I have some questions

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LifeDeath
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-10-27, 18:24

Thanks for this answer!

linguoboy wrote:You could use either. If you use the perfect, it focuses on the resulting state of fly-free quiet.

Well this is what especially hard to grasp. I mean, they both seemingly mean the same (at least I expect my speaker's reaction to be the same in both cases). What I'm trying to say is that the information which will stuck in his head is "the fly is swatted, that's why it's become quiet here". But sometimes they are absolutely not interchangeable. I think I've understood most of the cases but sometimes it can be problematic. (Differentiating resulting statements from factual statements. I suppose that every statement is factual as it bears information and every information is considered as a fact).

linguoboy wrote:I'm not sure how that's strange. An iterative process is ongoing. It just consists of distinct steps (iter literally means "journey") rather than a continuous uninterrupted action.

Well I didn't know that. It's interesting we can consider discrete value as continuous. So it seems that some uses of tenses in English can be explained even by the means of math and one can see logical explanation.

linguoboy wrote:Your example runs into problems because to be seeing someone is an idiom meaning "to be in a casual romantic relationship with someone". If I say "I'm seeing someone from the office", it means I'm dating them. If I want to make clear that they're just appearing before me repeatedly I'd say "I keep seeing someone from the office".

Can the last example also mean "to be dating"?
Like:
"We were seeing each other for a month or two".
"Then what happened? Did you break?"
"Yep, we kept seeing each other for another month and then we'd completely separated".



I also want to ask one question. On an English topic one guy posted this photo and asked whether the word "driving" is used correctly here or not. He suggested that "driving" means that a reader drives the train himself. He said that it's better to say "During movement" instead. So a lot of people agreed that "driving" is absolutely incorrect in the context. So what do you think? Does it only mean "to drive the train as a driver"? I myself think that a better option is "While on train". Do you think it's possible?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-27, 22:02

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Your example runs into problems because to be seeing someone is an idiom meaning "to be in a casual romantic relationship with someone". If I say "I'm seeing someone from the office", it means I'm dating them. If I want to make clear that they're just appearing before me repeatedly I'd say "I keep seeing someone from the office".

Can the last example also mean "to be dating"?
Like:
"We were seeing each other for a month or two".
"Then what happened? Did you break up?"
"Yep, we kept seeing each other for another month and then we'd completely separated".

Here context makes it clear that seeing means "dating". I might still prefer kept on seeing, however. That makes clear the continuity (as "seeing someone" in the romantic sense is considered more a state of being than an action).

LifeDeath wrote:I also want to ask one question. In an English topic one guy posted this photo and asked whether the word "driving" is used correctly here or not. He suggested that "driving" means that a reader drives the train himself. He said that it's better to say "During movement" instead. So a lot of people agreed that "driving" is absolutely incorrect in the context. So what do you think? Does it only mean "to drive the train as a driver"? I myself think that a better option is "While on train". Do you think it's possible?

Why not "while riding"? Everyone on a train who is not a driver is a "rider".

Several European languages distinguish "to go by vehicle" from "to go on foot". Some also use the first of these verbs to mean "to operate a vehicle". I assume Russian is one of these, and that's where the confusion comes from. In English, "operate a vehicle" is the core meaning of "drive". It can only mean "ride in a vehicle" in very specific circumstances, e.g.:

"How did you guys get there?"
"We drove."
"You were driving? I thought your licence was expired."
"No, Kim did all the driving. I rode in back and tried to get some sleep."

"I drove" in place of "We drove" could only mean that the speaker was operating the vehicle. Alternatively, the speaker could have said, "[We went] by car." This leaves the question of who operated it completely open.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby voron » 2017-10-28, 22:35

linguoboy wrote:Several European languages distinguish "to go by vehicle" from "to go on foot". Some also use the first of these verbs to mean "to operate a vehicle". I assume Russian is one of these, and that's where the confusion comes from.

I think the translator just copied this part of the translation from sentences like:

Do not disturb while driving.

The intended meaning was: while the driver's driving, the riders should hold the handrails. They just didn't think that the subject changed.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-11-15, 13:48

Hi. I've collected some questions through this period of time, so I want to ask them today.

