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Profile: thar
User Name: thar
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Gender: None Specified
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Joined: Thursday, July 8, 2010
Last Visit: Friday, April 26, 2019 7:20:05 AM
Number of Posts: 19,213
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: is or are
Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 7:19:27 AM
1 are, because animals are kept at the zoo, not a variety.

2 is, because having variety is important, not the dishes themselves.
But that second one feels wrong.
Topic: present perfect continuous
Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 6:18:20 AM
Each expresses a different idea. So it depends on the verb and the context.

They have been planning

It took place over a duration of time , rather than a single event
It is still relevant now

Topic: As different as
Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019 3:48:32 AM
Do you get the normal comparative ''.

as big as a bus

here, if two things are different (atoms with different atomic numbers) then the difference in resultant properties of that element have to be compared to the difference between two other things - gold and oxygen.

Obviously, gold and oxygen are very different! So two atoms, if they have different atomic numbers, can produce very different elements.
Topic: You're doing awesome(ly)?
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 7:03:57 PM
I know, old thread but no reason not to argue about it...

Also, although it has long been fashionable for Britons to mock the way Americans speak, time and time again it is clear that American speech patterns are traceable back to the English of a few hundred years ago, and it is Britain that changed.

I don't know if evidence backs that up in this case, but I wouldn't be surprised if Shakespeare's characters did brilliant, and it is the Georgian/Victorian obsession with Latin and Greek grammar that ruled that you had to use adverbs with -ly at the end for everything, and not doing so showed ignorance and lack of class.

Latin needs to clearly differentiate adverbs from adjectives because word order alone does not do it - but in English it does.
eg British "The boy done good".
That is clearly understandable - which is the only real test of whether language is right or not!

British - She ran fast.
American - she ran quick.

Does the existence of the adverb 'quickly' invalidate the argument that these two should be treated equal. Sorry, treated equally?
Topic: Anxiety situations
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 3:50:09 PM
What do you understand 'anxiety' to mean?

It really should be anxiety-inducing situations. But even with the phrase you were given - situations + anxiety. What situations make you anxious? I assume that is what your teacher meant. It doesn't have to be enough to be a medical problem. If you say none, I think you are understanding the word incorrectly.

You mean in your entire life you are never anxious?

Nothing ever makes you nervous or concerned about what might happen next? You are always happy, always totally confident, sure of what will happen, that you will arrive on time, that you will win the match, that you know the right answer if the teacher asks you....?

I hate to have to tell you, but I think you are a robot! Whistle
Topic: using "she" when referring to an inanimate thing
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 11:06:11 AM
No, if you care about it and it is protective and nurturing like a house, it is going to be a she.

Most things will be a she, unless:

You are female, in which case your car may be a he. For blokes, a car will be a she;

It has annoying attributes - like a computer that refuses to work properly and is always causing problems- that might well be a he!

But for a generalisation about a loved thing - normally a she. I really don't know why it feels a bit odd for a house. I would say because it is too big and permanent, but you can call a mountain 'he' or 'she' if you really feel you have a personal relatinohsip with it - so I don't think that is a good enough reason. Something has to have attitude for it to be given a human pronoun, and maybe although a house has character, it may not normally have attitude.

But these things are so personal - maybe the house feels like a he, not a she! Whistle
Topic: using "she" when referring to an inanimate thing
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 7:41:05 AM
Yes, it is interesting on a sociological level, isn't it. Language just displays the underlying attitude of the culture, and translation brings up the difference!

The house - for some reason 'she' sounds a bit odd for a house, but there is no reason why not.
For anything you care about, you tend to anthropomorphise it and assign it character, attitude, a will of its own. And that definitely includes a house you have a strong emotional attachment to, such as a childhood home.
Topic: using "she" when referring to an inanimate thing
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 7:08:53 AM
Ah, but in the bigger picture, it is an anthrolopogical truth - 'mother' is what makes you who you are - the nurture, the upbringing. Your native (born) tongue is your mother tongue.
Let's face it, throughout history in most cultures the men have not had much input until a child is at very least running around, and probably ready to be taught adult skills.

And I associated Fatherland with Nazi propaganda, but I didn't realise it also applied to Communist Germany

Any coincidence that people were so desperate to escape this fatherland they were willing be shot trying to escape?
Not something a motherland would do to you!z

edit - no insult intended to anyone who in their culture calls it the equivalent of their fatherland - I am just referring to an English reaction which has obviously been influenced by the easily understandable 'Vaterland' as used by Nazi propaganda.

In Iceland it is not really a thing, neither motherland nor fatherland. I guess you don't need the concept much when it is inherent in your language and nationality, but if you use it poetically, is more the country that brings you up, nurtures you - fósturjörð - foster earth/land. The land that raises you. The soil and place rather than the nation and country.

If you refer to the fatherland you would probably confuse people - they are long underwear

föður/land n ( -lands)

1. native land
2. (nærbuxur) long wollen underpants
Topic: using "she" when referring to an inanimate thing
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 6:49:31 AM
I think there are two factors. One is affection and care.

In the same way you would call your pet 'she' but a farm production unit 'it' you might call your car 'she' if you feel particularly attached.

[note - All ships are always called she. It sounds a bit funny when they are named after men.
eg the USS Ronald Reagan is in port. She will stay for three days.
The ship is female, despite the name.
I guess from ancient times men sailing on a ship treated it as a female entity. If you treat it right, it looks after you! It is your home and your protection.

The second is mental attributes.

There is a difference between an inanimate object of landscape

“China is a very large country, and its climate....

and the country in terms of a human government which makes decisions and has friends, enemies, allies.
China and her allies.

Why her allies? - I think the same thing as a ship - a country is a nurturing thing that supports and nourishes you.

When it comes to patriotism, it can be different - the Fatherland in English is associated with Nazi Germany - you serve it, it tells you what to do and what you must sacrifice for it.
But the Motherland (Soviet Russia, in the same war?) is what you are fighting for - family, succour, nurture.

When talking about a country you give it the benefit of the doubt and call it 'she' if you are talking about it in terms of its decisions, its policy, its culture. But 'it' when you take away any human element. Unless you deliberately want to put in the human element, for it to be more than cold logic.

The propaganda posters make a very interesting contrast:

In short - men have always been more involved in anything that involves national identity - government, war, empire. So they are the ones that make the language. And if men love something, then it is a she!
( I mean, it would be weird if it were a he! Anxious )
That then just becomes the way you can refer to a country, even if you have no emotional attachment.

If it is your enemy, you are possibly more likely to call it 'it'. But you don't have to. The language is so normal it doesn't require any emotional attachment. You can still refer to 'her' evil deeds with with a sneer.


Topic: while it was flying
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 4:34:56 AM
'while' does suggest that one thing happened during the time the other thing was happening. ie, he continued running to the gate. Which is difficult if he was dead.

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