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  1. #1
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    Default Is This Sentence Grammatically Correct?

    Hi, Dear teachers: I am a newbie and I got a question here.


    "He invented a new kind of scinece fiction in which characters inhibit
    near future worlds evoked with much versimilitude"
    ----------
    This sentence is from a book review of a science fiction. There're a lot of misprints in the book , like: inhibit --> inhabit; versimilitude-->verisimilitude
    1. In the subordinate clause introduced by which, which word is the predicate verb? inhabit or evoke?? (I think it's the "inhabit", right?)

    2. The whole sentence is past tense, but why is "inhabit" present tense?? It isn't correct, is it?

    ==========
    The misprints and tense errors confused me a lot. I hope I'm right .

    BTW, when I was registering, I tried to use the audio vericode. But couldn't catch it. Anybody can tell me what this audio clip says?? Thanks (see attached)

    Sincerely,
    Vivid Jailbird
    (Hearty thanks to whoever set up this website^_^)
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Is This Sentence Grammatically Correct?

    Yes, it is the correct verb form; the invention and evocation are both finished, but those worlds are still inhabited, albeit fictionally.

    MP3- 'When the FW Fitz Company again brings you...'
    Last edited by Tdol; 06-Mar-2009 at 10:43.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is This Sentence Grammatically Correct?

    He invented a new kind of scinece fiction in which characters inhabit near future worlds evoked with much versimilitude

    2. The whole sentence is past tense, but why is "inhabit" present tense?? It isn't correct, is it?

    Yes, it's correct - unless that kind of science fiction is no longer written!

    He invented, some time in the past, a new kind of science fiction. Now, presumably, in his story at that time, his characters inhabited some near future world.

    Copying this genre, now, whenever people write science fiction, they have characters in them who inhabit future worlds. This idea has now been accepted as standard for science fiction writing - it has become a 'universal truth' about the genre, that since that time; today; and in stories yet to be written, they will have characters who inhabit future worlds.
    The tense that we use with 'universal truths' like this is Present tense, because as a fact, it is as true and relevant to the experience of reading/writing science fiction as it was yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

    To say there was a genre in which characters inhabited (Past tense) future worlds, is to indicate that the genre has gone out of style, and that at some time in the past, authors stopped/completely ceased writing that kind of scenario.
    Last edited by David L.; 06-Mar-2009 at 13:58.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is This Sentence Grammatically Correct?

    Many thanks for such a detailed explanation. "universal truth"---ahh, I knew that term:)

    English grammer is too hard. *sighs*

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is This Sentence Grammatically Correct?

    English grammer is too hard.

    An observant and curious mind like yours, with the drive to ask questions and so learn, and you'll soon be responding to and answering questions in threads here yourself

    We're all here to make it as easy as possible.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is This Sentence Grammatically Correct?

    Tell me about it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is This Sentence Grammatically Correct?

    haha, thanks. I'd love to help others too. Only that my English isn't that good yet:)

    Feel free to ask me questions about mandarin Chinese. I'm always ready for help:)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is This Sentence Grammatically Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by hinomura View Post
    Tell me about it.
    tell you about what?

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