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jack

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Are these correct? What is the subject and verb?

1. They always drive over the dotted lines and that piss me off.
2. They always drive over the dotted lines and that pisses me off.
What is 'that' refering to?[/b]
 

Casiopea

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1. They always drive over the dotted lines and that piss me off.
2. They always drive over the dotted lines and that pisses me off.

Sentence 1. is ungrammatical. The verb 'piss' needs to agree in number with its subject: 'that pisses'. Sentence 2. is grammatical.

Structure
that (subject; relative pronoun, singular)
pisses (verb, singular)

'that' refers back to one clause: 'They always drive over the dotted-line'. You could replace the relative pronoun with another singular pronoun "it", like this,

It pisses me off.

You could also replace the relative pronoun with "The fact that", like this,

The fact that they always drive over the dotted-line pisses me off.
=> The underlined portion functions as the subject. It's one clause, so it agrees in singular number with the verb:

They always drive over the dotted-line = It/That

You could also omit 'The fact', like this,

That they always drive over the dotted-line pisses me off.

Note, 'dotted-line' does not require an -s to express all the dots in the line. It means the line is dotted (i.e., one line that's dotted, a dotted-line).

All the best, :D
 

jack

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What does these mean? What happens if I add 'that' to it?

1. Just because a computer comes with an integrated video card (that) doesn't mean you can't upgrade. (How come this is correct? It doesn't sound right without 'that'?

2. Just because a computer comes with an integrated video card that doesn't mean you can't upgrade.
 

Casiopea

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jack said:
What does these mean? What happens if I add 'that' to it?

1. Just because a computer comes with an integrated video card (that) doesn't mean you can't upgrade. (How come this is correct? It doesn't sound right without 'that'?

2. Just because a computer comes with an integrated video card that doesn't mean you can't upgrade.

As written, sentence 1. is not OK; however, if the speaker is changing her/his mind mid-sentence, then a pause (....) should be added, like this,

1b. Just because a computer comes with an integrated video card.... That doesn't mean you can't upgrade.

The pronoun 'That' refers back to the the string 'Just because a computer comes with an integrated video card'. Both function as the subject of 'doesn't mean':

That doesn't mean.... (OK)
Just because....doesn't mean. (OK)

so only one or the other is possible as subject, not both.

All the best, :D
 

jack

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Are these correct? If not, why?

1. Both function as the subject of 'doesn't mean'.
2. Both functions as the subject of 'doesn't mean'. (How come 'function' is not plural?)

3. Both cars are okay.
4. Both car is okay.
 

Casiopea

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1. Both function as the subject of 'doesn't mean'. :D
2. Both functions as the subject of 'doesn't mean'. :(
3. Both cars are okay. :D
4. Both car is okay. :(

In 2. and 4., 'functions' and 'cars' are singular. They should be plural. 'Both' means, two, so the very is plural: 'are/were'. :wink:
 

jack

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n 2. and 4., 'functions' and 'cars' are singular. They should be plural. 'Both' means, two, so the very is plural: 'are/were'.

Why is this incorrect? I don't get it.
1. Both functions as the subject of 'doesn't mean'.

so the very is plural:
What does this mean? I don't get the 'very' part?
 

Casiopea

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jack said:
Why is this incorrect? I don't get it.
2. Both functions as the subject.

Well, the subject has been omitted, so let's fill it in:

2a. Both words functions as the subject. (Not OK)

The subject 'words' is a plural noun so its verb needs to be plural, too, like this,

2b. Both words function as the subject. (OK)
 

jack

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Apr 24, 2004
Oh, interesting.

How would people know if it is omitted or not? I see this on the tv somtimes too and I don't understand why sometimes it is plural or whatsoever.
 

Casiopea

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jack said:
Oh, interesting.

How would people know if it is omitted or not? I see this on the tv somtimes too and I don't understand why sometimes it is plural or whatsoever.

Sam: I like dogs.
Pat: I like cats.
Max: I like both.

Max uses the word 'both' to refer to 'dogs' and 'cats'. Max could have said, "I like both cats and dogs", but since those nouns have already been mentioned by Pat and Sam, Max feels no need to say them again, so Max leaves them out and says, 'both'. Note that, 'both' always means, two, so the verb will always be plural.
 

jack

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Thanks.

Both words function as the subject. (OK)

Are these correct? If not why?
1. Both words function as subject.
2. Both words function as a subject.
3. Both words function as subjects.
 

Casiopea

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jack said:
2. Both words function as a subject.
3. Both words function as subjects.

Both 'John' and 'Max' function as the subject of this specific sentence.
Both 'John' and 'Max' function as subjects (of two separate sentences).
 

jack

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Are these correct? What do these mean?
1. I am not going to buy anything you recommend.
2. I am not going to buy anything that you recommend.

3. The only way you can learn is by asking questions.
4. The only way that you can learn is by asking questions.

When would I use 'that'? How do I know when do I need it for sentences like these?

Is this question correct?
5. How do I know when do I need it for sentences like these? (The bold part sounds kind of strange to me, how can I repair it?)
 

Casiopea

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The underlined portions modifies the noun 'anything' and the noun 'way', respectively. The word 'that' is a conjunction: It joins 'anything' with 'you recommend', and it joins 'way' with 'you can learn'. If we omit 'that', the sentence will remain grammatical because the underlined portion functions as an adjective:

1. I am not going to buy anything you recommend. (OK)
2. I am not going to buy anything that you recommend. (OK)
3. The only way you can learn is by asking questions. (OK)
4. The only way that you can learn is by asking questions. (OK)

5. How do I know when do I need it for sentences like these? (Not OK; delete 'do').
 

Casiopea

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jack said:
Oh, interesting.

How would people know if it is omitted or not? I see this on the tv somtimes too and I don't understand why sometimes it is plural or whatsoever.
Well, firstly, both is a quantifier. It modifies a noun. That is, it always needs a noun, so if it occurs by itself, we know there's a noun there but that the speaker has omitted it. Secondly, "Both" refers to two things/people, so it's always plural, and that's why its verb is also plural:

EX: Both function... (OK)
EX: Both words function... (OK)

So you see, even if we omit the noun 'words' the verb is still plural because 'Both' is plural.
 

jack

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Apr 24, 2004
So you see, even if we omit the noun 'words' the verb is still plural because 'Both' is plura

Thanks. This is useful.

What do these mean?
1. What's the top speed you have gone with your bike? (Is is correct without 'that'?)
2. What's the top speed that you have gone with your bike?
 

Casiopea

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jack said:
Thanks. This is useful.

What do these mean?
1. What's the top speed you have gone with your bike? (Is is correct without 'that'?)
2. What's the top speed that you have gone with your bike?
You're welcome.

Both are OK with or without 'that'.
 

jack

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Apr 24, 2004
Both are OK with or without 'that'.
1. Do you think that she was going to go tonight? (Is 'that' referring to 'that thing'?)
2. Do you think she was going to go tonight? (Why doesn't it matter if I leave out 'that'?

so only one or the other is possible as subject, not both.
How come it is not like this?
1. So only one or the other is possible as a subject, not both.
2. So only one or the other is possible as subjects, not both.
3. So only one or the other is possible as subject, not both. (Why is this okay without an article?)
 
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