I heard in Eminem's "Phenomenal" this sentence: "However long that it takes". Well, the question is, where does "that" apeear from here? It's absolutely incomprehensible to me because I don't see the reason for using it.
I remember that we already discussed it:
linguoboy wrote:
LifeDeath wrote:So that's how I understand that, and that's why I cannot really understand this so-complex-thing-for-me. Why do we use "that" in that sentence? I guess it is like:
"Who are you?"
"Tell me who you are"
"Who, do you think, you are?" We just put the three words between "who" and "you".
Where does this "that" appears from?
"Who do you think that you are?" is considered a fronted version of the sentence "You think that you are who?" In some languages (e.g. Chinese), this is the default order for questions like this. But in English, it is almost always the case that the interrogative pronoun is moved to the front of the sentence (a process syntacticians call wh-movement, even though not all interrogative pronouns begin with "wh"). Fundamentally, though, it's not different from sentences like "He told me that you were wrong". And as with these sentences, the that can be dropped, i.e.:

"He told me you were wrong"
"Who do you think you are?"

In fact, I would say these versions are more common in speech than the versions with "that".

And it's clearly seen that if we push "who" to the end the origin of "that" is absolutely clear, especially if we use an adjective instead of "who". Like "You think that you are interesting?"
But this approach absolutely unproductive when analyzing the given sentence, in fact, it seems to have completely different grammatical structure. So I didn't know that "however" can be used in this way, but intuitively I suppose that the meaning of it when it's shifted front is "No matter how". Like "No matter how long it takes".
So I do not understand why it's used here. I think that it mainly has two meanings: either functioning as pointing pronoun (meaning "it") or connecting two clauses, as we already discussed.
In the given example the first option doesn't work because another pronoun "it" is used already.
It would sound good to me if it was "However long it takes" or "However long that takes".
I don't see how the second option might work either. So that "that" sounds like that in this sentence: "I tell it that to you", in other words, complicating and wrong.
So can you help me understand it?

Another question is shorter. I sometimes see the verb "make" used in unusual contexts for it. I'll try to explain them and I want you to say if I'm correct or not.
1. It's used in meaning of "be", "become". An example comes to mind: "I think I'd make a great wife to the president!" Is it correct?
2. It means "go/get to a planned destination". Like: "He went out at 6 a.m. but he never made it home". Am I right at the definition?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-11-15, 15:10

"It last three years" > "The three years that it lasts"
"It takes however long" > "However long that it takes"
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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-11-15, 18:16

LifeDeath wrote:Hi. I've been collecting some questions through thisfor a period of time, so I want to ask them today.

I heard in Eminem's "Phenomenal" thise sentence: "However long that it takes". Well, the question is, where does the "that" apeearcome from here? It's absolutely incomprehensible to me because I don't see the reason for using it.

LifeDeath wrote:And it's clearly seen that if we push "who" to the end the origin of "that" is absolutely clear, especially if we use an adjective instead of "who". Like "You think that you are interesting?"
But this approach is absolutely unproductive when analyzing the given sentence. In fact, it seems to have a completely different grammatical structure. So I didn't know that "however" can be used in this way, but intuitively I suppose that the meaning of it when it's shifted to the front is "No matter how". I think that it mainly has two meanings: either functioningit functions as a demonstrative pronoun (meaning "it") or it connects two clauses, as we already discussed.


LifeDeath wrote:My Another question is shorter. I sometimes see the verb "make" used in unusual contexts for it. I'll try to explain them and I want you to saytell me if I'm correct or not.
1. It's used inwith the meaning of "be", "become". An example that comes to mind: "I think I'd make a great wife to the president!" Is it correct?
2. It means "go/get to a planned destination". Like: "He went out at 6 a.m. but he never made it home". Am I right at thein using that definition?

Yes, those are both correct usages. They represent examples of definitions (4) and (14), respectively, under this entry.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-11-23, 15:13

Alright. Can I use "no matter how" in the given context? "No matter how long that it takes". I can't say why but the option with the "that" being omitted sounds much much better to me.

linguoboy wrote:
LifeDeath wrote:Am I right at thein using that definition?

