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Is learning a language a matter of a learner being smart Options
A cooperator
Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 8:10:06 PM

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Joined: 10/27/2011
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Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Hi Everyone!
I sometimes see this structure ('X' of 'Y' being + an adjective). But, I don't know if these examples are correct or not since I see there are two subjects underlined and two verbs in bold.
Is learning a language a matter of a learner being smart?
Yes, it is a matter of a learner being smart.
Is it a matter of being ungrammatical or something else?
Is it being stubborn a good feature?

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
L.Rai
Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2019 12:23:50 AM

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Dear A Cooperator:

I will do my best but this really isn't something I'm used to teaching. I don't really know this structure but here's my two cents from a native speaker POV.


1. Is learning a language a matter of a learner being smart? You could say this sentence and the other person will understand what you mean. It's structure is okay (in my opinion).

2. Yes, it is a matter of a learner being smart. You could say this one as well. It would be better to say "Yes, it is a matter of THE learner being smart. I feel this would make it clearer as to what was being answered to the previous question.

3. Is it a matter of being ungrammatical or something else? This sentence doesn't make sense to me because it feels like something is missing and there's no clear context. I am not sure what is meant by IT in this sentence. If you were to clarify the IT in this sentence then it could work...so "Is failure to learn a language a matter of being ungrammatical or something else?" Now with this context it makes more sense, at least to me.

4. Is it being stubborn a good feature? NO this sentence is just not working...again you need more context for the IT and then maybe it can work. Maybe, "Is being a stubborn language learner a good attribute?" I changed the word feature because it's just too vague and you really need to be clearer on what is meant by IT. When you don't have enough context it can be difficult to know what IT is.

Not sure if this is helpful, but it's my contribution...LOL

"Your life matters more than you will ever know, so live it well"
BobShilling
Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2019 12:49:27 AM
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Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
A cooperator wrote:

Is it being stubborn a good feature?


Your sentences, except the one above, are possible. Delete the 'it' in that one.
A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2019 7:03:10 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
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Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
L.Rai wrote:

1. Is learning a language a matter of a learner being smart? You could say this sentence and the other person will understand what you mean. It's structure is okay (in my opinion).

2. Yes, it is a matter of a learner being smart. You could say this one as well. It would be better to say "Yes, it is a matter of THE learner being smart. I feel this would make it clearer as to what was being answered to the previous question.

Thank you, L.Rai,
Could you let me know if 'being' is a gerund or participle in both versions?



L.Rai wrote:
3. Is it a matter of being ungrammatical or something else? This sentence doesn't make sense to me because it feels like something is missing and there's no clear context. I am not sure what is meant by IT in this sentence. If you were to clarify the IT in this sentence then it could work...so "Is failure to learn a language a matter of being ungrammatical or something else?" Now with this context it makes more sense, at least to me.

Consider "IT" as a pronoun acting as a dummy subject referring to, for instance, a sentence which is wrong, but I don't know if it was wrong due to grammar or something else.

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2019 7:11:15 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
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Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
BobShilling wrote:
A cooperator wrote:

Is it being stubborn a good feature?


Your sentences, except the one above, are possible. Delete the 'it' in that one.

But, if I'd deleted 'it', then what would be the subject?
Could you be a little bit clear about why (I.e. Let me know the analysis of that structure 'X' of 'Y' being + an adjective)?

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
thar
Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2019 7:19:49 AM

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It might make more sense if you look at the statement then invert the word order to make the question.

Being smart is a good feature.



Is being smart a good feature?

There is no dummy 'it' in this question.
You could write the sentence in other ways using a dummy 'it' but it is not present in this question.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019 3:55:47 PM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hello.
This "it's a matter of" is a very specific phrase. I'd say it means something like "this is a situation of the type . . .". It is used to say that one thing, which is specific, shows a more general situation.

This apple is sweet.
"It's a matter of apples being sweet." or "It's a matter of an apple being sweet."
The general situation is that apples are sweet.

As thar has done, you may see the structure of the sentence better by looking at the statement version, rather than the question (in the sentences which are questions).

1. Is - subject - a matter of - subject complement? - question.
Subject - is - a matter of - subject complement. - statement.
Is learning a language a matter of a learner being smart? - Learning a language is a matter of a learner being smart.

2. Yes, it is a matter of a learner being smart.
This one is already a statement. As you say "It" would refer to an earlier sentence like sentence (1) above - "It" means "learning a language".

3. This is a double question. There are two subject complements, separated by "or".
Is (verb) - it (subject) - a matter of - subject complement - or - alternative subject complement? - question.
It (subject) - is (verb) - a matter of being - subject complement - or - alternative subject complement. - statement.
Is it a matter of being ungrammatical or something else? - double question.
It is a matter of being ungrammatical. - statement 1
It is a matter of something else. - statement 2


4. Is (verb) - subject - subject complement? - question.
Subject - is (verb) - subject complement. - statement.
Is being stubborn a good feature?
Being stubborn is a good feature.

(This is exactly as thar says in his last post)
The subject is "Being stubborn" - a gerund-phrase.

****************
"Being", when it appears in these statements and questions in (1) and (2), is describing the action of "a learner". The noun is "a learner", and "being smart" is a participle phrase (in my opinion).
In (3) and (4) "being" is the main word in a phrase which is acting as the subject or subject complement (acting as a noun) - so in these sentences it is a gerund.
In some sentences, "learning" is also part of a phrase acting as subject - so it is also a gerund.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
A cooperator
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019 9:40:20 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 3,431
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Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
thar wrote:
It might make more sense if you look at the statement then invert the word order to make the question.

Being smart is a good feature.



Is being smart a good feature?

Thank you, both of you, Drag0nspeaker and Thar
Wow! Thar, you mentioned a good idea.

But, 'being smart' isn't referring to any specific person(You, I, they, etc.)

Being quite enlightening is a wonderful thing.
Is being quite enlightening a wonderful thing?

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
A cooperator
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019 9:51:36 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 3,431
Neurons: 12,828
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Hello.
This "it's a matter of" is a very specific phrase. I'd say it means something like "this is a situation of the type . . .". It is used to say that one thing, which is specific, shows a more general situation.

This apple is sweet.
"It's a matter of apples being sweet." or "It's a matter of an apple being sweet."
The general situation is that apples are sweet.

As thar has done, you may see the structure of the sentence better by looking at the statement version, rather than the question (in the sentences which are questions).

1. Is - subject - a matter of - subject complement? - question.
Subject - is - a matter of - subject complement. - statement.
Is learning a language a matter of a learner being smart? - Learning a language is a matter of a learner being smart.

2. Yes, it is a matter of a learner being smart.
This one is already a statement. As you say "It" would refer to an earlier sentence like sentence (1) above - "It" means "learning a language".

Dragonspeaker,
I still don't know what part of speech 'being' is in the following. Is it a gerund acting as subject complement?
Yes, it is a matter of a learner being smart.
"It's a matter of apples being sweet." or "It's a matter of an apple being sweet."
Is learning a language a matter of a learner being smart? - Learning a language is a matter of a learner being smart.


Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
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