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I have some questions - Page 31 - UniLang

I have some questions

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2015-01-28, 17:45

LifeDeath wrote:It's just a kind of inversion, isn't it?
No, it isn't. Inversion would be *"You respect I". In fronting, word order remains the same except that one element is brought forward in the sentence.

LifeDeath wrote:I think one can also say "I respect you, but not her".
Yes, that is the non-contrastive way of expressing the same notion.

LifeDeath wrote:Maybe it's a kind of the literatureliterary language?
No, it's found in both literary and colloquial registers. (Hence my saying above "it's reasonably common in colloquial English". Do try to take notice of which words I use. I choose them very carefully.)
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2015-02-02, 15:56

There's the song "Animal I have become" created by Three Days Grace. I want you to help me to understand this title.

1. The word "that" is just ommited here and the full sentence would be: "Animal that I have become"

2. It's just an inversion, and the original sentence was "I have become an animal".

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-02, 16:07

LifeDeath wrote:There's the song "Animal I have become" created by Three Days Grace. I want you to help me to understand this title.

1. The word "that" is just ommited here and the full sentence would be: "Animal that I have become"

2. It's just an inversion, and the original sentence was "I have become an animal".
Later in the song they sing, "Somebody help me tame this animal I have become". So it must be (1). [I would hesitate to say that one sentence is a "full" version of another, however. Relative clauses without relative pronouns are commonplace in English--as in many other languages--so it doesn't make sense to classify them all as "abbreviations" of relative sentences with relative pronouns. I would be like saying the "full" version of "hot" is "spicy hot" because some people say that when "hot" alone would be ambiguous.]
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2015-02-03, 5:26

Thanks!

Do we really say "help" without "to"? (when using with verbs). Or not?

Like: "help me to tame the animal".

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Re: I have some questions

Postby ling » 2015-02-03, 13:38

LifeDeath wrote:Do we really say "help" without "to"? (when using with verbs). Or not?

Like: "help me to tame the animal".

Yes, with "help", the use of "to" with the following verb is entirely optional. It's more common in my experience to omit "to".

The only other verb I can think of that shares this property is "dare".
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Re: I have some questions

Postby hashi » 2015-02-04, 1:34

Huh? You can't drop to with dare.

Dare me tame the animal is definitely not grammatical.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-04, 5:02

hashi wrote:Huh? You can't drop to with dare.

Dare me tame the animal is definitely not grammatical.
I thought he was talking about constructions like, "You wouldn't dare (to) say that to my face."
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Re: I have some questions

Postby ling » 2015-02-04, 17:05

linguoboy wrote:
hashi wrote:Huh? You can't drop to with dare.

Dare me tame the animal is definitely not grammatical.
I thought he was talking about constructions like, "You wouldn't dare (to) say that to my face."

Yes, or "Do you dare (to) go in that room?"
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2015-02-06, 20:14

Thank everybody for helping.

So one english lesson confused me, that was about the usage the articles with names. Can you tell me, should I use an article in these cases?

1. With a job. Article + job + name:
"The engeneer Ivanov"

2. When we talking about the whole family:
"You should clean up our flat, the Browns are coming today, they are really expected guests, I dont want them to see all this mess."

3. To show (bet) that someone belongs to aт ancestry:
"-I'm sorry but I think you won't do that.
"-Am I not a Brown? Never forget this surname. My family have been doing that for hundreds years"


4. When trying to compare with someone known (or not).
"You're plaing piano so well, aren't you a Mozart"

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-08, 5:14

LifeDeath wrote:So one English lesson confused me. It was about the usage the articles with names. Can you tell me, should I use an article in these cases?

1. With a job. Article + job + name:
"The engineer Ivanov"
It's not the name which is being used with an article here, it's the job title. This can be demonstrated by the fact that the order can be reversed (e.g. "I mean Ivanov the engineer, not Ivanov the salesman") and the definite phrase can even be set off with commas as optional (e.g. "The woman who had come to my aid, I learned,was none other than Sarah Jessica Parker, the world-famous star of Sex and the City.")
LifeDeath wrote:2. When we talking about the whole family: "You should clean up our flat. The Browns are coming today, they are really expected guests, I don't want them to see all this mess."
[Guests are either expected or unexpected. I don't understand what "really expected" is supposed to mean.]
LifeDeath wrote:3. To show (bet) that someone belongs to ancestry:
"-I'm sorry but I think you won't do that.
"-Am I not a Brown? Never forget this surname. My family have been doing that for hundreds years"
This strikes me as really just an individual case of (2). Cf. "one of the Browns", which has essentially the same meaning as "a Brown".
LifeDeath wrote:4. When trying to comparemaking a comparison with someone known (or not)a famous person.
"You're playing piano so well, aren't you a Mozart"

