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      • Native Language:
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      • Malaysia
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    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 431
    #1

    Question ?

    i saw a phrase from my mobile's battrey

    "Do not short-circuit"


    why do they use do not instead of does not?

  1. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #2

    Re: ?

    It's an order, telling you that you must not short-circuit the battery. Orders -- or "imperatives", as they are called in grammar -- are given using the basic form of the verb: "Be good", for example.

    Negative orders are given using the basic form of "do", then "not" (or "don't"), then the basic form of the main verb. Google's unofficial motto is: "Don't be evil".

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 431
    #3

    Exclamation Re: ?

    okie.. let me create another imperatives situation. see whether i am correct or not..


    Have to use glove.


    sentence above consider imperatives or order?

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #4

    Re: ?

    In this case, no. "Have to" is an alternative way of writing "must", and "must" is a modal verb. Modal verbs express posibility or compulsion, and you cannot (if you think about it logically) order people to be compelled to do something. You just order them to do something, and there's the compulsion right there, without needing any extra modality.

    In short: you cannot use a modal verb or any of its alternatives to form an imperative.

    There are at least three ways to do this:

    1. Use a normal affirmative statement with the modal verb and a subject: "You must use gloves" or "You must wear gloves."

    2. Use a passive construction with the modal verb: "Gloves must be used" or "Gloves must be worn".

    3. Use an imperative without the modal: "Use gloves" or "Wear gloves."

    In most formal situations -- instruction manuals, warning signs etc -- the passive construction is best.

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