Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: sentence

  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,919
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default sentence

    Is this sentence correct:

    Being treated badly by your bank doesn't have to be.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: sentence

    It's odd.

  3. #3
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    It's odd.
    Why?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: sentence

    What are your thoughts?

  5. #5
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    What are your thoughts?
    I see nothing wrong with it. It's simply using the expression, ellipted there, "this/that doesn't have to be this/that way".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: sentence

    Excellent addition, M56. I'm most certain Navi will appreciate your help.

  7. #7
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Excellent addition, M56. I'm most certain Navi will appreciate your help.
    I hope so. Now, back to my original question: Why do you find it odd?

  8. #8
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,919
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: sentence

    Thank you both,


    It is good to have different veiwpoints on the same sentence. I have noticed that native speakers sometimes disagree about the sentences I come up with. In a way, that is encouraging too.

    As to the issue at hand, I am not speaking for Cas, only for myself, but I find the sentence a bit weird too because I find this one weird:

    2-Being treated badly by your bank is.

    I guess #2 is grammatically correct as well. We can legitimately put "exists" instead of "is" and the sentence will become more palatable.

    I think 2 is basically like my first sentence. The only difference is that my first sentences is a bit more complicated and this fact hides the "oddness"(if "oddness" there is).

    3-Being treated badly by your bank has to be.
    From one point of view, I find this extremely logical. It is a beautiful way of expressing the idea. From another point of view, I find it funny, not to say ridiculous.

    4-Being treated badly by your bank doesn't have to be.

    I wonder whether you find 2 and 3 weird or natural.
    Last edited by navi tasan; 03-Nov-2005 at 23:20.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: sentence

    You're welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    I find this one weird:

    [2] Being treated badly by your bank is.

    I guess #2 is grammatically correct as well. We can legitimately put "exists" instead of "is" and the sentence will become more palatable.
    Structure isn't grammaticallity, though. Just because a word meets the grammar's structural requirement doesn't make the sentence grammatical. Chomsky (1957) proved that with "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." It's grammatical structure-wise but its meaning is nonsensical, which makes it ungrammatical. Meaning plays a major role.

    In [2], "is" and "exists" function in different ways. The former requires two arguments (a subject and its complement), whereas the latter is a one argument verb (it requires a subject), and it's synonymous with forms of BE:

    One argument verb: They exist. ~ They are.
    Two argument verb: They are _____.

    In short, replace a two argument verb ("is") with a one argument verb ("exists") and the result is nonsensical. So, verb replacement isn't always a good test.

  10. #10
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,919
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: sentence

    Thanks again Cas,

    So you mean to say that colorless green ideas do not sleep furiously? How do they dream then?!!

    No. No. Just kidding.

    This is getting really interesting. I get your point and quite agree. I think in some cases "be" can be used to mean "exist", as in "I think therefore I am", but that is a usage that is really limited to philosophical texts. The way "be" is used In that sentence (which is the translation of a sentence in Latin) should be considered as "technical" and "jargonical" (I invented that word). In normal, everyday English, nobody says: "My car is." and I don't think anybody would say "My car doesn't have to be".

    I was trying to give the benefit of the doubt to the sentence in my first question, but I agree with you that that sentence is at best odd, if not downright wrong. But maybe M56 would like to disagree.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Are the 5 basic sentence patterns sacred?
    By infinikyte in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 49
    Last Post: 28-Aug-2009, 21:52
  2. Dear MikeNewYork... sentence fragment
    By wendy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-Mar-2009, 09:50
  3. Could you check this sentence?
    By critic72 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 23-Jan-2006, 05:58
  4. Attributive Clause - China Needs Your Help
    By ChinaDavid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-Jan-2005, 15:56
  5. topic sentence
    By Taka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 20-Sep-2004, 13:02

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •