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    #1

    Does "simply" modify "the realization"?

    Dear all,

    In the sentence below, what does "simply" modify? Does it modify "the realization"?

    Creative thinking may well mean simply the realization that there's no particular virtue in doing things the way they have always been done.

    Thank you!

    OP

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Does "simply" modify "the realization"?

    If it modified 'the realization', it should be 'the simple realization'. So I think the adverb 'simply' modifies the verb 'mean'.

    Not a teacher.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Does "simply" modify "the realization"?

    And your teacher (this feels like homework) probably went to the same school as my English teacher, who insisted that adverbs modify verbs, whereas adjectives qualify nouns.

    b

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    #4

    Re: Does "simply" modify "the realization"?

    Dear all,
    At first, I thought the same as Matthew, but I noticed that like the cases of "He is only a child" or "Meg is merely a good friend", adverbs can modify article (+adjective)+noun. That's why I thought "simply" could modify "the realization". Is my guess still wrong?

    Thank you

    OP

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Does "simply" modify "the realization"?

    Yes, your guess is wrong.

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    #6

    Re: Does "simply" modify "the realization"?

    I wonder what the word order would be if the sentence were in Japanese.

    To use "he is only a child" as an example, in Chinese, we would have something like "he only is a child" as its translation, which clearly shows what "only" modifies.

    Compare "Mary is his only child" with "Mary is only a child." The first "only" is an adjective, while the second an adverb.

    *** Not a teacher ***

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Does "simply" modify "the realization"?

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post
    "Meg is merely a good friend", adverbs can modify article (+adjective)+noun.
    I think 'merely' modifies 'is', because it should be 'a mere good friend' if it modified the noun.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldbei View Post
    in Chinese
    We should try to forget it while learning English, or we will use Chinglish unawares.

    Not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: Does "simply" modify "the realization"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post

    We should try to forget it while learning English, or we will use Chinglish unawares.
    I respectfully disagree. Whether you like it or not, your mother tongue is in your blood. It will affect you in one way or another when you learn a new language. Dealing with such effect is better than simply ignoring it in my opinion.

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    #9

    Re: Does "simply" modify "the realization"?

    Hi oldbey
    Thanks for your post. Since the Japanese language has totally different word order from English, the English sentence made up in the Japanese word order, "he only child is", doesn't make any sense. I understand English and Chinese are similar in word order, and that's why you can compare the two languages the way you did in your post.

    OP
    Last edited by optimistic pessimist; 14-Dec-2014 at 02:41.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Does "simply" modify "the realization"?

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post
    English and Chinese are similar in word order
    I don't think so.

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post
    you can compare the two languages the way you did in your post.
    I often find the two languages not comparable.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldbei View Post
    Dealing with such effect is better than simply ignoring it in my opinion.
    The more you think about your native language, the more you are affected by it while using English.

    Not a teacher.
    Last edited by Matthew Wai; 14-Dec-2014 at 08:22.

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