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    #1

    How do I teach that type of syntax?

    I came across that sentence: "I thought it strange working at such late hours".

    Even though I feel that this is a correct use of the language, how do I give it to my students, why there is not there the verb "be", like:
    "I thought it was strange working at such late hours".

    Are there specific verbs that have this particular use?

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    #2

    Re: How do I teach that type of syntax?

    Quote Originally Posted by dimpap View Post

    Are there specific verbs that have this particular use?


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


    Good morning, Teacher Dimpap



    I have found something in a scholarly work that may interest you.

    *****

    1. I think it a pity to waste them.

    or

    I think it is / would be a pity to waste them.

    2. The scholar says that the "commonest" verbs used in such sentences are:

    acknowledge
    believe
    consider
    count
    declare
    deny
    esteem
    fancy
    feel
    find
    guess
    imagine
    judge
    know
    prove
    realize
    report
    see
    show
    suppose
    suspect
    take ( = suppose, think)
    think
    understand

    *****

    3. The information above comes from that book. The following are only my thoughts:

    a. "I thought it strange working at such late hours" is either more formal or informal than "I thought it was strange working at such late hours." I daren't make a guess. Let's see what the teachers say.

    b. I think that it is accurate to conclude that some of those verbs in that list would not fit in your sentence, although some would:

    "I considered/ felt/ found it strange working at such late hours."


    James


    REFERENCE: A. S. Hornby, A Guide to Patterns And Usage in English. I have the tenth impression 1966. First published in 1954. Printed in Great Britain at the University Press, Oxford, by Vivian Ridler, Printer to the University.

    As a teacher, you might find this book to be indispensable in many ways. I have no idea as to its present availability.

    P.S. Here is another choice mentioned by the scholar:

    a. We all consider it wrong to cheat in examinations.
    b. We all consider that it is wrong to cheat in examinations. (I believe that Americans prefer "on examinations.")

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: How do I teach that type of syntax?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ...
    2. The scholar says that the "commonest" verbs used in such sentences are:

    acknowledge
    believe
    consider
    count
    declare
    deny
    esteem
    fancy
    feel
    find
    guess
    imagine
    judge
    know
    prove
    realize
    report
    see
    show
    suppose
    suspect
    take ( = suppose, think)
    think
    understand

    *****

    ...
    - that is, verbs that refer to mental activity. I think of the two options 'I think he's happy' and 'I think him happy' the one with the subordinate clause (representing the thought) is becoming the more common, and the rate at which the subordinate clause version is becoming more common varies from verb to verb. Checking in a corpus such as BNC is a good idea (and letting students loose on a corpus is a good way of empowering them).

    b

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: How do I teach that type of syntax?

    Quote Originally Posted by dimpap View Post
    I came across that sentence: "I thought it strange working at such late hours".

    Even though I feel that this is a correct use of the language, how do I give it to my students, why there is not there the verb "be", like:
    "I thought it was strange working at such late hours".

    Are there specific verbs that have this particular use?
    I suggest you give it your students with a comma after 'strange'! You could avoid the need by saying '..to be working'' or 'for them to be working'. (Incidentally, Portuguese has a marvellous device called the Infinito Pessoal which adds the 'for them' idea as a suffix to the infinitive. English can't do this.)

    b

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