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    #1

    stipulate

    Hi, everyone. Today in my letter to a friend I wrote: China's Constitution also stipulates that the Chinese people have the right of assembly,but this civil right is subject to severe restrictions. Later on, when I read the letter again, I found that I had misused the word "stipulate". It seems that I should have used "guarantee" instead. But I am still not sure whether I could rewrite the sentence as follows:
    China's Constitution also guarantees that the Chinese people have the right of assembly,but this civil right is subject to severe restrictions.
    OR
    China's Constitution also guarantees the Chinese people the right of assembly,but this civil right is subject to severe restrictions.
    OR
    The Chinese people's right of assembly is guaranteed by China's Constitution, but but this civil right is subject to severe restrictions.

    I am eager to know how native speakers would express this idea.
    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: stipulate

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    Hi, everyone. Today in my letter to a friend I wrote: China's Constitution also stipulates that the Chinese people have the right of assembly,but this civil right is subject to severe restrictions. Later on, when I read the letter again, I found that I had misused the word "stipulate". It seems that I should have used "guarantee" instead. But I am still not sure whether I could rewrite the sentence as follows:
    China's Constitution also guarantees that the Chinese people have the right of assembly,but this civil right is subject to severe restrictions.
    OR
    China's Constitution also guarantees the Chinese people the right of assembly,but this civil right is subject to severe restrictions.
    OR
    The Chinese people's right of assembly is guaranteed by China's Constitution, but but this civil right is subject to severe restrictions.

    I am eager to know how native speakers would express this idea.
    Thanks.
    I don't think "stipulate" is wrong (though I haven't read the Chinese constitution )

    China's Constitution also guarantees the Chinese people's right of assembly, but this civil right is subject to severe restrictions.
    All of your sentences are OK too.

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    #3

    Re: stipulate

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I don't think "stipulate" is wrong (though I haven't read the Chinese constitution )

    China's Constitution also guarantees the Chinese people's right of assembly, but this civil right is subject to severe restrictions.
    All of your sentences are OK too.
    So, you mean I can say "China's Constitution also stipulates that the Chinese people have the right of assembly"? But why does my Longman dictionary lists the structure of "stipulate that something be done" and gives me the impression that other structures relating to "stipulate" might be wrong. Then would you please answer a follow-up question: If I can use "stipulate" in this writing situation, then can I also change the former clause of the sentence to "It is stipulated in China's Constitution that the Chinese people have the right of assembly"?
    Thanks a lot.
    Last edited by ohmyrichard; 03-Oct-2008 at 02:28.

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    #4

    Re: stipulate

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    So, you mean I can say "China's Constitution also stipulates that the Chinese people have the right of assembly"? But why does my Longman dictionary lists the structure of "stipulate that something be done" and gives me the impression that other structures relating to "stipulate" might be wrong. Then would you please answer a follow-up question: If I can use "stipulate" in this writing situation, then can I also change the former clause of the sentence to "It is stipulated in China's Constitution that the Chinese people have the right of assembly"?
    Thanks a lot.
    Yes, I don't see why you shouldn't do that. If the Chinese constitution says you can do it, it guarantees or stipulates or holds firm, or asserts that you can freely associate. Just because it might use "stipulate", it doesn't mean you have to associate; it just stipulates your right to assemble if that's what you want to do. (As I say, I haven't read it. I'm talking it for granted that you know that it says, that you're allowed to assemble").

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    #5

    Re: stipulate

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, I don't see why you shouldn't do that. If the Chinese constitution says you can do it, it guarantees or stipulates or holds firm, or asserts that you can freely associate. Just because it might use "stipulate", it doesn't mean you have to associate; it just stipulates your right to assemble if that's what you want to do. (As I say, I haven't read it. I'm talking it for granted that you know that it says, that you're allowed to assemble").
    Thanks for your answer. In my last post I also meant to indicate that collocation is a big challenge for us non-native learners of English. My Longman dictionary only lists the structures of "stipulate something" and "stipulate that something be done". Then I did not dare to go beyond that. And this is why I questioned the correctness of my original sentence. So you mean that we can say "An agreement or a legal document stipulates that something must/ has to /is/..." and that the "that" claue after "stipulate" does not necessarily requires the subjunctive mood. Is my understanding correct? When I come across such collocation questions, first I will always google it. But in most cases I get confused as the results may contradict each other. Then it takes time to find out which is made by native speakers.
    Looking forward to your response.
    Thanks.

