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    #1

    Sentences Feb 11

    Hi,

    Are the following sentences natural to a native ear?

    1. Let me draw a diagram which might help you remember it.

    2. At this point the biggest danger of failure to this treaty is non conformance by both sides.

    3. There were two news that came earlier today.

    Thanks,

    MG.

  1. apex2000's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Sentences Feb 11

    1. OK
    2. At this point the biggest danger to the failure of this treaty is non conformance by both sides.
    3. You cannot say 'two news'; two sets of news; two newspapers.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Sentences Feb 11

    Quote Originally Posted by apex2000 View Post
    2. At this point the biggest danger to the failure of this treaty is non conformance by both sides.
    Doesn't the sentence mean "the biggest danger to the success of this treaty"?

  3. apex2000's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Sentences Feb 11

    Success? If we take a broad view of many treaties and how the UN in particular 'works' then they are considered to be successful as long as no state deliberately breaks them. But they are not successful as we all know because initial agreement is followed by little or no action. There is a huge gulf between success and failure.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Sentences Feb 11

    Quote Originally Posted by apex2000 View Post
    Success? If we take a broad view of many treaties and how the UN in particular 'works' then they are considered to be successful as long as no state deliberately breaks them. But they are not successful as we all know because initial agreement is followed by little or no action. There is a huge gulf between success and failure.
    I'm not talking about the practical problems of the UN. I'm talking about the meaning of the sentence.
    The original sentence:
    2. At this point the biggest danger of failure to this treaty is non conformance by both sides. is supposed to mean: Non-conformance is the biggest danger to success (the biggest potential cause of failure).
    Your sentence means that non-conformance is the biggest potential cause of success - the biggest danger to failure.

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    #6

    Re: Sentences Feb 11

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'm not talking about the practical problems of the UN. I'm talking about the meaning of the sentence.
    The original sentence:
    2. At this point the biggest danger of failure to this treaty is non conformance by both sides. is supposed to mean: Non-conformance is the biggest danger to success (the biggest potential cause of failure).
    Your sentence means that non-conformance is the biggest potential cause of success - the biggest danger to failure.
    You have misquoted me. I said 'to the failure' not 'of failure'. I should have said 'of this treaty failing' which makes it much clearer.
    I apologise to musicgold for not doing that.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Sentences Feb 11

    Quote Originally Posted by apex2000 View Post
    You have misquoted me. I said 'to the failure' not 'of failure'. I should have said 'of this treaty failing' which makes it much clearer.
    I apologise to musicgold for not doing that.
    No, I have not misquoted you. If you want to make accusations like this to cover your own mistakes, you should try to make sure you can back them up.
    I have paraphrased what your sentence meant. 'Of this treaty failing' doesn't "make it clearer"; it reverses the meaning of the sentence.
    Last edited by Raymott; 14-Feb-2011 at 10:30.

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    #8

    Re: Sentences Feb 11

    [QUOTE=Raymott;714121]2. At this point the biggest danger of failure to this treaty is non conformance by both sides. is supposed to mean: Non-conformance is the biggest danger to success QUOTE]

    If Musicgold's sentence supposed to mean this, which I think it does, then both suggestions of apex sound wrong to me.

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    #9

    Re: Sentences Feb 11

    Quote Originally Posted by musicgold View Post
    Hi,

    Are the following sentences natural to a native ear?

    1. Let me draw a diagram which might help you remember it.

    2. At this point the biggest danger of failure to this treaty is non conformance by both sides.

    3. There were two news that came earlier today.

    Thanks,

    MG.
    I am not a teacher.

    1. To my ear (Middle Atlantic, USA), "which" should be "that", but many people around here would disagree with me. The sentence is good English.

    2. This sentence is fine, except I would expect "non-conformance". There is danger "to" things, and "of failure" is nothing more than an adjective modifying "danger". I see nothing remarkable in the grammar or idiom of this sentence.

    3. "News" is uncountable. It would have to be something like, "There were two bits of news that came earlier today."

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    #10

    Re: Sentences Feb 11

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, I have not misquoted you. If you want to make accusations like this to cover your own mistakes, you should try to make sure you can back them up.
    I have paraphrased what your sentence meant. 'Of this treaty failing' doesn't "make it clearer"; it reverses the meaning of the sentence.
    You are quite correct; you did not misquote me. I made a mistake about which sentence was which and that is entirely my fault. I apologise, unreservedly.

    Furthermore I should have taken the time to explain in more detail my approach to the failure of a treaty. A treaty may fail for any number of reasons; but success has to be absolute. The question was about the greatest danger of failure. Once a treaty has been signed/completed then the greatest danger would be if neither side implemented it.
    I see what you meant. However I cannot agree that I have turned the original sentence around by replacing 'at this point the biggest danger of failure to this treaty is non conformance by both sides' with 'at this point the biggest danger of this treaty failing is non conformance by both sides'.

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