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    #1

    Post in the month when...?

    Dear teachers,
    Would you please tell me if we can replace 'in that month that' with 'in that month when' in the sentence below?

    "Sextilis was renamed in Augustus's honor because it was in that month that many of his greatest achievements occured"


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    #2

    Re: in the month when...?

    Grammatically speaking, although we can use "when" in relative clauses describing time expressions, it's not the case in this particular sentence because it's an example of cleft sentences. The writer or the speaker of the sentence wants to emphasize "in that month" and thus places it after "It is/was". Then comes the relative clause about this time expression, but the clauses in cleft sentences are not fully governed by relative clause rules. Because of the preposition "in" before "that month", the clause should start with "that":

    "... it was in that month that many of his greatest achievements occured."

    Cf.

    "... it was that month when many of his greatest achievements occured."

    PS According to Cambridge Advanced Grammar in Use, "when" and "where" can be used only in informal English. Thus, it'd be best if a native speaker could inform us about how natural and frequent they are in actual use.

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    #3

    Post Re: in the month when...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Ka View Post
    Thus, it'd be best if a native speaker could inform us about how natural and frequent they are in actual use.
    Are there any native speakers who would give us some advice? Thanks in advance!

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    #4

    Re: in the month when...?

    I'm a native speaker but not a teacher, the level of English on this forum often puts me to shame I'm embarrassed to say. I've not even heard of a cleft sentence.

    If I was to say that sentence I would say - 'Sextilis was renamed in Augustus's honor because it was in that month when many of his greatest achievements occured.'

    Though I don't think any of my friends would leap upon me or rush to correct me if I used 'that' instead of 'when' (if I have got it wrong that is).

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    #5

    Post Re: in the month when...?

    How about "Sextilis was renamed in Augustus's honor because it was in that month in which many of his greatest achievements occured"?

    Do native speakers would say or write it like that?

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    #6

    Re: in the month when...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Dear teachers,
    Would you please tell me if we can replace 'in that month that' with 'in that month when' in the sentence below?

    "Sextilis was renamed in Augustus's honor because it was in that month that many of his greatest achievements occured"
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Heidi.

    (1) I have been following your thread with great interest because I want to know the answer, too.

    (2) May I contribute my two cents' worth.

    (3) I agree with Teacher Mr. Ka that if you wish to write "correct" cleft sentences, you should use that. (You may also use who or whom.)

    (4) I agree with Poster Shroob that native speakers probably (I have no proof) use when (or where) without any worries.

    (a) I do not think that native speakers use cleft sentences too often. (Of course, I do not know that for sure.)

    (b) When they do use that construction, I suspect (again no proof) that some use when or where because maybe it sounds "better" to them.

    (5) In checking the Web for information, I discovered some interesting things:

    (a) The experts -- those who write grammar books -- do not agree among themselves!!!

    (b) Some people are really confused because the wonderful BBC (the British Broadcasting Corporation) tells English learners that the following is correct English: It was last Saturday when my brother bought his new car. Many learners are upset because their teachers and books say to use that, but the most respected and authoritative BBC says that when is OK.

    (c) I found something that really educated me, and I want to share it with you.

    It was last night that I realized that I didn't know what to do.

    That is a real cleft sentence. It was last night -- not this morning. That is the fact that you want to emphasize. Was is a linking verb connecting it and last night.

    It was last night when I realized that I didn't know what to do. In this sentence, was is a real verb that means something like occurred. And when I realized that I didn't know what to do is an adverb clause modifying the verb was.

    (d) Here are some other sentences that helped me to better understand what a real cleft sentence is.

    It was in the park that I met him last summer. Emphasizes in the park, not at the mall.

    It was in the park where I met him last summer. I suspect that many native speakers think this is the same as the previous sentence. But the
    teacher explained it this way:

    In this sentence, It is not just a word to introduce the sentence. It -- for example -- refers to the wedding. So the sentence is: The wedding was (occurred) in the park where I met him last summer. And where I met him last summer is a clause that refers to the park.

