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  1. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
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    #1

    they are/it is

    My friend asked me today if one should use "they are" or "it is" in the following highlighted sentence:
    There are illnesses we cannot treat. These illnesses are called fatal diseases. They are (it is ??) for example AIDS and cancer.

    Well, I believe it would be better to say "These illnesses, such as AIDS and (Can I use "or" here?) cancer, are called fatal diseases." or "...fatal diseases. Among them are (can I say "belong"?) AIDS and caner." or "These are e.g. ..."

    Anyway, would it be right to use "they are"? Or shall I use "it is" instead?

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: they are/it is

    'They are'. But I'd lose the 'illnesses in the second sentence, and repeat it in the third:

    There are illnesses we cannot treat - fatal diseases. Examples of such illnesses are AIDS and cancer.

    When working on this text, you may find it interesting to know that there's a strong collocation between 'terminal' and 'illness'. One talks about 'a fatal wound' but 'a terminal illness'. 'Fatal disease' is perfectly acceptable, but I think more native speakers would speak of such a disease as 'terminal'.

    b

  3. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
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    #3

    Re: they are/it is

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Well, I believe it would be better to say "These illnesses, such as AIDS and (Can I use "or" here?) cancer, are called fatal diseases." .
    Thank you very much, Bob... Could you also answer the two questions (above), please?

    By the way, what about this? Is it correct?:
    These illnesses are called terminal diseases, which are (can I use IS as well?) for example AIDS and/or cancer.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: they are/it is

    You can't use 'or' there (because it would imply equivalence - as in 'the common cormorant or shag' [and - nit-pickers - I know they're not the same, but this is an example of a statement of equivalence using 'or' ). You can't use 'is' in your last sentence. And you can't use 'belong' for the list of examples.

    b

  5. Lenka's Avatar

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    #5

    Re: they are/it is

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    You can't use 'or' there (because it would imply equivalence - as in 'the common cormorant or shag' [and - nit-pickers - I know they're not the same, but this is an example of a statement of equivalence using 'or' ). You can't use 'is' in your last sentence. And you can't use 'belong' for the list of examples.

    b
    Thank you very much... By the way, I am a little surprised by (is it right?) the fact you can use "or" only if it implies equivalence or an adversative meaning; in Czech, you can use it to say "and" as well. I really didn't know this difference. Thanks!

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: they are/it is

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Thank you very much... By the way, I am a little surprised by (is it right?) the fact you can use "or" only if it implies equivalence or an adversative meaning; in Czech, you can use it to say "and" as well. I really didn't know this difference. Thanks!
    You can use it to mean 'and' in some contexts: Do not use the lift or the staircase; use the fire escape. I'll think about what makes those contexts different from the ones where it implies equivalence. If any other teacher can contribute, feel free to interrupt...

    b

  7. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
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    #7

    Re: they are/it is

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    You can use it to mean 'and' in some contexts: Do not use the lift or the staircase; use the fire escape. I'll think about what makes those contexts different from the ones where it implies equivalence. If any other teacher can contribute, feel free to interrupt...

    b
    Thanks for your reply... I wonder what the difference between the first and second usage of "or" is, too.

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