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  1. anhnha's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Vietnam

    • Join Date: May 2012
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    #1

    He thought about doing something useful for his city.

    He thought about doing something useful for his city.
    I parsed the sentence as follow:
    He: subject
    thought: verb
    doing: gerund
    something: noun
    useful: adjective
    for: preposition
    his: possessive form of he/ adjective
    city: noun
    However, I don't see which part of sentence that useful refer to. I think it refer to "something" but if so it have to put before "something"
    I think that the sentence should be written like this:
    He thought about doing something that is useful for his city.
    Would you help me point out what I am wrong and parse the sentence?
    Thanks for help!

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    #2

    Re: He thought about doing something useful for his city.

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


    Wow!

    You are a fantastic student. I am sure that every teacher in the States would give you an A+ (the highest mark

    possible) for the great job that you did in parsing that sentence.

    You are 100% right: "something useful" is an ellipsis [omitting some words] of "something that is useful."

    Here is a wonderful example from one of the greatest grammarians in the history of English (only my opinion,

    of course!):

    "Something [which is] new, nothing [which is] extraordinary, everything [which is] English."

    Another one of his examples:

    "Let Jenny marry somebody [who is] rich."


    The rule: "A single adjective frequently stands after an
    indefinite pronoun."

    That great scholar was Professor George Oliver Curme, His 1931 two-volume masterpiece is entitled A Grammar of the English Language. Refer to pages 64 - 65 of the second volume.

    *****

    NOTES:

    1. You used "that." He used "which." Don't worry. In this case, it doesn't matter which one you use.

    2. It is absolutely NOT important, but you accidentally forgot to parse the preposition "about."



    James

  2. anhnha's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Vietnam

    • Join Date: May 2012
    • Posts: 539
    #3

    Re: He thought about doing something useful for his city.

    Hi James,
    Thank you very much for your encouraging words and perfect answer.
    I am so shy and timid now. I am not good at grammar but I love to learn about it.
    Your examples are very easy to understand and I have just learnt about this structure(ellipsis) from you. It is new to me and I am so happy to know about it.
    Thank you and have a nice day!
    Last edited by anhnha; 06-Oct-2012 at 17:12.

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