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Elliot Temple on June 10, 2019

Comments (6)

under Step 4 in the article there is a typo (should be "Example adjectives")

>Examples adjectives: beautiful, tall, thin, round, young, blue, plastic.


Anonymous at 10:19 AM on July 4, 2019 | #12959 | reply | quote

Standard tip: If a word ends in "ly", it's probably an adverb.

Advanced tip: If a word has a *synonym* that ends in "ly", it's probably an adverb.

This advanced tip it's from Justin in his video about part 3 of the grammar article


curi at 6:44 PM on July 13, 2019 | #13088 | reply | quote

A "conjunction" joins two (occasionally more) *separate* things. Separate means non-nested: neither thing is inside the other. A conjunction goes *in between* things and it isn't part of the things in joins.

Examples: "John *and* Sue went to the park." "I went shopping *after* I got paid."

A "relative pronoun" is a common type of "subordinator": it allows a *non-separate* (nested) clause to exist in the sentence and determines its function (typically a modifier).

Example: "John, *who* is tall, went to the park."

The clause "who is tall" is *inside* the main clause as a modifier for John. It's functioning as an adjective just like "*Tall* John went to the park."

The word "that" is particularly tricky. Consider:

> The ball *that* John likes is actually mine.

Here, "that" is a relative pronoun. It does two jobs. It subordinates the internal clause "that John likes" and it also is a pronoun referring to "ball" and acting as the object of "likes".

> I think *that* John is wise.

Here "that" is a direct object of "think". Because "that" is part of the first clause ("I think that"), it isn't a conjunction. And it's not a relative pronoun because it's not used in the second clause ("John is wise" is complete without the "that"). It has two roles. It's a subordinator which introduces, allows or governs the "John is wise" clause (you can't just throw extra clauses into sentences for no reason, although people do often say "I think John is wise" and leave the "that" implied.) And the word "that" refers to the text "John is wise" – it's like a pronoun except but it can refer to a clause (or in other cases even a paragraph or more) rather than just something simpler like a noun phrase. "That" functions as a noun and refers to "John is wise" as a noun. How can "John is wise" be a noun? Because it's being referred to as a concept, a thought, or some *thing* like that.

The only way you could think "that" was a conjunction is if you view "think" as intransitive (a verb with no object or complement) and say the two separate clauses are "I think" and "John is wise" and then "that" is a conjunction to join them. I think that's a bad idea because the meaning of the sentence is equivalent to:

> John is wise; I think that.

This makes it easy to see what "that" refers to, what words go with what clauses, and how "that" works like a pronoun. I think this shows that "that" plays the role of direct object for "think".

The semi-colon is similar to the subordinator role of "that". With this word order, "that" no longer has its role of introducing the "John is wise" clause, so something is needed to allow both clauses to exist in the same sentence, and a semi-colon is a minimal way of doing that.

Conjunctions can't be left on the end with a re-ordering like that because they don't fit within the clause they are next to. E.g. you can't change:

> I like Macs and I like iPhones.

to

> I like iPhones; I like Macs and.

or to

> And I like iPhones; I like Macs.

(Those take the original sentence and move the last 3 or 4 words, in order, from the end to the beginning. They aren't doing rearrangement in general, they are just attempts to swap to divide the sentence into two clauses and swap the order. They don't work because "and" is not part of either clause.)

When you replace a conjunction with a semi-colon, whether you reorder the clauses or not, you need to delete the conjunction. But in the sentence about John's thinking, "that" doesn't need to be deleting because it's not a conjunction.

A semi-colon functions similarly to a conjunction and you don't need two conjunctions (specifically it's most similar to the word "and"). A semi-colon is also similar to a period, which is a different way of separating clauses. The purpose of a conjunction is to join clauses more closely together than a period does and also to give some information about the relationship between the clauses. ("And" is the most generic conjunction, the most neutral, and so the most similar to a period.)


curi at 11:12 AM on July 30, 2019 | #13178 | reply | quote

"Any times" and "then"

http://curi.us/2211-twin-studies-are-frauds :

> Any times genes have an effect that people notice, then people will respond to it.

I think that "Any times" should be replaced by "Any time" or "Whenever".

I also think that "then people will" should be replaced with "people will". If the sentence started with "If" instead of "Any times", then the part after the comma would be grammatically correct as it stands.


Alisa at 8:50 PM on August 4, 2019 | #13215 | reply | quote

> I also think that "then people will" should be replaced with "people will". If the sentence started with "If" instead of "Any times", then the part after the comma would be grammatically correct as it stands.

Do you have a reason?


Anonymous at 8:56 PM on August 4, 2019 | #13216 | reply | quote

#13215

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/112996/any-followed-by-singular-or-plural-countable-nouns

> [any] can modify either plural count nouns or singular mass nouns

Idk if that's right, but you can read more from that page and others if you are interested.

https://www.englishgrammar.org/time-countable-uncountable-noun/

> The word time has both countable and uncountable uses.

In this case, I think "time(s)" is count because you can say e.g. "I went fishing three times." This page agrees:

http://www.englishlanguageguide.com/grammar/count-noun.asp

> - How much time did it take for you to drive to school?.

> - Here, time is a **non-count noun**, because it refers to a category that contains smaller items (think of it as a "group" of minutes).

> - How many times did you take the test before you passed?.

> - Here, time is a **count noun**, because you can count exactly how many separate times you took the test.

We do also say e.g. "You may leave at any time." but in that case we're talking about leaving once, whereas the blog post deals with multiple times. The use of "times" is similar to "cases", e.g. "In any cases where...". "Case" could be singular there if you wanted to talk about one case, but it can also be plural if you want to talk about multiple cases, e.g. that you should do something in all the multiple cases where some condition holds.


Anonymous at 9:05 PM on August 4, 2019 | #13217 | reply | quote

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