    Note: Instead of where, you could write in which. (The park in which I met him last summer. It answers the question: In which park did the wedding occur?)

    *****

    Summary:


    (1) It is only my opinion that you should keep that in your sentence.

    (2) If you use when, I don't think most native speakers would notice or even care.

    (3) It is perfect English to use when, where, in which when a sentence is not a real cleft sentence. If it is a cleft sentence, it is safer to stay with that.

    Thank you

    Sextilis was renamed ... because it was in that month [not in some other month] that ....

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    #7

    Post Re: in the month when...?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post

    It was in the park that I met him last summer. Emphasizes in the park, not at the mall.

    It was in the park where I met him last summer. I suspect that many native speakers think this is the same as the previous sentence. But the
    teacher explained it this way:

    In this sentence, It is not just a word to introduce the sentence. It -- for example -- refers to the wedding. So the sentence is: The wedding was (occurred) in the park where I met him last summer. And where I met him last summer is a clause that refers to the park.
    Dear TheParser,

    I really appreciated for your explanation and time! Thank you.

    I have an idea that it might be a good alternative to help us, English learner, better understand the subtle distinction between similar sentences, that is, please give us some possible questions sentences.
    For example, "It was in the park that I met him last summer", the possible situation might be (I think):
    (in a noisy bus station)
    A: Where did you meet Nick last summer? At Taipei 101?
    B: No, I met him in the park near my house.
    A: Parking lot? There aren't any parking lots near your house!
    B: No! It was in the park that I met him last summer!
    A: Oh...

    Would you like to give me some question sentences that "It was in the park where I met him last summer" can be the answer. Thanks!

    ps. At the beginning, I wrote "I really appreciated for ...". I'm not sure if it is appropriate to use the past tense here. Instead of asking for complex grammar rules, please let me ask you this way, if you were me(or I?), would you use 'appreciated' in this case?
    Last edited by Heidi; 28-Jul-2010 at 09:20.

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    #8

    Re: in the month when...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Dear TheParser,

    I really appreciated for your explanation and time! Thank you.

    I have an idea that it might be a good alternative to help us, English learner, better understand the subtle distinction between similar sentences, that is, please give us some possible questions sentences.
    For example, "It was in the park that I met him last summer", the possible situation might be (I think):
    (in a noisy bus station)
    A: Where did you meet Nick last summer? At Taipei 101?
    B: No, I met him in the park near my house.
    A: Parking lot? There aren't any parking lots near your house!
    B: No! It was in the park that I met him last summer!
    A: Oh...

























    Would you like to give me some question sentences that "It was in the park where I met him last summer" can be the answer. Thanks!

    ps. At the beginning, I wrote "I really appreciated for ...". I'm not sure if it is appropriate to use the past tense here. Instead of asking for complex grammar rules, please let me ask you this way, if you were me(or I?), would you use 'appreciated' in this case?
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Heidi.

    (1) Thanks for your kind note.

    (2) I have to check my notes and think before I dare give you an answer

    to your two questions.

    (3) Who knows? Before I answer them, maybe a kind-hearted

    teacher will take pity on me and answer them so that you can have the

    answer from a language professional!!

    Thank you

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    #9

    Re: in the month when...?

    ********** NOT A TEACHER

    Heidi,

    As I type this, no one has answered your question about "appreciate," so let me TRY.

    You wrote "I really appreciated for your explanation." Of course, any native speaker would understand your meaning, but I think that the sentence is constructed "incorrectly."

    I checked my books and found out that there may be two "correct" constructions:

    I really _____ your taking [gerund] time to write that explanation.

    I really _____ it that you took time to write that explanation.

    Regarding the tense ("appreciate" vs. "appreciated"), here are some thoughts. They may or may not be correct.

    Here are some sentences from The Grammar Book, which is used by many teachers:

    We appreciate his/him being discreet.

