Thursday January 12, 2012
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED By FADZILAH AMIN
THIS is a paragraph from the novel, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo:
“One of the conditions in his negotiations with Vanger and Dirch Frode had been that he have living quarters where he could do his own housekeeping and come and go as he pleased.”
Why isn’t has used instead? – Michael
The verb “have” there is used in its subjunctive form, which is the same as the base form, even though the subject may be singular and the sentence is in the past tense. The subjunctive is used to express something that is not factual, but imagined, wished, suggested, ordered or demanded. In the sentence you quote, the subjunctive form “have” is used to express a condition.
A condition is defined as “a rule or decision that you must agree to, sometimes forming part of a contract or an official agreement” (online Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary). Once we have agreed to a condition it is then demanded that we keep to it. Below is an example, given by the above dictionary, of the use of the base form of the word “be” instead of “is” in connection with a condition:
“They agreed under the condition that the matter be dealt with promptly.”
Below are other examples of the use of the subjunctive form of verbs:
“I will suggest that he change the date of the party.”
“The judge ordered that he serve a jail sentence of 15 years.”
“The Dauphin’s status as the heir to the French throne demanded that he have the very best of everything, from clothes and jewels to furniture, horses and weapons.”
1. What is the difference between a pronoun and a determiner? In this sentence, “This is my car”, what is “my” categorised as?
2. What are the differences between “on”, “above” and “over”? – Nash
1. Pronouns are words that are used instead of a noun or noun group. There are several kinds of pronouns, i.e. personal pronouns (e.g. I), possessive pronouns (e.g. mine), reflexive pronouns (e.g. myself), demonstrative pronouns (e.g. those in “Those are good”.), indefinite pronouns (e.g. anybody), reciprocal pronouns (e.g. each other), relative pronouns (e.g. who in “That’s the boy who helped me.”) and interrogative pronouns (e.g. who in “Who ate my apple?”)
A determiner is a word that is used before a noun in a noun phrase. Its position is after a predeterminer (if there is one in the phrase) and before a postdeterminer and adjective (if they exist in the phrase). I will illustrate this later.
In “This is my car.”, “my” is a possessive determiner, just like our, your, his, her, their, its. Other determiners include a, the, that, these, few, many, other.
In the noun phrase “all his usual clever tricks”, all is a predeterminer, his is a determiner, usual is a postdeterminer, clever is an adjective and tricks is the noun, the headword in the noun phrase.
For more details, please consult Collins Cobuild English Grammar, 2nd edition 2005.
2. There are so many differences between “on”, “above” and “over” because they have so many meanings. But to answer you briefly using one of the meanings of each word as a preposition, “on” is used when something is resting on and touching a surface, like “a cup on a table”, “over” can be used when something is covering you, whether it touches you or not, like a blanket over you or an umbrella over you; and above applies to something at a higher level, which you can’t touch, like “the moon above”. For more details please consult:
oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/ or dictionary.cambridge.org/ or several other free online dictionaries.
Be, been, being
1. What is the difference between “be”, “been” and “being”?
2. Which is correct: a) Whenever he cry; b) Whenever he cried
3. Which is correct:
a) When can we start our work?
b) When we can start our work?
c) When we can start working?
d) When will we start working?
e) When we will start working?
f) When we will start our work? – 2012 PMR candidate
1. “Be” is the base form of the verb “be”; “been” is the past participle of the verb “be” and “being” is the present participle of the verb “be”.
I assume you know that “am”, “is”, “are”, “was” and “were” are also forms of the verb “be”.
2. “Whenever he cry” is grammatically incorrect, because the singular subject “he” does not agree with the plural verb “cry”.
If you want to write this clause in the simple present tense, you should write “whenever he cries”.
“Whenever he cried” is correct if you want to write this clause in the simple past tense.
3. a) – “When can we start our work?” and d) – “When will we start working?” are correct. Notice that in the question form of a sentence, an auxiliary verb (can and will, here) comes before the subject (we in both sentences) and the main verb (start in both sentences).
We also say: “When do you want to start work?” and “Do you want to work here?” where do is an auxiliary verb added to the main verb want only in the question form. The statement form of the second sentence, for instance is “You want to work here.”