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  1. #1
    HSS is offline Junior Member
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    Default (The) people in Japan speak Japanese.

    I was wondering if prepositional phrases alone were strong enough to give the nouns that they modify the definite article the.

    Upon reading (1), without any context for the sentence known to you, which do you feel is the reason the people has the before it, that they are already mentioned before or there is any other reason other than that there is the prepositional phrase in Japan, or that there is in Japan?


    1. The people in Japan speak Japanese.
    2. People in Japan speak Japanese.


    Also, do my paraphrases for the above sentences, which are in some sort of unknown contexts, work? If there is any flaw, please point to it.


    1. The people in Japan speak Japanese. = The people that are in Japan speak Japanese. = All the people that are in Japan speak Japanese.
    2. People in Japan speak Japanese. = People that are in Japan speak Japanese. = People, who are in Japan, speak Japanese = Most of the people that are in Japan speak Japanese.

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: (The) people in Japan speak Japanese.

    Japanese people speak Japanese. 'The people that are in Japan' include some (many?) who don't. Informally it's acceptable to say 'In Japan they speak Japanese. The first and fourth of your paraphrases for 2 are OK.

    b

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: (The) people in Japan speak Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by HSS View Post
    I was wondering if prepositional phrases alone were strong enough to give the nouns that they modify the definite article the.

    Upon reading (1), without any context for the sentence known to you, which do you feel is the reason the people has the before it, that they are already mentioned before or there is any other reason other than that there is the prepositional phrase in Japan, or that there is in Japan?


    1. The people in Japan speak Japanese.
    2. People in Japan speak Japanese.


    Both of these are acceptable. As you imply, they could both be misinterpreted to mean "all the people in Japan", but the context would rule that out. You say there's no context, which is partly true, but no one would assume that all people in Japan can speak Japanese.

    Also, do my paraphrases for the above sentences, which are in some sort of unknown contexts, work? If there is any flaw, please point to it.


    1. The people in Japan speak Japanese. OK = The people that are in Japan speak Japanese. OK = All the people that are in Japan speak Japanese. No, the pragmatics of the sentence would almost always rule out that interpretation
    2. People in Japan speak Japanese. OK = People that are in Japan speak Japanese. OK = People, who are in Japan, speak JapaneseNo, see below Most of the people that are in Japan speak Japanese. Yes, but most people would interpret this to mean that native Japanese people speak Japanese.
    I say no to your sentence with the non-defining, non-restrictive clause because it does not equal the previous sentence with the defining restrictive clause.
    People in general are not in Japan, so "People, who are in Japan ..." is not correct.
    This would be correct: "A hundred people died in an earthquake yesterday. The people, who are in Japan, ..." This is not the best example, but it demonstrate the correct use of the comma here in a clause that adds information, and doesn't restrict "which people" are meant.

    PS: I just noticed Bob's reply. I agree. The second sentence of 2 should use "who".

  4. #4
    HSS is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: (The) people in Japan speak Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    [...] 'The people that are in Japan' include some (many?) who don't. [...]
    Because 'the people that are in Japan' include all the persons physically living or staying in Japan, correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    [...] The first and fourth of your paraphrases for 2 are OK. [...]
    You mean first and third, don't you?

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    HSS is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: (The) people in Japan speak Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    [...]
    PS: I just noticed Bob's reply. I agree. The second sentence of 2 should use "who".
    I don't see him saying that in his post. Please point to it for me. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: (The) people in Japan speak Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by HSS View Post
    I don't see him saying that in his post. Please point me out to it. Thanks!
    Bob wrote, "The first and fourth of your paraphrases for 2 are OK." This implies that the 2nd and 3rd are not OK.
    I've told you why the 3rd is not OK, and I've inferred the reason that Bob said the 2nd was not OK. If Bob had a different reason, I'm sure he'll correct me.

  7. #7
    HSS is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: (The) people in Japan speak Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Bob wrote, "The first and fourth of your paraphrases for 2 are OK." This implies that the 2nd and 3rd are not OK.
    I've told you why the 3rd is not OK, and I've inferred the reason that Bob said the 2nd was not OK. If Bob had a different reason, I'm sure he'll correct me.
    Hi, Raymott. Yes, but I only have three paraphrases for #2 .... There is no fourth ....

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: (The) people in Japan speak Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by HSS View Post
    Hi, Raymott. Yes, but I only have three paraphrases for #2 .... There is no fourth ....
    OK, but you have four sentences. That is what I was referring to, and no doubt so was Bob.

  9. #9
    HSS is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: (The) people in Japan speak Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    OK, but you have four sentences. That is what I was referring to, and no doubt so was Bob.
    Oh, I see it, Raymott! So you meant paraphrase #1 = my original, paraphrase #2 = my first paraphrase, paraphrase ....

    Thanks, Raymott! Thanks, Bob!

  10. #10
    HSS is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: (The) people in Japan speak Japanese.

    One more thing, Raymott.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    People in general are not in Japan, so "People, who are in Japan ..." is not correct.
    By the same token, are the following then are not correct, either?
    3 Tira is going to give Hiro a pencil, which she bought at the store last week.
    4 Tira is going to give Hiro pencils, which she bought at the store last week.

    Your help would be very much appreciated.

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