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To decline a pronoun Options
Amarillide
Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2021 2:24:13 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2020
Posts: 136
Neurons: 876
Hi there, 
I was wondering if it would be possible to use the verb "to decline" for something like feminine and masculine pronouns.
I'll explain it better with an example.
Can I say something like:
 “I have used the feminie pronoun, but it can be declined as one pleases”

Is the verb correctly placed? Would it be better to say something different?

Thank you in advance to anyone who wants to help,
Ama
sureshot
Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2021 6:51:56 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 2,847
Neurons: 462,014
Amarillide wrote:
Hi there, 
I was wondering if it would be possible to use the verb "to decline" for something like feminine and masculine pronouns.
I'll explain it better with an example.
Can I say something like:
 “I have used the feminie pronoun, but it can be declined as one pleases”

Is the verb correctly placed? Would it be better to say something different?

Thank you in advance to anyone who wants to help,
Ama


_____________________


Your sentence "I have used the feminine pronoun, but it can be declined as one pleases" is grammatically correct.Here, "can be declined" is used in the passive voice pattern. It is not the usual way to convey the desired meaning. I would prefer to say:

- I have used the feminine (gender) pronoun, but it can be declined in favour of other alternatives.

- I have used the feminine (gender) pronoun, but its use is on the decline.
(Here, "decline" is a noun.)
thar
Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2021 7:14:17 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 24,024
Neurons: 97,376
Sureshot - I think you are misunderstanding "decline'.
When you list the cases of a noun, adjective etc, that is their declension.

But it doesn't work in your sentence. A pronoun can be declined - it has various forms depending on gender, number, case. But you don't get to choose how it is declined. You do get to choose which pronoun you use.

Quote:
decline verb (GRAMMAR)

[ I or T ] LANGUAGE specialized
If a noun, pronoun, or adjective declines, it has different forms to show if it is the subject or object, etc. of a verb or if it is singular or plural, etc. If you decline such a word, you list its various forms:
In Latin we learned how to decline nouns.



Eg - how 'decline' is used:

Quote:
Personal pronouns in Icelandic are declined in the four cases and for number in the singular and plural. Icelandic has separate masculine, feminine and neuter words for they. When talking about a group of mixed gender people or items, the neuter form is used.



Quote:
The bad news: There is no way to predict how a noun will be declined. The group to which a noun belongs is defined by the declension endings in genitive singular and nominative plural. This is why these endings are always written down in the dictionaries for every noun. So, it’s a paradox – in order to know how to decline a noun, you should already know its declension.

Once you know the patterns, you can make some assumptions, based on the gender and the nominative singular ending, but there are just no rules, based on these characteristics. You will be sure only when you check in the dictionary.

More bad news: There is no easy way to learn the declensions. Especially when you are not in Iceland and you are not surrounded by the language, which would make the process much easier.



In English, only personal pronouns have case endings. So you can decline them. But that is listing the endings. Choosing to use one is not declining it.

Eg

I, me, my,
You, you, your
He, him, his
She, her, her
It, it its
We. Us. Our
You, you, your
They, them their
Etc

That is fixed

In some cases you might choose one case or gender over another, but you don't decline it differently. And in another languageeven if their are multiple options, they are all the way they are declined.



Amarillide
Posted: Friday, March 26, 2021 1:52:26 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2020
Posts: 136
Neurons: 876
Thank you Sureshot, I haven't thought of this other possible meaning for the verb to decline... it actually could have made sense also like that, in the sense of "to dismiss". 

I was actually thinking at its grammatical meaning as it was explained by Thar. 
So... Thank you Thar!
First thing first... now I know one more reason why Icelandic Language is not used for international communications!
And last but not list, of course, I think I have clearly grasped the precise use of the verb to decline in English grammar!

A great day to you all,

Amarillide
thar
Posted: Friday, March 26, 2021 9:15:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 24,024
Neurons: 97,376
I have a theory that English lost (almost all) its gender and case endings for nouns (and any agreement of adjectives) simply because there are so many other things to think about in English, as it imported the French language on top of the old Germanic language.
So modern German and French both have gender and adjective agreement, which English doesn't. But on the other hand, English has both Anglo-Saxon and French everything else!

It is already hard enough to know how to pronounce or spell a word, what its plural may be, and what register of formality it is. If you had gender and case endings as well, people's heads would just explode. Whistle

Amarillide
Posted: Friday, March 26, 2021 10:15:14 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2020
Posts: 136
Neurons: 876
thar wrote:


It is already hard enough to know how to pronounce or spell a word, what its plural may be, and what register of formality it is. If you had gender and case endings as well, people's heads would just explode. Whistle



Brick wall Brick wall Brick wall ... Tell me about that! Eheehheh! Everytime I have to write something my mind rife with doubts. No to talk when I have to SAY something... well, there I just cut me some slack, ohterwise I wouldn't be able to say the simplest thing.
thar
Posted: Friday, March 26, 2021 10:32:00 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 24,024
Neurons: 97,376
English is a simplified language -

English - this, that,

Icelandic


English
to give - I/you, we, you they give, he gives ,I/you/he,she,it/we/you/they gave
to hear - I etc hear, he hears, I etc heard,

Icelandic












Be thankful!
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