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91
Language Questions / ---- how many chalks Mendelssohn gave himself
« Last post by t k on March 14, 2019, 05:25:17 am »
The Tribune is a slippery place for people like Mendelssohn to study humility in.  They generally take two steps away from it for one they take towards it.  I wonder how many chalks Mendelssohn gave himself for having sat two hours on that chair.  (from THE WAY OF ALL FLESH, by Samuel Butler; a larger context is here; use ctrl-f to locate the sentence)

Please explain "how many chalks Mendelssohn gave himself".  Thanks.  --- tk
92
Language Questions / ---- commit himself definitely to one reading or another
« Last post by t k on March 14, 2019, 05:19:10 am »
Some poets always begin to get groggy about the knees after running for seven or eight lines.  Mr Pontifex’s last couplet gave him a lot of trouble, and nearly every word has been erased and rewritten once at least.  In the visitors’ book at the Montanvert, however, he must have been obliged to commit himself definitely to one reading or another.  (from THE WAY OF ALL FLESH, by Samuel Butler; a larger context is here; use ctrl-f to locate the sentence)

Please explain "commit himself definitely to one reading or another".  Thanks.  --- tk
93
Café / Re: Happy Birthday, Duncan!
« Last post by t k on March 14, 2019, 05:09:36 am »
"Joyeux anniversaire!"  --- tk
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Café / Re: Happy Birthday, Duncan!
« Last post by JTL on March 14, 2019, 02:56:56 am »
Happy Birthday Duncan!
95
Language Questions / Re: husband or wife of your parents' first cousins
« Last post by Darryl on March 13, 2019, 10:38:34 pm »
... the husband or wife of your parents' first cousins

That's quite a distant connection isn't it? My guess is most of us wouldn't even be acquainted with such distant relatives. Anyway, they would have a first name wouldn't they?
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Language Questions / Re: passivization and PPs functioning as Subject
« Last post by Jay on March 13, 2019, 10:21:37 pm »
I appreciate!! :)  I will try to make my question short and simple next time :)
97
Language Questions / husband or wife of your parents' first cousins
« Last post by bookworm on March 13, 2019, 05:44:15 pm »
I'm not sure if you also use uncle or aunt when referring to the husband or wife of your parents' first cousins who are not related to you by blood.

Aunt Susie
Uncle Joe

If not, how would you normally call them?
98
Language Questions / Re: have worked with him vs. have been working with him
« Last post by azz on March 13, 2019, 05:36:39 pm »
Thank you so much Duncan.

Wouldn't it be better to use the past perfective if the person was dead? (had been working, had worked)
Maybe if the death is recent the present perfective would be better. I don't know.

Many thanks.
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Café / Re: Happy Birthday, Duncan!
« Last post by admin on March 13, 2019, 03:47:30 pm »
Thanks guys  :-*
100
Language Questions / Re: passivization and PPs functioning as Subject
« Last post by admin on March 13, 2019, 03:45:48 pm »
I have two questions about passivization and Subject position; is the sentence including the form 'be+adjective' able to be passivized? and are PPs able to be Subject of sentences? More details are below.

1. Passivization

a. The dentist is eager to examine Pat. ('The dentist is eager for Pat to be examined.' - if I have to passivize it, only postverbal passivization seems possible, I think.)
b. Pat is eager to be examined by the dentist.

-> Is the sentence (b) passivized from the sentence (a)? I think they seems similar, but not only the meaning is different but also the sentence (b)'s original version is different from the sentence (a). Please check my idea is correct, and one more question is whether the sentence whose main verb is 'is eager' can be passivized or not.
Yes you are correct
No it can't


2. PPs functioning as Subject

a. [Under the stairs] was a safe area to be during the war.
b. [Outside the fridge] is a bad place to keep milk.
c. [Between eleven and midnight] suits him.

For me, Prepositional phrase (PP) itself doesn't seem to be Subject in a sentence. Actually, I am confused between it and Inversion, which is a grammatical term. I think the noun phrase 'a safe area' and 'a bad place' are the real Subjects of the sentences (a) and (b). I believe the reason that PPs on the Subject position of the sentences (a) and (b) are due to emphasis.
However, after I saw the sentence (c), I'm puzzled becuase the PP seems to be Subject definitely. Is a PP able to be Subject?
Yes indeed

I'm not sure whether I may post my question about grammar on here or 'language questions'.
I post it here again because I couldn't get any answer of my two questions from 'language questions'.
I don't mean that I feel bad about it, but I am still curious about them. Please let me know if there's any rules here or I write in a rude way. Because I am a foreign student studying English, and the writing skill may be poor and the sentences can be clumsy.
Please post in language questions.
If you keep your questions short - and only one question in each post, you are much more likely to get an answer. We are all volunteers here and are busy people :)

Thanks in advance

Jay
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