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Thread: He can grasp!

  1. #1
    RoseSpring's Avatar
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    He can grasp!

    A teacher is saying this about his student. Is it correct?

    I want to know how much can he grasp?

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    Re: He can grasp!

    Quote Originally Posted by RoseSpring View Post
    A teacher is saying this about his student. Is it correct?

    I want to know how much can he grasp?

    I want to know; how much can he grasp? (Some may use a comma instead of the semi-colon)
    I want to know how much he can grasp?

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    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Re: He can grasp!

    Just a minor point, but neither are questions.

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    Re: He can grasp!

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    Just a minor point, but neither are questions.

    You are right for the second one, my mistake. But for the first one, I'd like to know your opinion. Because I think it needs a question mark.

    I want to know; how much can he grasp?
    I want to know how much he can grasp.

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    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Re: He can grasp!

    No, neither statement is a question and therefore no question mark, even though a question is indirect and implied and it would possibly generate a response from the listener. If the statement were simply, "How much can he grasp? then, of course, it is question.

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    BRENOIRONMAIDEN is offline Junior Member
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    Re: He can grasp!

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    No, neither statement is a question and therefore no question mark, even though a question is indirect and implied and it would possibly generate a response from the listener. If the statement were simply, "How much can he grasp? then, of course, it is question.

  7. #7
    RoseSpring's Avatar
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    Re: He can grasp!

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    No, neither statement is a question and therefore no question mark, even though a question is indirect and implied and it would possibly generate a response from the listener. If the statement were simply, "How much can he grasp? then, of course, it is question.
    Thanks indeed, I usually got confused in such matter. Thanks for help.

  8. #8
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: He can grasp!

    Quote Originally Posted by euncu View Post

    I want to know; how much can he grasp?
    I want to know how much he can grasp.
    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    Neither statement is a question and therefore no question mark, even though a question is indirect and implied and it would possibly generate a response from the listener. If the statement were simply, "How much can he grasp? then, of course, it is question.
    If the first one is not a question, how do you justify the inversion of the auxiliary?

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    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Re: He can grasp!

    Regardless of whether the auxiliary is inverted in the examples and use of a semicolon, it remains an implied question that does not require a question mark. Further, from a grammatical perspective "to know how much can he grasp" qualifies as an infinitive phrase that is the object of "wants". And finally, the sentence structure in the first example, while not terribly bad, is a little awkward.

  10. #10
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: He can grasp!

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    Regardless of whether the auxiliary is inverted in the examples and use of a semicolon, it remains an implied question that does not require a question mark. Further, from a grammatical perspective "to know how much can he grasp" qualifies as an infinitive phrase that is the object of "wants". And finally, the sentence structure in the first example, while not terribly bad, is a little awkward.
    So you mean that the first (awkward) example is grammatically correct irrespective of the auxiliary inversion?

    I want to know; how much can he grasp.
    I want to know; how much he can grasp.

    Just to confirm, are the sentences above, although a little awkward, both correct?

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