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Is this sentence OK? Options
D00M
Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017 3:43:56 AM

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I want to say that I would like 2 boys and 1 girl as a result of my marriage with my wife.

I want my wife to give me 2 boys and 1 girl.

Correct? How would a native phrase such statement?
Romany
Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017 10:06:32 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

We certainly wouldn't put the responsibility of providing the male/female mix of our kids, onto only one person of the two who are needed to bring children into the world!

What we would say is: - "We want....(to have children etc.)"

However, the idea of preferring one sex over another when it comes to babies, is not very prevalent in our society. Most people only hope to have a healthy baby who becomes a happy, healthy person - no matter whether its a boy or a girl.
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017 10:15:30 AM

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Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
If you mentioned it at all, one would not say more than "We would like children."
Anything more than that becomes rather crass, unless you're talking to close family, and even then it is considered out-of-bounds.

If this is simply an exercise is writing a sentence, then I would suggest this wording.
We would like three children, two boys and a girl.
D00M
Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017 10:55:49 AM

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Sorry teachers.
I am here to learn English; I don't mean to decide about moral values. I'm trying to learn English in different contexts. You are native speakers and absorbed in English all your life. But we, non-native speakers, have to come up with different ideas and ask you to check its naturalness and grammar. Let me put it another way; there are so many ideas that are against the norms of the society. Although you don't believe in those ideas, you CAN talk about it and communicate what you mean and understand such contexts as well. But when I ask for a sentence correction you criticize the concept of the sentence instead of checking its grammar. After all, I am a newbie here as my title suggests, so take it easy on me until I get familiar with the predominant atmosphere here. God bless you.
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017 12:12:14 PM

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Doom, it's a hypothetical wish because it's not in your control.
While taking chances you may get three boys or three girls.

Please reframe your question and keep calm.

Alternatively, you can say, I want two sons and a daughter out of my wedlock.


Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
tunaafi
Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017 1:40:53 PM

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Location: Karlín, Praha, Czech Republic
Ashwin Joshi wrote:


Alternatively, you can say, I want two sons and a daughter out of my wedlock.[/b]


That would be most unnatural in British English.
thar
Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017 2:00:53 PM

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I think you must be confusing this with something that is sometimes seen written. But it doesn't mean what you thought.

To have children 'out of wedlock' is to have children outside of marriage, not within it - ie when a woman is not married.
The term 'wedlock' is only ever used in that one, old phrase.

Often not such a big deal in the west, except in some legal circumstances and to the more conservative or religious. But a very big deal in some cultures and communities.

Don't confuse having children out of wedlock with being married and having children. They are two very different things!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017 3:07:50 PM

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Hello D00M.

I'm going to answer your question in several parts - this is why.
These definitions are all in The Free Dictionary.

Grammar
1. (Grammar) the branch of linguistics that deals with syntax and morphology, sometimes also phonology and semantics

syntax
Syntax refers to the ways in which we order specific words to create logical, meaningful sentences. While the parts of speech are all the different types of words that we can use, syntax is the set of rules, patterns, or processes by which we can put them together.
morphology
Linguistics The study of the structure and form of words in language or a language,
phonology
1. (Phonetics & Phonology) the study of the sound system of a language or of languages in general.
se•man•tics
1. a branch of linguistics dealing with the study of meaning, including the ways meaning is structured in language and changes in meaning and form over time.


The forms of your words are correct - you have the nouns, verbs and adjectives and so on in the right places. - Morphology and syntax are correct.

You didn't ask about the sounds of the words, so we are not concerned with phonology.

Semantically, your sentence doesn't work well.
If you want to say "I would like 2 boys and 1 girl as a result of my marriage with my wife", then that is the structure of the sentence to say that.
The correct semantic structure is "I would like 2 boys and 1 girl as a result of my marriage with my wife".

If you say "I want my wife to give me 2 boys and 1 girl" she may buy them in the slave-market or they may be children she has with some other man (maybe an earlier marriage) or she may kidnap them . . .

A native (like I am) would probably say something like one of these:
"My wife and I would like two boys and a girl."
"We'd love to have two boys and a girl."
"We're hoping for two boys and a girl."

If it is definitely only you who want this (your wife may want something else), it may be:
"I would like us to have two boys and a girl."

It is not a moral thing, it is grammar.

A sentence can have perfect syntax and morphology but be totally meaningless or can not quite mean what you want to say.
A totally meaningless sentence with perfect syntax would be something like "The dog flew culturally underground."

Your sentence is not meaningless, but it is not "natural" to most native speakers, and does not say what you want to say.
If you want to speak about a married couple having children, you speak about them having children, not the wife giving children to the husband - that is what's natural to most.

I think that a few hundred years ago, it may have been normal to say "She gave her husband two boys and a girl", but not in modern English.

***************
You'll notice that I changed "I want" to "I would like" - that is also part of 'natural' English (at least in Britain).
One does not assert "I want" for oneself.

You can want things for other people, but not yourself: "I want you to be happy" or "I want them to have the best in life." - "I'd like to be happy", "It would be great to have the best in life."


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
D00M
Posted: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 7:26:38 PM

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Joined: 3/24/2017
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Thank you very much, Drag0nspeaker; I rather enjoyed your response.

And thank you other participants for your helpful replies.
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