, we use something called an inverted pseudo-cleft construction. This makes "summer" the subject of an identification clause which identifies it with the object of the subclause.

So this is a completely different kind of sentence from the one I corrected in your essay.

LifeDeath wrote:Another example: "Morning is a moment when people usually change their minds". Here the same, without an article.

Again, (1) this is an identification sentence and (2) "morning" does not designate an agent or a force.

However, since this is a generic identification sentence, it actually is possible to use an article here and say, "The morning is a/the moment when people usually change their minds."

LifeDeath wrote:But I suppose that the "morning" needs to take an article in a sentence: "That happened in the morning".

Because there it's being used as the object of a preposition in an adverbial prepositional phrase.

Remember, the same word can be used a lot of different ways in English. You need to pay close attention to how it's being used in a particular sentence before you try to make comparisons or generalisations.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Osias » 2016-11-14, 19:17

Kramut wrote:Hello, everyone
My name is Joy. I'm from Thailand. I'm English is not good. I would like to improve in English language. I just find new friends for helping me.
Kind Regards
Joy ^^

Welcome! How old are you?
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-11-21, 16:47

Hello!
I've got a couple of simple quetions for you. In my university we now study the gerund. The matter is obviously clear to me, but when I was looking at exercise sentences (which are usually super awkward) I came up with questions:

Here's the part of it. So I noticed that they suggest using "on" where I would say "after".
For example:
"When they entered the house, they heard the last bell ringing. (on)"
"When he reached his destination, he sent a telegram home to say that he had arrived safely. (on)"


I guess that the appropriate use would be, correspondingly:
"On entering the house, they heard the last bell ringing."
"On reaching his destination, he sent a telegram home to say that he had arrived safely."


What do you think? I don't know why, but that use of "on" in that kind of sentences (except using with "insist", where it's a typical particle, and other expressions, where it's typically used) sounds awkward to me. I guess that using "after" instead of "on" here would make it sound much more natural without changing the meaning, right? (Or maybe "while" or "when"?)

And another question is, as usual, about articles. I was thinking about using a gerung with a pronoun, like "my knowing", "his having been gone", etc (which I asked already about). And I wondered whether we need to use articles before pronouns. I think I heard something like that, that's why it seems familiar.
For example: "The my knowing the truth helped us investigate it allright", "The my having been gone caused so much gossip throughout my absence". Is there cases where you yourself would use an article here? Does it correspond common rules of using the articles? (I ask it because I think that it might work differently with gerundive expressions that with nouns).


And one little question just appeared when I was typing this. It it possible to say "go unseen"? For example: "My arguing with him has seemingly gone unseen, that's why no one's talking about it today". Or "seen" takes another verb in this context? (called "the light verb", if I'm not mistaken).

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2016-11-21, 17:53

LifeDeath wrote:I've got a couple of simple questions for you. In my university we are now studying the gerund.

Remember, the simple past has a habitual meaning. "We now study" suggests "No one ever studied this before", which I don't think is what you intended.

LifeDeath wrote:The matter is obviously clear to me, but when I was looking at some exercise sentences (which are usually super awkward) I came up with questions:

Here's the part of it. So I noticed that they suggest using "on" where I would say "after".
For example:
"When they entered the house, they heard the last bell ringing. (on)"
"When he reached his destination, he sent a telegram home to say that he had arrived safely. (on)"


I guess that the appropriate use would be, correspondingly:
"On entering the house, they heard the last bell ringing."
"On reaching his destination, he sent a telegram home to say that he had arrived safely."


What do you think? I don't know why, but that use of "on" in that kind of sentences (except using with "insist", where it's a typical particle, and other expressions, where it's typically used) sounds awkward to me. I guess that using "after" instead of "on" here would make it sound much more natural without changing the meaning, right? (Or maybe "while" or "when"?)

The use of on (or upon) is characteristic of more formal registers, so perhaps it sounds awkward to you because you're not used to hearing it. I perceive a difference in meaning between "on" and "after", namely that "on" implies immediacy whereas "after" does not. That is:

"On entering the house, they heard the last bell ringing."

This means that the last bell was ringing at the same instant that they entred. By contrast:

"After entering the house, they heard the last bell ringing."

implies that they completed the action of entring before hearing the bell. It could have been seconds later or it could have been hours. We don't know without more context.

In general, it's possible to leave out on here without changing the meaning, i.e.:

"Entering the house, they heard the last bell ringing."

Again, this is a pretty formal construction. In speaking, you'd generally use a subordinate clause with "when", "as", or "while" (i.e. "As they entred the house, they heard the last bell ringing.")

LifeDeath wrote:And another question is, as usual, about articles. I was thinking about using a gerund with a pronoun, like "my knowing", "his having been gone", etc (which I asked already about). And I wondered whether we need to use articles before pronouns. I think I heard something like that, that's why it seems familiar.
For example: "The my knowing the truth helped us investigate it allright", "The my having been gone caused so much gossip throughout my absence". IsAre there cases where you yourself would use an article here? Does it correspond common rules of using the articles? (I ask it because I think that it might work differently with gerundive expressions that with nouns).

This sounds awful. You can't combine articles with pronominal determiners/adjectives like that. This isn't Italian.

Colloquially, you will hear people substitute disjunctive forms here, e.g. "me knowing", "him having been gone". This is especially common after prepositions:

"Anyways, because of me knowing so much about computers, I have developed a reputation for being a "go to guy" for computer issues[.]"

LifeDeath wrote:And one little question just appeared when I was typing this. It it possible to say "go unseen"? For example: "My arguing with him has seemingly gone unseen, that's why no one's talking about it today". Or does "seen" takes another verb in this context? (called "the light verb", if I'm not mistaken).

This isn't a light verb construction. Unseen is an adjective so what you have here is a predicative expression with go functioning as a type of copula. What you're saying is that the arguing was unseen, but with emphasis on the process.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2016-11-27, 13:52

Thanks!

linguoboy wrote:Remember, the simple past has a habitual meaning. "We now study" suggests "No one ever studied this before", which I don't think is what you intended.

I thought about that, and I doubted a little. 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 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.
Another example came to mind: "Listen to what I say!". Is that a habitual meaning or not? 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 heard sentences like that sometimes, when people certanly were reffering to a right-now moment. Is that possible?


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