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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 154
    #1

    Article question

    She came from a long line of doctors
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    Can I say she come from the long line of doctors?


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #2

    Re: Article question

    Quote Originally Posted by redgiant View Post
    She came from a long line of doctors
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Can I say she come from the long line of doctors?
    We use a to introduce new information to the reader. If the reader is already well aware of the particular line of doctors mentioned (or it is made clear in the text) then the would be possible.

    She came from the long line of doctors who served the village for nearly two hundered years.

    However if the particular line of doctors is unspecified then a would be needed.

    I am not a teacher.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #3

    Re: Article question

    She came from the long line of doctors who served the village for nearly two hundered years.

    She came from the long line of doctors that has served/had served the village for nearly two hundered years.
    ('has/had' depending on whether the same 'long line of doctors' is still providing services)


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #4

    Re: Article question

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    She came from the long line of doctors who served the village for nearly two hundered years.

    She came from the long line of doctors that has served/had served the village for nearly two hundered years.
    ('has/had' depending on whether the same 'long line of doctors' is still providing services)
    Thank you David. I originally used "that" but changed it to who for some unknown reason. Do you consider who to be incorrect?

    As for the tense, I would think it is a matter of context.

    Had served indicates that once she had come (so to speak) they no longer continued to serve; whereas has served indicates a sense of them still serving to this day.

    However in my mind there is an inbetween: I did not want to imply that they still, to this day, are in service (has served), but I also didn't want to suggest that they ceased to serve upon "her" arrival (had served): hence my decision to use the simple past.

    Do you see my point? Do you outright object to it, or do you have any further comments?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #5

    Re: Article question

    Glad you asked. It's questions like yours, and hopefully helpful responses (I'll try!) that benefit all those who read this forum.

    It is the 'long line of doctors' that is being referred to, not 'she'; and 'that' is a restrictive clause, further defining 'she came from a long line of doctors' : the long line of doctors that served the village.

    Understand, though, that while I am asserting some kind of 'correctness' here, you probably hear ( in similarly constructed sentences) 'who' being used; and this may well be another change to the 'English as she is spoke'; and you are heralding the future, and I'm the old fogey.

    I would, though, query ((....how many smileys do I need in order to reassure readers that "I'm enjoying this and hope that Colloquium is too: two people, two minds, grappling with and having a good tussle with this disparity in our perspectives on this sentence.)

    ...until...until I realize that in essence, we both agree: we're just coming at this from different angles.
    Had served indicates that once she had come (so to speak) they no longer continued to serve; whereas has served indicates a sense of them still serving to this day.

    me: ('has/had' depending on whether the same 'long line of doctors' is still providing services or not.)

    It is 'the long line of doctors' which has continued (and she is part of that lineage); OR she was part of the lineage, 'the long line', but the 'long line' has now ceased, and her services were part of that lineage, and she 'came from' (as written in the given sentence) ]this lineage, not 'comes from': she has left and some new doctors have taken over: the linage has ended.

    Have I got that across clearly? - if not, go for it!
    Last edited by David L.; 16-Oct-2008 at 23:29.

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