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A ready-to-drink Options
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2018 12:47:25 PM
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A ready-to-drink oral nutritional supplement to support people with cancer-related unplanned weight loss.
http://www.nutriciacancercare.com.au/fortisip-compact-protein/
Please explain the use of an indefinite article before "ready-to-drunk..."?
Does "a" modify the noun supplement?
Parpar1836
Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2018 1:12:57 PM
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Ready-to-drink means it's premixed. No dilution with water, which involves measuring and mixing, is needed. You simply open the bottle and drink it. (Possibly shake it before opening.)

"A" is a particle. I'll let the others answer your question about modification. But it seems that you're correct. "A supplement" is correct.

NKM
Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2018 2:59:07 PM

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"A" is an article.

In view of my recent encounters with modern grammar terminology, I feel compelled to ask in all seriousness: "Is it also a particle?"

Parpar1836
Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2018 3:48:56 PM
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Could it be a case of "Just when I thought I knew all the answers, they changed the questions"?
thar
Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2018 4:45:38 PM

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Yes.
Always look to the end
it is a supplement.

Its function is
to support
people with unplanned cancer-related weight loss.

It is a supplement
It is a supplement which provides nutrition - it is a nutritional supplement
it is a nutritional supplement which is taken orally - it is an oral nutritional supplement
it is an oral nutritional supplement which is ready to drink - it is a ready-to-drink oral nutritional supplement (you hyphenate it to keep the words together when they form a single adjective).

'supplement' is a singular noun and needs an article. Since there is no justification for a definite article, it takes the indefinite article.

'loss' is an uncountable concept, and does not have an article.

A ready-to-drink oral nutritional supplement to support people with cancer-related unplanned weight loss.
BobShilling
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2018 2:08:52 AM
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NKM wrote:
 "Is it also a particle?"


Not as far as I know.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2018 2:46:19 AM

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It depends on which linguist or grammarian you listen to . . .

par·ti·cle n.
4. Linguistics
b. In some systems of grammatical analysis, any of various short function words, including articles, prepositions, and conjunctions.

American Heritage Dictionary

This is different from (broader than) the more commonly-accepted meaning:

particle n
3. Grammar
(in English) any of the class of words such as in, up, off, over, used with verbs to make phrasal verbs.

Oxford English Dictionary

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2018 4:22:56 AM

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I am not entering this debate, because I think it will be easier and less contentious to resolve Brexit this morning, Whistle but....
1 - aren't those things totally unrelated? and
2 - aren't they called articles and prepositions in phrasal verbs?

I propose a new, much clearer classification, where everything is either 'stuff' or 'thingamijigs'. Or both.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2018 7:33:53 AM

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Yeah - I saw one, "The New Grammar", which simplified everything to four parts of speech.

Any word which was not a 'thing', action or description was put in one separate category:

Nouns (which included pronouns)
Verbs
Modifiers - adverbs, adjectives, phrases, participles
Function words - prepositions, articles, particles, conjunctions

I think that is just TOO undifferentiated for any meaningful analysis.

I think that the 'mainstream' grammarians have classification ('parts of speech') pretty well sorted out. The main eight are generally enough for meaningful parsing - plus determiner, which is a useful classification which 'overlaps'.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
BobShilling
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2018 2:12:03 PM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
I think that the 'mainstream' grammarians have classification ('parts of speech') pretty well sorted out. The main eight are generally enough for meaningful parsing - plus determiner,


That does depend on which 'mainstream' grammarian of which decade you prefer:

Quirk et al (1985): preposition, pronoun, determiner, conjunction, modal verb, primary verb, noun, adjective, full verb, adverb, plus two 'lesser categories', numerals and interjections. (10+2)
Yule ([1985]1996): noun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, pronoun, conjunction. (7)
Huddleston and Pullum: (2002): noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, determinative, subordinator, coordinator, interjection. (9)

Aarts (2011); noun, determinative, adjective, verb, preposition, adverb, conjunction, interjection. (8)
NKM
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2018 3:32:20 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
The main eight are generally enough for meaningful parsing - plus determiner, which is a useful classification which 'overlaps'.

══════════════════════════════════════════════

I think "generally" is the key word here. Those eight (or nine) are not "one size fits all" categories, except in the simplest of sentences. The real world of English is fraught with exceptions, provisos, special cases, one-of-a-kind constructions and context-dependent meanings. Because of that, "meaningful parsing" very often calls for careful case-by-case consideration and explication of how (and sometimes why)) a word or phrase is used in a particular situation.

I suspect that if somebody ever manages to devise a completely clear explanation of English grammar, there will be little time for a victory lap before the evolving language outgrows the analysis.

BobShilling
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2018 8:40:37 PM
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NKM wrote:

I suspect that if somebody ever manages to devise a completely clear explanation of English grammar, there will be little time for a victory lap before the evolving language outgrows the analysis


Quite.

And even if we managed somehow to 'freeze' the language today so that no new words could be added and no constructions changed, it would be impossible to produce an infallible grammar that was not thousands, probably tens of thousands, of pages long.

