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  1. #21
    donnach is offline Member
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    Default Re: Is 'find useful' elliptical?

    But that's a question, and that's the known syntax for questions.

    Okay, I'll just take it that I'm still too inexperienced to realize that SVO is only one of the ways, albeit the most common way, that English works.

  2. #22
    Curt Jugg is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Is 'find useful' elliptical?

    Try looking at it this way. Take your original sentence: “Manufacturers like to know what features consumers find useful”. There is an implicit question here: “What features do consumers find useful?” Again, the direct object “what features” precedes the subject “consumers”. This word order is transferred to the subordinate clause in your sentence. Does that make sense?

  3. #23
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Is 'find useful' elliptical?

    Curt,

    Don't think of yourself as intruding. Your thoughts are welcome.

    "Your thoughts I welcome". would be an example of direct object preceding the subject. That, though, would be anaphora -- unusual word order for effect.

  4. #24
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Is 'find useful' elliptical?

    Quote Originally Posted by donnach View Post
    Afit,

    Does this type of construction have a name?

    .....what features consumers find useful = object/subject/verb/object complement

    It works with the verb think as well, and deem. It seems this may be a common construction for verbs of opinion or discovery.

    What are your thoughts? And, have you heard any general explanation for this type of syntax?

    Thanks!
    Here goes the French teacher again: "Find useful" is a borrowed phrase from French, where the phrase has been very common for a long time.

  5. #25
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Is 'find useful' elliptical?

    You may be giving French a little TOO much credit here. I admit that English once was described as "a dialect of French" but the "-ful" of "useful" would not be in French. And the "find" is certainly related more closely to the German "finden" than to the French "trouver".

  6. #26
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Is 'find useful' elliptical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    You may be giving French a little TOO much credit here. I admit that English once was described as "a dialect of French" but the "-ful" of "useful" would not be in French. And the "find" is certainly related more closely to the German "finden" than to the French "trouver".
    It's the construction that's borrowed, not the words - like 'it goes without saying'.

  7. #27
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Is 'find useful' elliptical?

    You may be right on that one. The construction but not the words. Unusual.
    But in Portuguese, for example, one would say it the same way. "Eu nao acho voce bonito." (missing the circumflex) = I don't find you handsome.

  8. #28
    Nahuel is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is 'find useful' elliptical?

    Sorry to revive this dead topic but reading every post in it was very helpful to me, although it didn't clarify what clause structure and functino type is "what features consumers find useful."
    Is it a relative clause, structurally, functioning as a nominal clause?

  9. #29
    Mr.Ayed is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is 'find useful' elliptical?

    Would it be acceptable to an English-native if I said :
    Manufacturers like to know what features consumers find useful to them(the reflexivie pronoun "them" refers to consumers)?

    Thanks a lot..

    Mr.Ayed

  10. #30
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Is 'find useful' elliptical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Ayed View Post
    Would it be acceptable to an English-native if I said :
    Manufacturers like to know what features consumers find useful to them(the reflexivie pronoun "them" refers to consumers)?

    Thanks a lot..

    Mr.Ayed
    Mr. Ayed,

    There would be nothing wrong with the syntax, and a native English speaker might say that, but there is the problem of the unclear antecedent to "them", which in this case is not a reflexive pronoun but a pronoun acting as the object of a preposition.
    The hearer is left a little puzzled by the two possibilities for an antecedent -- "Manufacturers" and "consumers". Logic indicates the second, but it is not perfectly clear.

    Frank

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