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placement of "every time" Options
robjen
Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017 2:00:02 AM
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I am going to make up two sentences below with different positions of "every time".

(1) You cook delicious food every time.

(2) Every time you cook delicious food.

Does (2) sound off when "every time" is at the beginning of the sentence? Thanks a lot.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017 11:13:38 AM
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The main reason it sounds "off" is because it is only a fragment: "Every time you cook delicious food..." what? Every time you cook delicious food ... I eat too much." "Every time you cook delicious food... I remember how much I love you." "Every time you cook delicious food...I hate going back to my empty kitchen."
palapaguy
Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017 11:29:42 AM

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Romany wrote:

The main reason it sounds "off" is because it is only a fragment: "Every time you cook delicious food..." what? Every time you cook delicious food ... I eat too much." "Every time you cook delicious food... I remember how much I love you." "Every time you cook delicious food...I hate going back to my empty kitchen."


Yes, I agree it sounds "off." But don't you agree it's grammatically correct?

Do you think adding a comma after "time" fixes the "off-ness?"
Romany
Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017 11:37:13 AM
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Well no, Palapaguy, I don't think it's grammatically correct because, as I said, it's only a fragment and makes no sense on its own:

"Every time you sing..."? "Every time I eat out..."? "Every time he sees me..."?...these all follow the same pattern. Can you see how "unfinished" they are? the logic is "Every time you/I/we do something...there's an effect." without stating what the effect is it isn't a sentence.
georgieporgie
Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017 1:26:32 PM
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Romany wrote:

Well no, Palapaguy, I don't think it's grammatically correct because, as I said, it's only a fragment and makes no sense on its own:

"Every time you sing..."? "Every time I eat out..."? "Every time he sees me..."?...these all follow the same pattern. Can you see how "unfinished" they are? the logic is "Every time you/I/we do something...there's an effect." without stating what the effect is it isn't a sentence.

In my opinion it's not a fragment because no essential grammar element is missing. But it does require interpretation and for that reason can be faulted for poor construction.

In spoken form it would be common and understandable - in addition to being grammatically correct - if a pause were placed where the comma is here: Every time, you cook delicious food. Spoken, I doubt most people would call that grammatically incorrect.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017 1:53:28 PM
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Parpar,

Agree with you that in spoken English it would be immediately understandable.
Audiendus
Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2017 8:21:49 PM
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robjen wrote:
(2) Every time you cook delicious food.

Does (2) sound off when "every time" is at the beginning of the sentence? Thanks a lot.

It looks 'off' because it seems at first sight to be the first part (a dependent clause) of a longer sentence. If you add a comma after "time", it becomes clear that it is a complete sentence. (A comma would never be used after "time" if it were a dependent clause.)

Every time, you cook delicious food.


In a compound sentence, you may not need a comma:

I asked him many times, but every time he said "no".

This is clearly two independent clauses.
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