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Thread: agreement

  1. #1
    fungyf_hk is offline Newbie
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    Default agreement

    The Net in my school insisted that the following sentence is correct:
    'Let's make a monkey's eyes.'
    Is it grammatical? Can we have 'a' and eyes at the same time?

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    Default Re: agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by fungyf_hk
    The Net in my school insisted that the following sentence is correct:
    'Let's make a monkey's eyes.'
    Is it grammatical? Can we have 'a' and eyes at the same time?
    It's grammatical if the words pair of have been omitted. For example, in (1) below the determiner "a" agrees in number with the noun "pair":

    (1a) Let's make a monkey's pair of eyes.
    (1b) Let's make a pair of eyes, a monkey's pair.

    The noun "monkey's" functions as an adjective. It modifies "pair of eyes", or "eyes".

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    fungyf_hk is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: agreement

    Dear Casiopea,

    Do you mean that with 'pair of',the sentence is not grammatical?

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    Default Re: agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by fungyf_hk
    Dear Casiopea,

    Do you mean that with 'pair of',the sentence is not grammatical?
    Let's make a monkey's pair of eyes. grammatical

  5. #5
    fungyf_hk is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: agreement

    Dear Casiopea,
    I am sorry for the tying mistake. What I want to know is that without 'pair of' , is the sentence grammatical?

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    Default Re: agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by fungyf_hk
    Dear Casiopea,
    I am sorry for the tying mistake. What I want to know is that without 'pair of' , is the sentence grammatical?
    No worries.

    If the speaker is using "a" to modify "pair of", but leaves out the phrase "pair of" to save time and energy, then (1) is still grammatical. The listener knows that "a" is modifying an omitted phrase. (Note, the symbols (...) represent omitted words.) But if the speaker uses "a" to modify "monkey's", then (1) is ungrammatical:

    (1a) Let's make a (pair of) monkey's eyes. grammatical
    (1b) Let's make a monkey's eyes. ungrammatical

    Sentence (1b) is ungrammatical because "a" cannot modify an adjective. "monkey's" functions as an adjective, and "a" must modify a noun.

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