    We appreciateD his being discreet about the matter.

    I appreciate (it) that you did it for me.

    I appreciate your doing that for me.

    Look at that next to last example. It uses "did" (the past), and it uses "appreciate" (the present). So using that as my model, I would say that your sentence MAYBE should be:

    I appreciate (present) your taking ....

    Furthermore, the verb "appreciate" in your sentence means "to be grateful for."


    Which one sounds better?

    I am grateful for the time that you took to answer me.

    I was grateful for the time that you took to answer me.

    I think the first sentence is better, don't you? That is, I am STILL grateful.

    If you are referring wholly to the past, then maybe "appreciateD" would be more appropriate:

    Let's say that my car broke down in the street yesterday. I did not know what to do. You suddenly drove up in your car, and you helped to push my car to the side of the road.

    Maybe today, I would call you and say:

    Heidi, I just want to thank you again for helping me yesterday. You do not know how much I appreciateD your help AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME yesterday. I was going wild with confusion until you pulled up and helped me.

    Now I am going to study your other question and will report back as soon as possible.

    But who knows? Maybe a teacher will answer you. That would be great for you and me.

    THANK YOU
    Last edited by TheParser; 28-Jul-2010 at 14:55.

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    #10

    Re: in the month when...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Dear TheParser,

    I really appreciated for your explanation and time! Thank you.

    I have an idea that it might be a good alternative to help us, English learner, better understand the subtle distinction between similar sentences, that is, please give us some possible questions sentences.
    For example, "It was in the park that I met him last summer", the possible situation might be (I think):
    (in a noisy bus station)
    A: Where did you meet Nick last summer? At Taipei 101?
    B: No, I met him in the park near my house.
    A: Parking lot? There aren't any parking lots near your house!
    B: No! It was in the park that I met him last summer!
    A: Oh...

    Would you like to give me some question sentences that "It was in the park where I met him last summer" can be the answer. Thanks!

    ps. At the beginning, I wrote "I really appreciated for ...". I'm not sure if it is appropriate to use the past tense here. Instead of asking for complex grammar rules, please let me ask you this way, if you were me(or I?), would you use 'appreciated' in this case?
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Heidi.

    (1) Well, as I type, no one else has replied, so I will TRY.

    (2) Here's an idea: post a new thread with a similar question. Maybe some of the great teachers will answer.

    (3) The most important thing that I have learned is that there are true cleft sentences in which it means nothing and you need to use that, who, whom; there are sentences that look like cleft sentences, in which it is a real pronoun that stands for some noun. You need when or where in such a sentence.

    (4) It was in the park that I met him -- not in the parking lot. I think

    that your dialogue is fine. A true cleft sentence -- if I

    am correct -- emphasizes that it was A, not B: in the park, not in the

    parking lot; in January, not in February; Tom, not Tomas.

    *****

    (5) You want some questions that elicit this answer:

    It was in the park where I met him.

    All right. I will try:

    Mona: Somebody told me you met President Ma yesterday.

    Tom: I certainly did.

    Mona: Where did you meet him?

    Tom. I met him in the park at 10:30 a.m.

    Mona: Hey! Where is your watch?

    Tom: Oh, some bad guys stole it from me at 1:30 p.m.

    Mona: How terrible! Where was the robbery?

    Tom: It (the robbery) was (happened) in the (same) park where I

    (had) met President Ma at 10:30 that morning. [where I had met

    President Ma is an adjective clause that modifies park. Where = in which.]

    Mona: By the way, did you attend last night's Madonna concert?

    [ I am an old man. Madonna is the only pop star [of] whom I know]

    Tom: Yeah. She has a great voice!

    Mona: Where was the concert?

    Tom: It (the concert) was (took place) in the (same) park where those

    bad guys stole/ had stolen my watch at 1:30 p.m. and where I (had) met

    President Ma at 10:30 a.m.

    Mona: That's a busy park!!!

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