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    #6

    Re: stipulate

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    Thanks for your answer. In my last post I also meant to indicate that collocation is a big challenge for us non-native learners of English. My Longman dictionary only lists the structures of "stipulate something" and "stipulate that something be done". Then I did not dare to go beyond that. And this is why I questioned the correctness of my original sentence. So you mean that we can say "An agreement or a legal document stipulates that something must/ has to /is/..." and that the "that" claue after "stipulate" does not necessarily requires the subjunctive mood. Is my understanding correct? When I come across such collocation questions, first I will always google it. But in most cases I get confused as the results may contradict each other. Then it takes time to find out which is made by native speakers.
    Looking forward to your response.
    Thanks.
    In this case, the indicative and the subjunctive are the same - "have".
    I demand that he has food. (Indicative)
    I demand that he have food. (Subjunctive)
    I demand that they have food. (Both, for they).

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    #7

    Re: stipulate

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    In this case, the indicative and the subjunctive are the same - "have".
    I demand that he has food. (Indicative)
    I demand that he have food. (Subjunctive)
    I demand that they have food. (Both, for they).
    Do you mean that in this situation either the indicative and the subjunctive will do and still they have the same meaning? But is this again what the new development of the English language reflects and again the difference between the descriptive and prescriptive grammar? Please enlighten me about it. As Chinese experts who sets test papers of English proficiency for our English majors may not be so liberal in thinking about the issue we have been discussing, I need to get 100% clear about it.
    Please answer this question of mine!
    Thanks.

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    #8

    Re: stipulate

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    Do you mean that in this situation either the indicative and the subjunctive will do and still they have the same meaning? But is this again what the new development of the English language reflects and again the difference between the descriptive and prescriptive grammar? Please enlighten me about it. As Chinese experts who sets test papers of English proficiency for our English majors may not be so liberal in thinking about the issue we have been discussing, I need to get 100% clear about it.
    Please answer this question of mine!
    Thanks.
    No, I don't mean you can use either.
    I mean that the indicative form "I demand that they have food" is the same as the subjunctive form "I demand that they have food".

    The subjunctive is the bare infinitive: Here is "to be"
    "I see that he is whipped. I see that they are whipped." (Indicative)
    "I demand that he be whipped. I demand that they be whipped." (Subjunctive)

    Here is "to have"
    "I see that he has food. I see that they have food" (Indicative)
    "I demand that he have food. I demand that they have food" (Subjunctive).

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    #9

    Re: stipulate

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, I don't mean you can use either.
    I mean that the indicative form "I demand that they have food" is the same as the subjunctive form "I demand that they have food".

    The subjunctive is the bare infinitive: Here is "to be"
    "I see that he is whipped. I see that they are whipped." (Indicative)
    "I demand that he be whipped. I demand that they be whipped." (Subjunctive)

    Here is "to have"
    "I see that he has food. I see that they have food" (Indicative)
    "I demand that he have food. I demand that they have food" (Subjunctive).
    Do you mean that the "that" claue after "stipulate" does not necessarily requires the subjunctive mood. But "stipulate" has the sense of "demanding" and it seems we better use " Something stipulates that something (should) be done." Is my understanding correct?

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    #10

    Re: stipulate

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    Do you mean that the "that" claue after "stipulate" does not necessarily requires the subjunctive mood. But "stipulate" has the sense of "demanding" and it seems we better use " Something stipulates that something (should) be done." Is my understanding correct?
    No. I mean you should use the subjunctive.
    (If you can not see that the indicative form "have" is the same as the subjunctive form "have", just write "have". That is the subjunctive.
    Here is the correct phrase with correct use of "stipulate" and correct use of the subjunctive:
    China's Constitution also stipulates that the Chinese people have the right of assembly...

    Last edited by Raymott; 04-Oct-2008 at 08:52.

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