adding -s

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jack

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Are these correct? What do these mean?

1. Those are fireworks sounds. (Is this correct? 'fireworks' is an adjective so 'fireworks' is wrong? b/c adjectives don't take -ed or -s? eg. what kind of sound? Firework sound. )
2. Those are firework sounds. (What is the subject and verb? If this is incorrect, why?)

3. All you need to have is some supervising skill. (Is this correct? 'some' is plural and 'skill' is singular?)
4. All you need to have are some supervising skills. (What is the subect and verb? This sentence sounds kind of odd?)

What do these mean?
5. Use 'it is' for statements.
6. Use 'it is' for a satement.

7. A type of star that leaves a trail of sparks as it flies through the air.
8. A type of star that leaves a trail of spark as it flies through the air.
 
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Mister Micawber

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Hi Jack.

(1) is much more acceptable. 'Fireworks' is a display, and although the singular exists, it is seldom used. A noun used as an adjective is normally put into the singular, but here, because of the singular idea of the display, the uncommonness of this particular singular, and the fact that the sound is emitted from the display and not a single firework, the plural is more appropriate.

(2) Grammatically correct but not idiomatic. The subject is 'those', the verb is 'are'.

(3) Correct. 'Some ' is not a plural pronoun, it is a determiner for the singular 'skill'.

(4) Correct and not odd at all. The subject is 'you', and the verb is 'need'.

(5) and (6) have the same meaning: use the phrase 'it is' for declarative sentences like 'it is cold in here'. In contrast, perhaps, to 'is it', which is used in questions: 'is it cold in here?'

(7) is correct; (8) is not. One spark cannot leave a trail, which is a series (of burning particles, in this instance).
 

jack

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(3) Correct. 'Some ' is not a plural pronoun, it is a determiner for the singular 'skill'.


How is it a determiner? What does it determine? 'Some' Is not plural? What's 'some' then? Is it an unknown amount of 'skills' or 'skill'?
3. All you need to have is some supervising skill. (Is this correct?


Correct and not odd at all. The subject is 'you', and the verb is 'need'
4. All you need to have are some supervising skills. (How can I delete some words to figure out the subject and verb? Is 'are' the secondary verb? And 'supervising skills' is the secondary subject?
 
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Casiopea

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jack said:
How is it a determiner? What does it determine? 'Some' Is not plural? What's 'some' then? Is it an unknown amount of 'skills' or 'skill'?


'some' is a quantifier, and it modifies plural nouns e.g., some books. some shoes, some fish, I have some skills.

jack said:
4. All you need to have are some supervising skills. (How can I delete some words to figure out the subject and verb?

All you need are skills.

Change the sentence around. The subject is underlined; the verb is in blue:

Skills are all you need to have (in order to get the job).
(In order to get the job,) all you need to have are skills.
All you need to have (in order to get the job) are skills.
All you need are skills.
 

Mister Micawber

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'Some' is the general assertive determiner for uncountable and plural nouns. 'I bought some apples and some sugar.' (If you like, you can also think of it as the plural indefinite article, but only when it is used with plural nouns.)


'I have some skill' means that I have an unspecified quantity of 'skill' as an uncountable quality.

'I have some skills' means that you have an unspecified number of the total countable 'skills'.


I made a mistake with subject and verb in sentence (4): 'All (that) you need to have are some supervising skills'-- the subject is 'all' and the verb is 'are'. My apologies. The dependent clause '(that) you need to have' can be extracted to leave 'all' (S), 'are' (V), 'supervisory skills' (Noun Complement).

PS: Oh, hi Cassy-- long time no see.
 
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jack

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What do these mean?
1. You need to do some killing in this game. (So this 'killing' is uncountable? What is the use of that?)
2. You need to do some killings in this game.

3. I smell gas.
4. I smell the gas.
5. I smell a gas.
6. I smell gases.
 
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Casiopea

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1. You need to do some killing in this game. (noun, singular, expresses an act)
2. You need to do some killings in this game. (noun, plural, expresses more than one act)
3. I smell gas. (OK)
4. I smell the gas. (OK, specific; known to the speaker and listener)
5. I smell a gas. (Not OK. 'gas', like 'water' is a mass noun, non-count)
6. I smell gases. (OK, when you want to express different types of gas)
 

jack

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1. You need to do some killing in this game. (noun, singular, expresses an act)
2. You need to do some killings in this game. (noun, plural, expresses more than one act)

'Some' is plural? Why isn't 'killings' plural? So 'some killing' means one kill or many kills?

