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Profile: RuthP
User Name: RuthP
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Last Visit: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 7:46:53 PM
Number of Posts: 5,408
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: "More than one student" vs. " More students than one"
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2019 12:13:00 PM
tracker890 wrote:
Dear Everyone:
(1) More than one student is punished.
(2) More students than one are punished.

Please help me to understand why the be verb is "is" not "are" in the sentence (1).
(Because I think the "More than one student" is a plural subject. )

Thank you for your time and consideration.

You are correct, and what grammar mavens will tell you is the first sentence is incorrect and should not be used. This is a good example of language as a living form, and grammar rules occasionally being behind the times related to usage.

In formal writing, the second sentence would (well, should) be used. In formal writing, (1) is not acceptable, and either the writer or an editor should change the sentence.

In daily conversation, you would more likely hear "A few/several/many students were punished" rather than either (1) or (2). If, however one of your sentences were to be used in casual speech, it would most likely be (1).

The reason the singular verb form is used in (1) is that the verb immediately follows a singular noun. While you are correct that you have a plural subject in "More than one student," the fact that the noun "student" is singular vastly outweighs the (relatively) complex subject. The ear will not allow a plural verb. It sounds absolutely wrong. Grammar rules will not win this fight. Eventually, there will be a new grammar rule, explaining why one should use a singular verb in this sentnce.

This is also a good example of why one should stay in active voice whenever possible. Had the speaker/writer used active voice, this particular problem would not have arisen.

We/They punish more than one student (for smoking in the parking lot).
Topic: Tiananmen Square Anniversary
Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2019 3:28:04 PM
taurine wrote:
China avoided the fate of a country in civil war. This means, countless lives spared, no forced migration, no local warlords like in Libya, for example.

Not moving has not saved essentially the entire Uighur from being placed in concentration camps in situ. The Chinese government has never been a bastion of freedom and safety, but in the past couple of decades, it has become extremely controlling. Witness the Uighurs and other minority populations, and witness the treatment of Hong Kong.

I remember Tianaman. The government's response to peaceful protest had nothing to do with protection from civil war. It had everything to do with maintaining the power of the ruling clique.
Topic: implanting one murderous force into the everyday environment – the often highly corrupt police –
Posted: Sunday, June 2, 2019 4:02:19 PM
thar wrote:
It is badly phrased. The identification of the force should come immediately after the noun it describes,like in Drago's brackets.

alibey1917 wrote:
"... ‘pacification’ has merely implanted into the everyday environment one murderous force – the often highly corrupt police – in place of another."

'the everyday environment' doesn't add anything. And although there is some justification for 'implanted' - it has taken root, like a plant - it is all a bit clumsy, even without that misplaced noun phrase.
Although I forgive that if their first language is Portuguese, Turkish or anything but English.

This is a good analysis of the original quotation. I would add, the verb "planted", would have been a better choice than "implanted".

taurine, even if you disagree with the conclusions of the original quotation (I do not), you cannot blam Drag0 for the thoughts. He was explaining the meaning of the original writing. One does not change the meaning of a quotation. One may state one's disagreement, but when explicating a quotation, one has a responsibility to do so correctly, in accordance with the original writer's meaning.
Topic: taking a shower v showering
Posted: Sunday, June 2, 2019 3:50:09 PM
Koh Elaine wrote:
While taking a shower, I realised that there was a bruise on my breast.
While showering, I realised that there was a bruise on my breast.

Are both sentences correct with no difference in meaning?


In AE, no difference, and equally commonly used.

Islami is correct, in that one may use "showering" to refer to the act of washing another in the shower. This is not a particularly common usage, at least not in AE. By the rest of Koh Elaine's comment, this would be understood as a shower by oneself.

"Showering" as a transitive verb is actually more commonly used in a context other than the act of giving an actual shower-bath:
She showered the grandchildren with gifts every time she visited.
Topic: saltish
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 11:03:09 AM
FounDit wrote:
I've never heard it used in the U.S.


I wonder whether it might not be some obscure regionalism.
Topic: country bumpkin
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 10:43:02 AM
As opposed, of course, to a city slicker.
Topic: Adapted from Japanese manga...
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 11:37:55 AM
Amybal wrote:
Hi, is there anything wrong in these sentences?

Short summary
Adapted from Japanese manga series "Itazura na Kiss", about a teen girl who falls in love with has been in love with her fellow senior since their first day of high school.
She fell in love with him on the first day of high school. That is a one-time event. She has been in love with him ever since (then). The same issue arises in your long description.

Long summary
Adapted from Japanese manga series "Itazura na Kiss", which tells of a teenage girl who falls in love with her fellow senior since their first day of high school but does not tell him about it at first. When an earthquake destroys her house, she and her father move into the house of her father's college buddy, who happens to be the father of the boy she loves.

Details are based on online sources.
Topic: How many class in a week?
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 11:31:21 AM
bihunsedap wrote:
For 5 years old kid, the class will provide two times a week.

"How many class in a week?"I asked the tutor.

Does the question correct if I wanted to get the answer just like the first sentence?

"How many classes will he (have)(take) (each)(in a) week?"

"For a five-year-old (child), (classes are provided two times a week)(there are two classes a week).

The word "kid" is unlikely to be used in a conversation between a parent and child, at least during an early conversation. "Kid" is a very casual term for a child. It is appropriate between friends or within a family. Parents and teachers may use it once they know each other well. In a school setting, when used, it is more apt to be used in plural form, to refer to a group of kids than used in reference to an individual child. This is in AE.
Topic: cast a sheep's eye
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 10:39:19 AM
As an AE speaker, this is not something I've used, or even heard before. thar's usage is known to me, but not at all common anymore. In my parent's generation, yes, but not mine and certainly not the current one.
Topic: Who am I speaking with? Answer
Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 12:38:35 PM
Igor_ wrote:
If I call someone, after introducing myself, the otherone does not do the same, I'd ask:"who am i speaking speaking with?
OK, now
What is the right answer?
" This is" in any cases?

This is the pedant here, so I shall bring up the pedantry not yet covered.

In a formal situation, or to be grammatically correct at any time, the proper question is, "With whom am I speaking?"

To be ultimately polite, in case one is concerned about offending, one asks, "May I know with whom I am speaking?"