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Profile: thar
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User Name: thar
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Joined: Thursday, July 8, 2010
Last Visit: Saturday, August 18, 2018 9:47:16 AM
Number of Posts: 17,432
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Pronouns peoblem
Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2018 9:43:08 AM
Make a sentence of it - it might help you see it better.


This is a picture of me....

This is a picture of us....

This is a picture of a kangaroo.......

There is no subject 'I' or 'we' or 'kangaroo' in those sentences. Only objects - me, us, a kangaroo.

So the captions are

me in front of...
us in front of...
a kangaroo in front of...


Because the captions are really saying
This is a picture of "_______".

It is not necessary to say all that, because you can see it is a picture. You don't have to be told that! You want to be told what is is a picture of.
Topic: penguin suit
Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2018 7:27:11 AM
wonder why Whistle

Topic: is or was
Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2018 6:57:14 AM
It depends on what you want to emphasise.

The crimes happened. The police investigated. What puzzled the investigators was the absence of any clues left by the criminals.

(Why should that puzzle them? That is sort of the point of breaking in to somewhere.)

You are reporting what happened when they investigated. This is in the past, since any crimes you are commenting on must have happened in the past, however recently.


The crimes are happening - they have been happening and more are anticipated. The police are investigating. What puzzles the investigators is that the criminals leave no evidence.

That is emphasising that that investigation is open.

You could mix the two tenses:
There have been crimes. The police have been investigating. What puzzled the investigators is the lack of evidence left by the criminals.
That did puzzle them, but it is still true - the crimes have not been solved.

edit

But not the past progressive - that says it was happening then, and implies it is not happening now.
There was a spike in crime. What was puzzling them was the lack of evidence, but now they have realised that is because all the items were stolen by a cat.

It depends on what time frame you want to look at it from, but if it was in the past, it is a simple past event. The use of past progressive implies it started and finished over a progression of time.
Topic: Is Croatian a difficult language?
Posted: Friday, August 17, 2018 9:28:41 PM
On a lighter note....

There is a running joke among Scandinavians that Danish is the hardest language to understand. (Not to learn - that does go to Finnish! Whistle ) Even the Danes need subtitles for their own films.

https://www.thelocal.dk/20150304/not-even-the-danes-can-understand-danish

It has nothing to do with the grammar or vocabulary (except for the numbering system). That is intelligible to Swedes and Norwegians and not too dissimilar to the other Germanic languages.
Just they swallow it so much nobody can understand them.

The Danish language - comedy sketch

difference between Norwegian and Danish - especially at about the 5 - 7.30 minute mark.


Not to be taken at all seriously, of course. Not that you need telling that.


Topic: Is your teacher American/an American?
Posted: Friday, August 17, 2018 8:59:22 PM
As RuthP says, it makes no difference. An American is American.

The choice is more obvious when there is no gender-neutral noun for a citizen of that country.

Is your teacher English? Is your teacher British? fine
Is your teacher an Englishman/Englishwoman. Urh, clumsy. An English person? A British person? No, that is horrible.
Is your teacher from England? From Britain? That is fine, but why use the extra word?
But the first is by far the simplest.


There is no similar problem with an American, an Australian, a German ( or, informally, a Brit)... anywhere where the nouns are short and gender-neutral. Then it makes no difference.
Topic: correct English
Posted: Friday, August 17, 2018 6:21:53 PM
Hanging hyphen, huh?

Dangerous things, hyphens. Whistle


Topic: correct English
Posted: Friday, August 17, 2018 4:05:59 PM
For exact paralellism you would include the extra hyphen

This is because public transit is less energy- and carbon-intensive than automobiles.

That feels better to me.

It shows what the 'and' is joining:
energy-intensive
and
carbon-intensive

Grammar books say the extra hyphen is allowable but not required if the meaning is clear. It is needed if the sentence is ambiguous without it. Since the meaning here is clear, it is not required. I would probably put it in just for completeness.
Or, to be fair, I would probably rewrite it without splitting the hyphenation.

.... is less intensive in terms of energy use and carbon emissions

because 'carbon-intensive' seems a strange way of putting it, because you are usually more worried about carbon emissions (CO2 emission) than carbon use (diesel/fossil fuel consumption). These do not seem to be parallel ideas to me!

Topic: to request to make it legal
Posted: Friday, August 17, 2018 2:08:25 PM
I don't know - you can drive up with a loader and offload a tank of any kind, if you feel the urge. If you have permission, of course! Whistle








way more useful than tank tanks. Whistle
Topic: ABC religion is spread quickly, in order to reduce the sufferings of as many people as possible.
Posted: Friday, August 17, 2018 1:59:27 PM
You can say religion spreads quickly. That is a fact.

But you can't say it spreads quickly [in order] to reduce suffering.

Religion is not sentient. It cannot have an intention. It cannot spread because it wants to do something.

So if it were the first part on its own, then 'the religion spreads' would be fine. But with the second part giving the intention, this doesn't work.

eg
the land floods
yes, that is what happens

the religion spreads
yes, that is what happens

but
the land floods to fertilise the soil
no, that doesn't work. The river has no intention to fertilise the soil - that is just what happens.

the land is flooded to fertilise the soil
yes, that means people intentionally opened the gates or made irrigation channels, and their intention was to fertilise the land. They controlled the river for that purpose.

but
the religion is spread to reduce suffering
no, because nobody controls how fast the religion is spread. That happens when people choose to convert to it.

Topic: It would be better to give up the notion of writing until you are better prepared ... You must not become a mere peddler of...
Posted: Friday, August 17, 2018 1:13:24 PM
That is the difference between quoting a person and quoting from literature.

A big difference. Brick wall

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