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  1. wotcha's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
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      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 735
    #1

    'To these may be added ....'

    This letter is to confirm that you will be dismissed from the company effective October 14, 1992. This action follows our letters of warning dated July 21 and August 17, 1992, concerning your carelessness in performing the work for which you were employed. Specific instances were detailed in the letters mentioned and in our recent discussions. To these may be added your recent offensive and insulting behavior in the Accounting Office.



    The above is extracted from a National University Entrance Exam in Korea in 1995 and I just want to ask you native teachers if there are any mistakes or ackward expressions. ^_^

    For me, 'to these may be added...' in the last sentence is not clear. What is the Subject in this sentence? How can the adverbial phrase(to these) be a Subject?

    • Member Info
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      • English
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      • United States
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      • United States

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    #2

    Re: 'To these may be added ....'

    The verb in the final sentence is in the passive voice. Some people prefer to avoid that construction if at all possible. The word order of the final sentence is also somewhat inverted. Putting it in standard 'subject-verb' order it would read, 'Your recent offenses and insulting behavior in the Accounting Office may be added to these.' The subjects of the sentence are 'offenses' and 'behavior.'

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Yoruba
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      • Nigeria
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      • Nigeria

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    #3

    Re: 'To these may be added ....'

    [QUOTE=wotcha;834356][FONT=CentSchbook BT][SIZE=2]This letter is to confirm that you will be dismissed from the company effective October 14, 1992. This action follows our letters of warning dated July 21 and August 17, 1992, concerning your carelessness in performing the work for which you were employed. Specific instances were detailed in the letters mentioned and in our recent discussions. To these may be added your recent offensive and insulting behavior in the Accounting Office.

    Here is the analysis. I hope you find it helpful.



    (1)This action follows our letters of warning dated July 21 and August 17, 1992, concerning your carelessness in performing the work for which you were employed. (2) Specific instances(of these acts of carelessness) were detailed in the letters mentioned and in our recent discussions. (3) To these(acts of refusal to heed warning and acts of carelessness) may be added your recent offensive and insulting behavior in the Accounting Office

    So, sentence (3) above may be rewritten thus...'Your recent offensive and insulting behaviour in the accounting office may be added to the acts earlier mentioned. Therefore,the subject of sentence (3) is 'your recent offensive...in the accounting office'

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • Czech Republic

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    #4

    Re: 'To these may be added ....'

    Quote Originally Posted by Preceptor View Post
    The verb in the final sentence is in the passive voice. Some people prefer to avoid that construction if at all possible. The word order of the final sentence is also somewhat inverted. Putting it in standard 'subject-verb' order it would read, 'Your recent offenses and insulting behavior in the Accounting Office may be added to these.' The subjects of the sentence are 'offenses' and 'behavior.'
    The last two sentences contain passive constructions, and the form of the final sentence is therefore consistent with that of the one preceding it. The form of the final sentence is natural, if a little formal.

    If you wish to avoid the passive, you would need to re-cast both sentences, as well as other sentences in the letter. Personally, I see no need for this. The impersonal passive is quite appropriate in this type of letter.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: 'To these may be added ....'

    I generally don't like the passive, but do acknowledge a few times when it's appropriate.

    When you don't want to say "I am holding you accountable" or "I am firing your sorry a**" because you want to distance yourself from it, that's one of those times.

    I do find the inverted word order stilted. However, I find nothing incorrect about it.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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