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Some questions

Posted by R. Berg on February 01, 2001

In Reply to: Some questions posted by Barney on February 01, 2001

: : Hi! I have many questions.

: : 1?DA grammar book says 'does' is optional in the following sentence while Americans I know say not optional. I wonder whose opinion I should follow.
: : h) Rose lives Phillip more than Angie does John.

: : 2?DA book says both i) and j) are okay while my American friends say they aren't. Who do you think is right?
: : i) I don't drink or smoke.
: : j) I don't drink nor smoke.

: : 3?DTwo English natives have different opinion; one says k) is right while another says l) is right. I'm just wondering which is right.
: : k) Also I need a large fry.
: : l) Also I need a large fries.

: : 4?DA grammar book says that 'to it' in m) and n) are optional while 'to it' in o) and p) are necessary. However my friends who are Americans say 'on it' in all sentences are optional. Which opinion is right?
: : m) We'll see (to it) that you get home early.
: : n) I could swear (to it) that I've seen him before.

: : o) You may depend on it that she will go with you.
: : p) You may rely on it that he will be able to solve this problem.

: : Thank you for your help.

: : Sincerely,

: : K. Yone

: My instant opinion:

: Replace the 'does' with 'loves' - that's much better then either option.

: i) is correct j) is incorrect - well clumsy at least

: If 'Fries' are understood to be fried potato chips then l) is correct. k} is dubious and conveys little precise information.

: Your grammar books are correct and your American friends are having a little fun at your expense in respect of m), n), o) and p).

Here is another set of answers, with a little more explanation:

2. I is correct, j is definitely incorrect.
3. "A large fries" is a standard way to order potatoes, but the sentence shouldn't begin with "also." Say "I also need a large fries." Or you can ask for a large order of fries. "A large fry" would not be understood.
4. Your American friends are mistaken about some of these examples. Sentence m is correct either with or without "to it." In sentence n, "to it" must be omitted. It is correct to say "I've seen him before-I could swear to it." Sentences o and p are incorrect with or without "on it." We say "You may rely on it" or "You may depend on it" if the sentence ends there. We also say "You may depend on her going with you" or "You may rely on his ability to solve the problem." We can say "You may depend on his judgment" or "You may rely on Mary to be prompt" or "You can depend on John." What makes all these examples correct is that "depend on" or "rely on" is followed by only one word or phrase that names the thing to be relied on. "You may depend on it that your salary will be paid" is wrong because there are two, first the word "it" and then the noun clause "that your salary will be paid."