Results 1 to 7 of 7

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 2
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Grammtically Incorrect

    Please justify why is the ff. statement grammatically incorrect. Thanks.

    "Law applies to all or nothing at all"


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 128
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    The law applies to all, or to nothing at all.

    you need the TO before the the NOTHING


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 2
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    The sentence,
    "The law must apply to all or nothing at all."
    is grammatically incorrect because the phrase following the conjunction "or" does not appear to have a subject nor to refer back to any particular part of the previous phrase.

    It could be corrected by placing the word TO in the phrase so that it reads,"... or to nothing at all.", which makes it refer back to the application of the law.

    However (unless this is a quote from somewhere and we know that the answer was the missing TO), it could be corrected by inserting IT IS so that the phrase would read, "...or it is nothing at all.", which makes it refer back to the law.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 44,225
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    Wouldn't it be better with 'no one' instead of 'nothing'?

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 434
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    How about "the law applies to all things or nothing at all?"

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 845
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    Without the context, i think we can't make a conclusive answer.
    However, as what i have learnt from "Everyone is equal before the law"
    The sentence seems to be pointing to "people".

    By the way, when making contrast, one shall not omit "to" after "or".
    So, I would say, "the law applies to all or to nothing at all
    Last edited by albertino; 27-Jun-2007 at 05:25.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: Grammtically Incorrect

    Quote Originally Posted by Niall Beag View Post
    The real problem with the sentence is as TDOL pointed out:

    "all" as a pronoun is equivalent to "everybody" -- it's people not things. "nothing" is things, not people.

    So it should be one of:

    "The law applies to everything or nothing at all."

    Or (as TDOL suggested)

    "The law applies to all or to nobody at all"
    I agree.

Similar Threads

  1. incorrect
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 23-Jan-2007, 05:08
  2. is my sentence correct or incorrect
    By esophea in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-Nov-2006, 07:43
  3. quiz: correct or incorrect
    By fourmi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 23-Nov-2006, 04:39
  4. Correct / Incorrect icons
    By VenusEnvy in forum Comments & Suggestions
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 23-Nov-2005, 00:25
  5. Sounds incorrect but, would someone tell me why please?
    By AleynDLester in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 29-Aug-2004, 19:35

Posting Permissions

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