Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 173
    #1

    Thumbs up a challange

    Let's say Tony Blair is the 43rd Prime Minister of England.

    To get this answer,let's just say in a "Do you know contest", how can we ask the question?

    Would anyone care to help me?

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: a challange

    Welcome, udara sankalpa.

    It's OK to end a sentence with a form of the verb TO BE:

    [1] Do you know who I am?
    [2] Do you know who your grandfather was?
    [3] Do you know who the 43rd Prime Minister of England is/was?


    The difference between present is and past was is reference.
    If it's about a fact, then use present tense ([3]).

    If it's about the past, then use past tense ([2], [3]).
    Does that help?


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 173
    #3

    Re: a challange

    Hi cas,
    yes it helps, it really does. But if we are to ask the question directly without using "43" thing, is it possible?

    We can ask, for instance, "What number Prime Minister was Tony Blair?

    But there shoul be a better way of asking it, shouldn't there?

    Cheers
    udara

  2. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #4

    Re: a challange

    I don't see how your post applies to the question, Casi? Isn't it asking for questions like: How many PMs did the UK have before TB? [If he's the 43rd, the answer will be 42.]

    That is, I think the question is about interrogative pronouns to refer to ordinals. And the answer is 'there aren't any'. You can't say 'the whatth PM is TB?'.

    b


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 173
    #5

    Thumbs up Re: a challange

    Hi BobK,
    I'm a Sri Lankan, who started learning English at 20. But I'm heavily into it now.

    Yes Bob, you hit the bulls eye. That was just what I wanted to know: but it's a bit funny, isn't it? if there arn't a pronoun to refer to that thing, and I just wonder how native speakers ask it when they want to.

    cheers
    udara

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Jul 2005
    • Posts: 1,198
    #6

    Re: a challange

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I don't see how your post applies to the question, Casi? Isn't it asking for questions like: How many PMs did the UK have before TB? [If he's the 43rd, the answer will be 42.]

    That is, I think the question is about interrogative pronouns to refer to ordinals. And the answer is 'there aren't any'. You can't say 'the whatth PM is TB?'.

    b
    There are no interrogative pronouns for ordinals Bob but can't you ask: (In) What chronological order is (does) TB (come) as UK PM? I similarly encountered a problem with percentage: What percentage points .. and not: How much percent...? What you think?


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 173
    #7

    Re: a challange

    Hi Dr. Ibrahim,
    That's more like it. Sounds a bit formal though, you reckon?
    Great many thanks

    Cheers
    udara

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Jul 2005
    • Posts: 1,198
    #8

    Re: a challange

    Quote Originally Posted by udara sankalpa View Post
    Hi Dr. Ibrahim,
    That's more like it. Sounds a bit formal though, you reckon?
    Great many thanks

    Cheers
    udara
    I gave two alternatives Udara: Use verb to be it is less formal than does...come?
    Jamshid

  3. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #9

    Re: a challange

    Quote Originally Posted by udara sankalpa View Post
    Hi Dr. Ibrahim,
    That's more like it. Sounds a bit formal though, you reckon?
    Great many thanks

    Cheers
    udara
    Yes, it is a bit formal. Very informally people ask 'What number PM is/was TB?' But it's not very satisfactory; and - as I said in my first post - people can get round it by asking about how many predecessors TB had

    Jamshid: I would prefer 'How many percentage points...?'. In BE 'what percentage points...?' is simply wrong, but it would be possible to use some periphrasis like 'What was the percentage difference between...?'.

    b

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #10

    Re: a challange

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I don't see how your post applies to the question, Casi? Isn't it asking for questions like: How many PMs did the UK have before TB? [If he's the 43rd, the answer will be 42.]
    My ESP is off some nights.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •