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#1 2008-07-25 09:13:39

運転者
Member

English as she is abused.

English language corrections can blow threads, so I thought it might be an advantage to start a specific thread to address issues that arise.

racismical: it isn't a word, (but it should be.) The "al" suffix is almost exclusively used for forming adjectives from "ic" or some "y" ending nouns (the only "y" ending noun that I can think of off-hand being "whimsy" → "whimsical.")

back to どうして不愉快にさせたんですか


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「デェ、この微分[color=gray]びぶん[/color]・積分[color=gray]せきぶん[/color]とかゆうのは、足し算[color=gray]たしざん[/color]・引き算[color=gray]ひきざん[/color]とはどう違[color=gray]ちが[/color]うのだ?」 白雪

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#2 2008-07-25 17:08:16

Kscnoko
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

bubblebath wrote:

I've told a staff a number of person(4), his nationality(Canada) and the day of check-in(19 or 20).
However, there's no person in that category in the hostel.

I'm really worried that they arrived at Japan without any trouble.

I will correct an article mistake here.

The sentence should be "I've told a staff member the number of people/persons." (The difference between people and persons is that the latter sounds more formal.  In addition, "persons" is used to avoid possible ambiguity, as "people" sometimes can mean "tribe, nation.")

"Staff" is a collective noun referring to a body of staff members. If you want to refer to one person use "staff member".

"A" should be "the," because the noun phrase "number of persons" is definite.

Last edited by Kscnoko (2008-07-25 17:16:40)

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#3 2008-07-25 20:42:01

scout
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

bubblebath wrote:

I'm really worried that they arrived at Japan without any trouble.

This is probably a good opportunity to mention that this sentence is saying the opposite of what I'm assuming you mean.  I'd recommend something along the lines of "I'm really worried that they didn't make it to Japan safely."

bubblebath wrote:

I hope the meeting point is the nearby of my workplace, Shibuya.

→ I hope the meeting point is near my workplace, Shibuya.

though personally I'd probably say
→ I hope the meeting point is near where I work (Shibuya.)

edit: typo in the second sentence.  Thanks QKlilx!

Last edited by scout (2008-07-27 08:51:02)

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#4 2008-07-25 21:09:05

Kscnoko
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

scout wrote:
bubblebath wrote:

I'm really worried that they arrived at Japan without any trouble.

This is probably a good opportunity to mention that this sentence is saying the opposite of what I'm assuming you mean.  I'd recommend something along the lines of "I'm really worried that they didn't make it to Japan safely."

bubblebath wrote:

I hope the meeting point is the nearby of my workplace, Shibuya.

→ I hope the meeting point is near my workplace, Shibuya.

though personally I'd probably say
→ I hope the meeting point is near my where I work (Shibuya.)

If you want to use a noun to express the same meaning, you can say "is in the vicinity of."

I hope the meeting point is in the vicinity of my workplace.

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#5 2008-07-27 05:56:43

QKlilx
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

How formal you are, Kscnoko. tongue

scout you made a mistake yourself. "I hope the meeting point is near my where I work (Shibuya.)" I think you mean "I hope the meeting point is near where I work (Shibuya)."

Personally, I would change that further to "I hope we can meet near where I work in Shibuya." Are there this many ways to express stuff in Japanese too? It doesn't feel like there are.

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#6 2008-07-27 08:50:01

scout
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

QKlilx: Oops ... thanks for catching that typo.  I didn't notice it even after reading through it a few times.

I also thought of something similar to your second version, but ended up not including it because it made it sound like the speaker had more control over the choice of location.  When I read the original sentence it felt like the author didn't have much choice as to the location ... but given the context, that's probably not what bubblebath was trying to imply.

