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    #1

    structure and comprehension

    Dear teachers,

    I have two questions:

    No.1
    The customer wants it back up and working right away.

    I think the sentence should go like this:

    The customer wants it to back up and to work right away.
    My reason for doing so is as follows: First "back up" is a verbal phrase. Second "working" does not parallel with "to back up".

    No.2
    The reason our schools are failing isn't because classroom sizes are too big. I can show you schools in Thailand where kids study in unbelievably crowded classrooms---and yet they're learning much more than our students.
    I think the two sentences contradicts each other or do I misunderstand the meaning of it? I think they make sense if they are written the following way:

    The reason our schools are failing isn't because classroom sizes are too big. I can show you schools in Thailand where kids study in unbelievably large classrooms---and yet they're learning much more than our students.
    Or:

    The reason our schools are failing is because classroom sizes are too big. I can show you schools in Thailand whre kids study in unbelievably crowded classrooms---and yet they're learning much more than our students.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  1. BobK's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #2

    Re: structure and comprehension

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I have two questions:

    No.1
    The customer wants it back up and working right away.

    I think the sentence should go like this:

    The customer wants it to back up and to work right away.
    My reason for doing so is as follows: First "back up" is a verbal phrase. (But not here.) Second "working" does not parallel with "to back up". (No need for parallelism.)

    No.2
    The reason our schools are failing isn't because classroom sizes are too big. I can show you schools in Thailand where kids study in unbelievably crowded classrooms---and yet they're learning much more than our students.
    I think the two sentences contradicts each other or do I misunderstand the meaning of it? I think they make sense if they are written the following way:

    The reason our schools are failing isn't because classroom sizes are too big. I can show you schools in Thailand where kids study in unbelievably large classrooms---and yet they're learning much more than our students.
    Or:

    The reason our schools are failing is because classroom sizes are too big. I can show you schools in Thailand whre kids study in unbelievably crowded classrooms---and yet they're learning much more than our students.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    You're right to say that there is a phrasal verb 'to back up'. But your quote doesn't use it that way. The customer wants something (presumably a computer, which is said to be 'up' when it's running) restored to its former situation - 'back up'. He wants it 'working again'.

    I agree on your second point, although it's paradoxically true that big classrooms tend to get over-full. Maybe the writer meant to talk about 'class sizes' rather than 'classroom sizes'.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 23-Sep-2008 at 14:09. Reason: Added last point

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