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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 30th, 2012, 01:52 am
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Default the grammar of Que Sera Sera

part of the lyrics:

Whatever will be, will be/ The future's not ours to see

A classmate asked me what is the sentence structure of the red part, and I told him that it might a special usage of English. I have twenty grammars in my house, but none of them have ever dealt with such a problem; could anyone tell me why this sentence is grammatical?
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Unread Apr 30th, 2012, 05:57 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: the grammar of Que Sera Sera

I'm not sure why you think it's unusual - it's a regular structure :

Main Clause
Subject: The future
Negated Verb: is not
Complement: ours (possessive pronoun)
+
Subordinate (non-finite) clause
infinitive verb : to see

As the subject of a non-finite clause is never explicitly stated, it has to be inferred from the previous clause. When a possessive is involved - whether a possessive adjective as in 1 and 3a below, a possessive noun as in (2) or a possessive pronoun as in your example and 3b the subject has to be "mentally converted" to the correct form - ours/we, David's/ David etc.


1. It's your turn to buy the drinks. (= you buy the drinks)
2. It's not David's place to criticise. (= David shouldn't criticise the plans)
3a. It isn't your house to sell ( = You can't sell the house)
3b. The house isn't yours to sell ( =You can't sell the house)
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 30th, 2012, 06:44 am
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Default Re: the grammar of Que Sera Sera

thank you very much indeed
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