Grammatical Question: help

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TT09
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Grammatical Question: help

Postby TT09 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:10 pm

"Certain situations arise in a person’s life that defines who they are."

Does that look and sound weird to anybody? Should it be just the word define instead of defines? I don't know, it's bothering me...

WhirledWorld
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby WhirledWorld » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:12 pm

.
Last edited by WhirledWorld on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TT09
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby TT09 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:13 pm

WhirledWorld wrote:Define, not defines. Though the sentence is off-putting for some other reason too... It at least seems a little trite, but I can't tell apart from its context.


Word keeps saying it's defines. That just sounds ridiculous to me. It's define, I know it!

MichaelB123
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby MichaelB123 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:14 pm

I'm pretty sure it's defines.

WhirledWorld wrote:Define, not defines. Though the sentence is off-putting for some other reason too... It at least seems a little trite, but I can't tell apart from its context.

MichaelB123
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby MichaelB123 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:14 pm

TT09 wrote:
WhirledWorld wrote:Define, not defines. Though the sentence is off-putting for some other reason too... It at least seems a little trite, but I can't tell apart from its context.


Word keeps saying it's defines. That just sounds ridiculous to me. It's define, I know it!

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TT09
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby TT09 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:17 pm

Anyone else? I'm still very unsure...

MichaelB123
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby MichaelB123 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:19 pm

Just kidding. It's definitely define.

MichaelB123
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby MichaelB123 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:20 pm

A situation defines.

Situations define.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby plenipotentiary » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:21 pm

Define. But it's not a great sentence. It's too vague and I'm not down with the idea that circumstances define who you are.

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timmna
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby timmna » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:28 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:Define. But it's not a great sentence. It's too vague and I'm not down with the idea that circumstances define who you are.


+1. I would think maybe situations might help shape you, etc., but not define you.

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TT09
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby TT09 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:30 pm

timmna wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:Define. But it's not a great sentence. It's too vague and I'm not down with the idea that circumstances define who you are.


+1. I would think maybe situations might help shape you, etc., but not define you.


"Certain situations arise in a person’s life that shape who they truly are."

Does that sound better?

MichaelB123
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby MichaelB123 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:33 pm

TT09 wrote:
timmna wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:Define. But it's not a great sentence. It's too vague and I'm not down with the idea that circumstances define who you are.


+1. I would think maybe situations might help shape you, etc., but not define you.


"Certain situations arise in a person’s life that shape who they truly are."

Does that sound better?


It should be shapes, not shape.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby plenipotentiary » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:34 pm

TT09 wrote:
timmna wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:Define. But it's not a great sentence. It's too vague and I'm not down with the idea that circumstances define who you are.


+1. I would think maybe situations might help shape you, etc., but not define you.


"Certain situations arise in a person’s life that shape who they truly are."

Does that sound better?


No, because it's still really vague and psuedo-philosophical. I doubt that the paragraph you're writing loses a whole lot of its meaning or impact if you eliminate this sentence. Just tell them about the situations that shaped who you are.

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TT09
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby TT09 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:37 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:
TT09 wrote:
timmna wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:Define. But it's not a great sentence. It's too vague and I'm not down with the idea that circumstances define who you are.


+1. I would think maybe situations might help shape you, etc., but not define you.


"Certain situations arise in a person’s life that shape who they truly are."

Does that sound better?


No, because it's still really vague and psuedo-philosophical. I doubt that the paragraph you're writing loses a whole lot of its meaning or impact if you eliminate this sentence. Just tell them about the situations that shaped who you are.


It's vague because it's 1 sentence out of 4 in a paragraph. Kinda hard to tell where its going, being one sentence and all.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby plenipotentiary » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:38 pm

TT09 wrote:It's vague because it's 1 sentence out of 4 in a paragraph. Kinda hard to tell where its going, being one sentence and all.


Whatevz. Be defensive, keep your silly sentence. It's your app!

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TT09
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby TT09 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:40 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:
TT09 wrote:It's vague because it's 1 sentence out of 4 in a paragraph. Kinda hard to tell where its going, being one sentence and all.


Whatevz. Be defensive, keep your silly sentence. It's your app!


Not trying to be defensive! I want the help. Sorry for acting like somewhat of a tool-bag. I won't do it again, I swear :wink:

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philosoraptor
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby philosoraptor » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:20 pm

TT09 wrote:"Certain situations arise in a person’s life that defines who they are."

Does that look and sound weird to anybody? Should it be just the word define instead of defines? I don't know, it's bothering me...
Here's why it's weird: Antecedent "person" is singular; pronoun "they" is plural. Implied subject "situations" is plural; verb "define" is singular. Make them agree. Better: "Certain situations define people."

However, I can't think of any context in which this sentence, grammatical or not, would add anything of value to your essay. Show, don't tell. And never use MS Word's so-called grammar checker.

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catsparka
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Re: Grammatical Question: help

Postby catsparka » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:30 pm

philosoraptor wrote:
TT09 wrote:"Certain situations arise in a person’s life that defines who they are."

Does that look and sound weird to anybody? Should it be just the word define instead of defines? I don't know, it's bothering me...
Here's why it's weird: Antecedent "person" is singular; pronoun "they" is plural. Implied subject "situations" is plural; verb "define" is singular. Make them agree. Better: "Certain situations define people."

However, I can't think of any context in which this sentence, grammatical or not, would add anything of value to your essay. Show, don't tell. And never use MS Word's so-called grammar checker.


Nailed it.




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