True or False

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Vaedoris

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When a subordinate conjunction is used in a sentence, it always introduces a subordinate clause. Is this statement true or false?


I found these two sentences in my book:

1. You look at me as if I were from another planet.

2. She treats me as an equal.


The subordinate clause in the first sentence, as if I were from another planet, is introduced by the conjunction as if. In contrast, however, the conjunction as in the second sentence is followed by the noun phrase an equal (is this a noun phrase?) instead of a clause.

If the top statement is true, the second sentence must have a subordinate clause but what is it? Is it abbreviated? Then, what is the true/implied form?



Please, please, please help me correct any (preferably all) mistakes that you can find in this post. I find it very hard to write.

Thank you
 
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TheParser

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Good morning, Vaedoris:


I think that I have found an answer from the greatest grammarian that ever lived (my opinion, of course!).

1. With utmost respect, I believe that the writer of the second sentence actually wanted to say:

"She treats me like an equal."

a. Here is what that scholar wrote:

Like ... [denotes] mere similarly: "He treats his wife like a child."

[My comments: Of course, she is not a child. They both, say, are 30 years old, but he treats his wife as if she were a child,

which she is not. In your sentence, she treats me as if I were her equal, which I am not.]

*****

I shall not speculate on the meaning of "She treats me as an equal."

Let's see what others say.


James


My source: Professor Dr. George Oliver Curme, A Grammar of the English Language (1931). Vol. II., page 123.
 

5jj

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She treats me as an equal. 'As' is functioning as a preposition.
 

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Thank you Mr Parser and 5jj for your answers.

That makes sense. As can function as a preposition or conjunction depending on its usage.

It didn't cross my mind to replace as with like.

I guess the author of the book made a small mistake by writing the second sentence after the introduction of subordinate conjunction.
 
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5jj

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It didn't cross my mind to replace as with like.
There is no need to.
I guess the author of the book made a small mistake by writing the second sentence after the introduction of subordinate conjunction.
There is no mistake in 'She treats me as an equal'. As I told you, 'as' functions as a preposition in that sentence
 

Vaedoris

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There is no need to.

I agree, but as TheParser explained, if I replace 'as' with 'like', it becomes clear that 'as' functions as a preposition in the sentence.

Isn't 'like' a preposition?

There is no mistake in 'She treats me as an equal'. As I told you, 'as' functions as a preposition in that sentence

I didn't mean to say there is a mistake in that sentence. I'm sorry: I didn't make it quite clear about that.

I guess what confused me is that the sentence with the 'as' functioning as a preposition appears in the section of the book that explains coordinate conjunctions in particular their uses in introducing subordinate clauses.

Let me quote a part of the section.
The relationship that the subordinate conjunction creates between main and subordinate clauses may carry one of several meanings:

Manner
Subordinate conjunctions such as as and as if can imply a sense of manner.

You look at me as if I were from another planet.

She treats me as an equal.
 
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Barb_D

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The idea of "true or false" is about whether something if factually correct.

She treats me as an equal might be grammatically correct, but false if she treats me with contempt.
She done treat me likes I was same as her is not grammatically correct, but true if she treats you as an equal.

I be 99 years old - false and grammatically incorrect
I be 46 years old - true and grammatically incorrect
I am 99 years old - false and grammatically correct
I am 46 years old - true and grammatically correct

A lot of learners misuse "true" to mean correct. They are not the same.
 
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TheParser

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Good morning, Vaedoris:


At the present time, we non-teachers are allowed to post in "Ask a Teacher" so long as we start with "Not a teacher" and do not post something really crazy. So I shall try to limit my opinions and report only experts' comments.

1. Many books agree that the word "as" is a real "troublemaker."

2. One book * says this:

a. "They regarded him as an honest man."

i. "An objective complement with the introductory as is sometimes related in meaning to an adverbial element."

ii. It then claims that "He was regarded as a vagabond" is an ellipsis for "He was regarded as a vagabond is regarded."

[Only my comment: As (!) you can see, surely "as" is a conjunction in the presumed complete sentence.]

iii. Here's another of its examples: "This tree will serve us as a windshield."

(a) You have probably already guessed what the complete sentence -- according to this book -- is:

"This tree will serve us as a windshild would serve us."

[Only my comments: If you accept the above analysis, then could we say that "She treats me as an equal" as meaning "She treats me as an equal is treated"? That is, we are both equals. "She treats me in a way in which an equal is treated." I once read this sentence written by a man who refused to stop his friendship with a disgraced politician: "I refuse to treat him as a pariah is treated."

