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User Name: maltliquor87
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Joined: Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Last Visit: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:58:30 PM
Number of Posts: 29
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: "until mankind shall have entered a stage of intellectual advancement"
Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2018 4:12:04 AM
Thank you guys
Topic: "until mankind shall have entered a stage of intellectual advancement"
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 12:40:45 PM
Hello!

Here's a sentence from an essay of John S. Mill:

Quote:
It still remains to speak of one of the principal causes which make diversity of opinion advantageous, and will continue to do so until mankind shall have entered a stage of intellectual advancement which at present seems at an incalculable distance.


I think that the construction in bold is hardly ever used nowadays since the "shall" seems out of place in it. How would you edit it to make the sentence more modern? My sense is that changing the original words in bold to either "should have entered" or "have entered" would do the trick. I'd be glad to read your suggestions.

Topic: With (a) clarity
Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2018 9:06:01 AM
Thanks. I would venture to say that this topic is no less mysterious than quantum mecanics:)
Topic: With (a) clarity
Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2018 8:53:38 AM
I expressly constructed that sentence with the article because I intuitively knew it was needed there. I just wanted to make sure that my intuitive sense pointed in the right direction.

On the other hand, a few changes to that sentence make the presence of the article optional. For some reason, the following sentence does not sound strange with no article before 'terrifying clarity'.
Quote:
The author described those rituals with such terrifying clarity that the memories of them haunted us for years


Could anyone confirm that it still sounds good and the absence of 'a' detracts nothing from it?

And just for the sake of reiteration I will put below the original sentence in which the article 'a' makes it sound better
Quote:
The author described those rituals with a clarity so terrifying that the memories of them haunted us for years


Topic: With (a) clarity
Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2018 5:01:32 AM
Thar, Heleney, thank you for this discussion.

Now that Thar has confirmed that my sentence is good, I have a firmer grasp of this topic. And I agree that
mastery of articles comes with experience. As one's experience with the language increases, so does his or her level of understanding of different aspects of it, including the usage of articles. The topic of articles is too difficult and multifaceted to get it down pat in one fell swoop.
Topic: With (a) clarity
Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2018 1:17:17 AM
How about this sentence, which I made up.

Quote:
The author described those rituals with a clarity so terrifying that the memories of them haunted us for years


Is the article before 'clarity' necessary here?

Topic: With (a) clarity
Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 1:46:26 PM
'Empyrean' can also mean outstanding, awe-inspiring. I do not see much sense in the author's supposed decision to forgo this definition in order to define a specific location. Whether it's with the article 'an' or without it, the sentence basically means the same.
Topic: With (a) clarity
Posted: Friday, March 23, 2018 11:27:12 AM
Hello!

Recently I have stumbled upon two sentences in which the use of articles is somewhat confusing.
Here are those sentences.

This one is from National Post
Quote:
The history of the 20th century demonstrates with horrifying clarity that speech paves the way for action


This one is from New York Times
Quote:
In his images Audubon portrayed birds with an empyrean clarity


Juxtaposing the two sentences, I cannot fathom what is so special about the second sentence that the writer chose to use 'an' before the word 'empyrean'. Does it create a particular shade of meaning?
Topic: That someone would have done something is ....
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2018 12:11:58 PM
Thank you.
Topic: That someone would have done something is ....
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2018 11:51:16 AM
Hello dear forum members!

I know pefectly well that the modal verb 'would' is not only used to express a hypothetical scenario, but also, among other possible uses, to express a feeling. For example, with the following sentence a speaker might convey his or her feeling of astonishment while the situation the sentence describes is not hypothetical, but real. Here, 'would' is used to facilitate a sense of detachment from reality while in fact the sentence describes reality.

Quote:
That the government would be arresting law-abiding citizens is really beyond belief



However, I cannot recall ever hearing or seeing the verb 'would' used in this sense with 'have+past participle'. Does the sentence below sound natural? It's meant to express a feeling of indignation at what has happened.

Quote:
That he would have insulted his mother is really sickening


A more usual way to put it would be 'it is really sickening that he (has) insulted his mother'. But still, can one use the structure 'would+have + past participle' to express a feeling concerning past actions or events without sounding stilted or ungrammatical?

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