Number 4 is right.
1. She is a reliable person. (right)
2. She is reliable. (right)
3. She is trustworthy. (right)
4. She is a trustworthy person. (wrong)
Are the comment I put in the bracket at the end of the sentence correct?
Number 4 is right.
I agree with Rover, but, based on a previous unfortunate contractual experience of different interpretations between UKE and AME, I believe what Rover meant, strictly speaking, was: "Number 4 is also right"
It is similar to the problem where, in UKE, a double-negative represents a positive, whereas in AME, I understand, a double negative reinforces the negative.
"Number 4 is right" could, to some people, mean that: "She is a trustworthy person. (wrong)" (unlike the other statements) is a correct statement, which is not what, I believe, was intended.
It's just one of the nuances of the English language, but the difference in my case almost lead to a wrong interpretation of a final response from international tenderers (bidders) and a major contract being incorrectly awarded, on a misconception, to the wrong bidder. Thankfully we realised it in time.
I know it's a bit "picky" but, in a contractual context, you soon learn to be very careful with your very precise wording.
Hence my specific interest in language
Hope this helps
Fair comment, R21.
R21- I agree that there can be a problem with ambiguity in post#2, but where did you get the idea that in AmE a double negative reinforces the negative? I infer from this that you believe that this is the norm in the US. While this form is occasionally heard in both AmE and BrE, it is, IMO, not acceptable.
Well said, Barb.
I was racking my brains to think of a simple example!
PS Maybe I should have said "wrecking"!
Last edited by Route21; 14-Apr-2011 at 18:47.
And without fail, the guilty person says, "I don't know nuthin' about that."
I do use double negatives all the time, but only ironically, in jest. (Or intentionally to be create the positive, like "I don't not want to do it, but I just don't have time to do it now!")
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.