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  1. #1
    juliojimenezr is offline Newbie
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    Default gramatical correction in a sentence

    Hello everyone, I hope you can help whit this.
    I have the following sentence in English:

    The drama in 'The Class' comes not from the way Marin reaches the kids, but how he fails them.

    I believe there is a grammatical error in this construction, namely that there is a propositional phrase lacking, but I am not quite sure. I believe the sentence shoul read as follows:

    The drama in 'The Class' comes not from the way Marin reaches the kids, but from the way he fails them.

    Can you tell me if English allow for the original construction or if it is a grammatical error?

    Thank you all

  2. #2
    tareq10's Avatar
    tareq10 is offline Member
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    Default Re: gramatical correction in a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by juliojimenezr View Post
    Hello everyone, I hope you can help whit this.
    I have the following sentence in English:

    The drama in 'The Class' comes not from the way Marin reaches the kids, but how he fails them.

    I believe there is a grammatical error in this construction, namely that there is a propositional phrase lacking, but I am not quite sure. I believe the sentence shoul read as follows:

    The drama in 'The Class' comes not from the way Marin reaches the kids, but from the way he fails them.

    Can you tell me if English allow for the original construction or if it is a grammatical error?

    Thank you all
    Hi juliojimenezr , there is nothing strange in the sentence. This is called

    'ellipsis', when words are left out of a sentence but the sentence can still
    be understood:

    An example of ellipsis is 'What's your name?' 'Jack'
    the 'ellipsis' is 'my name is' which should be placed before 'Jack'

    The role of 'ellipsis' is to avoid repetition.


  3. #3
    tareq10's Avatar
    tareq10 is offline Member
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    Default Re: gramatical correction in a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by juliojimenezr View Post
    Hello everyone, I hope you can help whit this.
    I have the following sentence in English:

    The drama in 'The Class' comes not from the way Marin reaches the kids, but how he fails them.

    I believe there is a grammatical error in this construction, namely that there is a propositional phrase lacking, but I am not quite sure. I believe the sentence shoul read as follows:

    The drama in 'The Class' comes not from the way Marin reaches the kids, but from the way he fails them.

    Can you tell me if English allow for the original construction or if it is a grammatical error?

    Thank you all
    Hi juliojimenezr , there is nothing strange in the sentence. This is called

    'ellipsis', when words are left out of a sentence but the sentence can still
    be understood:

    An example of ellipsis is 'What's your name?' 'Jack'
    the 'ellipsis' is 'my name is' which should be placed before 'Jack'

    The role of 'ellipsis' is to avoid repetition.

    in some sentences it would be difficult to deduce where it is.
    Now you can try other sentences from your own memory.

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: gramatical correction in a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by juliojimenezr View Post
    Hello everyone, I hope you can help whit this.
    I have the following sentence in English:

    The drama in 'The Class' comes not from the way Marin reaches the kids, but how he fails them.

    I believe there is a grammatical error in this construction, namely that there is a propositional phrase lacking, but I am not quite sure. I believe the sentence shoul read as follows:

    The drama in 'The Class' comes not from the way Marin reaches the kids, but from the way he fails them.

    Can you tell me if English allow for the original construction or if it is a grammatical error?

    Thank you all
    I agree with you. It could also read, "...from how he fails them," but your version is a more parallel construction, which I like.

    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]

  5. #5
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    Default Re: gramatical correction in a sentence

    Julio:
    Understand that one of the meanings of 'how' is "the way in which" as in:

    "She told us how she had lived among the apes for a month."

    "The school inspector explained to Mario just how he was failing his pupils by banning computers from his classroom."

    Hence, rather than repetition of the word 'way' in your suggested alternative, the original sentence employs 'how' :
    "The drama in The Class comes not from the way Marin reaches the kids, but how he fails them."
    I think a parallel construction would detract from making the strong contrast :while Marin thinks he's doing a good job, he is in fact failing as a teacher.
    Last edited by David L.; 05-Mar-2009 at 00:21.

  6. #6
    juliojimenezr is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: gramatical correction in a sentence

    Fine. David L. It should read:
    The drama in 'The Class' comes not from the way Marin reaches the kids, but from how he fails them.

    But the point is not if it should say "how he fails them" or "the way he fails them". The focus of the question lies on the preposition "from".

    tareq10 tells me there is an ellypsis, but I believe you cannot do an ellypsis when it comes to prepositions.

    I hope there is some other comment to confirm Charlie Bernstein's comment

    tnx again

  7. #7
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    Default Re: gramatical correction in a sentence

    If you insist of the leaden repetition of 'way', then you compound this sledgehammer approach to making your point by the inclusion of the redundant, "from".
    "...not from the way...but from the way..."
    That's why I suggested the alternative construction with 'how'.
    In terms of style in speech and writing, it's like the difference in saying to someone, "A stitch in time saves nine." and
    "A stitch in time..."
    The first makes the speaker sound like a solemn, intense, and tedious Sunday School teacher. The second is sufficient to convey one's sentiments on a matter (without the plodding deliberateness of insisting on the full cliché of the proverb.)

    That's my opinion.
    End.
    Last edited by David L.; 05-Mar-2009 at 07:14.

  8. #8
    juliojimenezr is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: gramatical correction in a sentence

    Can't you read David L? I am not insisting on including the whole construction in the sentence. I just want to receive an authoritative answer, specially since the answers offered present diverging opinions. Is it too presumptuous to ask for some basis for your answer besides what you say? Who are you so I should believe your answer at face value? I made some more research and found out that you are right, but a little more information would have been welcome. Instead I recieved a self-righteous-leaden-sledgehammer-answer from you which does not helped me at all to resolve my question. When will you people learn to pay attention and not to snap out at the slightest provocation! You are unbearable people!

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