It seems to be not for the first time that I've made such a mistake. You know, at the very beginning of learning English everyone is taught such expressions as "to be good at". "What are you good at" is a typical question one can be asked when talking with a teacher. Having got used to this expression, I think that I unconsciously determined a general structure: [noun] + [be] + [adjective of quality] + at + [something]. Like "He's bad at singing". So my question is, is this structure correct only for some specific instances and can't be generalized reliably in this way; or is the sentence "I am right..." not considered as manifesting a quality of being correct/right?

And my last question for today. This is a pretty easy matter and I've read a lot of information on it on the internet it but still I want to ask about it here. This is about the difference between "which" and "that". Can they be used interchangeably meaning the same thing? I decided to ask this when I was trying to say this sentence: "A new method, __ is going to help us a lot, is, by the way, a revolutionary new approach in the field".
You see the problem, either word sounds acceptable to me here. Honestly, "which" sounds better with a comma before.
But what do you think? Am I right? How do you control yourself when you need to choose one of two?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-11-25, 17:18

LifeDeath wrote:Alright. Can I use "no matter how" in the given following context? "No matter how long that it takes". I can't say why, but the option with the "that" being omitted sounds much much better to me.
It does sound better without "that".

LifeDeath wrote:It seems this isn't the first time that I've made such a mistake. You know, at the very beginning of learning English everyone is taught such expressions as "to be good at". "What are you good at" is a typical question one can be asked when talking with a teacher. Having got used to this expression, I think that I unconsciously determined a general structure: [noun] + [be] + [adjective of quality] + at + [something]. Like "He's bad at singing". So my question is, is this structure correct only for some specific instances and can't be generalized reliably in this way; or is the sentence "I am right..." not considered as manifesting a quality of being correct/right?
To answer your second question first, "I am right" (rather than "I am right at") does mean the speaker considers themselves correct. However, "be [adjective] at" can only be used to indicate how well you do something, not how correct you are. So possible adjectives include "good", "bad", "excellent", "terrible", "okay". There aren't a ton more options.

LifeDeath wrote:And my last question for today. This is a pretty easy matter and I've read a lot of information on it on the internet it but still I want to ask about it here. This is about the difference between "which" and "that". Can they be used interchangeably to meaning the same thing? I decided to ask this when I was trying to say this sentence: "A new method, __ is going to help us a lot, is, by the way, a revolutionary new approach in the field".
You see the problem, either word sounds acceptable to me here. Honestly, "which" sounds better with a comma before.
But what do you think? Am I right? How do you control yourself* when you need to choose one of two?
In everyday usage, "which" and "that" are interchangeable, with non-human referents, so they're both correct in your sentence.

But prescriptive styles usually make a distinction between non-restrictive relative clauses and restrictive relative clauses. Non-restrictive relative clauses add extra information about the antecedent but don't narrow or "restrict" the things it might refer to. In writing, they are set off by commas (occasionally parentheses or dashes). Your example sentence includes one. A restrictive relative clause is not set off by punctuation and does narrow the things the antecedent could refer to. Prescriptively speaking, "which" is only used for non-restrictive relative clauses, and "that" is only used for restrictive relative clauses.

The trees, which I planted, are growing nicely. = The trees are growing nicely. I planted them.
The trees that I planted are growing nicely. = There are trees. I planted some trees. Those specific trees are growing nicely.

* "How do you control yourself" makes it sound like the addressee is stopping themselves from running wild or bursting out in emotion. I think you meant "how do you make a decision".
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-12-01, 15:04

Thanks.

I was reading the definition of "behave" in the Cambridge dictionary and I saw the example: "Whenever there was a full moon he would start behaving strangely."
But is seems that the last word should be the adjective "strange", right? Like "he would start behaving strange".
I can't really explain this it just seems like it should be like that, I mean it also sounds better to me. I think that adverbs explain the way the action expressed by a verb is being performed. In "He's doing well" the adverbs indicates his action of doing as "good", that's why we use the adverb "well". I suppose that "He's doing good" has a somewhat different meaning. It sounds as if he produces something good, which has a completely different meaning.
(But I tried to use "fine" here and noticed that "He's doing fine" has the same meaning to me as "He's doing finely" does, which is strange).