The simple fact is that no natural language is, or ever has been 'regular' or subject to 'rules'. The rules that we encounter in grammar books are observations of what has normally been observed to happen. Many of them boil down to such partially helpful examples as "The plural forms of nouns in English end in -s - except those that don't".


Starting with the Accademia della Crusca in 1583, various bodies have been formed in attempts to maintain standards in certain languages. Probably the best known of these is the Académie française. These have been able to prescribe 'rules' that have, for a time, placed restrictions on the language that can be taught in schools or used in government publications, but the language of ordinary people has always continued to change and develop, and artificial rules have always been abandoned eventually.

Similarly, the prescriptions of such writers of style guides as Fowler (in the UK) and Strunk and White (in the USA) have affected the ideas of what is 'acceptable' in formal English. However, many of their artificial rules have been abandoned - they were never followed by the majority of native speakers anyway.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 4:30:06 AM

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BobShilling wrote:
That does depend on which 'mainstream' grammarian of which decade you prefer. . .

I think the real 'mainstream mainstream' grammar was a bit earlier than your quoted examples.
As you say, a bit prescriptive and 'staid', fixed. It was the main period (in living memory) in which there was a movement to say "this is correct grammar - everything else is WRONG".

However, even with all the rules, analysis was still open to "Is that the verb 'be' and an adjectival participle, or is it a passive construction?"

And - as far as I remember - even 'way back then' in the 1950s - some grammarians counted 'articles' as a separate category, while others said they were a sub-category of 'adjective'. Also, 'interjection' was a 'category' for some but others considered it 'just a noise - not part of a sentence'.

I suppose my education was nearest to Quirk's list of categories (though determiners had not emerged from specialist academia into school grammar by then, and verbs were internally categorised, but not called different parts of speech - modal verbs, auxiliary verbs and main verbs were all counted as 'verbs').

Preposition, pronoun, conjunction, verb (modal verb, primary verb, full verb), noun, adjective (including articles), adverb and interjections. Numerals could be nouns or adjectives, depending on the sentence (and a bit later, would be mainly seen as determiners).

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
BobShilling
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 7:47:42 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:

I think the real 'mainstream mainstream' grammar was a bit earlier than your quoted examples.
As you say, a bit prescriptive and 'staid', fixed. It was the main period (in living memory) in which there was a movement to say "this is correct grammar - everything else is WRONG".


Right. So, if I were in an unkind mood (heaven forbid!), expressions like 'old-fashioned, out of date, past their sell-by date' would spring to mind. Those expressions remind me that Ronald Ridout, an immensely prolific and successful writer of school textbooks on English, whose books were used in my grammar school in the 1950s and early 1960s, was born in 1916. At primary and secondary school, he would have learnt English with Victorian and Edwardian grammar books. He studied English at Oxford from 1936 to 1939.

When he published his first books in the 1940s, the books that I, and possibly you, used at school, television was known to very few, the first atom bombs had only just destroyed two cities in Japan, the Iron Curtain had not yet fallen, space travel was a science fiction fantasy, and the general public knew nothing of computers. In language studies, corpora were unheard of, and writers built their grammars on the writings of 'respectable' authors and on the prejudices of a very small minority of the population.

Their wish to say that somethings were correct and everything else was wrong led to a plethora of arbitrary rules and definitions.. However, their confidence in their own rightness was such that some of us who learnt from them still look back on our teachers as paragons of purity, guardians of standards.
BobShilling
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 7:47:43 AM
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duplicate post deleted
Audiendus
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 8:02:39 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Preposition, pronoun, conjunction, verb (modal verb, primary verb, full verb), noun, adjective (including articles), adverb and interjections. Numerals could be nouns [pronouns?] or adjectives, depending on the sentence (and a bit later, would be mainly seen as determiners).

That is basically what I learned, in the 1960s. It mostly made sense to me, except that I was not sure why nouns and pronouns were categorised as separate parts of speech, rather than sub-categories of one part. Also, examples such as "She is here" and "They are out" did not seem to fit easily into the simple categories; the words in blue seem to fall halfway between traditional adjectives and adverbs.
Audiendus
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 8:08:35 AM
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BobShilling wrote:
Ronald Ridout, an immensely prolific and successful writer of school textbooks on English


Ah yes. I well remember his English Workbooks at primary school.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 8:12:43 AM

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Oh, I don't think those descriptions would be too unkind, really.

The main eight 'parts of speech' are not the perfect classification system, by far; however, they are generally enough for meaningful parsing.

You will occasionally hit a sentence in which one word looks like an "adverbial, prepositional conjunction" and anyone who really wants to can spend hours discussing whether it's really that or a "conjunctional, prepositional adverb".

