Help with grammar in PS

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aten2080
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Help with grammar in PS

Postby aten2080 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:57 pm

Hey guys need some help with one statement. Is it:

During this period, I was unable to acknowledge the positive effects my city had had on me.

OR

During this period, I was unable to acknowledge the positive effects my city had on me.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:03 pm

Grammatically they're both fine, they just (at least to me) imply slightly different timeframes in which the city was having an effect on you. It's hard to say which would be better without context.

Generally, I try to avoid 'had had' and 'that that' constructions because I find them somewhat awkward and visually weird, but sometimes they are actually the best choice.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby moneybagsphd » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:09 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Generally, I try to avoid 'had had' and 'that that' constructions because I find them somewhat awkward and visually weird, but sometimes they are actually the best choice.

+1. I suggest avoiding "had had" at all costs. It's just clumsy syntax.

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paratactical
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby paratactical » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:23 pm

My city made lasting, positive changes to me, but this period made it impossible for me to understand those effects.

subtle
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby subtle » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:32 pm

paratactical wrote:My city made lasting, positive changes to me, but this period made it impossible for me to understand those effects.


Uhm. No.

1. You changed the meaning of the OP's sentence.
2. Your sentence isn't grammatically correct.

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paratactical
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby paratactical » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:46 pm

Whoops. At any rate, I still suggest totally retooling that sentence.

subtle
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby subtle » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:55 pm

The problem with rearranging sentences you didn't write that aren't a) grammatically incorrect or b) awkward is that you're attempting to rearrange them to sound like you (you generally). You have to leave people's writing style alone and tell them whether or not something is working; you'll pretty much always prefer how you would have written something over how someone has. That doesn't make it wrong or in need of changing.

haowu80s
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby haowu80s » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:15 pm

had had indicates that the action of impact ended before that period of time
had doesnt specify such sequence, which I think is unnecessary here.

One had would be much better.

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icecold3000
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby icecold3000 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:11 pm

avoid the verb "was"

subtle
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby subtle » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:54 am

icecold3000 wrote:avoid the verb "was"


Surely you're being facetious.

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Kabuo
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby Kabuo » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:13 pm

subtle wrote:The problem with rearranging sentences you didn't write that aren't a) grammatically incorrect or b) awkward is that you're attempting to rearrange them to sound like you (you generally). You have to leave people's writing style alone and tell them whether or not something is working; you'll pretty much always prefer how you would have written something over how someone has. That doesn't make it wrong or in need of changing.


This is great general advice, but surely OP can rearrange those sentences within his own style. Otherwise, ew.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:15 pm

subtle wrote:
icecold3000 wrote:avoid the verb "was"


Surely you're being facetious.
I think he's trying to say to avoid the passive tense, which is generally good advice. Avoiding the word entirely is a bit extreme.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:17 pm

subtle wrote:The problem with rearranging sentences you didn't write that aren't a) grammatically incorrect or b) awkward is that you're attempting to rearrange them to sound like you (you generally). You have to leave people's writing style alone and tell them whether or not something is working; you'll pretty much always prefer how you would have written something over how someone has. That doesn't make it wrong or in need of changing.

a)sometimes people want advice on how to rephrase something. Sometimes your brain gets stuck and you think, 'Dammit, I know there's a better way to say this but I just can't think of it right now.'
b)if someone else's phrasing is better than yours and they offer it, use it. If you prefer your own inferior writing over someone else's better work just because it's "yours," you're an idiot.

subtle
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby subtle » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:32 am

rinkrat19 wrote:
subtle wrote:The problem with rearranging sentences you didn't write that aren't a) grammatically incorrect or b) awkward is that you're attempting to rearrange them to sound like you (you generally). You have to leave people's writing style alone and tell them whether or not something is working; you'll pretty much always prefer how you would have written something over how someone has. That doesn't make it wrong or in need of changing.

a)sometimes people want advice on how to rephrase something. Sometimes your brain gets stuck and you think, 'Dammit, I know there's a better way to say this but I just can't think of it right now.'
b)if someone else's phrasing is better than yours and they offer it, use it. If you prefer your own inferior writing over someone else's better work just because it's "yours," you're an idiot.


Differences in style are seldom objectively better or worse. You may simply prefer one over the other, therefore, making it appear better or worse.

As for the OP, I'm not entirely sure that that sentence NEEDS rearranging. I'd have to read it in context to say so, but as it stands (as long as s/he uses the version without "had had") I don't think it needs to be arranged at all.

rinkrat19 wrote:I think he's trying to say to avoid the passive tense, which is generally good advice. Avoiding the word entirely is a bit extreme.


How could you possibly know that? "Was" isn't indicative of the passive voice. It's merely the past tense.

I was alone. Active voice, but in the past tense
I was left alone. Passive voice in the past tense

Passive voice can occur in the present as well. I'm really confused as to why you're suggesting the OP avoid the passive voice. Sometimes, a deliberate use of the passive voice can give your piece the feel you want it to have. Moreover, OP's sentence is active...

kublaikahn
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Re: Help with grammar in PS

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:39 am

This sentence is correct, although you could shift the verb to a positive (from "was unable to acknowledge" to ignored/overlooked/etc.). The clause is passively constructed (quasi), but rightly so. Your focus is on the positive effects not you and not the city. I suppose you are going to discuss those positive effects, correct?




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