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#7 2008-09-04 12:21:03

運転者
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

外に出てみたら、雨が降っていた。; I stepped out, (when) I found rain falling.
Translating the English back to Japanese (I hope):
自分が雨が降っていたことを悟ったとき、じぶんは外に出した。
I think that the original (外に出てみたら、雨が降っていた) means "When I went outside, I found that it was raining" - or if expressing surprise/dismay "I went out, only to find that it was raining."  The use of "stepped out" is correct, but not recommended. "Go out" or "leave" with the appropriate conjugations would be more "every-day" phrasing.

~ば is purely the conditional, or represents the state that hasn't realized yet. (In modern grammar)
(きみが) ちゃんと言えば、(あの人も) わかってくれるさ、きっと。; if you say it neatly, he'll get it, I bet.

Side issue: English could express the idea of 思えば in several forms for  思えば それは運命だったのかも知れない.  None of them seem to be either conditional or an unrealised state "Thinking about it, maybe it was fate", "come to think of it, ..." or "Now that I think about it, ..." etc, so forth and so on.

"if you say it neatly": Not that ”neatly” will cause any difficulty, but for working in English, はっきり (any one of "clearly/plainly/distinctly") is usually a better choice for "to say". "say it (ちゃんと) properly" would normally mean "don't mumble" or "don't mispronounce it."

時がたてば、やがて分かる。; When time has passed, you'll understand it before long. "When time has passed you'll understand it" or "You'll understand it before long" Colloquially "In time, you'll understand it" or "You'll understand it, soon enough." or "you'll understand it in due course." Conceptually, "When time has passed ... before long" is a paradox.

the A state that hasn't been realized yet: The original translates back to Japanese as 状態が今すぐを完了しませんでした。 "An unrealised state" would be entirely satisfactory here.

I keep experimenting with effective explanations of the differences between the definite and indefinite article; to date, wholly without success.

Last edited by 運転者 (2008-09-04 12:39:37)


ーーーーーーーーーー

「デェ、この微分[color=gray]びぶん[/color]・積分[color=gray]せきぶん[/color]とかゆうのは、足し算[color=gray]たしざん[/color]・引き算[color=gray]ひきざん[/color]とはどう違[color=gray]ちが[/color]うのだ?」 白雪

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#8 2008-09-05 04:28:14

運転者
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

"The policeman pursued the fleeing thief on a bicycle" (where the thief is on the bicycle) would technically need to be rendered as "the policeman pursued the thief  who/that was fleeing on a bicycle." However, the sentence is indeed ambiguous - so much so that a grammarian who teaches English will ask for a rewrite: even when the meaning is clear, the structure of "The policeman pursued the fleeing thief on a bicycle" remains ambiguous. The problem can arise with any preposition marking the indirect object.

Frequently, a statement using that structure will not result in any uncertainty:
The first aider treated the wounded woman with a broken leg. (Broken leg can only be an attribute of the woman.)
The first aider treated the wounded woman with an antivenine. (antivenine can only be the instrument by which treating was effected.)
HOWEVER:
(二ついじょうの)ガラスコップ = glasses: 目がね = glasses. (is 以上 the right word, and in the right place?)
So, having insulted him, she adjusted her glasses and said sweetly, "You wouldn't hit a woman with glasses, I'm sure."
He replied, "Not unless they were empty."
"Glasses" could be either an attribute of woman (as she intended) or an instrument of hitting (as he chose to misinterpret).

EDIT: Due to the neglect of critical points, as RichVH pointed out in the post below.

By the historical rules, where a phrase assigns an attribute to a direct object, a relative clause should be used. Prepositions should be used to indicate an adverbial phrase modifying the main verb.  For example, "hit a nail with a hammer" should invariably be understood to signify a hammer being used to hit a nail. Contemporary English uses the preposition + noun formula as both adverbial and adjectival phrases.

Disambiguation
"A policeman on a bicycle pursued the fleeing thief" places the policeman on a bicycle.
"A policeman pursued the thief who was fleeing on the bicycle" places the thief on the bicycle. While "who was" is technically optional; its use will allow for easier understanding.

