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  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Default who

    "He was her second brother who left the country."

    Doesn't this mean that she had another brother who had left the country before this second one did? In all, she has two brothers who have left the country and maybe one or two or more who haven't.

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    Default Re: who

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    "He was her second brother who left the country."

    Doesn't this mean that she had another brother who had left the country before this second one did? In all, she has two brothers who have left the country and maybe one or two or more who haven't.
    He was the second brother to leave the country.

    All the best,

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    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Thanks. Your sentence is indeed much better, but I wonder if mine is downright wrong (I like that ...right wrong).
    What do you think of:
    2-This is his second book which tries to show that A is B. Like the first one, it fails.

    (This question sort of follows the one I had psoted yesterday.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Thanks. Your sentence is indeed much better, but I wonder if mine is downright wrong (I like that ...right wrong).
    What do you think of:
    2-This is his second book which tries to show that A is B. Like the first one, it fails.

    (This question sort of follows the one I had psoted yesterday.)
    In my opinion, your original sentence is acceptable, though Cas's restatement is much better.

    The second question gets us into a bit of the AE/BE divide. In AE, we almost always confine "which" to nonrestrictive clauses, set off by commas. If, however, we operate under BE rules, your sentence implies that he has written a previous book on the same subject. If you add a comma after "book", that implication is no longer present. :wink:

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    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Thanks Mike.
    It's good to know that you still speak to me!!
    What you say about the difference between AE and BE is interesting. As far as I am concerned of-course, both of them are fine, but I'd like to know the differences. Do you know a book about this? If not, I think you guys can easily find all the differences using the forum and then put out a book about them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Thanks Mike.
    It's good to know that you still speak to me!!
    What you say about the difference between AE and BE is interesting. As far as I am concerned of-course, both of them are fine, but I'd like to know the differences. Do you know a book about this? If not, I think you guys can easily find all the differences using the forum and then put out a book about them.
    There are some web sites that deal with AE/BE differences, but they are very incomplete. TDOL and I have discussed this issue many times. We keep uncovering more and more differences. Perhaps we should start to catalogue these differences. :wink:

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    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    I think you should.

    Once upon a time, somebody (maybe it was you, or Red5 or maybe it wasn't even here, I don't know) told me about the difference between:
    1- "I rather you not take the car"
    and
    2-"I rather you didn't take the car".
    This was I think before I started stocking up the replies on my computer. I must have written it somewhere. I think 2 is British but 1 isn't. Americans use both, but for them they don't mean exactly the same. Again, if I remember correctly, 2 implies that you do take the car and 1 implies that it is the first time you are asking me to let you take it. (I think you have more choice in AE here. I do it the British way, but one day I might change the way I do it).


    The other major difference I know of is the way the Americans sometimes use the simple past instead of the present perfect. To tell you the truth, here I tend to side with the British because I find their way of doing things logical. Using the SP instead of the PP impoverishes (I know, it is that word again, the one linguists don't like, but just this once) the language.

    AE-Did you see Mary Poppins.
    BE-Have you seen Mary Poppins.

    When I hear the first one I get the impression that it was on TV last night or something.
    But I know that the Americans do use the present perfect tense. I just don't know when they replace it with the simple past. I myself do it the British way. I always have and have never thought to do otherwise.

    In any case, this is all I know about the differences between AE and BE, (and what I think). I guess you already knew all this, but I thought I might at least try to LOOK helpful!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    Thanks. Your sentence is indeed much better, but I wonder if mine is downright wrong (I like that ...right wrong).
    What do you think of:
    2-This is his second book which tries to show that A is B. Like the first one, it fails.

    (This question sort of follows the one I had psoted yesterday.)
    Let's look at the ungrammaticallity of the first example sentence. There're three points I'd like to show you:

    1. He is her second brother who left the country. :(

    The first problem has to do with referencing. The relative pronoun "who" refers to the possessive noun phrase "her second brother", which in turn refers to the pronoun "He". Here we have a pronoun (who) connected to a noun phrase (her second brother), connected to a pronoun (He). To correct the structure, change "He" to "It", a pronoun that refers to a phrase:

    1b. It is her second brother who left the country. :D

    Second, notice the word 'second'. It's a specific description of the brother. In such cases, use 'that' or 'which' as Mike suggests.

    1c. It is her second brother that left the country.
    1d. It is her second brother which left the country. (Restrictive)
    1e. It is her second brother, which left the country. (Non-Restrictive)

    Third, speakers have been known to use 'who' instead of 'that' or 'which'. The reason being, the distinction between specificity and non-specificity is slowly fading.

    1f. It is her second brother who left the country. :)

    In this case, the speaker could be viewing the pronoun 'who' as referring only to the noun 'brother',

    1f. It is her (second) brother who left the country.

    Next, as for example sentence 2.,

    2. This is his second book which tries to show that A is B.

    In terms of referencing, it's OK. The demonstrative pronoun "This" is referential with the phrase "his second book" and "which". In terms of specificity, though, there's the word 'second' again, so we need 'that',

    2b. This is his second book that tries to show that A is B.

    However, 2b. is still a bit awkaward. The reason being, "the" more specific "the" better,

    2c. This is the second book (of his) that tries to show that A is B. :D

    The determiner "the" is specific to the word "second", whereas the possessive pronoun "her", as in 1c. below, is specific to the noun "brother".

    1c. It is her second brother that left the country.

    That is, in terms of possession, "the second brother" is less specific that "her second brother".

    Hope that helps out some.

    All the best,

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Let's look at the ungrammaticallity of the first example sentence. There're three points I'd like to show you:

    1. He is her second brother who left the country. :(

    The first problem has to do with referencing. The relative pronoun "who" refers to the possessive noun phrase "her second brother", which in turn refers to the pronoun "He". Here we have a pronoun (who) connected to a noun phrase (her second brother), connected to a pronoun (He). To correct the structure, change "He" to "It", a pronoun that refers to a phrase:
    I have to disagree with your statement about grammaticality. The sentence is a bit clumsy as it stands, but not ungrammatical, IMO.

    The sentence is not unclear from the standpoint of the antecedent for "who". The sentence has a linking verb which establishes a parity between "he" and "brother". There is no difference in structure from:

    John is the new plumber who fixed our sink.
    He is the new plumber who fixed our sink.

    Changing "he" to "it" changes the sentence's meaning.

    "It is her second brother who left the country" reduces the number of brother who left the country to one.

    "He is her second brother who left the country" suggests that another brother left the country earlier.

    As I said, I prefer your use of the infinitive over the relative clause, but the latter form conforms to grammar rules.

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    He is her brother who left the country. Ungrammatical (Semantics)

    I was looking at the referencing between the Subject pronoun, the PossP, and the relative.

    All the best,

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