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Thread: Grammar Help

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    #1

    Grammar Help

    Dear All,

    I have ready many times such type of sentences which starts like that.

    To my surprise, ................
    To be honest, ...........
    To the best of my knowledge, ....

    I tried to analyze, but could not be successful.

    How can we categorize these sentences and what t ype of phrases are these.

    Thanks & Regards
    Rajan
    Last edited by rajan; 01-Oct-2011 at 12:00.

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    #2

    Re: Grammar Help

    [QUOTE=rajan;806461]


    To my surprise, ................
    To be honest, ...........
    To the best of my knowledge, ....



    ONLY A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    (1) My favorite book calls these absolute (independent) constructions. That is,

    they do not belong grammatically to the following sentence. (If you deleted

    (erased) those absolute/independent constructions, your sentence would still be good

    English.) Those absolute constructions are a comment on what follows.

    (a) To my surprise, the usually noisy students were quiet today in class.

    (i) "To my surprise" is a prepositional phrase used "absolutely" or "independently."

    As you can see, it is a shorter (and more dramatic?) way to say "I was surprised that

    the usually noisy students were quiet today in class."

    (b) To be honest, I do not like him. He is too rude.

    (i) As you know, "to be" is an infinitive. So we can say that "to be honest" is an

    infinitive phrase being used absolutely or independently. I think that you could also

    express that idea like this: I am being honest: I do not like him. (Here is an example

    from Descriptive English Grammar by House and Harman: "To tell the truth, I

    positively dislike him.")

    (c) To the best of my knowledge, I have never seen her before.

    (i) As you now know, that is a prepositional phrase. It's a comment on "I have

    never seen her before." Grammatically speaking, there is no connection. But as

    Pence & Emery remind us in A Grammar of Present-Day English, there is, of course,

    a logical connection.

    (2) Tom: I hear that you have lost all of your money.

    Martha: Yes, I have.

    Tom: I'm so sorry.

    Martha: Thank you for your concern, but at any rate, I still have my good health.

    = Well, I am thankful that I still have my good health.

    (3) Mona: How do you like this school?

    Joe: Some of the teachers are a bit impatient.

    Mona: What about the cafeteria food?

    Joe: It's super!

    Mona: What about the girls?

    Joe: They're really beautiful!''

    Mona: Well, it seems to me that, on the whole, you have little to complain about,

    dude! = When you consider everything, you have little ....

    (Credit goes to Pence & Emery's book for the prepositional phrases "at any rate"

    and "on the whole.")

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    #3

    Re: Grammar Help

    Thanks for your detailed explaination.

    Further there is one more question.

    Will it be right to say

    Being honest, I do not like him. He is too rude.

    [QUOTE=TheParser;806482]
    Quote Originally Posted by rajan View Post


    To my surprise, ................
    To be honest, ...........
    To the best of my knowledge, ....



    ONLY A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    (1) My favorite book calls these absolute (independent) constructions. That is,

    they do not belong grammatically to the following sentence. (If you deleted

    (erased) those absolute/independent constructions, your sentence would still be good

    English.) Those absolute constructions are a comment on what follows.

    (a) To my surprise, the usually noisy students were quiet today in class.

    (i) "To my surprise" is a prepositional phrase used "absolutely" or "independently."

    As you can see, it is a shorter (and more dramatic?) way to say "I was surprised that

    the usually noisy students were quiet today in class."

    (b) To be honest, I do not like him. He is too rude.

    (i) As you know, "to be" is an infinitive. So we can say that "to be honest" is an

    infinitive phrase being used absolutely or independently. I think that you could also

    express that idea like this: I am being honest: I do not like him. (Here is an example

    from Descriptive English Grammar by House and Harman: "To tell the truth, I

    positively dislike him.")

    (c) To the best of my knowledge, I have never seen her before.

    (i) As you now know, that is a prepositional phrase. It's a comment on "I have

    never seen her before." Grammatically speaking, there is no connection. But as

    Pence & Emery remind us in A Grammar of Present-Day English, there is, of course,

    a logical connection.

    (2) Tom: I hear that you have lost all of your money.

    Martha: Yes, I have.

    Tom: I'm so sorry.

    Martha: Thank you for your concern, but at any rate, I still have my good health.

    = Well, I am thankful that I still have my good health.

    (3) Mona: How do you like this school?

    Joe: Some of the teachers are a bit impatient.

    Mona: What about the cafeteria food?

    Joe: It's super!

    Mona: What about the girls?

    Joe: They're really beautiful!''

    Mona: Well, it seems to me that, on the whole, you have little to complain about,

    dude! = When you consider everything, you have little ....

