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    Default Noun Clause Phenomenon: Native English Speaker Ability?

    Why do you suppose native speakers of English sometimes seem to have such a hard time with noun clauses? What I hear sometimes I find rather odd. Or should I say amazing? I hear some people - on the radio and in person - who either get it wrong or fail at it altogether. For example, it seems that every other time I turn on the radio - NPR - I hear someone form a sentence in which "whether" ought to be used to connect two clauses, yet the speaker fails to do so. Why?

    Here's another example of what I mean. Sometimes I hear people - yes native speakers of English - who will say something like this: Well, first of all, in order to follow through, we have to know what is our purpose and what is our goal.

    I have a suspicion as to why some people, who are likely viewed as well-spoken nonetheless, form sentences like this when they speak. But I'd like to know what others have to say about this. And by the way, I don't believe that this is attributable to "spoken language". There's something else going on here.

    Now, I can't be the only one who has noticed this noun clause phenomenon, can I? Can I?

    Does anyone have any comments about this? Has anyone else noticed this noun clause phenomenon in their daily listenings both on the radio and in person?

    Last edited by PROESL; 02-Aug-2009 at 06:29. Reason: typo edit

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    Default Re: Noun Clause Phenomenon: Native English Speaker Ability?

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    For example, it seems that every other time I turn on the radio - NPR - I hear someone form a sentence in which "whether" ought to be used to connect two clauses, yet the speaker fails to do so. Why?
    Looks like http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/...85075/ellipsis

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Well, first of all, in order to follow through, we have to know what is our purpose and what is our goal.
    Looks like Hypercorrection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Smile Re: Noun Clause Phenomenon: Native English Speaker Ability?


    I've looked at the links you provided. However, I don't follow how hypercorrection and ellipsis have something to do with this type of error that occurs from time to time among native speakers of English. Could you, please, explain a bit of what you mean here, please?


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    Default Re: Noun Clause Phenomenon: Native English Speaker Ability?

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    I've looked at the links you provided. However, I don't follow how hypercorrection and ellipsis have something to do with this type of error that occurs from time to time among native speakers of English. Could you, please, explain a bit of what you mean here, please?

    Sure. First, if you could provide more than one example of the kinds of sentences housing the structures that amaze you, I would be more than happy to provide further insight on the grammar being used.

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    Cool Re: Noun Clause Phenomenon: Native English Speaker Ability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Sure. First, if you could provide more than one example of the kinds of sentences housing the structures that amaze you, I would be more than happy to provide further insight on the grammar being used.

    In order to participate in this discussion, I believe my two examples are sufficient for anyone who has a working knowledge of English grammar in the context of ESL.

    You need not provide me with further insight on the grammar being used, as my understanding in this area is more than sufficient. I do thank you for offering, however. It is very kind of you.

    I would just add once again that I don't feel hypercorrection and ellipsis are related to the topic which I posted here.

    I thank you once again. You are very kind.


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    Default Re: Noun Clause Phenomenon: Native English Speaker Ability?

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    You need not provide me with further insight on the grammar being used, as my understanding in this area is more than sufficient. I do thank you for offering, however. It is very kind of you.
    You're most welcome.

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    Default Re: Noun Clause Phenomenon: Native English Speaker Ability?

    Here's another example of what I mean. Sometimes I hear people - yes native speakers of English - who will say something like this: Well, first of all, in order to follow through, we have to know what is our purpose and what is our goal. Originally Posted by PROESL

    To me, this looks like something from a business presentation, perhaps to the board, where the speaker, possibly excellent at business but not terribly good with language, is trying to do two things; 1. Pad out his presentation to make it last the required time and seem substantial.
    2. Use complicated sentences to impress his audience.

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    Default Re: Noun Clause Phenomenon: Native English Speaker Ability?

    Deleted the text because this posted two times by mistake
    Last edited by PROESL; 02-Aug-2009 at 18:54.

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    Default Re: Noun Clause Phenomenon: Native English Speaker Ability?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Here's another example of what I mean. Sometimes I hear people - yes native speakers of English - who will say something like this: Well, first of all, in order to follow through, we have to know what is our purpose and what is our goal. Originally Posted by PROESL

    To me, this looks like something from a business presentation, perhaps to the board, where the speaker, possibly excellent at business but not terribly good with language, is trying to do two things; 1. Pad out his presentation to make it last the required time and seem substantial.
    2. Use complicated sentences to impress his audience.
    I understand what you mean, and while this is certainly a possibility, please, allow me to explain what I really mean here.


    Well, first of all, in order to follow through, we have to know what is our purpose and what is our goal. - incorrect word order for a noun clause

    Well, first of all, in order to follow through, we have to know what our purpose is and what our goal is. - correct word order for a noun clause

    So, one might wonder why some native speakers of English seem to get this wrong from time to time.

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    Default Re: Noun Clause Phenomenon: Native English Speaker Ability?

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    I understand what you mean, and while this is certainly a possibility, please, allow me to explain what I really mean here.


    Well, first of all, in order to follow through, we have to know what is our purpose and what is our goal. - incorrect word order for a noun clause

    Well, first of all, in order to follow through, we have to know what our purpose is and what our goal is. - correct word order for a noun clause

    So, one might wonder why some native speakers of English seem to get this wrong from time to time.
    Well, first of all, in order to follow through, we have to know; what is our purpose?

    If you punctuate it like that I can't see a problem. ('What is our goal.' is redundant.)

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