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Thread: as etc.

  1. #31
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    Default Re: as etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    a. that of our grandparents
    b. those of our grandparents

    (There isn't ' in my textbook. Should there be one)?
    Please go back and read your thread, Jiang.

    'those' does not refer to lives.

    All the best.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: as etc.

    Dear Cas,
    I know my first impression is it refers to 'times'. Then you explained it refers to 'characteristics of our grandparents' age'. I don't know somehow when I read the sentence again and again I thought it might refer to 'lives'. That's why I asked you. Now since you confirmed I think I am wrong.
    The sentence should go like this:
    If there is one main characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from the characteristics of the ages when our grandparents lived, it is probably speed. Is that right?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Please go back and read your thread, Jiang.

    'those' does not refer to lives.

    All the best.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: as etc.

    The underlined part is awkward:

    If there is one main characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from the characteristics of the ages when our grandparents lived, it...

  4. #34
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    Default Re: as etc.

    Dear Cas,
    What about:
    If there is one main characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from the characteristics of the times or world when our grandparents lived, it...

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    The underlined part is awkward:

    If there is one main characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from the characteristics of the ages when our grandparents lived, it...

  5. #35
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    Default Re: as etc.

    The way I read the sentence Jiang is correct and "those" refers/can refer to times.

    Plain information:

    Speed makes our lives different from the lives of our grandparents.

    + "one characteristic":

    One characteristic, speed, makes our lives different from those of our grandparents.

    + specification of characteristic:

    One characteristic of the modern world, speed, makes our lives different from those of our grandparents.

    + emphatic rhetorics:

    If there is one characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from those of our grandparents it is probably speed.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: as etc.

    &
    Dear Dawnstorm,
    Thank you very much for your explanation.
    The more I read your sentences the more likely 'those' refers to 'lives'. Could you please kindly explain what 'those' in your sentence refers to?

    And should the sentences go like this:
    If there is one main characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from those of our grandparents', it is probably speed.
    Should there be an apostrophe in 'grandparents'?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    The way I read the sentence Jiang is correct and "those" refers/can refer to times.

    Plain information:

    Speed makes our lives different from the lives of our grandparents.

    + "one characteristic":

    One characteristic, speed, makes our lives different from those of our grandparents.

    + specification of characteristic:

    One characteristic of the modern world, speed, makes our lives different from those of our grandparents.

    + emphatic rhetorics:

    If there is one characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from those of our grandparents it is probably speed.
    Last edited by jiang; 19-Apr-2007 at 00:19.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: as etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Could you please kindly explain what 'those' in your sentence refers to?
    When I read or write the sentence (as I did above), "those" replaces "lives".

    "If there is one characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from those of our grandparents it is probably speed." = "If there is one characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from the lives of our grandparents it is probably speed."

    The sentence compares two "lives" using "one characteristic of modern times" (speed).

    Should there be an apostrophe in 'grandparents'?
    It is safe to leave the apostrophe out.

    It's not clear to me how acceptable the apostrophe is in this sentence. I, personally, would not make one, but I'm not exactly sure why. I think it may have something to do with seeing "the lives of our grandparents" as a rhetorical figure, a bit like "in the time of our fathers", which usually doesn't take an apostrophe (though I wouldn't be surprised to see one, occasionally). The double genitive is tricky. Take a look at the last post of this thread on another forum. Someone asked a professor and posted his reply. It's one of the best treatments of the topic I've seen.

    Aside: Sometimes you hear people reasoning that the phrase contains an ellipses: "Bob is a friend of Jim's" = "Bob is a friend of Jim's (friends)", meaning Jim has more than one friend and Bob's one of them. Not everyone accepts that, but those that do would certainly not say "the lives of our grandparents'", because they really only have one each.

    It's all a bit complicated. The only thing I know is that the sentence is not wrong without the apostrophe. I think it's not wrong with the comma either. Personally, I wouldn't make one, but then I'm not a native speaker.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: as etc.


    Dear Dawnstorm,
    This time I am really confused.
    In your last reply you said 'The way I read the sentence Jiang is correct and "those" refers/can refer to times'. This time you said 'those' refers to 'lives'. Cas doesn't think 'those' refers to 'lives'. Could you please explain what made you change your mind?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang


    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    When I read or write the sentence (as I did above), "those" replaces "lives".