One instance I feel has been left out is the use of the definite article to indicate a famous (generally the most famous) bearer of a name as opposed to someone else who happens to have the same combination of given name and surname. (E.g. "When you say you've met Brad Pitt, you don't mean the Brad Pitt, do you?") A comedy writer whose first name is "Alan" but who abbreviates this to "A." once used this to good effect when he introduced himself on a sketch show by saying, "I'm A. Whitney Brown. One day I hope to be the Whitney Brown."

There's also the metonymic use of a name to mean something associated with a person (usually something made by them), e.g. "If you sold the Vermeer [painting], you could by a Stradavarius [violin]."
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2015-02-08, 16:07

Thanks for everything

By "expected guests" I meant "important guests", maybe families were going to have a deal. But if (the) Browns saw the mess in the flat, they wouldn't do the deal with the other family because they can't even clean up their flat and thus can be unreliable in deals.

So I just wanted to ask once again what is the difference between "-one" and "-body". I remember there is a topic on this wevsite and someone said that "-one" maybe sounds more formal. I just need your fresh opinion on that, so what do you actually think? Can you think of contexts when one can't be replaced by the other because that would sound worse, or maybe even incorrect?
I always happen to notice "some/any/no" written separate with "-one". Would it be a mistake if I wrote "anyone, noone, someone"?

In the Queen song "Death on two Legs" there's the line: "Should be made unemployed. Make yourself null and void". I wanted to ask you what "null and void" means". As I understood from a dictionary it's something that kind of "makes no sense" or something like that, the thing that doesn't work the way it should work. But I'm not sure about that.

In the linkin Park song "Numb" there's a reapeted sentence: "Caught in the undertow". So I also want to know what "undertow" means, as I understood it's like when the level of water is getting lower. But I don't think it fits with this context.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby ling » 2015-02-09, 7:49

LifeDeath wrote:Would it be a mistake if I wrote "anyone, noone, someone"?

"anyone" and "someone" are correct, but we write "no one" as two words.

In the Queen song "Death on two Legs" there's the line: "Should be made unemployed. Make yourself null and void". I wanted to ask you what "null and void" means". As I understood from a dictionary it's something that kind of "makes no sense" or something like that, the thing that doesn't work the way it should work. But I'm not sure about that.

"null and void" is a legal term, meanign that something (like a contract) has no validity, binding force, or effectiveness.

In the linkin Park song "Numb" there's a reapeted sentence: "Caught in the undertow". So I also want to know what "undertow" means, as I understood it's like when the level of water is getting lower. But I don't think it fits with this context.


"undertow" is a current under the surface of the shallow water at a beach that moves out to the sea when the surface water is moving toward the land. It's often confused with a "rip current", which are powerful currents that can bring swimmers dangerously out to sea.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2015-02-10, 15:55

Thank you!

Can I say "must have done" in a future tense?
Like: "My dream must have come true tomorrow"

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Re: I have some questions

Postby ling » 2015-02-10, 20:28

LifeDeath wrote:Thank you!

Can I say "must have done" in a future tense?
Like: "My dream must have come true tomorrow"

No.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2015-02-11, 7:02

How would the future perfect sound here? "My dream will have come true tomorrow". For example if I write a song and decide to use this tense to save the rhythm and size. Would it be inderstood? I mean that maybe there would be another action in a future, but the title is as I showed you.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-11, 14:15

LifeDeath wrote:Can I say "must have done" in a future tense?
Like: "My dream must have come true tomorrow"
Careful: When the used with the perfect, the meaning of must is epistemic, not deontic. That is, it expresses the strong possibility that something is true, not the necessity of doing it. Compare:

"You must clean your room tomorrow." (This is your obligation.)
"You must've cleaned your room yesterday." (I didn't see you do it, but I have reason to believe you did [e.g. the room is clean now].)

