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former Berlin Wall Options
levylee
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 8:19:54 PM
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Joined: 8/11/2019
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(1) The former Berlin Wall was fell in November, 1991.
(2) The Berlin Wall was fell in November, 1991.

I don't know which is correct?

I have this confusion because
(1) The former president received 2009 Nobel Peace Prize (when he was the president).
(2) The president received 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
According to these, we know the man who I indicated is Obama.

So the first (1), could I say "The former Berlin Wall was fell in November, 1991, when it was the Berlin Wall."
thar
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 8:45:00 PM

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When one person stopped being president, someone else took over. That is why you distinguish between the president and any former presidents.

But there was only one Berlin Wall, like there is one KL Tower. It is the name of a specific object.
It 'fell' (in the meaning of being conquered, destroyed), so it is no longer there, but the name still refers to that one thing. It will always be called the Berlin Wall, even when it is history in hundreds of years' time.

When something or someone is replaced, or leaves a role, you use former to show they are not the current one.
Obama is a former US President, because he is not in that post now.

Lagos is the former capital of Nigeria, because now the capital is Abuja. The role was transferred to another city.
If you are into football - Ronaldo plays for Juventus (I think?). He is a former Real Madrid player, but he stopped playing for them and moved to another team. His relationship with that position changed. The names stay the same.


But the wall did not leave its position of being a wall. That is the name of the object, whether it still exists or not.
You can say it is the 'now-fallen' Berlin Wall, although that is a bit clumsy. But it is not natural to call it the former Berlin Wall.
levylee
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 10:59:51 PM
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Joined: 8/11/2019
Posts: 43
Neurons: 325
thar wrote:
When one person stopped being president, someone else took over. That is why you distinguish between the president and any former presidents.

But there was only one Berlin Wall, like there is one KL Tower. It is the name of a specific object.
It 'fell' (in the meaning of being conquered, destroyed), so it is no longer there, but the name still refers to that one thing. It will always be called the Berlin Wall, even when it is history in hundreds of years' time.

When something or someone is replaced, or leaves a role, you use former to show they are not the current one.
Obama is a former US President, because he is not in that post now.

Lagos is the former capital of Nigeria, because now the capital is Abuja. The role was transferred to another city.
If you are into football - Ronaldo plays for Juventus (I think?). He is a former Real Madrid player, but he stopped playing for them and moved to another team. His relationship with that position changed. The names stay the same.


But the wall did not leave its position of being a wall. That is the name of the object, whether it still exists or not.
You can say it is the 'now-fallen' Berlin Wall, although that is a bit clumsy. But it is not natural to call it the former Berlin Wall.


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17632399

The former Yugoslavia was a Socialist state created after German occupation in World War II and a bitter civil war. A federation of six republics, it brought together Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Slovenes and others under a comparatively relaxed communist regime. Tensions between these groups were successfully suppressed under the leadership of President Tito.

Excuse me!
The former Yugoslavia was a Socialist state created after German occupation in World War II and a bitter civil war.
The Yugoslavia was a Socialist state created after German occupation in World War II and a bitter civil war.

I don't know what is the difference of the two sentences?
thar
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020 12:35:50 AM

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It is not necessary for that because you can talk about the entity called Yugoslavia. But is fits the pattern.
The lands of former Yugoslavia are now Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, etc.

The name of those places changed. They are the former Yogoslavia..

But it is unnecessary (and I would say wrong) to use that in the past tense.

The Roman Empire was ...
Yugoslavia was ...

The former Yugoslavia was not a state. Yugoslavia was a state. Bosnia is state which is part of former Yugoslavia.


Before North Macedonia finally got its name agreed on, for years it was FYR Macedonia.
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. I think that influenced the reporter too much!
levylee
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020 2:05:54 AM
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thar wrote:
It is not necessary for that because you can talk about the entity called Yugoslavia. But is fits the pattern.
The lands of former Yugoslavia are now Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, etc.

The name of those places changed. They are the former Yogoslavia..

But it is unnecessary (and I would say wrong) to use that in the past tense.

The Roman Empire was ...
Yugoslavia was ...

The former Yugoslavia was not a state. Yugoslavia was a state. Bosnia is state which is part of former Yugoslavia.


Before North Macedonia finally got its name agreed on, for years it was FYR Macedonia.
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. I think that influenced the reporter too much!


Thank you!
The former Yugoslavia is not a country, and is a region/territory which Yugoslavia established before.
The Yugoslavia was a country.

So the former Yugoslavia is not equal to the Yugoslavia.

tautophile
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020 2:48:21 AM
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"Was fell" is not good English, so neither "The former Berlin Wall was fell in November, 1991" or "The Berlin Wall was fell in November, 1991" is correct or grammatical. Likewise "The former Berlin Wall was fell in November, 1991, when it was the Berlin Wall" is not acceptable either. I would simply say "The Berlin Wall fell in November 1991", without the comma before 1991.

