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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    is this syntax correct and the meaning clear?

    many a good thing can be had too much of

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    #2

    Re: is this syntax correct and the meaning clear?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmodis View Post
    many a good thing can be had too much of
    many = predeterminer
    a = indefinite article

    many a good thing (rather formal) = many good things
    can be had = VP
    too much of = phrasal determiner

    They can have too much of many a good thing. -- active counterpart

    Passivization is a left-hand NP movement: 'many a good thing' is raised out of its direct object site and put to the preverbal subject territory.
    The passivized VP is: "can be had"; 'have' is a middle verb which can undergo passivization occasionally.

    many a good thing + passivized VP (= can be had) + stranded phrasal determiner --> Many a good thing can be had too much of.

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    #3

    Re: is this syntax correct and the meaning clear?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    many = predeterminer
    a = indefinite article

    many a good thing (rather formal) = many good things
    can be had = VP
    too much of = phrasal determiner

    They can have too much of many a good thing. -- active counterpart

    Passivization is a left-hand NP movement: 'many a good thing' is raised out of its direct object site and put to the preverbal subject territory.
    The passivized VP is: "can be had"; 'have' is a middle verb which can undergo passivization occasionally.

    many a good thing + passivized VP (= can be had) + stranded phrasal determiner --> Many a good thing can be had too much of.
    This sounds like a sound analysis, thank you. But I am confused. Is putting it in the active voice your best suggestion for improvement? I can live with the passive voice because I want to insert it in a semi-scientific journal but will the rest of it raise eyebrows?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: is this syntax correct and the meaning clear?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmodis View Post
    This sounds like a sound analysis, thank you. But I am confused. Is putting it in the active voice your best suggestion for improvement? I can live with the passive voice because I want to insert it in a semi-scientific journal but will the rest of it raise eyebrows?
    It will raise smiles. "You can get too much of a good thing" is a common saying. You phrase is grammatical, but twisting idioms if often humourous. That's alright if you're after that effect.

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    #5

    Re: is this syntax correct and the meaning clear?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmodis View Post
    Is putting it in the active voice your best suggestion for improvement?
    Mind you, I am not a native speaker, and this means you should take my judgments as to what sounds natural English with great caution. The active version is much better to my ears and is less likely to get a "come again?" response."


    Quote Originally Posted by tmodis View Post
    I can live with the passive voice because I want to insert it in a semi-scientific journal but will the rest of it raise eyebrows?
    Go for the active voice.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmodis View Post
    but will the rest of it raise eyebrows?
    Rest of what? Sorry, I do not get you here.

  6. Newbie
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    #6

    Re: is this syntax correct and the meaning clear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    It will raise smiles. "You can get too much of a good thing" is a common saying. You phrase is grammatical, but twisting idioms if often humourous. That's alright if you're after that effect.
    Thank you. This fully answers my question. In fact I did not remember the exact saying.

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