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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 3rd, 2012, 03:50 pm
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Default Which one is correct?

(and why?)

Do they want to reserve a room? Yes, they ___ .
1 - want
2 - do want
3 - want to
4 - want it



thanks in advance
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Unread Aug 3rd, 2012, 03:52 pm
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Default Re: Which one is correct?

Another one:

By the time the workers finished loading up the truck, night ___ .
1- fell
2- had fallen
3- has fallen



thank you
PS. Is it "fell"?
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Unread Aug 4th, 2012, 03:23 am
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Default Re: Which one is correct?

1 = c : want to

With verbs followed by to + infinitive, you can always use the verb + to as an ellipted version of a complete verb phrase, where the rest of the verb phrase is retrievable from the context. Some more examples :

1. He knows he can't go on the trip, but he'd like to.
2. A : Isn't it about time you started studying for the exam? b: Yes, I know I need to.
3. A : Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? B : No, but I hope to when I go to Finland this winter.

It's obvious from the context that these ellipted forms mean he'd like to go on the trip / I need to start studying/ I hope to see the Northern Lights .

The same thing is happening in your example. because it's a verb + infinitive construction, you have the choice between using an ordinary short form answer using the operator :

A . Do they want to reserve a room? B : Yes, they do.

which would probably be more usual here, or the verb + to construction - which would be more likely to be used if the speaker went on to qualify what s/he had said :

A : Do they want to reserve a room? B : Well yes, they want to, but they're not sure of the dates.

As the example stands, the verb + to, though grammatically correct, sounds unnatural. It's not a very good question.

You'll find another example in the answer to the next question if you look for it!
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Unread Aug 4th, 2012, 03:38 am
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Default Re: Which one is correct?

2. The correct answer is 2 - had fallen

The time phrase by the time... indicates that night fell before the workers finished and the event was complete by that time.. So you need the past perfect to indicate the sequence of events - that night falling was the first action and the workers finishing was the second and happened later. You could add "already" if you wanted to : By the time the workers finished loading up the truck, night had already fallen

Some authentic examples from a concordancer :

I had brushed my teeth, showered, shaved and dressed by the time a waiter wheeled in breakfast.
By the time the police complaints authority started looking for it, it had disappeared.
By the time he was under the covers he had forgotten about seeing Kate.
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Unread Aug 5th, 2012, 08:44 am
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Default Re: Which one is correct?

Thank you susan.
I wonder how many things that I don't know there are.

In fact I wanted to say the above as a statement, but then I started thinking about the word order. Is it correct to say it like this?

Is it possible to say :
I wonder how many things there are that I don't know.
?
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Unread Aug 5th, 2012, 10:02 am
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Default Re: Which one is correct?

Your second version of the sentence is better. The first might well occur in spoken English, but the word order of the second is preferable.
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Unread Aug 5th, 2012, 06:28 pm
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Default Re: Which one is correct?

Thanks
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Unread Aug 5th, 2012, 11:54 pm
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Default Re: Which one is correct?

Hi, I've got a question.

By can mean on or before, like please finish the work by Friday; in By the time the workers finished loading up the truck, night fell, when the verb of night is the simple past, is it logical or correct or grammatical (but strange?) or possible (but unusual?) or idiomatic (but rare?)
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Unread Aug 6th, 2012, 03:07 am
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Default Re: Which one is correct?

Sorry Brian - don't think I really understand the question. As I said above, the verb should not be in the simple past. The meaning would make no sense. There are two possibilities, with different meanings :

By the time the workers finished (A)... night had fallen (B) - ie night fell first, the workers finished second. B then A.
By the time the workers finished (a)... night was falling (B) - ie it had started but not yet finished. It was an on-going event.
B /........(A)............/

The simple past indicates a finished event. But if there are two, then they must logically occur either in 1-2 order or simultaneously. So you need the verbs that express those meanings.

If you want to say thet night fell very quickly and immediately after the workers finished , then you would need to change the adverbial :
As soon as the workers finished... (A) , night fell (B) - ie A then B.

As always, the choice of form has nothing to do with being "correct" or "idiomatic" or whatever. grammatical forms express different meanings. You need to choose the form which expresses the meaning which reflects the situation.
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Last edited by susan53 : Oct 14th, 2012 at 06:02 am.
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Unread Oct 13th, 2012, 06:31 pm
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Default Re: Which one is correct?

.

Last edited by nelson13 : Jan 13th, 2013 at 05:00 am.
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