3. There is a book ** that is used as a guide by teachers throughout the world. It says this:

a."The preposition as designates a copular relation, particularly in specifying a role or status associated with the direct object."

i. It states that "treat as" is a unit. That is, the preposition "as" is obligatory.

ii. In small print, it has this interesting comment: "Although as is classified as a preposition in the above pattern, it in some ways resembles the conjunction as which introduces clauses of comparison."


4. Finally here are two sentences from another book.*** (a) As a friend he stood by me to the end. (b) Like a friend he came to me and exchanged a few words with me, but I knew that he was inwardly not friendly disposed toward me.

The scholar says that (a) "expresses complete identity , oneness with": (b) "indicates mere similarity."

[My thoughts only: Would it be possible to say that (a) means "He stood by me to the end as a friend would stand by me to the end"?]


James

* Walter Kay Smart, English Review Grammar (1940), pages 138 and 227.

** Randolph Quirk et. al, A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (1985), pages 1,200 - 1,201.

*** Professor Dr. George Oliver Curme, A Grammar of the English Language (1931), page 34.


P.S. "Some of our shortest words make the most trouble and the most kinds of trouble. One of the worst troublemakers is as." -- Wilson Follett, Modern American Usage (1980 edition), pages 73 - 74.
 
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Vaedoris

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The idea of "true or false" is about whether something if factually correct.

She treats me as an equal might be grammatically correct, but false if she treats me with contempt.
She done treat me likes I was same as her is not grammatically correct, but true if she treats you as an equal.

I be 99 years old - false and grammatically incorrect
I be 46 years old - true and grammatically incorrect
I am 99 yeras old - false and grammatically correct
I am 46 years old - true and grammatically correct

A lot of learners misuse "true" to mean correct. They are not the same.

Thank you for the explanation, but I'm getting a little bit confused here.

I just want to know whether this statement is true:

When a subordinate conjunction is used in a sentence, it always introduces a subordinate clause.
 

Vaedoris

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Good morning, Vaedoris:



a. "They regarded him as an honest man."

i. "An objective complement with the introductory as is sometimes related in meaning to an adverbial element."

ii. It then claims that "He was regarded as a vagabond" is an ellipsis for "He was regarded as a vagabond is regarded."

[Only my comment: As (!) you can see, surely "as" is a conjunction in the presumed complete sentence.]

iii. Here's another of its examples: "This tree will serve us as a windshield."

(a) You have probably already guessed what the complete sentence -- according to this book -- is:

"This tree will serve us as a windshild would serve us."

[Only my comments: If you accept the above analysis, then could we say that "She treats me as an equal" as meaning "She treats me as an equal is treated"? That is, we are both equals. "She treats me in a way in which an equal is treated." I once read this sentence written by a man who refused to stop his friendship with a disgraced politician: "I refuse to treat him as a pariah is treated."

3. There is a book ** that is used as a guide by teachers throughout the world. It says this:

a."The preposition as designates a copular relation, particularly in specifying a role or status associated with the direct object."

i. It states that "treat as" is a unit. That is, the preposition "as" is obligatory.

ii. In small print, it has this interesting comment: "Although as is classified as a preposition in the above pattern, it in some ways resembles the conjunction as which introduces clauses of comparison."


4. Finally here are two sentences from another book.*** (a) As a friend he stood by me to the end. (b) Like a friend he came to me and exchanged a few words with me, but I knew that he was inwardly not friendly disposed toward me.

The scholar says that (a) "expresses complete identity , oneness with": (b) "indicates mere similarity."

[My thoughts only: Would it be possible to say that (a) means "He stood by me to the end as a friend would stand by me to the end"?]


James

P.S. "Some of our shortest words make the most trouble and the most kinds of trouble. One of the worst troublemakers is as." -- Wilson Follett, Modern American Usage (1980 edition), pages 73 - 74.

Good morning to you too Mr Parser, although where I am it is already dark. :-D

Again, thank you for your very informative post.



How do I begin. What you just told me about the ellipsis is also mentioned in my book, but the author used the term "abbreviated".

However, I find it hard to see that this sentence has an ellipsis, or as the author of my book put it, the subordinate clause is abbreviated: They regarded him as an honest man.

Just like you said, I think 'as an honest man' is an adverbial modifying the pronoun 'him', and on second thought, I think 'as an honest man' is actually a prepositional phrase which functions as an adverbial modifying the object 'him'. Therefore, the phrase is an object complement.




Based on what I have gathered, I think
depending on how it is used, the word 'as' can function as either an adverb, a preposition, or a subordinate conjunction.




