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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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    #1

    correct?

    Lost words and laughter, but to whom do they belong?

    How's that sentence?
    thanks!

  2. apex2000's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: correct?

    It is OK but I am mystified as to the intent.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
    Lost words and laughter, but to whom do they belong?

    How's that sentence?
    thanks!
    It's grammatically defective in that it doesn't have a verb in the first clause. However, it's acceptable in a poetic context. I like it.

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    #4

    Re: correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    It's grammatically defective in that it doesn't have a verb in the first clause. However, it's acceptable in a poetic context. I like it.
    Are sentences like:
    - OK!
    - Good morning!
    - Bye!
    - Happy New Year!
    - Sorry!
    - etc.
    also grammatically defective and acceptable only in a poetic context?


    I remember one my colleague, after passing his PhD studies in USA, started to maintain conversations by sentences:
    - Right! (responding to any phrases)
    - Agreed!
    - Good heavens!
    - many others
    Should people start avoiding such an "education"?
    Have he got poetry education instead of intended technical one?
    Last edited by vgv8; 31-Dec-2010 at 04:57.

  4. apex2000's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: correct?

    I disagree with the need for a verb in that clause. There can be many clauses that stand without the need for any verb. In your example the sentence may well follow on from someone else who has been talking about lost words and laughter in a general sense and you then make your statement. Different punctuation may make it clearer; use a dash instead of a comma.

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    #6

    Re: correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by vgv8 View Post
    Are sentences like:
    - OK!
    - Good morning!
    - Bye!
    - Happy New Year!
    - Sorry!
    - etc.
    also grammatically defective and acceptable only in a poetic context?
    These are correct utterances but they're not sentences. A sentence needs a finite verb.

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    #7

    Re: correct?

    We could also look at those utterances as truncated sentences that have the intent of a subject or verb that may be understood, as in the following:
    OK = All is correct.
    Good morning! = Have a good morning.

    Sorry! = I am sorry.

    Happy New Year. = Have a happy new year.

    After all, a sentence (from Latin, sententia = feeling) just has to complete a feeling or expression and they can be rationalized from their unintelligible utterances to their most complex formats.
    L J

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by vgv8 View Post
    Are sentences like:
    - OK!
    - Good morning!
    - Bye!
    - Happy New Year!
    - Sorry!
    - etc.
    also grammatically defective and acceptable only in a poetic context?

    They're grammatically defective if you want to call them sentences. But I'm not making any value judgements about grammatically defective phrases. The question was "How's that sentence?" and I reasonably pointed out that it was missing a verb.

    I remember one my colleague, after passing his PhD studies in USA, started to maintain conversations by sentences:
    - Right! (responding to any phrases)
    - Agreed!
    - Good heavens!
    - many others
    Should people start avoiding such an "education"?
    Have he got poetry education instead of intended technical one?

    You're assuming that people speak in sentences. There's nothing wrong with any of those utterances as communication, but that doesn't make them sentences.
    Since this is an ESL forum, and many learners here do not know what a good English sentence is, I think it's fair to point it out when what they think is a sentence is not one.
    I've given up on "How to use <word>?" and "How to say 'platypus'?" though. It's quite possible that these phrases will become 'sentences' in International English.

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