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  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #1

    A person is uprightly honest who does not steal things from an unguarded villa

    "A person who does not steal things from an unguarded villa with the door open is uprightly honest."
    "A person is uprightly honest who does not steal things from an unguarded villa with the door open."

    Are they both grammatical?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A person is uprightly honest who does not steal things from an unguarded villa

    The second is not natural.

    The first is grammatically correct, but 'uprightly honest' is not a natural collocation.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: A person is uprightly honest who does not steal things from an unguarded villa

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    The second is not natural...
    The construction of the second one can sometimes be seen in newspapers, should it be avoided instead of imitated?

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A person is uprightly honest who does not steal things from an unguarded villa

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    The construction of the second one can sometimes be seen in newspapers, should it be avoided instead of imitated?
    Examples please.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: A person is uprightly honest who does not steal things from an unguarded villa

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Examples please.
    ...the government should, adhering to the principle that "a cat is good that catches mice regardless of whether it is black or white", adopt it and...

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A person is uprightly honest who does not steal things from an unguarded villa

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    ...the government should, adhering to the principle that "a cat is good that catches mice regardless of whether it is black or white", adopt it and...
    It should be avoided. That does not sound like something from a British, Irish, North American or Australian/NZ newspaper.

  7. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: A person is uprightly honest who does not steal things from an unguarded villa

    It sounds like an aphorism or proverb, which often have a stilted feel to it. "Lucky is he who is content with what he has no matter how meager" etc. And you'll see that the newspaper put it in quotes, to show that it wasn't natural speech, but a quote of a saying.

    (For what it's worth, I don't think failing to steal something deserves high praise. It's what a normal human being would do in my experience.)
    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.

  8. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: A person is uprightly honest who does not steal things from an unguarded villa

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    ...the newspaper put it in quotes, to show that it wasn't natural speech, but a quote of a saying.
    It is actually a translation of a Chinese saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Lucky is he who is...
    Is "lucky is he" an inversion?

  9. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: A person is uprightly honest who does not steal things from an unguarded villa

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    It is actually a translation of a Chinese saying.
    Even if it was translated by a native speaker of English, there is no guarantee that the result is natural English. The translater may have wished to give it an 'oriental' flavour'
    Is "lucky is he" an inversion?
    Please ask questions about different sentences in a fresh thread.
    Last edited by 5jj; 17-Dec-2013 at 23:45. Reason: typo

  10. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: A person is uprightly honest who does not steal things from an unguarded villa

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Please ask questions about different sentences in a fresh thread.
    The sentence below is different but its construction is similar, perhaps it can remain in this thread.
    "The person died who had won the badminton title last year."
    Should "died" be put after "year"?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Even if it was translated by a native speaker of English, there is no guarantee that the result is natural English. The translater may have wished to give it an 'oriental' flavour'
    Speaking as a native Chinese, the English translation has no oriental flavour, so I guessed it is English style, but it isn't.

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