Also, thank you for this. I've just learned something new.
4. Finally here are two sentences from another book.*** (a) As a friend he stood by me to the end. (b) Like a friend he came to me and exchanged a few words with me, but I knew that he was inwardly not friendly disposed toward me.

The scholar says that (a) "expresses complete identity , oneness with": (b) "indicates mere similarity."


I apologize for editing this post so many times. The commas were driving me mad. I'm sweating.

 
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5jj

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I'm getting a little bit confused here.
That is not surprising. This often happens when we get round to labelling.

First of all you need to accept that labels are simply attempts to fit words, phrases and clauses into manageable chunks. It's a bit like trying to label colours. Depending on one's approach there may be anything between 150 and 10 million hues. In normal, everyday language we probably get by with a couple of dozen labels, increasing the possibilities with such words as 'dark' and 'light' and the '-ish' suffix. So there is going to be a great deal of overlap. My 'violet' may be 'mauve', 'purple', 'reddish-blue', 'bluish- red', etc to others.

The way in which words are used means that it is theoretically possible to lump them into a small number of groups, possibly as small as eight - verb, noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction and interjection. However, even if we agree on definitions for such groups, we need to accept that individual words can function as different parts of speech. 'Up', for example, is listed in the OALD as an adverb, preposition, adjective, verb and noun. Even then, we have to deal with such problems as whether 'up' is functioning as the same part of speech in:

He looked up the chimney (to see if he could spot the problem).
He looked up the word (in a dictionary).
The looked the word up (in a dictionary.
He ran up a large bill (in his local pub).
He ran up the street.
He climbed up the tree.
etc.

Very few grammarians would agree completely on how one should label all the words in even just one paragraph.

One other problem is that some people (I am one of them) feel that groups of words, such as "She treats me as an equal" can be analysed only as they are. Others, including W K Smart, feel that we should treat these as ellipses of 'understood' longer constructions, such as "She treats me as she would treat an equal".

So,Vaedoris, I am afraid that you will not find one authoritative answer.

My own feeling is that, in learning a language, it doesn't matter very much what we call the words. It's how we use them that matters. Until the last century or so, most speakers of most languages in the world had no idea of the concept of even 'noun' or 'verb' - but they still managed to communicate in their own language, and some did pretty well in communicating very effectively in one or more other languages.
 
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Vaedoris

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I choose to familiarize myself with the labels because I have realized that I can use them to analyse a sentence and determine whether it is grammatically correct or wrong regardless of its meaning!

There is this uneasy feeling in the back of my mind whenever I write a report: I feel very uncomfortable not being able to know for sure whether every sentence that I write is grammatically correct or wrong. By studying the parts of speech and a little bit of syntax, I am able to see forms and understand functions which gives me a sense of confidence.

I am not a native speaker, and I just feel hopeless to improve my English by asking about every single problem that I find because it is just too slow.

Studying the parts of speech and syntax enables me to truly begin to understand English grammar. Labels may have been just invented recently, but functions and forms, even though they evolve, exist.

Right now, my focus is to only improve my writing.
 
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TheParser

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I choose to familiarize myself with the labels because I have realized that I can use them to analyse a sentence and determine whether it is grammatically correct or wrong regardless of its meaning!

***** NOT A TEACHER *****


Hello, Vaedoris:

We once had a president who would say, "I feel your pain." Well, I also feel your pain. My knowledge of grammar is only at

the high school level. So I, too, love the 8 parts of speech, and I am constantly trying to figure out what modifies what, etc.

I have a suggestion that you might consider. As you probably know, at the university level they use "tree" diagrams to parse

a sentence. If you are acquainted with those tree diagrams, that's great. (I certainly am not!) I have found something

better for ordinary people like me who want to better understand the parts of a sentence: the Reed-Kellogg diagramming

system. It is seldom taught in American schools anymore, for the younger teachers do not know it, and most students would

rebel if they had to study it. Nowadays, many educators laugh at it as useless and a waste of time. A few people feel that it

is absolutely fantastic. It forces you to label every part of speech so that you know what function it performs in a sentence.

Usingenglish.com has a forum called "diagramming." There is a gentleman there who will (when he has time) diagram a

sentence for you. In other words, it's like a map of the sentence. When you get time, please google "diagramming sentences."

There are some websites devoted to teaching you how to use the Reed-Kellogg diagramming system. I hope that you will

become a fan of the Reed-Kellogg Club. Our membership is dwindling as old people such as I die off. We need new blood.

Believe me: It is what you have been looking for!


James

P.S. Please run (don't walk) to this website: German - Latin - English.com.

