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Thread: need explaining

  1. #11
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: need explaining

    To me, the above sentence is grammatically incorrect without a verb "is/may be/etc."

    Whatever it= is an incomplete sentence because there is no verb in it.
    that you need explaining = adjective clause qualifying the pronoun "whatever".>

    I'll take it slowly.

    Dialogue:

    Tom: I don't understand this.

    M56: Google it.

    Tom: Google what?

    M56: Whatever "it" that you need explaining.

    (Notice that the it is in quotes there.)

    ...........................................

    Similar dialogue:

    Tom: I don't understand this math.

    M56: Google it.

    Tom: Google what?

    M56: Whatever math that you need explaining.

    Tom: (sarcastically) What a peculiar sentence! What language is it? LOL!

    ..........................

    Give me money, now!

    What money?

    Whatever money you have.

  2. #12
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: need explaining

    <I like your analysis. Ellipsis, yes, but as Temico points out, the result is ungrammatical. "oiling", a present participle, is used to describe what needs to be done on the door. >

    Are you sure it's not a gerund?

  3. #13
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    Default Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    Whatever "it" that you need explaining. (Notice that the it is in quotes there.)
    Whatever math that you need explaining.
    Whatever money you have.
    It's marked, but it works.

    Whatever (kind of) thing you need explaining.

  4. #14
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: need explaining

    Tell me, does anyone see the difference in aspectual focus between:

    I need my dog walked.

    I need my dog walking.

    ??

  5. #15
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    Default Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    I need this door oiling.
    Are you sure it's not a gerund?
    Well, let's test it. If 'oiling' were a noun, we'd expect it to function as an object or a subject, because that's what nouns do, right? In our example sentence, 'oiling' modifies the noun phrase 'this door', which makes it an adjective.

    Here's a gerund,

    EX: One of my hobbies is oiling furniture. (gerund phrase)

    What about?

    EX: This door needs oiling.

    Is 'oiling' an adjective or a gerund? (Hint, what kind of verb is "needs"?)

  6. #16
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    It's marked, but it works.

    Whatever (kind of) thing you need explaining.
    Eggs actly!


  7. #17
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    Default Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    Tell me, does anyone see the difference in aspectual focus between: I need my dog walked. I need my dog walking.
    What do you mean by 'aspectual focus', and what difference, if any, do you pick up? To me, the latter example is ungrammatical. Are you picking up on or working from the angle of the dialect variation, my car needs (to be) washed, my car needs washing? If so, there's a difference between the structures:

    I need X (to be) Y-ed. (X is the object)
    X needs (to be) Y-ed or Y-ing. (X is the subject)

    Compare:

    I need X (to be) Y-ing

    Examples
    Max: When's my car going to be ready?
    Mechanic: Two days, tops.
    Max: I need my car (to be) running by tomorrow.

    Sam: Your dog isn't doing well in the finals.
    Pat: I know. I need my dog (to be) walking that course instead of running it.

  8. #18
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea

    What about?

    EX: This door needs oiling.

    Is 'oiling' an adjective or a gerund? (Hint, what kind of verb is "needs"?)
    "Need" can be a transitive, intransitive and a modal verb

  9. #19
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    Default Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    "Need" can be a transitive, intransitive and a modal verb
    OK. Well, it's not intransitive (there's an object). Let's test it some more:

    [1] I need someone to walk my dog. *I need my dog walking.

    [2] I need someone to walk me. I need walking.

    Why does [2] work? (Hint, I need X Y-ing; I need Y-ing)

  10. #20
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: need explaining

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    What do you mean by 'aspectual focus', and what difference, if any, do you pick up? To me, the latter example [I need my dog walking] is ungrammatical.
    As it is to all North Americans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Are you picking up on or working from the angle of the dialect variation, my car needs (to be) washed, my car needs washing? If so, there's a difference between the structures.
    No, I'm not.

    I'm trying to show you what the thinking is behind the constructions. If you keep throwing standard written grammar at me, I cannot get any further. The constructions are definitely regional and clearly examples of spoken grammar. Spoken grammar research is still in its infancy compared to the work that has been carried out on written grammar.

    Two possibilities with aspectual focus here: perfective (in the sense of completion or result) and imperfective (in the sense of beginning or incomplete).

    I need my dog walked. (Action perceived as complete at some time in the future.)

    I need my dog walking. (Action perceived as beginning or incomplete/in progress at some time in the future.)


    The dog needs walking/to be walked. (Present state of the dog. An unwalked dog.)

    I need my dog walking. (Present need and future reference. Ongoing at some time in the future.)

    I need my dog walked. (Present need and future reference. Completed at some time in the future.)

    Remember, all this is supposition. Spoken grammar can be difficult to analyse.
    Last edited by M56; 11-Sep-2005 at 00:41.

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