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  1. #1
    Mary Bright is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Questions on Grammar and Punctuation!!!

    I've got questions on the English grammar and punctuation, the comma especially. Will you tell me, please:
    1) How to use a comma with adverbs which are always at the beginning of a sentence? E.g.:
    Today these buildings present a great historical and cultural value.
    In 1902 the buildings were reconstructed and united into one.
    Later on it was renamed into George's House.

    Do I need to use a comma after today, 1902, later on, since , etc.?

    2) How to use a comma correctly with participles II postposed? E.g.:
    The buildings situated there belong to the postwar period
    There was also a square situated at the crossing of two streets.
    There used to be a convent built in 1813.
    Is there any rule to explain this?

    3) Can I express possession this way:
    These houses were built according to the architect's Ben Johnson project.

    4) If a proper noun has a descriptive attribute, which article shall I use? E.g.:
    The square boarders (the, an, -) old Central Public Graden on the south.

    5) If I have a proper name such as 'Old Town', shall I capitalize it when using as just 'Town', without 'Old'? E.g.:
    This is Old Town. The Town is famous for its history.

    6) Is it all right to say 'It's (the building) shaped like a huge liner', 'The square is spreading back of it (park)'.

    7) What is the correct variant for writing proper names which are naturally common? E.g.
    The October cinema
    Do you italicize it, or quote, or what?

    There are lots of questions. Hope, not too many, though. Really need your assistance and thanks a lot in advance.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Questions on Grammar and Punctuation!!!

    "1) How to use a comma with adverbs which are always at the beginning of a sentence? E.g.:
    Today
    these buildings present a great historical and cultural value.
    In 1902
    the buildings were reconstructed and united into one.
    Later on
    it was renamed into George's House."
    Too many questions in one post, Mary. In answer to this one; I would use a comma after all three.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Questions on Grammar and Punctuation!!!

    The answer to #3:
    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Bright View Post
    Can I express possession this way:
    These houses were built according to the architect's Ben Johnson project.
    No.......These houses were built according to the architect Ben Johnson's project.

    Note also:

    He was one of Diana, Princess of Wales's, oldest friends.
    The King of France's most trusted admirer.
    ...

    You will also hear such utterances as:.....The chap I used to share a room with's girlfriend ...

    It is much better to rephrase utterances such as the last (The girlfriend of the chap I used to live with.... ) but they pass unnoticed in informal conversation, so strong is the feeling we have that the 's belongs with the last word of the 'possessor' noun phrase.

  4. #4
    Bide is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Questions on Grammar and Punctuation!!!

    I wouldn't say: "These houses were built according to the architect's Ben Johnson project." was necessarily wrong. Assume an architect, Bob Builder, who has a house building specification project named after one Mr Ben Johnson. In such a context the original sentence is quite correct.

    These houses were built according to Bob Builder's Ben Johnson project.

    You can leave out the bits in ( ).

    The buildings (which are) situated there belong to the postwar period. Here you have a reduced relative clause. 'situated there' is a post-nomial descriptive attribute here, an adjective. In my opinion no comma is needed or warranted. If the relative clause was not reduced, I still wouldn't use commas. It wouldn't be good English to write: 'The situated there buildings'. It would be ok like that in Chinese.

    The buildings can't 'situate'. They can be situated.
    There was also a square (which was) situated at the crossing of two streets. Here you have an anonymous passive: instead of active: 'The architect situated the square at the crossroads.' or passive: 'The square was situated at the crossroads by the architect.' the person who did the 'situating' is unknown or irrelevant, so we have the existential passive: 'There was also a square situated at the crossroads.' (Cf 'Situated at the crossroads was a square.')

    There is of course the reflexive: 'The building situates itself on the corner of Grove Street and Windy Alley.' Even so, I don't think the building chooses where it puts itself! It is not the actor or agent controlling its own position.

    This next sentence is missing something. I added a prepositional adverbial: 'on this corner'
    There used to be a convent, (which was) built in 1813, on this corner. Here you have a reduced relative clause. I would recommend using commas.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Questions on Grammar and Punctuation!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bide View Post
    I wouldn't say: "These houses were built according to the architect's Ben Johnson project." was necessarily wrong. Assume an architect, Bob Builder, who has a house building specification project named after one Mr Ben Johnson. In such a context the original sentence is quite correct.

    These houses were built according to Bob Builder's Ben Johnson project.
    Very true. I hadn't thought of that.

  6. #6
    Mary Bright is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Questions on Grammar and Punctuation!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    [I]
    Too many questions in one post, Mary. In answer to this one; I would use a comma after all three.
    I'm sorry. Had such a feeling. Thank you for answering this question.

  7. #7
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Questions on Grammar and Punctuation!!!

    4) If a proper noun has a descriptive attribute, which article shall I use? E.g.:
    The square boarders (the, an, -) old Central Public Garden on the south.
    As it's a proper noun, use the.

    This is getting confusing, Mary. We're having to search through to see which questions haven't been addressed yet.

    Please post your unanswered questions separately, with meaningful titles like This is Old Town and The October cinema.

    Rover

  8. #8
    Mary Bright is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Questions on Grammar and Punctuation!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    The answer to #3:No.......These houses were built according to the architect Ben Johnson's project.

    Note also:

    He was one of Diana, Princess of Wales's, oldest friends.
    The King of France's most trusted admirer.
    ...

    You will also hear such utterances as:.....The chap I used to share a room with's girlfriend ...

    It is much better to rephrase utterances such as the last (The girlfriend of the chap I used to live with.... ) but they pass unnoticed in informal conversation, so strong is the feeling we have that the 's belongs with the last word of the 'possessor' noun phrase.
    Thanks a lot. But what about this case: King John II? Where am I to make a possession?

  9. #9
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Questions on Grammar and Punctuation!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Bright View Post
    Thanks a lot. But what about this case: King John II? Where am I to make a possession?
    You could say King John II's wife.

    You can also rewrite: The wife of King John II.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  10. #10
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Questions on Grammar and Punctuation!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Bright View Post
    Thanks a lot. But what about this case: King John II? Where am I to make a possession?
    'He was King John II's most trusted courtier.'

    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 25-Mar-2011 at 13:18. Reason: Barb was too quick for me.

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