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    #1

    Question By English Intuition, how do you form this?

    Hello everybody,

    Kindly note that this question is directed to native speakers of English.

    I'd be grateful if you could tell (just by your intuition) which would be your choice to form the sentence:

    a) It's dark in here. Shall I turn on the light ?
    b) It's dark in here. Shall I turn the light on ?

    Your choice will be enough, yet if you care to give any explanations for your selection, then that will be much welcomed and appreciated + ( a greedy smilie )


  1. RedMtl's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: By English Intuition, how do you form this?

    Option A puts the verb together, and would be both my choice for usage, as well as what I would emphasise when teaching.

    The other option is commonly heard, sufficiently so that it is accepted as correct.

    However, the verb is "to turn on" and if possible should not be separated.

    Hope this helps.

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    #3

    Re: By English Intuition, how do you form this?

    Both are fine to me, but if you use a pronoun, then the 'turn it on' form is the only one that works.

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    #4

    Lightbulb Re: By English Intuition, how do you form this?

    Dear RedMtl / Tdol

    Thank you both for your useful replies. I hope you don't mind me judging your intuition before we go into further discussion.


    Quote Originally Posted by RedMtl View Post
    , as well as what I would emphasise when teaching.
    The above quoted is sufficient for me to decide which one is more accurate. Please see the argument below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    but if you use a pronoun, then the 'turn it on' form is the only one that works
    Oh, yes, no problem with that initially, but if you look at Choice B:

    - Shall I turn the light on ?

    You will probably agree that the pronoun "it" can safely replace "the light" to form the question as:

    - Shall I turn it / the light on? >>> RedMtl wouldn't emphasize this form when teaching!

    Whereas in Choice A, ( and in contradiction to the English grammar), the pronoun "it" cannot replace "the light" and I think you wouldn't say:

    - Shall I turn on it ? (which may convey a totally different meaning! ).


    I am, however, very thankful to you for your posts and if you find that you are keen and have the time to further discuss this issue, I'd always be here to listen and learn from the two of you, or any others who may find this topic of some challenge and want to join in the debate.

    Best regards.


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    #5

    Re: By English Intuition, how do you form this?

    Being a native English speaker, but not a teacher, I would say that B is a lot more common place and the one I would naturally use.

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    #6

    Re: By English Intuition, how do you form this?

    I agree with jellispoon.

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    #7

    Re: By English Intuition, how do you form this?

    jellispoon
    bhaisahab

    Thank you for your posts. I wonder if you've asked yourselves why you chose B ?

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    #8

    Re: By English Intuition, how do you form this?

    Simply because it is natural English.

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    #9

    Re: By English Intuition, how do you form this?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Simply because it is natural English.
    Good evening bhaisahab

    Your explanation rules out Choice A, i.e. ( Shall I turn on the light? ) from being natural English, as I understand it.

    Grammarians state the contrary, though.

    Believe me, it's very embarrassing for teachers and confusing for students of English when they find that the rules in English grammar books differ from what native speakers actually say.

    This is why I'm asking for "reasoning" for your choice; Be it sentence A or B above.

    Thanks for coming back and I wish to see further posts from you

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: By English Intuition, how do you form this?

    If the rules in English grammar books state that a particular construction is the correct form, but 90% of English speakers use another construction it is not possible to teach students that one is right and the other wrong; in my opinion we must teach that both are acceptable.

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