What does 'some killings' mean? Does it mean many kills too? I don't see the difference in meaning. Can you tell me it? Thanks. I just know one is plural and the other one is singular.

What do these mean?
3.There is not tax on food. (In general?)
4.There is not tax on foods. (specific foods?)

5. What types of food do you like?
6. What types of foods do you like?

Are these correct? What do these mean?
7. They are couples.

8. They are couple.. (This sounds incorrect to me. Doesn't 'couple' mean 'pair' so why does it need to be 'couples'?

What are the subject and verb for this sentence?
9. There are many reasons but I'm going to talk about the forth that matter.(Why isn't 'matter' plural?)
 
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Mister Micawber

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Hi Jack,

What you need to remember is that many nouns can be both countable and uncountable in different contexts.


1. 'You need to do some killing in this game.'
2. 'You need to do some killings in this game.'

'Some' is not singular or plural; it is a determiner (a kind of adjective), which do not have number (singular/plural) in English.

'Doing some killing' means enjoying that activity (uncountable, not singular) for awhile.

'Doing some killings' means enjoying several individual assassinations or murders (countable plural).


What do these mean?

3.'There is no tax on food.' (In general-- Yes, uncountable nutritional material!)
4.'There is no tax on foods.' (specific foods --Yes, types of foodstuffs, countable!)


5. 'What types of food do you like?'
6. 'What types of foods do you like?'

Both OK, for the same reason- speaker is considering the nutrient material in (5) and the individual types in (6).


Are these correct? What do these mean?

7. 'They are couples.' They are multiples of two: 4 people (2 couples), 6 people (3 couples), 8 people (4 couples).

8. 'They are a couple.' They are one group of two, they are one pair, they are two people.


What are the subject and verb for this sentence?

9. There are many reasons but I'm going to talk about the forth that matter. (Sorry, Jack, the sentence makes no sense, and I cannot right it, so I cannot find S and V.) ('Why isn't 'matter' plural?'-- because 'matter' seems to refer to one topic-- it is preceded by the singular demonstrative 'that' rather than the plural 'those'.)
 
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jack

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Thanks.
5. 'What types of food do you like?'
6. 'What types of foods do you like?'

Both OK, for the same reason- speaker is considering the nutrient material in (5) and the individual types in (6).
So these two mean the same?

('Why isn't 'matter' plural?'-- because 'matter' seems to refer to one topic-- it is preceded by the singular demonstrative 'that' rather than the plural 'those'.)
9. There are many reasons but I'm going to talk about the forth that matter.
I mean why doesn't 'matter' have a -s added to it? 'That' is singular so should't matter have a -s added to it? What is 'that' referring to?

I am trying to say this:
1. That kills him. (Correct)
2. That kill him. (Incorrect)

What do these mean?
3. Generation after generation
4. Generations after generations.
5. Generation after generations.
6. Generations after generation.
 
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Mister Micawber

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Good morning, Jack.


'9. There are many reasons but I'm going to talk about the forth that matter.'

I was taking 'matter' for a noun, Jack-- is it a verb? As I said, the sentence makes no sense, so I could not figure out the structure. Is it:

'There are many reasons but I'm going to talk about the four that matter'?

In that case, the subject of the clause is 'four', which is plural, so plural verb 'matter'.


In your examples:

1. (This is the song) that kills him.
2. (These are the songs) that kill him.

Both are correct, but depend on the noun they modify. The first modifies a singular or uncountable noun; the second a plural noun.


3. 'Generation after generation' This is the stock phrase, which means 'down through (evolutionary) time, from parent to offspring to parent to offspring and so on and on''. The other three phrases you give are meaningless, artificially-generated, permutations of this one.
 

jack

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Thanks.

1. There are many reasons but I'm going to talk about the four that matter.
In that case, the subject of the clause is 'four', which is plural, so plural verb 'matter'.
So 'four' is plural?

