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linguoboy
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Re: Discussion Group

Postby linguoboy » 2022-06-06, 19:16

Linguaphile wrote:He will be there when you arrive tomorrow. = I am pretty sure of it, it is going to happen
He should be there when you arrive tomorrow = He is supposed to be there. I think it will happen.
He ought to be there when you arrive tomorrow = He is supposed to be there. I think it will happen.

For me there's a nuance between these last two: should is neutral; it's a pure conjecture. Ought to, on the other hand, strongly connotes obligation and so can be used in situations where I know he won't be there but I think he has an obligation to be, e.g.:

He ought to be there when you arrive tomorrow. After all, you're his only son! I've argued with him for hours but it's no good, he's not coming.
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Re: Discussion Group

Postby Linguaphile » 2022-06-09, 14:23

linguoboy wrote:He ought to be there when you arrive tomorrow = He is supposed to be there. I think it will happen.
For me there's a nuance between these last two: should is neutral; it's a pure conjecture. Ought to, on the other hand, strongly connotes obligation and so can be used in situations where I know he won't be there but I think he has an obligation to be

Should for me can be neutral in the conjectural sense you mentioned, but it can also be a synonym for ought to with the same connotation of obligation that you described. Which meaning it has depends on the context.

He ought to be there when you arrive tomorrow. = I consider it his obligation to be there.

He should be there when you arrive tomorrow. = I consider it his obligation to be there.
He should be there when you arrive tomorrow. = I think he will be there, but I'm not certain enough to say "he will be there"

Sometimes the specific meaning can be distinguished by adding more context or the word "really" to the sentence:
He really should be there when you arrive tomorrow. = I consider it his obligation to be there.
He should be there when you arrive tomorrow, if he's not still busy at work. = I think he will be there, but I'm not certain enough to say "he will be there"

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Re: Discussion Group

Postby aaakknu » 2022-08-05, 10:46

What does the phrase in bold mean?

Some academic books were thorough to a fault with their research - listing all possible (and sometimes contradictory) narratives side by side before drawing their conclusions.
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Re: Discussion Group

Postby Dormouse559 » 2022-08-05, 14:18

aaakknu wrote:What does the phrase in bold mean?

Some academic books were thorough to a fault with their research - listing all possible (and sometimes contradictory) narratives side by side before drawing their conclusions.

It means that the books were too thorough. I’d say “to a fault” is often used to describe a trait that would normally be positive or desirable but has become excessive.
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Re: Discussion Group

Postby aaakknu » 2022-08-05, 14:47

Thank you!
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Re: Discussion Group

Postby linguoboy » 2022-08-05, 15:08

Dormouse559 wrote:I’d say “to a fault” is often used to describe a trait that would normally be positive or desirable but has become excessive.

Agreed. See for instance: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/to_a_fault.
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Re: Discussion Group

Postby aaakknu » 2022-08-15, 10:21

What about this?

Several factors enabled the Arabic music of the Golden Age to reach a critical mass; the numbers of composers, singers, instrumentalists, listeners and producers all grew, and they all fed on each other.
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Re: Discussion Group

Postby Linguaphile » 2022-08-15, 13:03

aaakknu wrote:What about this?

Several factors enabled the Arabic music of the Golden Age to reach a critical mass; the numbers of composers, singers, instrumentalists, listeners and producers all grew, and they all fed on each other.


to reach a critical mass: to grow large enough that it is able to continue on its own, become (and remain) important, or achieve some other result

to feed on each other (or, to feed off each other): to gain strength from each other, to cause each other to grow (for example: because there are more singers and instrumentalists, more people hear the music, and because more people hear the music, more people become singers and instrumentalists. Singers, instrumentalists and listeners cause each other to grow in number.)

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Re: Discussion Group

Postby aaakknu » 2022-08-15, 15:23

Thank you!
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Re: Discussion Group

Postby azhong » 2022-08-25, 12:36

Which tense is more idiomatic in English? Thank you.

1. I visited him yesterday with a cake I baked.
2. I visited him yesterday with a cake I had baked.

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Re: Discussion Group

Postby linguoboy » 2022-08-25, 16:49

azhong wrote:Which tense is more idiomatic in English? Thank you.

1. I visited him yesterday with a cake I baked.
2. I visited him yesterday with a cake I had baked.

IME, the simple past is much more common in contemporary USAmerican English. However, the retreat of the perfect forms is a well-known feature of US English, so I would hesitate to make generalisations about any other varieties on this basis.
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Re: Discussion Group

Postby Linguaphile » 2022-08-25, 19:20

azhong wrote:Which tense is more idiomatic in English? Thank you.

1. I visited him yesterday with a cake I baked.
2. I visited him yesterday with a cake I had baked.


For myself, I'd say they both sound absolutely fine and natural. Personally I'd probably be slightly more likely to say (1) but I wouldn't notice any difference if someone said (2). Both sound completely natural.

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Re: Discussion Group

Postby Linguaphile » 2022-08-25, 19:20

azhong wrote:Which tense is more idiomatic in English? Thank you.

1. I visited him yesterday with a cake I baked.
2. I visited him yesterday with a cake I had baked.


For myself, I'd say they both sound absolutely fine and natural. Personally I'd probably be slightly more likely to say (1) but I wouldn't notice any difference if someone said (2). Both sound completely natural.


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