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  1. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #1

    "the baby can't hold at his father's shoulder"

    The following sentence appears to me to contain more than one mistake:

    "the baby can't hold at his father's shoulder"

    First of all, the preposition "at" is wrong. If at all possible, we should use the preposition "on".

    Secondly, I think you cannot say "to hold on somebody's shoulder."

    So I would correct the sentence as follows:

    "the baby can't take/keep hold on his father's shoulder".

    Besides, it might even be that "his" is wrong for the baby could be a female, therefore it might be even better to replace it with "his or her OR simply their".

    Am I right?
    Thanks in advance

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "the baby can't hold at his father's shoulder"

    Firstly, it's not a sentence. It doesn't start with a capital letter and finish with a full stop.
    Secondly, it doesn't make sense.
    Where did you find it?
    If you wrote it yourself, what exactly are you trying to say?
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  3. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "the baby can't hold at his father's shoulder"

    Sorry, I didn't write it with capital letters but it was meant to be written with capital letters indeed.

    The passage of the original text says:

    "He held her on his shoulder and said: 'hang on now, baby.' [...]"
    The fact is that the baby is too young and cannot take any hold.

    Does the sentences I posted make no sense at all?
    How can it be improved by possibly keeping most of its original structure?
    Thank you in advance

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "the baby can't hold at his father's shoulder"

    Where is the text from?
    How do we know that the baby can't hold on?
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  5. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "the baby can't hold at his father's shoulder"

    The original text is taken from
    Ernestine Gilbreth and Frank Gilbreth Junior, Cheaper by the Dozen.

    We know that the baby cannot hold on because it is said in the original text.

    The question is not wether or not the baby can hold on but whether the sentence is correct and if not how we can improve it.
    Thank you in advance
    Regards

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "the baby can't hold at his father's shoulder"

    What does it say in the original text about the baby's inability to hold on?
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  7. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "the baby can't hold at his father's shoulder"

    Does it really matter ?
    Well here it is:

    [...] "Mind now", said the nurse. "She can't hang on to anything. She's only two weeks old. You'll drop her. Mind now"....[...]

  8. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "the baby can't hold at his father's shoulder"

    Yes, it matters. "The baby is too young to be able to hold on to its father's shoulder" fits the context.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  9. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: "the baby can't hold at his father's shoulder"

    Since the nurse just said "she" we know the baby is a girl.
    So of course we cannot use "his" and there's no reason to use "its" or "his or her."

    Please note bhai's "to hold on to" phrasing.

    Yes, context matters very much!
    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.

  10. meraviglioso's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: "the baby can't hold at his father's shoulder"

    Not that I meant context does not matter but the question was whether the sentence was grammatically correct or not.
    I think we would have nevertheless been able to check the correctness of the sentence without knowing whether the baby can or cannot hold.

    So, the correct version is "to hold on to its father's shoulder" as far as I can see from @bhaisan posting.
    Thank you very much both of you!

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