(This website will drive you crazy with excitement and happiness!!!)
 
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5jj

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It is seldom taught in American schools anymore, for the younger teachers do not know it, and most students would rebel if they had to study it. Nowadays, many educators laugh at it as useless and a waste of time.
Those appear to be good reasons for not bothering with it.
A few people feel that it is absolutely fantastic. It forces you to label every part of speech so that you know what function it performs in a sentence. Usingenglish.com has a forum called "diagramming." There is a gentleman there who will (when he has time) diagram a sentence for you.
One of the reasons I rarely look at threads in that forum is that the responses suggest that R-K does not have a clear answer to every question of labelling.Some of the explanations given seem as arbitrary as those in any other system of parsing.
I hope that you will become a fan of the Reed-Kellogg Club. Our membership is dwindling as old people such as I die off.
There's a reason for that. It has passed its use-by date. It did first appear in 1877!
 
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5jj

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I think that I have found an answer from the greatest grammarian that ever lived (my opinion, of course!).
Curme was a sound, if not particularly original, writer 80 years ago. But, he was writing about the language used in the first quarter of the 20th century. What he said of any particular word or expression may be valid of the language today, but we need more up-ro-date evidence to be sure, as I have pointed out on more than one occasion.
Professor Dr. George Oliver Curme.
'Professor Dr (first name(s) or initials) Name' or even, if the person holds two doctorates, 'Professor Dr Dr (first name(s) or initials) Name' may be acceptable in some languages. In standard English we normally use 'Professor (first name(s) or initials) Name', Professor (first name(s) or initial) Name PhD' or 'Dr (first name(s) or initials) Name'.
 

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'Professor Dr (first name(s) or initials) Name' or even, if the person holds two doctorates, 'Professor Dr Dr (first name(s) or initials) Name' may be acceptable in some languages. In standard English we normally use 'Professor (first name(s) or initials) Name', Professor (first name(s) or initial) Name PhD' or 'Dr (first name(s) or initials) Name'.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****


1. Any student reading this thread should, of course, follow your comments regarding titles.

2. I consider "Professor Dr. Curme" my personal style of showing my respect and admiration for the scholar.

a. If you order me to stop such titles, I will have no choice but to comply.

i. If you do so order, please do so in open forum. I am a big boy. I do not need a private message.

3. I hope that we fans of Reed-Kellogg will be able to enjoy -- and benefit from -- it, regardless of what the

majority thinks.


James
 

5jj

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2. I consider "Professor Dr. Curme" my personal style of showing my respect and admiration for the scholar.
a. If you order me to stop such titles, I will have no choice but to comply.
It's not a question of issuing orders, but I do request that you use standard English in the forum. If you insist on following your idiosyncratic way of showing respect, you are setting a bad example for learners, and I shall have to waste my time pointing this out to them every time.
 

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I shall consider your answer as an order clothed in classic British understatement.

I shall henceforth refer to my hero as "Professor George Oliver Curme" or "Dr. George Oliver Curme."
 

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Hello, Vaedoris:

We once had a president who would say, "I feel your pain." Well, I also feel your pain. My knowledge of grammar is only at

the high school level. So I, too, love the 8 parts of speech, and I am constantly trying to figure out what modifies what, etc.

I have a suggestion that you might consider. As you probably know, at the university level they use "tree" diagrams to parse

a sentence. If you are acquainted with those tree diagrams, that's great. (I certainly am not!) I have found something

better for ordinary people like me who want to better understand the parts of a sentence: the Reed-Kellogg diagramming

system. It is seldom taught in American schools anymore, for the younger teachers do not know it, and most students would

rebel if they had to study it. Nowadays, many educators laugh at it as useless and a waste of time. A few people feel that it

is absolutely fantastic. It forces you to label every part of speech so that you know what function it performs in a sentence.

Usingenglish.com has a forum called "diagramming." There is a gentleman there who will (when he has time) diagram a

sentence for you. In other words, it's like a map of the sentence. When you get time, please google "diagramming sentences."

There are some websites devoted to teaching you how to use the Reed-Kellogg diagramming system. I hope that you will

become a fan of the Reed-Kellogg Club. Our membership is dwindling as old people such as I die off. We need new blood.

Believe me: It is what you have been looking for!


James

P.S. Please run (don't walk) to this website: German - Latin - English.com.

(This website will drive you crazy with excitement and happiness!!!)

Wow... that is interesting.

I've seen some tree diagrams on Wikipedia pages that link words to one another, but I never paid much attention. Now I have some idea of what they are.

Thank you!
 
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