Grandma's Tales

December 6, 2006

Grammar – 16 Still on MM

Filed under: Language — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 10:12 pm

Friend swami wrote:
The one sentence that you have corrected above but which I could’ve gotten wrong seems to be –
Not a time to rejoice for asthmatics.

I am trying to equate this to other similar sentences I could come across. For example, I might title a news article about the impending super-hot summer as – Not a time to rejoice for Chennaiites or Not a time to rejoice, for Chennaiites. And you are telling me that, Not a time for Chennaiites to rejoice is the right way to put it. Hmm. You should be right.

With the comma, the sentence would make total sense, swami. All I’m saying is this. Reduce the ambiguity in your sentences. You want to get your meaning across, right? If you say, “Not a time to rejoice for Chennaiites”, it could also mean it’s not a time to rejoice for Chenniites, but for some other group.

Ask: Which is the rejoicing/not rejoicing party here? Chennaiites.  So the phrase (it’s called the infinitive) “to rejoice” should follow Chennaiites. Not a time for Chenaiites to do what? Rejoice.

Now, what you’re trying to say in this sentence, “Chennaiites cannot be very happy in the scorching summer season” becomes clear.

It’s time to move on to the next, more worrying type of modifiers. But before that …

1 Comment »

  1. i agree.. 🙂

    Comment by swami — December 7, 2006 @ 1:43 am | Reply

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