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Thread: Why is this sentence wrong?

  1. #1
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Why is this sentence wrong?

    The following sentence appeared on a worksheet:

    "None of the boys could do it, but Kahu could do."

    It should be "...but Kahu could" or "...but Kahu could do it" or something.

    I was trying to explain this to my JTE, but I couldn't explain exactly why "could do" is not appropriate. Please help me. Be specific and give examples, because she's anal and will want to know exactly why it's wrong.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member FamilyMart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    The following sentence appeared on a worksheet:

    "None of the boys could do it, but Kahu could do."

    It should be "...but Kahu could" or "...but Kahu could do it" or something.

    I was trying to explain this to my JTE, but I couldn't explain exactly why "could do" is not appropriate. Please help me. Be specific and give examples, because she's anal and will want to know exactly why it's wrong.

    i'll take a stab at it but...

    i think you use a comma with a conjunction to stick a coupla independent clauses together? Kahu could do isn't an independent clause? me thinks?

  3. #3
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this sentence wrong?

    That sounds good... Although I don't really know that "Kahu could." is an independent clause either? Hell, I dunno; I'll keep lookin' into it.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ashleytwo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this sentence wrong?

    If you were asked "which of the boys could do it?" you could respond "Kahu could" so it works in that sense as its own clause.

  5. #5
    Senior Member 3ngrishsensei's Avatar
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    I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think the verb phrase "can do" needs an object. He can do. I could do. The boys could do.
    All those sound strange.

    Give your JTE examples of other verbs that need objects. "Put" is a good one. Usually put needs and object and a direct object: "I put the book in the box." It would be strange to say "I put." or "I put the book."

    hmm. It's a tough one. Let me know if you find a better explanation.

    Edit:
    You could mention that by omitting "it" the sentence is a bit ambiguous. In the first clause the boys could do "it" (referring to whatever task), but in the second clause by omitting "it" you could be implying that the task Kahu could do is something else.
    Last edited by 3ngrishsensei; September 23rd, 2010 at 08:42.

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