Author Topic: number of  (Read 6951 times)

Offline navi

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number of
« on: August 31, 2013, 12:26:49 am »
Which are correct:

1-The writer the number of whose books we did not know started speaking.


2-The writer the number of books written by whom we did not know started speaking.

3-The writer the number of whose books was not known to us started speaking.

4-The writer the number of books written by whom was unknown to us started speaking.


We did not know how many books this one particular writer had written, He started speaking.

Gratefully,
Navi.

Offline Bertha

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Re: number of
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2013, 01:08:07 pm »
None of these examples are very clear and effective in communicating what you want.

Here is one way to express your thought:  The writer, who wrote an unknown number of books, started speaking.
Bertha

Offline Darryl

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Re: number of
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2013, 01:20:59 pm »
Navi, where do you get these strange sentences?? I'm just curious. Are they from some ESL manual or are they of your own making?? :-\

Offline navi

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Re: number of
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2013, 11:23:37 am »
Thank you very much Bertha and Darryl.

No Darryl, I made these up. I am sort of exploring what I call the 'twilight zone' of the English language. The idea expressed in these sentences can be expressed relatively straightforwardly in a single sentence in my language. I sort of felt that these sentences were a bit unwieldy, to say the least, in English.

Bertha's sentence is very elegant. The problem I have with it is that it seems to be implying that nobody knew how many books the guy had written. In my versions. 'we' didn't know how many books he had written.

My apologies if these sentences get on your nerves.

Gratefully,
Navi.

PS. The sentences in my previous post were modeled on a sentence I heard in a movie called 'Now You See Me'. I changed the sentence a bit.

Not all the sentences I ask about are necessarily 'home-grown'.

Gratefully,
Navi.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 11:25:50 am by navi »

Offline Darryl

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Re: number of
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2013, 12:36:19 pm »
Thanks, Navi. I just wondered about the origin of your sentences for correction, because in your general postings and explanations, you demonstrate a very good command of the language. The sentences don't get on my nerves but I do find it hard to follow why you would want to involve yourself with rather convoluted constructions of the 'twilight zone' as you call it, when you already write perfectly good English.
(And as for Bertha's concise 'elegant' sentence, I think 'who wrote an unknown number of books' does clearly state that we didn't know how many were written.)

Offline navi

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Re: number of
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2013, 10:04:07 pm »
Thank you very much Darryl.

Offline admin

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Re: number of
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2013, 03:10:49 pm »
The writer of countless books started speaking...
The speaker, who had written countless books, started to talk...
Best wishes,

Duncan