Given this division, you can see why *"You must have cleaned your room tomorrow" would make no sense. How can I express an opinion on the reality of something which hasn't even happened yet?

LifeDeath wrote:How would the future perfect sound here? "My dream will have come true tomorrow". For example if I write a song and decide to use this tense to save the rhythm and size. Would it be understood? I mean that maybe there would be another action in a future, but the title is as I showed you.
It would be understood, it's simply an infrequent modal construction to use in English. Generally, will alone would suffice.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2015-02-11, 15:41

Thanks, as I inderstood from that further post of yours, "Epistemic" means, as you said, just possibility, not an order. It's like you think that something maybe happens. But I can suppose about future too, I think. What I meant when asked about the line, is that maybe my dream will come true tomorrow, maybe not, That I'm not sure about that. Of course I can use expressions like "Maybe", "Perhaps", "Probably", "I guess/think" etc. But since "must have done" also has something from all these expressions, I thought that it would work too. Yes, it's perfect, and perfect is kind of "result". And results can occur in the past and in the future as well. ("will have done tomorrow" works, and it's perfect, "must have done tomorrow" is aslo perfect, that's why I think that it works too).
In conclusion: when I said: "My dream must have come true tomorrow", I meant something like: "Probably, my dream will come true tomorrow" or "I suppose that my dream will come true tomorrow".
So if I omit "have", it would be: "My dream must come true tomorrow", but here I don't suppose that, I am sure. But what I wanted to mean was a few doubts. Hope that is not difficult to understand.

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Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-12, 4:36

LifeDeath wrote:In conclusion: when I said: "My dream must have come true tomorrow", I meant something like: "Probably, my dream will come true tomorrow" or "I suppose that my dream will come true tomorrow".
Yeah, English doesn't work that way. Must can only be used epistemically with events believed to be completed at the time of speaking. If that's your intended meaning, you have to use one of the alternative formulations you've suggested.

LifeDeath wrote:So if I omit "have", it would be: "My dream must come true tomorrow", but here I don't suppose that, I am sure. But what I wanted to mean was a few doubts.
What you're actually saying, though, is that it is really important to you that it come true. An equivalent (and less formal) way of expressing this would be "My dream has to come true tomorrow". Again, this is a deontic usage, since it expresses necessity or obligation (even if it is of an extremely subjective kind).
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Re: I have some questions

Postby ling » 2015-02-12, 7:08

linguoboy wrote:Must can only be used epistemically with events believed to be completed at the time of speaking.

And not just in the perfect: "Today is Thursday; this must be Belgium."

I remember getting into an argument with my non-native-speaking boss over the use of "must". He thought it only had a sense of obligation; he couldn't understand how it could possibly express a conclusion. I translated it for him into Chinese as "一定" ("for certain"), and he insisted it was "必須" ("have to"). Sadly, my merely being a native speaker of English was not enough to convince a Chinese-speaking boss; I had to bring in other materials to convince him. And it was in the days before the Internet.
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Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2015-02-15, 18:09

Thank you all guys! :y: :y:

I started watching the soap "lost" to pick up more English from that since it becomes easier when you hear same voises and understand what's going on. I think I will ask a couple of questions about that.
One of the episodes called "The shape of things to come". There's alыo a song and a movie with this name, so I want you to help me understand it better. Since both Russian and English have different past and history of becoming, some English things can't really be understood by me. The given line has the particle "to", and if I'm not mistaken sometimes this particle means something like "should" or "need", or better "be supposed". For example, when I say: "I bought some candies to eat", I mean that those candies are supposet to be eaten, or that eating is the best choice we can make with them. I think "to" has a little meaning of something in the future, doesn't it?
So when I've been trying to tanslate the line "The shape of things to come", I got a Russian sentence which I can translate in English like "How things that will happen in the future look like", so tell me please if these two sentences have something in common, unless I may say that I understand nothing. As I said, I think that "to" kind of emphasizes on the future. That's why I understand this line like "There're things(shape of which we know), which had better happen soon". If that makes sense, I don't really understand the need of the word "shape" in this context, I guess "Things to come" would be enough. But maybe it emphasizes something like "we know the shape, but we don't know what these things are", like "I know that something will happen, but I don't know what". So if all my examples make sense with the given sentence, that would be good, but if don't, so please explain that to me, or maybe you can give me more exapmles to understand it better.


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