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  1. #1

    Exclamation past participle problem....

    I have a question. Recently, a friend of mine told me about a correction she made to a memo that was posted at her place of work. There was a sign posted next to a frequently used item stating the following:
    "this can be gotten in [department]."
    My friend, feeling this to be incorrect, wrote "who wrote this?" on the memo.
    The next day, at work, she noticed that someone had replied to her question with this: "who wrote THIS? Learn your english, it's a past participle!"
    Now we are going CRAZY!! Who is correct? My friend and I think that "this can BE GOTTEN in [department]" sounds awkward, but are we in the wrong?
    Thank you so much for your response!

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 59,312

    Re: past participle problem....

    If you changed the word, you would be using a past participle:
    This can be acquired/obtained, etc.
    Therefore, it would seem that the writer is correct. I believe that some American speakers don't like the use of 'gotten' (, but grammatically, I can see nothing wrong with the memo, though I am a British English speaker and would say 'got'.

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 38

    Re: past participle problem....

    I agree. A lot of traditional grammarians have a problem with the word 'got' to mean 'ontain' there is no reasonable reason why they should. As far as grammar goes - it is correct.

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