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Shameful English Grammar Questions!

  Tags: Grammar | English
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19 messages over 3 pages: 1 2 3  Next >>
delectric
Diglot
Senior Member
China
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 Message 1 of 19
12 January 2009 at 1:02am | IP Logged 
Thought I need to start a post about my terrible grammar. Considering i'm a native speaker I feel pretty ashamed to ask some of these questions but you know what if I never ask i'll never know.

Which sentence is correct?

Do the man and the boy have apples?

Does the man and the boy have apples?

I'm not sure if you would modify the sentence by placing the man and the boy together (they) or would you take them one at a time (he/she)

When used as a verb is there really a big difference between these two words?

Affect (v)

Effect (n/v)
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40pancakes
Newbie
Australia
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Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Japanese, French

 
 Message 2 of 19
12 January 2009 at 1:12am | IP Logged 
The first apple related sentence is correct...
I'm not sure about the difference between affect/effect. I know an "effect" is a noun, "to affect" is a verb and "affected" is an adjective. I'd be interested to see an answer to this myself.
And it's not shameful to seek grammar advice for your own language: no one can claim to speak perfect English!
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TheElvenLord
Diglot
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United Kingdom
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Studies: Portuguese, Mandarin

 
 Message 3 of 19
12 January 2009 at 2:56am | IP Logged 
I would say that DOES.... is right. The "Do" sentence sounds gramatically correct but not correct, if you catch my drift. Perhaps it's just dialect/accent.

TEL
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delectric
Diglot
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China
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 Message 4 of 19
12 January 2009 at 3:05am | IP Logged 
TheElvenLord, I thought this too. I think a lot of native speakers would use does. But from a text book point of view is this correct.
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Cainntear
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Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
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 Message 6 of 19
12 January 2009 at 5:15am | IP Logged 
delectric wrote:
Thought I need to start a post about my terrible grammar. Considering i'm a native speaker I feel pretty ashamed to ask some of these questions but you know what if I never ask i'll never know.

Which sentence is correct?

Do the man and the boy have apples?

Does the man and the boy have apples?

I'm not sure if you would modify the sentence by placing the man and the boy together (they) or would you take them one at a time (he/she)

No need to be ashamed. The reason that you can't work out which one is correct is that... (drum roll please)... neither one of them if real English.

It would be the first, becaues "the man and the boy" = "they".

But no English speaker would say this, so there's no pattern in your head that feels natural.

Think "John and Sally do it every night." Now that's a fairly natural sentence. However, a phrase like "the man and the boy" is too clumsy to be of any use, and besides, what would it mean? We wouldn't ask a question like yours without knowing who we're talking about, and once we know who we're talking about, we say "they".

So fret ye not -- where you are really stuck about whether something is proper English or not, it's normally not, even if the grammar books can't explicitly tell you so!

Quote:
When used as a verb is there really a big difference between these two words?

Affect (v)

Effect (n/v)

When in doubt, ask Oxford! (.com)

AskOxford.com wrote:

To affect something is to change or influence it, To effect something is a rather formal way of saying `to make it happen'. Confusingly, either may produce an 'effect' or result. ('An affect' is a technical term in psychology.)
The stability of the wall was affected by passing lorries.
The demolition of the wall was effected by the detonation of a charge of dynamite.

The dynamite did not just 'affect' (influence) the demolition of the wall: it caused it.

http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutspelling/aff ect?view=uk

Edited by Cainntear on 12 January 2009 at 5:15am

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RedRabbit
Newbie
United States
Joined 3823 days ago

17 posts - 17 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 7 of 19
12 January 2009 at 11:18am | IP Logged 
delectric wrote:
Thought I need to start a post about my terrible grammar. Considering i'm a native speaker I feel pretty ashamed to ask some of these questions but you know what if I never ask i'll never know.

Which sentence is correct?

Do the man and the boy have apples?

Does the man and the boy have apples?

I'm not sure if you would modify the sentence by placing the man and the boy together (they) or would you take them one at a time (he/she)

When used as a verb is there really a big difference between these two words?

Affect (v)

Effect (n/v)

The first sentence is the correct one because "the man and the boy" is a plural subject. However the first sounds natural enough to me just because "Does the Man..." sounds right. In a conversation, if I heard someone say the second sentence, I wouldn't even catch their mistake.

Vai wrote:
The first one -- "do" -- is correct because the subject is plural. Two people are named, whereas "does the group have apples?" is still a singular noun despite the lexical meanin of 'group.'

As verbs, 'affect' simply means to evoke a reaction or change something, while 'effect' means to accomplish or produce something, like 'effecting' a new law.

As nouns, 'affect' can mean someone's attitude or frame of mind, while, somewhat counterintuitively, 'effect' is the aforementioned cause or reaction: 'the effect was mesmerizing.' It can also mean personal belongings: "The deceased man's effects will be auctioned."

Note: This is just from my experience as a reader -- there is always the possibility that consulting a grammar book could prove me wrong


I've always thought of them as affect=verb, effect=noun. Example. The new law will affect many people. The effect of the law is unknown.


Edited by RedRabbit on 12 January 2009 at 11:19am

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Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
Joined 3999 days ago

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 Message 8 of 19
12 January 2009 at 11:24am | IP Logged 
RedRabbit wrote:
I've always thought of them as affect=verb, effect=noun. Example. The new law will affect many people. The effect of the law is unknown.

But there is a noun and a verb in each form....


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