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Profile: maltliquor87
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User Name: maltliquor87
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Joined: Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Last Visit: Friday, February 22, 2019 1:05:15 AM
Number of Posts: 184
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: "What does it prevent you from doing?"
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2019 11:47:25 AM
More options for me to choose from.

Thanks, Romany.
Topic: "What does it prevent you from doing?"
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2019 1:46:12 AM
Thanks, guys.

FounDit's answer is especially helpful.
Topic: "What does it prevent you from doing?"
Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2019 8:30:49 AM
Quote:
What problem prevents you from doing it?
What prevents you from doing it?
What is it that prevents you from doing it?


Those are different kinds of questions. The speaker knows the problem his/her colleague is facing. What he/she wants to know is how it impedes his/her colleague.

Quote:
What is it that you're prevented from doing because of this problem?
is not the same as
Quote:
What is it that prevents you from doing it?
Topic: "What does it prevent you from doing?"
Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2019 7:55:30 AM
Hi, dear forum members.

Imagine that a person wants to know what it is that his/her colleague is prevented from doing because of some problem. Is the following a natural question to ask?

a)
Quote:
What does this problem prevent you from doing?


What about this one?

b)
Quote:
What is it that you're prevented from doing because of this problem?


In response to that, his/her colleague may say.
Quote:
This problem prevents us from meeting the deadline.
Topic: 'impart', 'instill' and the use of their passive form
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 12:32:57 PM
Thank you for your detailed response, Drago.

As far as "to be instilled with" is concerned, I just found the following quote from no less literary a source than The New Yorker :)

Quote:
With his gleeful, dumb stare, Gritty was like some overgrown, empty humanoid vessel, waiting to be instilled with knowledge of this world...
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/how-the-left-won-the-war-for-gritty


I guess this construction is rare in spoken English and most people hardly see themselves using it in their speech.
Topic: 'impart', 'instill' and the use of their passive form
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 11:57:22 AM
Thanks.

Yes, this is shorter than "...want to have this knowledge imparted to...". So the verb "have" is optional if not redundant in this context.
Topic: 'impart', 'instill' and the use of their passive form
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 11:29:43 AM
Hi, dear forum members.

In English, some verbs are not as flexible as others when it comes to the use of their passive form. Let me illustrate this with a few examples.

1. The verb 'tell'.

a) Students expect to be told what kind of conduct may result in their expulsion.
b) Such stories have been told many times.

The verb "tell" in its passive form works regardless of whether the subject of a sentence refers to human-beings or signifies inanimate objects.

2. The verb "impart"

a) This wisdom is imparted to teenagers who are willing to pay heed and capable of deep thinking.
b) They want to be imparted this knowledge.

In this instance, the verb "impart" does not seem to work when we are dealing with its passive form and the subject refers to human-beings, as in the example "b". The same logic goes for the verb "instill", although the following might also work: "they want to be instilled with this knowledge".

If the sentence in red does not work, what tweaks should be made without changing "they" as the subject of that sentence? The verb "have" comes to the rescue and the sentence becomes:

c) They want to have this knowledge imparted to them.

Again, the same logic goes for the verb "instill" in addition to the workaround mentioned above.

This post is meant as my observation on a minor aspect of grammar that receives short shrift in popular grammar books I've looked through. For example, in M.Swan's book very little is said about it. He mentions that "explain" and "suggest" cannot be used in a certain passive structure and presents two grammatically incorrect sentences to warn about possible problems with the use of these verbs.

I've gotten interested in this subject since I saw a non-native speaker with otherwise good English skills write something along the following lines: "They want to be imparted this knowledge". I'd like you to consider what I've written above. If I'm wrong in my reasoning, let me know, please. If you want to add or correct something, I'll be happy to read your suggestions.
Topic: Correct tense?
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 8:04:38 AM
Thanks, guys.

That makes sense.
Topic: Correct tense?
Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 6:43:39 AM
I'd like to pitch in if I may.

What's strange to me is this. Her following the kids on twitter is supposed to have taken place this summer. Now the summer season is over as children return to school in fall. And yet, the present perfect continuous is used even if the time frame is explicitly put in the past.
Topic: unless with subjunctive
Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2019 10:58:39 AM
Audiendus wrote:
I think this is primarily a question of tense and mood.

Let's remind ourselves of maltliquor87's original example:

maltliquor87 wrote:
Two people had a car accident. One of them was a driver who had just gotten his driving license. The other was an experienced driver. The less skillful driver was at the wheel, while the more skillful one, Brett, was just a passenger. After getting the news about the accident, their friend starts to criticize the person who drove that day for not having let Brett drive. So considering Brett to be a very good driver, he says

Quote:
You should have let Brett drive. A good driver like him wouldn't have had this accident unless he had been drunk out of his gourd.

Note that the driver who had the accident ("you") and the "good driver" ("him", i.e. Brett) are two different people. So:

1. The actual driver and Brett are being contrasted. Brett would only have had the accident if he had been drunk. That implies that the actual driver had the accident even though he was not drunk (otherwise there would be nothing to choose between them).

2. It is not the case that Brett had been drunk. Therefore, "he had been drunk out of his gourd" is unreal. This is a correct use of the past perfect subjunctive.



Drago sees a completely different situation behind the sentence "A good driver like him wouldn't have had this accident unless he had been drunk out of his gourd." The context in which his interepretation of the sentence makes sense to him does not match the context outlined above.

Drago, feel free to set me straight If I'm misrepresenting your view. I'm just trying to bring to the fore another point of out minor disagreement.

What is also important is that Audiendus seems to find the use of that sentence unobjectionable in that precise context which I described. Is it correct, Audiendus?

I think that the sentence should be rewritten in the following way to make it less open to different interpretations.

Quote:
A good driver like him wouldn't have had this accident unless he had been drunk out of his gourd -----> A good driver like him would not have an accident like that unless he were drunk out of his gourd


The new sentence conveys a more general sense that also applies to the context presented.

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