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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 15th, 2008, 05:01 am
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Default Our customer demanded we / asked us to

Any idea why we can't say:

"Our customers demanded us to send the packages by Friday."

I was teaching an advanced business class and looking some of their emails. Two people came up with the above formation and "They requested us to send a packaging slip."

Why can't we use the formation associated with 'ask'
"asked us to send a packaging slip."
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Unread Jun 15th, 2008, 07:43 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Our customer demanded we / asked us to

Just one of those things. Some verbs take an infinitive, some take a "that" clause, some take a gerund, some can take more than one construction ... and some of those which take the infinitive can take an indirect object whilst others can't. There's no particular reason for it as far as I know.

So ask can take an infinitive or, if the subject of the infinitive is different from that of the verb an indirect object and infinitive - They asked to go or They asked us to go. Demand on the other hand can take the infinitive but not the indirect object - it just has to use a that clause instead : They demanded to go but They demanded that we should go.

It's a minefield for students just because it's so random. And it's a particular problem for Ss whose L1 uses a construction for a verb which English doesn't. Italians for instance will say We suggested to go or They suggested us to go because that's how it is in Italian.
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Unread Jun 15th, 2008, 04:46 pm
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Default Re: Our customer demanded we / asked us to

Thanks! I couldn't find and rhyme or reason for it, but I was hesitant to just say, 'Well, because that's the way it is ...'

So, I told them i'd run it by some people.

Thanks again
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Unread Jun 17th, 2008, 10:13 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Our customer demanded we / asked us to

Odd. When I wrote the answer, the last sentence of the first paragraph ran There's no rhyme nor reason for it as far as I know. But I deleted it as I wondered if rhyme or reason might be a British expression and be a bit distracting.

But as you used it in the reply, it's clearly not. I wonder what the origin is? Rhyme here presumably stands for regularity so it makes sense ... but I wonder where it came from?
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