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Grammar question

 
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raewon



Joined: 16 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:09 pm    Post subject: Grammar question Reply with quote

I have a question regarding the following sentences:

Mr. Stevens needs food, water and shelter from the hot sun. Living in a hot place, these points are essential.

Question: Is that second sentence grammatically correct? One way I read it
("these points" are not living in a hot place), I think no. But another way I read it: (As he) is living in a hot place, these points are essential (for him).
I think it could be. Can ellipsis be used like that?

Thanks for any clarification/explanation with this one.
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: Yap

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simply a dangling participle, & therefore wrong, as far as I know.

Your rewording fixes it nicely.
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Kwangjuchicken



Joined: 01 Sep 2003
Location: I was abducted by aliens on my way to Korea and forced to be an EFL teacher on this crazy planet.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

schwa wrote:
Simply a dangling participle, & therefore wrong, as far as I know.

Your rewording fixes it nicely.



Embarassed
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The Cosmic Hum



Joined: 09 May 2003
Location: Sonic Space

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:35 am    Post subject: Re: Grammar question Reply with quote

raewon wrote:
I have a question regarding the following sentences:

Mr. Stevens needs food, water and shelter from the hot sun. Living in a hot place, these points are essential.

Question: Is that second sentence grammatically correct? One way I read it
("these points" are not living in a hot place), I think no. But another way I read it: (As he) is living in a hot place, these points are essential (for him).
I think it could be. Can ellipsis be used like that?

Thanks for any clarification/explanation with this one.

As Schwa noted, it could easily be misread as a dangling participle, and strictly speaking, he is correct. But you have made a good call on the ellipsis.
There are many fixes - or alternate ellipsed versions.
When living in a hot place, these points are essential. (also solves the problem pragmatically)

I would give ellipsis the benefit of the doubt on that one. Your fix is equally correct and the implied subject is quite obvious, so the ellipsis is no doubt understood pragmatically, but...hmm....prescriptively, not wise to go down that path intentionally.

That being said....cough cough....I do suggest you add another comma in the first sentence.
Mr. Stevens needs food, water, and shelter from the hot sun.
He doesn't need food and water from the sun.
Cheers
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DavidVance



Joined: 21 Apr 2007

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But those are things, not points - the things would be essential, points (which those are not) would be more properly crucial, I think, in this context?...
The idea is illogical anyway, food would not be more necessary...
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