Author Topic: Grammar question  (Read 2335 times)

αdαmsκι

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Grammar question
« on: April 27, 2010, 12:51:31 pm »
Should this be:

This required me to be able to accurately judge people’s ability

or

This required me to be able to accurately judge peoples' ability


And should this be:

today's environment

Or

todays environment


??? Ta.
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redshift

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Re: Grammar question
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 01:01:17 pm »
"People's" - people is already plural, unless you're talking about more than one population/nation.

Effectively you're saying "the ability of people" (i.e. more than one person).  Your second version would describe a single ability of more than one population.

"Today's" - Again, "the environment of today."

You could say 'current environment' to avoid the apostrophe.
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αdαmsκι

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Re: Grammar question
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 01:24:45 pm »
Thank you.
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hellymedic

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Re: Grammar question
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 02:07:55 pm »
The grammar Nazi in me prefers that you avoid the split infinitive (putting anything between 'to' and the verb which follows).

'This required me to judge accurately...'
'This required me accurately to judge...'

may be preferable, if stiff.

Tim Hall

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Re: Grammar question
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 02:19:09 pm »

may be preferable, if stiff.


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mattc

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Re: Grammar question
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2010, 03:34:03 pm »
Should this be:

This required me to be able to accurately judge people’s ability

or

The verbiage nazi in me suggests:

This required me to accurately judge ....

(strips out some useless extra words)
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frankly frankie

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Re: Grammar question
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 10:05:55 am »
I thought split infinitives were no longer deprecated, as of about 10 years ago.
[edit - yes I thought so -
AskOxford.com - "the notion that they are ungrammatical is simply a myth"

(Probably something to do with the Star Trek generation growing up and becoming arbiters of good taste)

As for the apostrophe, I really think it should be abandoned altogether, if only because every  keyboard I buy seems to have it in a different place.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

plum

Re: Grammar question
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2010, 10:29:11 pm »
As for the apostrophe, I really think it should be abandoned altogether, if only because every  keyboard I buy seems to have it in a different place.
Allied to the fact that it is utterly pointless.

Re: Grammar question
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2010, 08:07:27 am »
The Germans don't use it for possession, but still use it to indicate contractions, as in "wie geht's?".  If you don't do the latter, you can inadvertently spell out a completely different word: cant instead of "can't".
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jane

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Re: Grammar question
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2010, 08:37:18 am »
The Germans don't use it for possession, but still use it to indicate contractions, as in "wie geht's?".  If you don't do the latter, you can inadvertently spell out a completely different word: cant instead of "can't".
Usually the context will indicate which word is appropriate.  I spend half my life reading incorrectly punctuated text (I'm a primary school teacher) and the lack of apostrophe is not a barrier to comprehension.  However, I have a personal theory about the drive to simplify our written language.   When we discuss these mistakes in class it opens up a dialogue for pupils about English and the way it works.  A good teacher uses these moments to give their pupils opportunities to play around with the language, to have fun with it. To realise it's more than just a tool for basic communication. To use their brain when trying to understand it and eventually to become at ease with it and able to use it fluently and expressively as well as purely functionally.  To me, as a teacher, that's a good thing.  Keep the apostrophe, our crazy spelling system, our grammar rules.  Believe it or not, they can be fun.

Re: Grammar question
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2010, 09:25:26 am »
The thing that annoys me most about English is the use of "an" before certain "h" words, where the "h" is seemingly dropped purely because it follows "an".  It's a silly BBC affectation, I think.  If you began a sentence with "Historic", you would probably pronounce the "H" (or sound like an EastEnder), so why is it a silent "h" when preceded by the indefinite article?

Worst of all, some speakers use "an" and then pronounce the "h" as well.
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plum

Re: Grammar question
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2010, 09:31:53 am »
Or any of the 'its' and 'your(s)' type words, possessives that don't use an apostrophe. I don't want to use the things but if I must, at least make your minds up. Bet jane has loads of fun getting her pupils to understand those.

Manotea

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Re: Grammar question
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2010, 09:35:16 am »
The thing that annoys me most about English is the use of "an" before certain "h" words, where the "h" is seemingly dropped purely because it follows "an".  It's a silly BBC affectation, I think.  If you began a sentence with "Historic", you would probably pronounce the "H" (or sound like an EastEnder), so why is it a silent "h" when preceded by the indefinite article?

Worst of all, some speakers use "an" and then pronounce the "h" as well.

Citation required!

Re: Grammar question
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2010, 09:51:37 am »
Should this be:

This required me to be able to accurately judge people’s ability

or

This required me to be able to accurately judge peoples' ability


And should this be:

today's environment

Or

todays environment


??? Ta.


This required me to be able to judge people’s ability accurately.

today's environment


Re: Grammar question
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2010, 10:00:18 am »
The thing that annoys me most about English is the use of "an" before certain "h" words, where the "h" is seemingly dropped purely because it follows "an".  It's a silly BBC affectation, I think.  If you began a sentence with "Historic", you would probably pronounce the "H" (or sound like an EastEnder), so why is it a silent "h" when preceded by the indefinite article?
Nah. It's an historic relic.  ;D The initial 'h' of those words was, in general, not pronounced in the past, as it is not in the related French words. The 'h' has crept in, but the 'an' has not been completely lost, & with it the older pronunciation clings on in a few cases. 'Honest' contains a rare survivor of the silent 'h' in English.

Note that posh people would have omitted the 'h', & literate proles pronounced it.

But I reckon the language has moved on, & it's time to make 'em proper English words, 'h', 'a', 'n all.
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jane

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Re: Grammar question
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2010, 10:32:08 am »
Or any of the 'its' and 'your(s)' type words, possessives that don't use an apostrophe. I don't want to use the things but if I must, at least make your minds up. Bet jane has loads of fun getting her pupils to understand those.
The more you use language, reading, writing and speaking the more all these things become clear. Its is a bit of an exception- it just is it's if it means it is and its if it's a possessive use- if you see what I mean. Or not- it's not the end of the world if you don't.   I don't get too bothered if pupils make mistakes with these things anyway- it's the process of discussion, explanation, wordplay that's important.
The thing that annoys me most about English is the use of "an" before certain "h" words, where the "h" is seemingly dropped purely because it follows "an".  It's a silly BBC affectation, I think.  If you began a sentence with "Historic", you would probably pronounce the "H" (or sound like an EastEnder), so why is it a silent "h" when preceded by the indefinite article?
Nah. It's an historic relic.  ;D The initial 'h' of those words was, in general, not pronounced in the past, as it is not in the related French words. The 'h' has crept in, but the 'an' has not been completely lost, & with it the older pronunciation clings on in a few cases. 'Honest' contains a rare survivor of the silent 'h' in English.

Note that posh people would have omitted the 'h', & literate proles pronounced it.

But I reckon the language has moved on, & it's time to make 'em proper English words, 'h', 'a', 'n all.

In short, the very existence of this thread is an illustration of my point.