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People already having a car won't be willing to travel by tram. Options
EnglishFanatic92
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 3:17:19 AM
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Joined: 6/14/2016
Posts: 137
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Hello all :)

I wrote an essay discussing how governments could protect environment. However, there is one sentence I am not sure about. My teacher told me that the it doesn't sound good to her and she would rewrite it as follows - People who have a car won't be willing to travel by tram. How does that sound to you?
I know, you don't use progressive tense with stative verbs. But, here it is a participle clause, not present continuous tense. With these clauses, it is possible to use "ing" form even with those stative verbs. So, what's wrong with this sentence? Is it just this sentence that accidentaly doesn't sound good? Looking forward to your answers. Thank you!


- People already having a car won't be willing to travel by tram.

thar
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 4:20:12 AM

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I can give you a few reasons why the progressive is wrong.

Present simple vs progressive

They have a car. That is a truth, without time. It is not a progressive state. They have a car (so they use it) or they don't have a car (so they might go by tram). It is nothing to do with when they are in possession of a car.

To have a car is a stative use of the verb. It is a state.
I am having a wonderful time today - that is a progressive action.
I have a car. That is a state.


Relative clause vs participle phrase

A relative clause just gives further information about a noun. It describes the type of people you are talking about (people who have a car).
A participle phrase is more complex - it has additional meaning. It describes cause and effect, or consequence of an action, or background action which is taking place when an action occurs.
Having a car, many people will not use the tram.
= Many people will not use the tram because they have a car.

Also, if the noun is in the participle phrase, that makes it a noun phrase unless you have another subject in the main sentence.
People having a car is one of the biggest obstacles in increasing public use of trams.
Many people having cars, the authorities are having trouble increasing tram use. (= because).

So
use the present simple because the state is that they have a car
use a relative clause because you want to describe which people you mean.




EnglishFanatic92
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 11:31:22 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2016
Posts: 137
Neurons: 820
What about this sentence?

- This isn't relevant for people without cars, it only concerns people having cars.

To me and my teacher, this one sounds fine.
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 11:46:54 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 11,453
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EnglishFanatic92 wrote:
What about this sentence?

- This isn't relevant for people without cars, it only concerns people having cars.

To me and my teacher, this one sounds fine.


No, it sounds wrong. It would sound better if it were changed, as thar suggested, to a relative clause.

- This isn't relevant for people without cars, it only concerns people who have cars.

We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Romany
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 1:33:12 PM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Native English-speakers would say "This isn't relevent to those who travel by car."

People in cars may be driving a rental car, a leased car, a taxi service, or are always driven by a spouse, driver, colleague.

So ownership of the vehicles isn't important. What's important is that those who exclusively rely on cars to travel don't come within the target demographic of this particular project/innovation/scheme. The target demographic is those who rely on public transport.
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