Unfortunately, the preposition "with" is much harder to disambiguate: "hit with glasses a woman" would be grammatically unsound, so a different structure and different verbs are needed. "A man used glasses to hit a woman who was wearing glasses." Note that in disambiguating the sentence, "with" disappears.

All that said, it is not common for this variety of ambiguous sentence to actually result in an ambiguity. In the normal course, the natures of the direct and indirect objects will declare whether the phrase is adjectival or adverbial.

back to http://www.guidetojapanese.org/forum/vi … hp?id=3612

Last edited by 運転者 (2008-09-06 08:45:17)


ーーーーーーーーーー

「デェ、この微分[color=gray]びぶん[/color]・積分[color=gray]せきぶん[/color]とかゆうのは、足し算[color=gray]たしざん[/color]・引き算[color=gray]ひきざん[/color]とはどう違[color=gray]ちが[/color]うのだ?」 白雪

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#9 2008-09-05 07:19:41

richvh
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

Um, this sentence (The policeman pursued the fleeing thief on a bicycle) was meant to describe the policeman being on a bicycle, a case you haven't covered in the disambiguation.  (The case of the thief being on the bicycle was covered by "thief fleeing on a bicycle.")  One way I can see to do clarify is with "The bicycle-mounted policeman pursued the fleeing thief."


Richard VanHouten
[url=http://www.citlink.net/~richvh]ゆきの物語[/url]

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#10 2008-09-05 07:50:54

irankarapte
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

About 思えば,
It certainly represents "sinse I thought," in classical grammar, and is partially used also today. However it's not that you can generalize it. (I guess you've been aware of it, though.)

I also found it perhaps odd, "neatly saying", sinse I had the image that it modifies something like how you're dressed or how furnitures are set away in the room. And "before long", too, but it was perplexing to search for other words. In a nut shell, "without taking time further" or like that.

And thanks for telling me that to realize is transitive.

And yes, it's exactly what it is.

Translating the English back to Japanese (I hope):
自分が雨が降っていたことを悟ったとき、じぶんは外に出した

But 出した is transitive, and 出た is intransitive (that takes placements as accusative.)

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#11 2008-09-05 08:18:54

irankarapte
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

(that takes placements as accusative.) --> to which places attribute as accusative

I can't find apt ways to say it. ("to take place" = "to occur")

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#12 2008-09-05 09:40:36

運転者
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

Irankarapte:

And thanks for telling me that to realize is transitive.

Why .... so it is.

It certainly represents "since I thought," in classical grammar, and is partially used also today. However it's not that you can generalize it. (I guess you've been aware of it, though.)

English also has retained defunct forms in set phrases. Until your initial post on the matter, I hadn't been aware that it is not productive.  My sometimes tutor's confusion when I tried to use えば, with that connotation, for other words, is now understood.

And yes, it's exactly what it is.

    Translating the English back to Japanese (I hope):
    自分が雨が降っていたことを悟ったとき、じぶんは外に出した

But 出した is transitive, and 出た is intransitive (that takes placements as accusative.)

OOPS. ごめんな

Hmm, most people would stay inside after they noticed it was raining. Although .... First rainfall after eight months: the novelty can have that effect.

As to the point of  "occuring" - I'm not sure how to express the concept myself.


ーーーーーーーーーー

「デェ、この微分[color=gray]びぶん[/color]・積分[color=gray]せきぶん[/color]とかゆうのは、足し算[color=gray]たしざん[/color]・引き算[color=gray]ひきざん[/color]とはどう違[color=gray]ちが[/color]うのだ?」 白雪

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#13 2008-09-05 16:08:25

Kscnoko
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

I am back!

First, Yokohama-san, the ambiguity 運転者 spoke of concerning your sentence occurs only in writing. In actual speech no one I believe would confuse the sentence's meaning given proper context.  I think most people, upon hearing it, would interpret the sentence to mean "The policeman rides a bike to catch the thief"

(Of course, if we look at the sentence from a purely linguistic point of view there are problems.)




