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    #1

    Doesn't this phrase diverge from standard english rules?

    ''The studentsí final Social Studies exam has
    been stolen from the teacherís desk, a situation that will cause the class
    to take a make-up''

    ''A comma may not separate two independent clauses''.

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: Doesn't this phrase diverge from standard english rules?

    It's fine. What follows the comma is not an independent clause: it has no main verb.

    Rover

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    #3

    Re: Doesn't this phrase diverge from standard english rules?

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


    Hello, Guiherme:

    1. I really ( = very much) liked that sentence.

    2. If I am not mistaken, many native speakers might express that idea in two other ways, too:

    a. "The students' final exam has been stolen, so that the class will have to take a make-up."

    i. I believe that nowdays, many people would leave out the "that."

    b. "The students' final exam has been stolen, thus causing the class to take a make-up."

    i. This use of an -ing word seems to be very popular. "Thus" may be left out.

    "The candidate for president made a very big mistake, (thus) causing him to lose the election."
    "The candidate for president made a very big mistake, so (that) he lost the election."
    "The candidate for president made a very big mistake, a situation that caused him to lose the election."


    HAVE A NICE DAY!

    P.S. Credit for much of this information goes to A Grammar of the English Language by Professor George Oliver Curme.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Doesn't this phrase diverge from standard english rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post

    a. "The students' final exam has been stolen, so that the class will have to take a make-up."
    With "that", the sentence you have posted means that the reason that the exam was stolen was in order to ensure that the class would have to take a make-up.

    (I should point out here that I don't have the faintest idea what "to take a make-up" means. I assume it's AmE terminology.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Doesn't this phrase diverge from standard english rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    With "that", the sentence you have posted means that the reason that the exam was stolen was in order to ensure that the class would have to take a make-up.
    I have mentioned in other threads that Professor George Oliver Curme was writing in 1931, over eighty years ago, and the language has changed since then. Curme has nothing to say that is of relevance to how English is spoken and written today, but he's great for sorting out problems our great grandparents might have had.
    Last edited by 5jj; 08-Sep-2012 at 07:31. Reason: typo

  3. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Doesn't this phrase diverge from standard english rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    (I should point out here that I don't have the faintest idea what "to take a make-up" means. I assume it's AmE terminology.)
    Make-up or "make-up test" is indeed used in AmE, meaning "a test that you take in school when you were not able to take a previous test*."

    *Source: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.

  4. Academic Writing's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Doesn't this phrase diverge from standard english rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Make-up or "make-up test" is indeed used in AmE, meaning "a test that you take in school when you were not able to take a previous test*."

    *Source: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.
    Yep, it's common in AmE, except that Merriam-Webster spells the noun form "makeup" (no hyphen). No adjective form is listed. In "makeup test," makeup is still a noun (being used attributively). :)

    It's interesting that Longman lists a different spelling (the hyphen does seem more natural to me, but all of the style guides I use point to M-W so I tend to follow that). I also see that OED lists "make-up" as the noun and does list a definition of a North American supplementary test.
    SeriousScholar.com

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    #8

    Re: Doesn't this phrase diverge from standard english rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    With "that", the sentence you have posted means that the reason that the exam was stolen was in order to ensure that the class would have to take a make-up.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Thank you very much, emsr, for your kind note.

    As I have always stressed, any student reading this thread should accept a teacher's ruling over the opinion of a

    non-teacher member such as I. This forum is called "Ask a Teacher."

    I most respectfully disagree, however, with your interpretation.

    As Professor Curme pointed out, the comma (or pause) makes all the difference. Please compare:

    I left the house early so that I would get a seat on the bus. (purpose; no comma or pause in speaking.)

    I left the house early, so that I was lucky to get a seat on the bus. (result; comma or pause.)

    (a) Yes, the "that" in the second sentence is usually left out in present-day English. But those persons doing

    university-level writing might consider using the whole conjunction ("so that" -- along with the comma) when referring to

    a result.


    Respectfully yours,


    James

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Doesn't this phrase diverge from standard english rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    I most respectfully disagree, however, with your interpretation.

    As Professor Curme pointed out, the comma (or pause) makes all the difference.
    I suggest that your arguments might be more convincing if you could cite more recent support than an 80-year-old book.
    Please compare:

    I left the house early so that I would get a seat on the bus. (purpose; no comma or pause in speaking.)
    I left the house early, so that I was lucky to get a seat on the bus. (result; comma or pause.)

    (a) Yes, the "that" in the second sentence is usually left out in present-day English.
    Precisely. Most of us leave it out because it is no longer natural.
    But those persons doing university-level writing might consider using the whole conjunction ("so that" -- along with the comma) when referring to a result.
    I see no reason at all why people writing at university level should, for some strange reason, consider writing in a style that is no longer natural. Why stop at 1931 English? Perhaps all undergraduates should write in the style of Shakespeare, or Chaucer?

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