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    #1

    ...that not a single word ________to defend himself in court

    The young man felt so guilty about his drunk driving that not a single word did he say to defend himself in court.
    The young man felt so guilty about his drunk driving that not a single word he said to defend himself in court.


    Which of the above sentences is right in grammar? Thanks for help!

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    #2

    Re: ...that not a single word ________to defend himself in court

    The 2nd part is the same as:

    ..he did not say a single word to defend himself in court.

    The 1st sentence is correct.

    not a teacher
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 14-Apr-2015 at 10:12. Reason: minor typo correction

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: ...that not a single word ________to defend himself in court

    For me, the first sentence is not natural. Try "The young man felt so guilty about his drunk driving that he did not say a single word to defend himself in court."

    The second sentence is not correct.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: ...that not a single word ________to defend himself in court

    The first is OK to me although the convoluted construction is not necessary. MikeNewYork's suggested revision is much more common and natural.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: ...that not a single word ________to defend himself in court

    The first sentence is correct, even if to some it is convoluted. To me it sounds natural enough.
    2. is wrong.

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    #6

    Re: ...that not a single word ________to defend himself in court

    Where is incorrect in no.2 sentence?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: ...that not a single word ________to defend himself in court

    Quote Originally Posted by Polyester View Post
    Where is incorrect in no.2 sentence?
    There's no finite verb in the clause "... that not a single word he said to defend himself in court.
    There is in "The young man felt so guilty about his drunk driving that not a single word he said to defend himself in court made any difference.

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