That said, there are many ways to disambiguate the sentence.

For example
The original sentence
"The policeman pursued the fleeing thief on a bicycle."

could be rendered as

"The policeman, riding a bicycle, pursued the fleeing thief."

Honestly I feel the original sentence is the most natural expression, though it might be ambigious. The offered alternatives I think are not what a native speaker would have said during a conversation.

For example, richcv's "The bicycle-mounted policeman pursued the fleeing thief." sounds a little literary and stiff , at least to me. The phrase "bicycle-mounted" is not an expression that a native speaker would have thought of right away.


The English language is full of ambiguties if you think about it. Scrutinizing any person's words, you'd surely find numerous loopholes in his logic. Nonetheless, most speakers would probably understand the intended meaning because of the context surrouding the words. Language, all in all, is about context.

Last edited by Kscnoko (2008-09-05 17:13:04)

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#14 2008-09-05 19:56:39

運転者
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

Correct on all counts, Kscnoko. However, there are times when even a native speaker will be forced to seek clarification. It is a certainty that a person who is not a native speaker will find the structure confusing.


ーーーーーーーーーー

「デェ、この微分[color=gray]びぶん[/color]・積分[color=gray]せきぶん[/color]とかゆうのは、足し算[color=gray]たしざん[/color]・引き算[color=gray]ひきざん[/color]とはどう違[color=gray]ちが[/color]うのだ?」 白雪

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#15 2008-09-05 20:17:34

Kscnoko
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

the A state that hasn't been realized yet: The original translates back to Japanese as 状態が今すぐを完了しませんでした。 "An unrealised state" would be entirely satisfactory here.

I keep experimenting with effective explanations of the differences between the definite and indefinite article; to date, wholly without success."

Ah, articles. The native speaker never thinks of it; the foreign learner always does.

If you were to use "the" without any previous reference, I'd be confused because I don't know what "state" are you talking about. Hence, you must use "a." (Null article isn't an option here.)

Now, if you have already described "state," saying something like "It has been raining all day," then you can use "the," because we know what kind of state are you talking about.

For example
It's been raining all day. This state hasn't changed yet. (*I know the second sentence is awkward. It's only for domenstration.)


Maybe, irankaraptke, you used "the" because you thought the following "that" clause makes "state" definite.  However, the clause is not defining "state"; it is but a modifier that provides additional information for the noun.

///

After years of living in an English environment, I am ashamed to say that I still sometimes waver on article usage. Sigh. Perhaps this is the burden of being a non-native speaker.

Last edited by Kscnoko (2008-09-05 20:50:16)

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#16 2008-09-05 20:43:16

Kscnoko
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

Another issue


I have always been baffled by the logic of the below sentence.

"A humorous Stalin appeared today to greet Roosevelt and Churchill."


Explanation as to why the indefinite article is here?  I seek a logical one big_smile

Last edited by Kscnoko (2008-09-05 20:50:43)

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#17 2008-09-05 21:14:37

richvh
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

I think it's shorthand for "Stalin, in a humorous mood, ..."


Richard VanHouten
[url=http://www.citlink.net/~richvh]ゆきの物語[/url]

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#18 2008-09-05 21:35:36

運転者
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

"A humorous Stalin appeared today to greet Roosevelt and Churchill."
Explanation as to why the indefinite article is here?  I seek a logical one

Eh? Aside from being extremely poor English you mean?
I have to take that "humorous" as being intended to mean "good humoured" (which it doesn't).
However, the construct is valid. It corresponds to the Japanese Nounのnoun format (as 今日の私) - an informal way to express the state of a person during the time referred to. In short there are other Stalins, or rather, there are other versions of Stalin - one of a number of possible versions met Roosevelt and Churchill. The form can be used for any verb of state, but the circumstances that allow for its use are rare. Productivity: 2 (scaled on 0 (set phrase only) to 9 (invariably usable)).