2. There are many reasons but I'm going to talk about the four one that matter. (Should 'matter' be 'matters' if it is 'four one'?)

3. There are many reasons but I'm going to talk about the forth one that matter. (Should 'matter' be 'matters' if it is 'forth one'?)
4. There are many reasons but I'm going to talk about the forth one that matters. (Is this correct?)

5. There are many reasons but I'm going to talk about the forth that matter.
What if it is 'forth'? Should it be 'matters' then? I saw this in the newspaper, maybe it is a typo.

What do these mean? Is 'wait' countable?
3. There are long waits at the ferry terminal.
4. There is a long wait at the ferry terminal.
 
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Casiopea

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1. the four (reasons) that matter.


The verb 'matter' agrees in number with the omitted noun 'reasons'.


2a. the *four one that matter.
2b. the four ones that matter.


The phrase 'four one' is ungrammatical (*). The adjective 'four', meaning more than one, cannot modify a singular noun. It needs to modify a plural noun e.g., four ones. If we delete the adjective 'four', the result would be,


2c. the one that matters. SINGULAR
2d. the ones that matter. PLURAL
3e. the four ones that matter. PLURAL


If we modify the noun 'one(s)' with the adjective 'fourth' (note the spelling, please), it's the noun 'one(s)' that agrees in number with the verb, not the adjective 'fourth'.


3a. the fourth one that matters.
3b. the fourth ones that matter.


We get the same number agreement if we replace the noun 'one(s)' with the noun 'reason(s)'.


4a. the fourth reason that matters. PLURAL (i.e., They matter)
4b. the fourth reasons that matter. SINGLUAR (i.e., It matters)

4c. the fourth that matters. (Singular Verb signals the omission of a singular subject)


In 4c., the singular noun 'reason' has been omitted. We know it's a singular noun because the verb is singular. :up:


Below, 'waits' functions as a plural noun, and 'wait' functions as a singular noun. Both are grammatically correct.

3. There are long waits at the ferry terminal.
4. There is a long wait at the ferry terminal.
 

jack

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Thanks for the detailed explanation.

4a. the fourth reason that matters. PLURAL (i.e., They matter)
4b. the fourth reasons that matter. SINGLUAR (i.e., It matters)
Cas, did you mean this?
4a. the fourth reason that matters. SINGLUAR (i.e., It matters)
4b. the fourth reasons that matter. PLURAL (i.e., They matter)



 

Casiopea

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That's right. Good eye, and I am gald to see you're catching on! Cheers
 

jack

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Thanks.

Okay I have finally found the article online:
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/opinion/article.jsp?content=20040927_62202_62202
1. There are many good reasons, but I'm going to give the four that matter. (Is 'reasons' omitted? I am trying to say this: But I'm going to give the four reasons that matter.

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/opinion/article.jsp?content=20040927_62202_62202
2. After all, RIM's e-mail technology is built around server software that RIM sells to companies and telecommunications providers. (I don't get it. What is the subject and verb for this sentence? Why is 'companies', 'telecommunications', and 'providers' plural? Why isn't it 'company and telecommunication providers'?
 

Casiopea

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You're welcome.

The writer omits the second 'reasons' because it can be picked up from the context.

1. There are many good reasons, but I'm going to give the four (reasons) that matter.

The pink portion is a noun, a plural noun, and it functions as an adjective. It modifies 'companies'. The subjects are in blue and the verbs are in red.

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/opinion/article.jsp?content=20040927_62202_62202
2. After all, RIM's e-mail technology is built around server software that RIM sells to companies and telecommunications providers.

This is a"to-be" linking structure. The underlined portion functions as a predicate adjective. It tells us more about the subject. 'that RIM....' is a relative clause. It modifies the noun 'software'. 'companies' and 'providers' are nouns, plural nouns, and they function as they object of the preposition 'to'. The entire phrase 'to companies and telecommunciations providers' functions as the object of the verb 'sells'.

 

jack

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I still don't really get part:

1. That RIM sells to companies and telecommunications providers. (After 'to' don't you have to use the base word? And I still don't understand how there can be two plural words next to each other 'telecommunications providers'. Thanks.)
 
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