I also remember:
Dormouse559 wrote:Copula verbs include "be", "look", "sound" and "smell". They explain the qualities of the subject, and in English, they mostly take adjectives rather than adverbs, as the Wikipedia link shows. ("Well" can be an exception if it means "in good health".) In informal registers, some adjectives, like "bad", can be used with non-copula verbs.

But shouldn't the last word in the given sentence tell us the way his behaving can be characterized as? "He is strange, he behaves strange".
I think that "strangely" only characterizes the action of 'behaving", the way it's being performed. He may behave absolutely normal and natural, but the way he does it is strange. That is the problem that we get when we use "strangely", right?

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-12-01, 15:27

LifeDeath wrote:I was reading the definition of "behave" in the Cambridge dictionary and I saw the example: "Whenever there was a full moon he would start behaving strangely."
But is seems that the last word should be the adjective "strange", right? Like "he would start behaving strange".
I can't really explain this; it just seems like it should be like that. I mean it also sounds better to me. I think that adverbs explain the way the action expressed by a verb is being performed. In "He's doing well" the adverbs indicates that his action of doing is "good", that's why we use the adverb "well". I suppose that "He's doing good" has a somewhat different meaning. It sounds as if he produces something good, which has a completely different meaning.

In the phrase, "do good", "good" is a noun, not an adjective or adverb. You can tell this by the fact that it can be quantified, e.g.: "He'd doing a lot of good." Compare: *"He's doing a lot of fine", which is ungrammatical.

LifeDeath wrote:(But I tried to use "fine" here and noticed that "He's doing fine" has the same meaning to me as "He's doing finely" does, which is strange).

Because it's a different word. The adjective "fine" has two primary meanings in English: In the evaluative sense of "good, superior", the corresponding adverb is "fine". But for the meaning "minute, slender", the adverbial form is "finely". So "He's doing fine" but "He's chopping the carrots finely."

LifeDeath wrote:I also remember:
Dormouse559 wrote:Copula verbs include "be", "look", "sound" and "smell". They explain the qualities of the subject, and in English, they mostly take adjectives rather than adverbs, as the Wikipedia link shows. ("Well" can be an exception if it means "in good health".) In informal registers, some adjectives, like "bad", can be used with non-copula verbs.

But shouldn't the last word in the given sentence tell us the way his behaving can be characterized as? "He is strange, he behaves strange".

I think that "strangely" only characterizes the action of 'behaving", the way it's being performed. He may behave absolutely normal and natural, but the way he does it is strange. That is the problem that we get when we use "strangely", right?

How exactly would someone behave "natural" in a way that is "strange"?

I don't think most speakers would make this distinction. For them, behave is not a copular verb and can't take an adjective complement, only an adverbial adjunct. This may be partly due to the fact that it can be used alone. That is, "He behaves" has the meaning of "He conducts himself well" (in much the same way that "He smells" means "He gives off a bad smell"). You can't use look and sound that way; they absolutely require an adjective complement[*].

"He behaves strange" might sound fine to you because, informally, bare adverbial forms sometimes replace derived forms with -ly. Perhaps for some speakers, behave is a copular verb. But that's not the majority view and I think most speakers would adjudge "He behaves strange" nonstandard at best.

[*] Look in "He looks" is an entirely different verb, one meaning "to fix one's eyes on" and not "to have the appearance of".
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Dark_Horse » 2017-12-03, 13:52

I came across an exercise in a grammar textbook yesterday and I have a question. What the exercise is about: in each question, there is a sentence and you are asked to rewrite it using a specific word that you are given, without changing the meaning of the first sentence.

The question looked like this:
The soldiers were reprimanded because of their cowardly actions. (manner)
The soldiers ________________________________________________.

The answer provided in the teacher's book was:
The soldiers were reprimanded because they acted in a cowardly manner.

My answer was:
The soldiers were reprimanded because of their cowardly manner.

Is my answer correct (as an alternative to the first one) or not?
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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-12-03, 22:03

Dark_Horse wrote:The question looked like this:
The soldiers were reprimanded because of their cowardly actions. (manner)
The soldiers ________________________________________________.