    "If there is one characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from those of our grandparents it is probably speed." = "If there is one characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from the lives of our grandparents it is probably speed."

    The sentence compares two "lives" using "one characteristic of modern times" (speed).



    It is safe to leave the apostrophe out.

    It's not clear to me how acceptable the apostrophe is in this sentence. I, personally, would not make one, but I'm not exactly sure why. I think it may have something to do with seeing "the lives of our grandparents" as a rhetorical figure, a bit like "in the time of our fathers", which usually doesn't take an apostrophe (though I wouldn't be surprised to see one, occasionally). The double genitive is tricky. Take a look at the last post of this thread on another forum. Someone asked a professor and posted his reply. It's one of the best treatments of the topic I've seen.

    Aside: Sometimes you hear people reasoning that the phrase contains an ellipses: "Bob is a friend of Jim's" = "Bob is a friend of Jim's (friends)", meaning Jim has more than one friend and Bob's one of them. Not everyone accepts that, but those that do would certainly not say "the lives of our grandparents'", because they really only have one each.

    It's all a bit complicated. The only thing I know is that the sentence is not wrong without the apostrophe. I think it's not wrong with the comma either. Personally, I wouldn't make one, but then I'm not a native speaker.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: as etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Cas doesn't think 'those' refers to 'lives'.
    No, no. I am the one who is wrong, Jiang.

    Ex: If there is one characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives diferrent from those/the lives of our grandparents....

    ____________________
    My apologies. I am very sorry. My head cold has me hostage.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: as etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post

    Dear Dawnstorm,
    This time I am really confused.
    In your last reply you said 'The way I read the sentence Jiang is correct and "those" refers/can refer to times'. This time you said 'those' refers to 'lives'. Cas doesn't think 'those' refers to 'lives'. Could you please explain what made you change your mind?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang


    I didn't change my mind. I made a mistake in typing the first post. In the first post I wrote: "The way I read the sentence Jiang is correct and "those" refers/can refer to times." This was a mistake. I should have said "lives" in the first place. It seems I was confused myself, reading "times" and "lives" as interchangeable (which they "clearly" aren't). But then "those" can't refer to "times", because the word "times" doesn't even appear in the sentence.

    It means my reading is different from Casiopeia's.

    When you say:

    No.1
    As the key is 'b' is it possible 'those' refers to "lives of our grandparents'"?
    My answer is "yes."

    When Casiopeia replies,

    'those' does not refer to lives.
    I disagree. In my reading, our lives are different from the lives of our grandparents because of "speed", which is a characteristic of the modern world. The sentence is quite complicated, so analysis can become quite confusing.

    Main clause: "It is speed." It = subject (which refers to "one characteristic of the modern world that makes our lives different from those of our grandparents" in the if-clause).

    This long phrase consists of a noun-phrase and a relative clause:

    [one characteristic of the modern world] + [that makes our lives different from those of our grandparents]

    The relative clause can be broken down again:

    pronoun[that] + verb[makes] + object[our lives] + object complement[different from those of our grandparents]

    The question, now, is: "What does 'those' refer to?"

    I'd first go looking in the relative clause itself. Since "those" occurs in the object complent, I'll look first in the object. I find "lives". Substituting "lives" for "those" works. It also makes perfect sense. I quit looking for a referent of "those", and get:

    "that makes our lives different from the lives of our grandparents"

    I'm satisfied.

    If I wasn't, I'd go on looking. Next is the subject of the relative clause, the pronoun "that". "That" stands for "one characteristic of modern life". You then have "characteristic" as a referent for "those". I get:

    "that makes our lives different from the characteristics of our grandparents."

    I'm not satisfied. Why should I compare "our lives" with the "characteristics of our grandparents"? We're comparing apples with the colour of worms, here.

    ***

    And, yes, you can say:

    " that makes our lives different from our grandparents' "

    It's a stylistic choice. I wouldn't write it, because if you read it aloud, the apostrophe won't be heard, and a listener might think I'm comparing our lives with our grandparents. Also, a reader might miss the apostrophe and be confused for a second.

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