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    #1

    (a) knowledge of

    To produce an able and elegant writer, may require something more than a knowledge of grammar rules; yet it is argument enough in favour of those rules, that without a knowledge of them no elegant and able writer is produced.

    My questions:
    1. Would native writers leave out the 'a' before the two 'knowledge' s?
    2. Would native writers use 'knowing' to replace the 'a knowledge of' ?

    Thank you in advance.

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    #2

    Re: (a) knowledge of

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    To produce an able and elegant writer, may require something more than a knowledge of grammar rules; yet it is argument enough in favour of those rules, that without a knowledge of them no elegant and able writer is produced.

    My questions:
    1. Would native writers leave out the 'a' before the two 'knowledge' s?
    2. Would native writers use 'knowing' to replace the 'a knowledge of' ?

    Thank you in advance.
    1.Your sentence is not correct. Notice the difference:

    correct
    To produce a writer, you may require him to have something more than...
    Producing a writer may require him/one to have something more than...

    wrong
    To produce a writer may require something more than...

    2. A full-stop is more appropriate instead of a semi-colon between the two sentences.

    3. 'yet it is argument enough in favour of those rules' - It is arguable/debatable whether the knowledge (of grammar rules) is required to be a competent and elegant writer. I wouldn' t use 'able' as an adjective for a writer.

    4. a knowledge of grammar rules/knowledge of grammar rules - both are acceptable.

    5. 'Knowing grammar rules' (gerund) is also acceptable but 'knowledge of grammar rules' is preferred.

    not a teacher
    Last edited by tedtmc; 27-Jun-2010 at 05:30.

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    #3

    Re: (a) knowledge of

    Not my sentence, tedtmc. I copied it from the Grammar of English Grammars. Thank you very much for your help.

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    #4

    Re: (a) knowledge of

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Not my sentence, tedtmc. I copied it from the Grammar of English Grammars. Thank you very much for your help.
    Grammar of English Grammars? Who is the author?


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    #5

    Re: (a) knowledge of

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post
    correct
    To produce a writer, you may require him to have something more than...
    Producing a writer may require him/one to have something more than...
    Not quite. The sentences tedtmc wrote are grammatically correct, but do not make sense. The sentences are correct as written originally. Usually, "knowledge" is non-countable and so does not take an article. This is a special case, because we are talking about a particular field of knowledge.
    2. A full-stop is more appropriate instead of a semi-colon between the two sentences.
    Also incorrect, though this is a mistake many native English speakers would make. "Yet" is a coordinating conjunction, and so it should not begin a sentence or be used after a semicolon. The proper punctuation here is a comma.

    3. 'yet it is argument enough in favour of those rules' - It is arguable/debatable whether the knowledge (of grammar rules) is required to be a competent and elegant writer. I wouldn' t use 'able' as an adjective for a writer.
    What's wrong with it?

    4. a knowledge of grammar rules/knowledge of grammar rules - both are acceptable.
    5. 'Knowing grammar rules' (gerund) is also acceptable but 'knowledge of grammar rules' is preferred.
    On these you are correct.

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    #6

    Re: (a) knowledge of

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post
    Grammar of English Grammars? Who is the author?

    Title: The Grammar of English Grammars
    Author: Gould Brown
    Release Date: March 17, 2004 [EBook #11615]

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    #7

    Re: (a) knowledge of

    To produce an able and elegant writer, may require something more than a knowledge of grammar rules
    The sentences are correct as written originally.
    Where is the subject in the above sentence? Isn't it incomplete as a sentence/clause?. I'd like to have some comments from other teachers as well.


    "Yet" is a coordinating conjunction, and so it should not begin a sentence or be used after a semicolon. The proper punctuation here is a comma.
    You are saying that 'yet' cannot be used to begin a sentence? If this is true, then shouldn't it apply also to the conjunctions like 'but' and 'nevertheless'?
    yet it is argument enough in favour of those rules
    What's wrong with it?
    Are you saying that the underlined phrase is correct?
    Shouldn't it be:
    There is enough argument....

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    #8

    Re: (a) knowledge of

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post
    The sentences are correct as written originally.
    Where is the subject in the above sentence? Isn't it incomplete as a sentence/clause?. I'd like to have some comments from other teachers as well.

    I agree. I don't like it either. If the subject is "To produce an able and elegant writer", why the comma after it? We don't normally put a comma between the subject and the verb.


    "Yet" is a coordinating conjunction, and so it should not begin a sentence or be used after a semicolon. The proper punctuation here is a comma.
    You are saying that 'yet' cannot be used to begin a sentence? If this is true, then shouldn't it apply also to the conjunctions like 'but' and 'nevertheless'?

    It's a rare grammarian these days who would not allow a sentence to begin with a coordinating conjunction. I don't disagree with the semicolon here (as a more emphatic pause than the commas), or a comma. But a new sentence would be my choice.

    What's wrong with it?
    Are you saying that the underlined phrase is correct?
    Shouldn't it be:
    There is enough argument....

    No. This is simply a case of the adjective coming after the noun. As you know, it happens occasionally in English, especially, as in this case, where a writer is trying to be "elegant and able", and perhaps failing.
    One thing I would correct, ted:
    "2. A full-stop is more appropriate instead of
    than a semi-colon between the two sentences."

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    #9

    Re: (a) knowledge of

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    One thing I would correct, ted:
    "2. A full-stop is more appropriate instead of
    than a semi-colon between the two sentences."
    Thanks Raymott. 'more .... than' of course.
    Alternatively : A full-stop should be used instead of a semi-colon ...
    A full-stop is preferred to a semi-colon...


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    #10

    Re: (a) knowledge of

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post
    Where is the subject in the above sentence? Isn't it incomplete as a sentence/clause?.
    It is grammatically acceptable to use an infinitive verb as the subject of a sentence. It is more common these days to use a gerund ("Producing an able and elegant writer...") but there is a certain formality and elegance to doing it this way. That said, Raymott is right; I did gloss over the comma after "may," which shouldn't be there. So the sentence is not quite right as originally written, but only for one errant punctuation mark.

    You are saying that 'yet' cannot be used to begin a sentence? If this is true, then shouldn't it apply also to the conjunctions like 'but' and 'nevertheless'?
    It does apply to "but," as well as "for" (in the sense of "because," not as a preposition), "and," "nor," "or," and "so." The acronym "FANBOYS" can help you remember the coordinating conjunctions. Subordinating conjunctions (such as "because") and transitions (such as "nevertheless,") can begin a sentence.

    It's a rare grammarian these days who would not allow a sentence to begin with a coordinating conjunction. I don't disagree with the semicolon here (as a more emphatic pause than the commas), or a comma. But a new sentence would be my choice.
    I disagree. I teach advanced essay writing, and every textbook I've used has been very emphatic on this point. It was also one of the few grammar rules that was explicitly taught to me in school; I had to learn such things as the subjunctive when I studied to become an English teacher! (I have always had an ear for grammar, and knew on some level that "If I were a boy..." was correct, while "If I was a rich girl..." was not, but I never knew why.) I believe British English tends to be more relaxed about punctuation, and Australian English probably resembles British English more than American English. Perhaps it is acceptable in your country.

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