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Joined: Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Last Visit: Friday, February 23, 2018 5:40:12 PM
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Topic: He did it as well as (anyone vs no one) could have done
Posted: Friday, February 23, 2018 3:45:08 PM
Hello!

As we've already discussed, it's perfectly fine to use the following construction "he/she did it as well as anyone could have done". I've decided to tinker with it a little bit to get different sentences. Please, comment on whether all the sentences below sound fine to you.

1)He did it as well as no one could have done;
2)He did it so well that no one else could have done better;
3) He did it like no one else could have done.

In case the first sentence does sound fine, what difference does it make if I change "no one" to "anyone" in it?
Topic: Is there any ambiguity in the construction "...the first to be"
Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 2:52:20 PM
Suppose I'm talking about a foreign person who is yet to participate in a new season of some competition in which no foreigner has heretofore participated, even if counting from season 1. It hasn't started yet, but it's drawing near. Can I say "he/she is the first foreigner to participate in the competition"?

Now suppose that I'm talking about a foreign person who participated in the latest season of some competion in which no foreigner had participated before him, even if counting from season 1. The season of the competition ended. Can I still use the same sentence as in the previous hypothetical situation, namely "he/she is the first foreigner to participate in the competition" ? Or is its grammatical structure inadequate to match this new temporal relation?

For practical purposes it does not matter what nouns I'm using to fill the sentence as long as it does not sound like total nonsense and its grammatical structure is preserved. What I'm interested in is whether the grammatical structure of the sentence can capture just one of these specific temporal relations or both. If it can capture both, then this sentence is ambiguous, or all-encompassing if you will, since it cannot discriminate between these two temporal relations.

It's not like I'm dying to use such sentences or particularly need them to express myself. I believe I know how to structure sentences in order to avoid ambiguity. However, this construction in question seems tricky, thus my interest. When I see almost any other sentence in English, I understand just by looking at its grammar the tense it conveys. This kind of sentence in question, however, beats me.
Topic: Is there any ambiguity in the construction "...the first to be"
Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 10:49:54 AM
Quote:
So asking if it is ambiguous without context is not a question that is really answerable!


That's still a good answer. There' s a lot to ponder about.

thanks
Topic: Is there any ambiguity in the construction "...the first to be"
Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 9:52:57 AM
Hello dear forum members!

Please, comment on whether there's any ambiguity in the following sentence:
Quote:
He is the first foreigner to participate in the competition


Does it mean that he's the first foreigner who is yet to enter the competition? Or does it mean that he's the first foreigner who has done it? Can that sentence alone allow us to precisely match its intended meaning to either of the two above? Or is it only with the help of the context that we have a clear understanding of what it conveys?


Topic: Up for a rude awakening
Posted: Monday, February 19, 2018 5:55:58 PM
Quote:
It sounds odd, because the idiom is always said with "in for a rude awakening".


Yes. It seemed odd to me too. But I'm more used to American English.

The same goes for "to be in for a treat".
Topic: Up for a rude awakening
Posted: Monday, February 19, 2018 5:46:06 PM
Romany wrote:
It's BE.
In BE we're "up for" anything - from a beer, to a swim to a rude awakening.


It's very interesting, especially considering the fact that I heard this version with the "up" from a woman with an American accent. After I heard a lawyer from California use the phrasal verb "suss out", which is listed as British in dictionaries, I thought that hardly anything would surprise me any more when it comes to English. But here we go.
Topic: Up for a rude awakening
Posted: Monday, February 19, 2018 12:53:47 PM
Hello dear forum members!

I wonder whether it's correct to use the phrase "you're up for a rude awakening" with the "up" in it. Today I've heard this version for the first time. I usually hear people say "...be in for a rude awakening".

It would be interesting to read your comments on that.

Topic: 'To be' vs perfect infinitive
Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 8:30:49 AM
If I wanted to describe a state, I would just drop both "to be" and "to have been" like in the following sentence:

Quote:
They're also the first generation of women raised by mothers who worked, and so may have a realist as opposed to romantic view of work.


I guess this is yet another option that makes no difference to the meaning of the sentence. Am I right?

I really thought that to describe a state one should use neither "to be" nor "to have been" and that adding "to be" would mean something was yet to happen.

I believe that in certain contexts adding "to be" makes a difference. For example,
Quote:
Now that the foreign adoption ban has been lifted, they are the first generation of children to be raised by foreign foster parents

In this sentence 'to be' indicates what is yet to happen since the children have not yet been adopted. If we drop "to be" and insert "to have been" instead, the meaning changes and the sentence probably no longer makes sense.
Topic: 'To be' vs perfect infinitive
Posted: Friday, February 16, 2018 7:45:52 AM
Hello!

On twitter a woman wrote:
Quote:
They're also the first generation of women to be raised by mothers who worked, and so may have a realist as opposed to romantic view of work.


She's talking about millennial women who were raised quite some time ago. Clearly, they are not yet to be raised since they are already grown-up women. Why, then, does she use "to be" instead of "to have been"? She could have written:
Quote:
They're also the first generation of women to have been raised by mothers who worked, and so may have a realist as opposed to romantic view of work.


It's not the first time I've seen "to be" used instead of "to have been" in such situations. I've thus far ignored concentrating on the question of whether these two constructions are interchangeable in contexts similar to this one. I can't ignore it any more. I'm sure this grammar question will keep popping up in my head if left unanswered.

What are your thoughts?


Topic: He did as well as anyone could have done
Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 4:01:25 PM
Thanks. I have no further questions since your examples are just what I needed.

Quote:
Or change the comparison
Anyone could have done as well as her.


It's interesting that changing the order of comparison changes the initial meaning in this situation. Now that you've comprehensively answered my question, the picture is clear.

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