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Thread: was by

  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    was by

    Are these sentences correct:
    1-That book was by Dickens.
    2-That song was by MacCartney.
    3-The assasination was by Oswald.

  2. #2
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    One and two are certainly correct. Number three is a little odd, but I can't think of a suggestion for it at this time.
    Red5
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  3. #3
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    How about "was committed by..."?

  4. #4
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    Re: was by

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Are these sentences correct:
    1-That book was by Dickens.
    2-That song was by MacCartney.
    3-The assassination was by Oswald.
    I believe they're all fine. 3- sounds odd because of its position in the string. 'assassination' is placed after 'book' and 'song'. The latter two refers to objects (i.e. book, song), whereas the former denotes an act (assissinate). Furthermore, 3- may be awkward for some readers because of the controversy surrounding Oswald. Some believe he was a "patsy"; that he did not commit the assassination.

    :D

  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    I would say, "The assassination was committed by Oswald." The original sentence seems a little odd to me. An assassination is an act and not the kind of thing that is thought of as produced by somebody, as a play, a book or a movie would be.

    :)

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'm still not too happy with 'commit' for an assasination. How about 'Oswald was the assassin'?

  7. #7
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'm still not too happy with 'commit' for an assasination. How about 'Oswald was the assassin'?
    What's wrong with commit there? We use commit with murder, and a murder is an assassination. Also, there is nothing wrong with "Oswald was the assassination", but it does change the form of the sentence.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Commit works with murder, but sounds strange to me with assassination.

  9. #9
    RonBee's Avatar
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    By the way, I meant to say than an assassination is a murder. Of course, it is not necessarily true the other way around.

    :wink:

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Some assasinations are possibly not. (Not this one)

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