Last edited by 運転者 (2008-09-05 22:33:09)


ーーーーーーーーーー

「デェ、この微分[color=gray]びぶん[/color]・積分[color=gray]せきぶん[/color]とかゆうのは、足し算[color=gray]たしざん[/color]・引き算[color=gray]ひきざん[/color]とはどう違[color=gray]ちが[/color]うのだ?」 白雪

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#19 2008-09-06 07:10:33

irankarapte
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

OOPS. ごめんな

That's my line, for the spellings. 実は、漢字の書き取りとかも苦手です。

Maybe, irankaraptke, you used "the" because you thought the following "that" clause makes "state" definite.  However, the clause is not defining "state"; it is but a modifier that provides additional information for the noun.

Exactly.

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#20 2008-09-06 09:06:30

運転者
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

Kscnoko wrote:

After years of living in an English environment, I am ashamed to say that I still sometimes waver on article usage. Sigh. Perhaps this is the burden of being a non-native speaker.

*chortle* Even native speakers sometimes mess it up: Case in point

I wrote:

I keep experimenting with effective explanations of the differences between the definite and indefinite article; to date, wholly without success.

It should have been written as "the definite and the indefinite article", or as "the definite and indefinite articles." (the first being the better option.)


ーーーーーーーーーー

「デェ、この微分[color=gray]びぶん[/color]・積分[color=gray]せきぶん[/color]とかゆうのは、足し算[color=gray]たしざん[/color]・引き算[color=gray]ひきざん[/color]とはどう違[color=gray]ちが[/color]うのだ?」 白雪

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#21 2008-09-06 15:41:59

Kscnoko
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

運転者 wrote:
Kscnoko wrote:

After years of living in an English environment, I am ashamed to say that I still sometimes waver on article usage. Sigh. Perhaps this is the burden of being a non-native speaker.

*chortle* Even native speakers sometimes mess it up: Case in point

I wrote:

I keep experimenting with effective explanations of the differences between the definite and indefinite article; to date, wholly without success.

It should have been written as "the definite and the indefinite article", or as "the definite and indefinite articles." (the first being the better option.)

Perhaps, but native speakers scarcely commit an article mistake that is fatal to the ear. Your sentence, though containing a mistake, sounds quite natural; the "mistake" (or is it? The omission of the article does not interfere or ambiguate the meaning. No one would interpret the phrase to mean "the article that is both definite and indefinite.") is hard to detect on the first hearing. The errors of foreign speakers, on the other hand, will immediately raise the eyebrow of the listener.

Last edited by Kscnoko (2008-09-06 15:47:22)

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#22 2008-09-06 23:46:50

運転者
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

the definite and indefinite article: literally, the same article can be used to perform both functions - as in "he is the founder and mainstay of the school." The person who established the school also is the school's most important supporter (one way or another.) - A minor point, as you stated Kscnoko, but one that has the potential, in other contexts, to confuse.


ーーーーーーーーーー

「デェ、この微分[color=gray]びぶん[/color]・積分[color=gray]せきぶん[/color]とかゆうのは、足し算[color=gray]たしざん[/color]・引き算[color=gray]ひきざん[/color]とはどう違[color=gray]ちが[/color]うのだ?」 白雪

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#23 2008-09-08 17:09:05

Kscnoko
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

Today I have another question

Can "that" be used to refer to persons? Or it must be "who" or "whom?"


Edit: In relative clauses I mean.

Last edited by Kscnoko (2008-09-08 17:31:22)

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#24 2008-09-08 17:25:40

richvh
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

In relative clauses, "that" can certainly be used to refer to people.


Richard VanHouten
[url=http://www.citlink.net/~richvh]ゆきの物語[/url]

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#25 2008-09-08 17:32:16

Kscnoko
Member

Re: English as she is abused.

In relative clauses, "that" can certainly be used to refer to people.

Funny because I see a lot of sources online declare the word "that" can only be used for things.

http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/whoVwhVt.asp

Last edited by Kscnoko (2008-09-08 17:32:50)

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