We say that the Wall "fell", and part of it did, in November 1991, but it was actually some while before the entire Wall--except for a few parts of it kept as monuments--fell, or rather, was removed or torn down...just as it took a good while to build the Wall in the first place. We say the Wall "fell" in November 1991--gosh, 29 years ago this autumn--because the East German authorities, fearing domestic unrest and unable to depend on Russian help (the Soviet Union was breaking up at the same time), opened their borders in Berlin and elsewhere. That was History with a capital H! I remember a few weeks later, Leonard Bernstein conducted a mixed East-West German orchestra and chorus in Berlin performing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, but with "Freude" ("Joy") in Beethoven's choral setting of Schiller's Ode to Joy in the 4th movement changed to "Freiheit" ("Freedom"). I was deeply moved by that, having sung the chorus of the Ninth Symphony myself (as a chorus member, not a soloist, I hasten to add.) I feel sure both Beethoven and Schiller would have approved.

The Roman emperor Hadrian had a wall built across the north of what is now England to separate the Roman province from unconquered territories (modern Scotland) to the north. That's now called "Hadrian's Wall". It could be called "the Wall of Hadrian", but it isn't. It was never torn down, nor can you say it "fell" the way the Berlin Wall did, but it was eventually abandoned and, as the saying goes, "fell into ruin" when the Romans left their province of Britannia in the 400s.

"The former Yugoslavia" is short for "the former Republic of Yugoslavia", which broke up after the death of Tito.

In US history, after the United Colonies gained their independence from Great Britain in 1783, they joined in a loose confederation of independent former colonies (now called "states") that was called "the United States of America"; and the central government, such as it was, was organized under Articles of Confederation for several years; but this setup proved unsuitable, and in the late 1780s, a new, better organized central federal government, a single republic made up of partly-independent states was formed under the newly-drafted Constitution; and that (form of) government has continued to this day. In the early 1860s a number of US states in the Southeast seceded (they said) from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America; but the CSA lost the resulting Civil War, and disappeared; the states that formed it came back into the Union, i.e., the United States of America, and remain so. So it is that, in the US, we don't normally speak of "the former Confederacy" or "former Confederate States", since the Confederacy may have existed de facto for a while, but it did not gain significant international recognition, and was considered by the US government ("the Union") to be in rebellion against the federal government and so illegal.

In 2009 and up to January 2017, you would have said that "the President [i.e., Obama] was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize." Today, since Obama is a former President, you would say "The former President was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize." It might be clearer, however, to say (in 2020) "Former President Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ['for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.']", or perhaps, "In 2009, then-President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize...."
levylee
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020 11:42:55 PM
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The Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area.

If I want to use an adjective to modify "Soviet Union" to describe it is disorganized,
could I say the disorganized Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the previously-existing Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the former Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the previous Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area.

Thank you!
FounDit
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2020 12:16:21 AM

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levylee wrote:
The Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area.

If I want to use an adjective to modify "Soviet Union" to describe it is disorganized,
could I say the disorganized Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the previously-existing Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the former Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the previous Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area.

Thank you!


The best is "the former Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area." This word, "former", says it existed, but does not now exist.

You wouldn't use "disorganized" because it was organized. It was organized into a Union.

You wouldn't use "previously-existing" because that implies there was more than one Soviet Union, as does "the previous Soviet Union".
levylee
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2020 12:45:40 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 8/11/2019
Posts: 43
Neurons: 325
FounDit wrote:
levylee wrote:
The Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area.

If I want to use an adjective to modify "Soviet Union" to describe it is disorganized,
could I say the disorganized Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the previously-existing Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the former Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the previous Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area.

Thank you!


The best is "the former Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area." This word, "former", says it existed, but does not now exist.

You wouldn't use "disorganized" because it was organized. It was organized into a Union.

You wouldn't use "previously-existing" because that implies there was more than one Soviet Union, as does "the previous Soviet Union".

The dinosaur was the largest animal.
Could I say
The former dinosaur was the largest animal?
The past dinosaur was the largest animal?
levylee
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2020 1:25:57 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 8/11/2019
Posts: 43
Neurons: 325
FounDit wrote:
levylee wrote:
The Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area.

If I want to use an adjective to modify "Soviet Union" to describe it is disorganized,
could I say the disorganized Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the previously-existing Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the former Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area, or
the previous Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area.

Thank you!


The best is "the former Soviet Union was the largest country in the world by surface area." This word, "former", says it existed, but does not now exist.

You wouldn't use "disorganized" because it was organized. It was organized into a Union.

You wouldn't use "previously-existing" because that implies there was more than one Soviet Union, as does "the previous Soviet Union".

This word, "former", says it existed, but does not now exist.
Former can provide two meanings for the modified noun, one is it was so past, but now still exist and isn't so (former president);
the other is it existed past, but now does not (former suggestion).
I don't know how to distinguish the use for the two meanings.
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