In the general case (normal English as found in novels, academic articles of less technical nature, political speeches etc., etc.) these eight (plus 'determiner') are enough to describe what each word does and how they fit together in a sentence.
They are also enough for extremely idiomatic slang and dialect sentences.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 8:28:54 AM

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Audiendus wrote:
I was not sure why nouns and pronouns were categorised as separate parts of speech, rather than sub-categories of one part. Also, examples such as "She is here" and "They are out" did not seem to fit easily into the simple categories; the words in blue seem to fall halfway between traditional adjectives and adverbs.

I think the 'logic' we used was something like "The words 'here' and 'out' describe her state or their state. 'State' is a noun. Therefore 'here' and 'out' are adjectives."

Simples!



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
BobShilling
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 10:36:48 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:

In the general case (normal English as found in novels, academic articles of less technical nature, political speeches etc., etc.) these eight (plus 'determiner') are enough to describe what each word does and how they fit together in a sentence.


The problem was that they were 'enough' only if you accepted some fairly arbitrary "It's an adverb because we say it's an adverb' type pronouncements - and you yourself have just added 'determiner', which was not around when we were at school. The part of speech assigned to a word did not clearly tell us what each word does.

In my schooldays, the adverb class included such words as:

quickly, which usually modifies a verb
almost, which modifies a verb, adjective or adverb
fast (but not slow),
perhaps, which can modify a whole sentence
just, which can modify a verb, an adverb, an adjective and even a noun or pronoun
so used as a substitute for a noun clause
Yes
No

on was an adverb in "He put on his coat" and a preposition in "He had a stain on his coat".

There could be adverbs of time, place, manner degree, frequency and reason; There could be numeral adverbs, cardinals and ordinals, relative adverbs, pronominal adverbs compound adverbs and interrogative adverbs.

F T Wood, whose ideas I have given above, condensed, said of the many classes of adverb "There are others, but it is difficult to classify them, and it will generally be sufficient to cal them merely adverbs, without any further qualification" (The Groundwork of English Grammar, 1957). There's a cop-out for you.

Grammarians for several decades have been trying to offer more helpful systems than the unholy mess that was the 'mainstream grammar' of my youth.
NKM
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 11:50:05 AM

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The wonder of it is that we so easily and competently speak and write without thinking about all those technical niceties. We just use them, intuitively knowing how they work and not caring why. It's only when we try to explain them that we have to consciously deal with the stupendous complexity of it all.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 12:06:10 PM

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BobShilling wrote:
"There are others, but it is difficult to classify them, and it will generally be sufficient to cal them merely adverbs, without any further qualification" (The Groundwork of English Grammar, 1957). There's a cop-out for you.

What a great quote!

I think you got one little point wrong.
It wasn't (in my school) "It's an adverb because I say it's an adverb".
It was more "It's an adverb because it's demonstrably not a noun, verb, pronoun, adjective, conjunction, preposition or article! Ergo, it's an adverb QED."

Yes - 'parts of speech' depended on the sentence.

"He is carrying a box."
"He and his friend decided to box to settle their argument."
"They were in the boxing ring."
"He grasped the box handle."


These use the word 'box' as a noun, a verb infinitive, a verb participle acting as an adjective and a noun acting as an adjective.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
BobShilling
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 3:10:52 PM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:

It wasn't (in my school) "It's an adverb because I say it's an adverb".
It was more "It's an adverb because it's demonstrably not a noun, verb, pronoun, adjective, conjunction, preposition or article! Ergo, it's an adverb QED."


However you word it, it's clear that the whole thing was pretty arbitrary in those days.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, August 11, 2018 3:38:11 AM

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Definitely - especially adverbs, though prepositions and conjunctions could be a little vague too.

"If you can't definitely see it's one of the others, call it an adverb - even if it's not really connected to the verb." Anxious

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
BobShilling
Posted: Saturday, August 11, 2018 5:28:38 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Definitely - especially adverbs, though prepositions and conjunctions could be a little vague too.


Looking back through the school grammars from about 1880 to 1960 that I possess, I wonder how pupils ever got through English classes.

I suppose the truth is that many probably didn't. Those of us who did probably blindly accepted what our teachers and books told us, and did our best to get it right, i.e., to regurgitate what we had been taught.

It's a bit like our acceptance of the 'facts' that Europe was a continent and that America was 'discovered' in 1492.
NKM
Posted: Saturday, August 11, 2018 5:32:38 PM

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BobShilling wrote:

Looking back through the school grammars from about 1880 to 1960 that I possess, I wonder how pupils ever got through English classes.

I suppose the truth is that many probably didn't. Those of us who did probably blindly accepted what our teachers and books told us, and did our best to get it right, i.e., to regurgitate what we had been taught.



As I recall, back in the 1950's there were some who did exactly that, managing to get through it with passing grades and precious little enlightenment. On the other hand, those of us who had some respect for and grasp of the workings of the language accepted what was taught for what it was worth, always maintaining a "yeah, but …" attitude. We soon realized that trying to bring up any complex counter-examples would inevitably lead not to deeper discussion but rather to rampant confusion among the less interested students, not to mention the discomfiture (and sometimes anger) of the teachers. So we'd hold our tongues and wink to one another, letting the class go its way undisrupted.

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