    (Credit goes to Pence & Emery's book for the prepositional phrases "at any rate"

    and "on the whole.")

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    #4

    Re: Grammar Help

    [QUOTE=rajan;806488]

    Will it be right to say

    Being honest, I do not like him. He is too rude.


    ONLY A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    (1) In my opinion (opinion!!!), the answer is NO.

    (2) I think that "Being honest, I do not like him" = Because I am honest,

    I do not like him." But my being honest is NOT the reason that I don't like him.

    I don't like him because he is rude.

    (3) When I say "To be honest, I don't like him." I am saying:

    I have to be honest with you/ Honestly speaking, I do not like him.

    P.S. I found $100. Being honest, I took it to the police. = Because I am an honest

    person, I ....

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    #5

    Re: Grammar Help

    Dear Parser,

    I would like to ask further that "to be on safer side" also comes in this category, as you have explained. Further why cannot we use this phrase - to be on safe side


    Quote Originally Posted by rajan View Post
    Dear All,

    I have ready many times such type of sentences which starts like that.

    To my surprise, ................
    To be honest, ...........
    To the best of my knowledge, ....

    I tried to analyze, but could not be successful.

    How can we categorize these sentences and what t ype of phrases are these.

    Thanks & Regards
    Rajan
    Last edited by rajan; 03-Oct-2011 at 17:40.

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    #6

    Re: Grammar Help

    Quote Originally Posted by rajan View Post
    Dear Parser,

    I would like to ask further that "to be on safer side" also comes in this category, as you have explained. Further why cannot we use this phrase - to be on safe side

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) I believe that the expression is "to be on the safe side":

    Our train leaves at 8:30 p.m. To be on the safe side, I plan to leave home an hour

    earlier than I did last time. I almost missed my train last time because the taxi

    got caught in traffic. I am not taking any chances this time.

    (2) A road has two sides. If the road does not have a sidewalk, a pedestrian must walk

    on the side facing oncoming automobiles. The government believes that is the safer

    side (because pedestrians can see the cars that are coming down the road).

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    #7

    Re: Grammar Help

    [QUOTE=TheParser;806482]
    Quote Originally Posted by rajan View Post


    To my surprise, ................
    To be honest, ...........
    To the best of my knowledge, ....



    ONLY A NON-TEACHER'S OPINION


    (1) My favorite book calls these absolute (independent) constructions. That is,

    they do not belong grammatically to the following sentence. (If you deleted

    (erased) those absolute/independent constructions, your sentence would still be good

    English.) Those absolute constructions are a comment on what follows.

    (a) To my surprise, the usually noisy students were quiet today in class.

    (i) "To my surprise" is a prepositional phrase used "absolutely" or "independently."

    As you can see, it is a shorter (and more dramatic?) way to say "I was surprised that

    the usually noisy students were quiet today in class."

    (b) To be honest, I do not like him. He is too rude.

    (i) As you know, "to be" is an infinitive. So we can say that "to be honest" is an

    infinitive phrase being used absolutely or independently. I think that you could also

    express that idea like this: I am being honest: I do not like him. (Here is an example

    from Descriptive English Grammar by House and Harman: "To tell the truth, I

    positively dislike him.")

    (c) To the best of my knowledge, I have never seen her before.

    (i) As you now know, that is a prepositional phrase. It's a comment on "I have

    never seen her before." Grammatically speaking, there is no connection. But as

    Pence & Emery remind us in A Grammar of Present-Day English, there is, of course,

    a logical connection.

    (2) Tom: I hear that you have lost all of your money.

    Martha: Yes, I have.

    Tom: I'm so sorry.

    Martha: Thank you for your concern, but at any rate, I still have my good health.

    = Well, I am thankful that I still have my good health.

    (3) Mona: How do you like this school?

    Joe: Some of the teachers are a bit impatient.

    Mona: What about the cafeteria food?

    Joe: It's super!

    Mona: What about the girls?

    Joe: They're really beautiful!''

    Mona: Well, it seems to me that, on the whole, you have little to complain about,

    dude! = When you consider everything, you have little ....

    (Credit goes to Pence & Emery's book for the prepositional phrases "at any rate"

    and "on the whole.")
    I always learn from you, you simplify everything and give nice detailed answers, keep up the great work!
    Thank you so much.

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    #8

    Re: Grammar Help

    symaa, please don't quote long posts unless you are going to use them. Such quoting leads to a lot of unnecessary scrolling down

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    #9

    Re: Grammar Help

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    symaa, please don't quote long posts unless you are going to use them. Such quoting leads to a lot of unnecessary scrolling down
    Oh! excuse me for that, and it will be the last time to quote long post.

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