The answer provided in the teacher's book was:
The soldiers were reprimanded because they acted in a cowardly manner.

My answer was:
The soldiers were reprimanded because of their cowardly manner.

Is my answer correct (as an alternative to the first one) or not?

I think there's a subtle change of meaning. One's "manner" is one's customary or habitual way of behaving. So it sounds like the soldiers are being reprimanded for being generally cowardly, not because of any particular actions. The original sentence leaves it open whether the soldiers' cowardly actions were habitual or not.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Dark_Horse » 2017-12-04, 21:44

Ah, I see. Thanks for answering! :)
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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-12-04, 21:49

Dark_Horse wrote:Ah, I see. Thanks for answering! :)

That said, I think it's kind of a questionable exercise. Rephrasing a sentence always involves changing the meaning. Sometimes it's very subtle, only a slight change of emphasis, but if two different sentences ever meant exactly the same thing, there'd be no reason for one of them to exist.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Dark_Horse » 2017-12-04, 22:13

linguoboy wrote:
Dark_Horse wrote:Ah, I see. Thanks for answering! :)

That said, I think it's kind of a questionable exercise. Rephrasing a sentence always involves changing the meaning. Sometimes it's very subtle, only a slight change of emphasis, but if two different sentences ever meant exactly the same thing, there'd be no reason for one of them to exist.
I concur; the meaning of two different sentences can't be identical, as the way we phrase things indicates (among others) what we want to emphasize. But I think the purpose of this kind of exercise is to make students practice their English by trying to express the same thing (to the extent possible, of course) in other ways.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Dark_Horse » 2017-12-07, 13:46

There's a certain question in a multiple-choice exercise that's been puzzling me for a while:

Trevor was pulling ___ he could on the rusty handle, but it wouldn't budge.
A. the hardest
B. as hard as
C. so hard as
D. harder than

The correct answer according to the teacher's book is B, but I can't find a reason why A isn't correct as well. :hmm:
Can someone help me?
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Salajane » 2017-12-07, 16:43

What do "a green youth" and "a dull fellow" mean?
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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-12-07, 19:43

Dark_Horse wrote:There's a certain question in a multiple-choice exercise that's been puzzling me for a while:

Trevor was pulling ___ he could on the rusty handle, but it wouldn't budge.
A. the hardest
B. as hard as
C. so hard as
D. harder than

The correct answer according to the teacher's book is B, but I can't find a reason why A isn't correct as well. :hmm:
Can someone help me?

A is correct as well.

Irusia wrote:What do "a green youth" and "a dull fellow" mean?

See definition 4 for the first instance. In the second case, it could be either definition 4 or definition 2. Without more context I can't be sure.

In general, UK speakers are more likely to use "dull" in the sense of "unintelligent". (North American speakers prefer "dumb" or "stupid".) "Fellow" strikes me as more likely to be UK usage (or very dated NA usage), so I'm leaning toward "unintelligent person".
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Salajane » 2017-12-08, 5:46

linguoboy wrote:
Irusia wrote:What do "a green youth" and "a dull fellow" mean?

See definition 4 for the first instance. In the second case, it could be either definition 4 or definition 2. Without more context I can't be sure.

In general, UK speakers are more likely to use "dull" in the sense of "unintelligent". (North American speakers prefer "dumb" or "stupid".) "Fellow" strikes me as more likely to be UK usage (or very dated NA usage), so I'm leaning toward "unintelligent person".


Thank you!

Another question:

What does this mean:
"Do you all sell anything to eat here?" one questions the grizzled old carpet slippers who opens the door.
Does the phase refer to a person?
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Re: I have some questions

Postby Salajane » 2017-12-08, 5:56

What do the following sentences mean:

One table was playing dominoes already.

So I resolved to sell no more muscle and to become a vendor of brains.

The Stars and Stripes dangled languidly from a flag staff.

Birling: Well, have another glass of port, Gerald - and then we'll join the ladies.
Здайся на Господа у твоїх справах, і задуми твої здійсняться. (Приповідки 16, 3)
TAC 2018


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