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gwendy85
08-23-2006, 09:01 AM
Can anyone tell me what words should not be used (or avoided at least) at the start of a sentence? So far, I've read that you can't start it with It, There, But, And, However.

Any help? I'm having a hard time trying to sort out my grammatical errors because of this...

alleycat
08-23-2006, 09:04 AM
Where did you read that advice?

gwendy85
08-23-2006, 09:11 AM
Where did you read that advice?

I read it off the internet
http://www.steampunk.com/sfch/writing/ckilian/#3

There are other sites, but I've since forgotten. I'll go look and post links later if I can find them again.

Popeyesays
08-23-2006, 09:25 AM
I agree with 'BUT' and 'AND'. These are conjunctions and conjunctions join parts of a sentence together. They don't start sentences.

It seems to me that not using a pronoun to start a sentence silly. (See I just used 'it' at the start of a sentence and it's perfectly good grammar). There it is, shoot me. Here I started a sentence with 'there' and followed it with the pronoun 'it). I must be bound for hell, for sure.

There's one place where the conjunction rule goes out the window--in dialogue. There, if I use it to denote character traits through how the speaker speak, I am using a broked rule wisely. It's just how I feel about it.

Regards,
Scott

Shwebb
08-23-2006, 09:45 AM
I start sentences with "and" and "but" all the time. But my writing tends to be more casual and conversational, I guess. And I like to break the rules.

gwendy85
08-23-2006, 10:54 AM
I agree with 'BUT' and 'AND'. These are conjunctions and conjunctions join parts of a sentence together. They don't start sentences.

It seems to me that not using a pronoun to start a sentence silly. (See I just used 'it' at the start of a sentence and it's perfectly good grammar). There it is, shoot me. Here I started a sentence with 'there' and followed it with the pronoun 'it). I must be bound for hell, for sure.

There's one place where the conjunction rule goes out the window--in dialogue. There, if I use it to denote character traits through how the speaker speak, I am using a broked rule wisely. It's just how I feel about it.

Regards,
Scott

Yeah, that's why I was having a hard time when I saw this article about avoiding 'There' and 'It'. I guess I'll have stick to it then. I don't have a problem with the dialogue though. At least the readers will be likely to blame the character for having wrong grammar and not me. Hehehehe :D

Tish Davidson
08-23-2006, 11:35 AM
Many, but not all, sentences beginning It is or There are are often weak and benefit from re-writing. I try to avoid these beginnings.

It is important that parents feed their children.
Feeding children is an important responsiblity of parents.

There are many difficuties in finding an honest agent.
Finding an honest agent is difficult.

smiley10000
08-23-2006, 03:51 PM
All of the words you mentioned can begin a sentence. In formal writing, And, But, and Because are frowned upon. But, for fiction conjunctions are acceptable.

'It is' and 'There are' are weak but if it works for the sentence, leave it.

Rules are meant to be broken... but you need to know what they are before you break them...
:Sun: 10000

gromhard
08-23-2006, 04:27 PM
All of the words you mentioned can begin a sentence. In formal writing, And, But, and Because are frowned upon. But, for fiction conjunctions are acceptable.

'It is' and 'There are' are weak but if it works for the sentence, leave it.

Rules are meant to be broken... but you need to know what they are before you break them...
:Sun: 10000

Maybe. But I wonder, do grammatical rules really help an author? I mean we've probably all studied grammar because it's part of what we want to do..but was it necessary for our actual writing?
For instace, let's say there was a guy who'd NEVER studied ANY grammar yet he'd read thousands and thousands of books. He's also spoken English his entire life, in a non-heavyily slanged vernacular. Now is there any real reason he shouldn't be successful if he decides to write his own book someday? (By lack of grammatical knowledge alone, I mean?)

The reason I ask is when I hang around editors or just grammar snobs who are constantly reiterating rules it seeps in and I'll go home and find myself following their rules somewhat unconsciously and a lot of the time I'll go back to that writing and find it kind of flaccid. My rigid adherance to etymology and grammar dousing my creative voice some.

-G

trumancoyote
08-23-2006, 10:54 PM
Psh. I start a sentence with whatever word I want to start a goddamned sentence with.

Except however. I'll admit that that's tacky.

But then again, if it fits for rhythmical purposes... have at it.

maestrowork
08-23-2006, 10:59 PM
It's fiction. You can start a sentence with whatever you want.

However, it should be written well.

DeniseK
08-23-2006, 11:03 PM
You can't help but have an 'and' and a 'but' in there sometimes. It's repitition you should worry about more than any kind of "RULE" about what words not to start with.

Jamesaritchie
08-23-2006, 11:13 PM
Can anyone tell me what words should not be used (or avoided at least) at the start of a sentence? So far, I've read that you can't start it with It, There, But, And, However.

Any help? I'm having a hard time trying to sort out my grammatical errors because of this...

Everything depends on the sentence. There's nothing at all wrong with using "and" or "but" to begin a sentence. All good writers do so on occasion. Like anything else, you don't want to overdo it, but never doing so it just nuts.

"It" and "there" should be used sparingly, but sometimes they're the best choice. The example at the link you posted is a silly one. I doubt any writer would begin such a sentence with "There." But how better can you say "There's more than one way to skin a cat."

"However" is the one I'd be careful about, but even it should be used when needed. But this one does work best in the interior of a sentence.

scarletpeaches
08-23-2006, 11:27 PM
Re: thread title.

Never end a sentence with a preposition.

maestrowork
08-23-2006, 11:33 PM
That's something up with which I wouldn't put.

Popeyesays
08-23-2006, 11:50 PM
Dangling participles stick in my craw, but there is no doubt it's the way we TALK all the time. So when worrying about grammar in what you are writing, if it's inside quotes, don't worry about it IF it sounds right.)

Regards,
Scott

C.bronco
08-24-2006, 12:23 AM
My high school English teacher wouldn't allow us to begin sentences with "there is" or "there are." We were also banned from using "nice." Good old Wild Bill- he was all right.

Jamesaritchie
08-24-2006, 01:49 AM
I hate the "never end a sentence with a preposition" rule. THERE are times when you shouldn't, and times when you should, quotation marks aside.

AND as maestrowork alludes, when Churchill, an excellent writer (He won teh Nobel Prize), was called into question for ending a sentence with a preposition, he reportedly said, "That is the sort of errant pedantry up with which I will not put."

He was right. If you have to tie a sentence in knots to follow a rule, it's a bad rule.

Even the split infinitive ruile is a silly one most of the time. It's based on Latin, and in Latin it isn't possible to split an infinitive.

maestrowork
08-24-2006, 01:59 AM
To boldly go no writers have gone before...

Jamesaritchie
08-24-2006, 04:31 AM
To boldly go no writers have gone before...

Yep, that has to be the most famous splitter out there.

rekirts
08-24-2006, 06:47 AM
I'll end a sentence with a preposition if I want to. And I'll start sentences with conjunctions. I have also been known to deliberately split an infinitive from time to time.

So there, grammar police! :wag:

maestrowork
08-24-2006, 07:10 AM
Yep, that has to be the most famous splitter out there.

And I can't think of a better way to write that sentence...

"To go boldly where no man has gone before..."

Not really.

"To go where no man has gone before boldly..."

Nope.

"Boldly to go where no man has gone before..."

Yikes.

Jamesaritchie
08-24-2006, 07:40 AM
And I can't think of a better way to write that sentence...

"To go boldly where no man has gone before..."

Not really.

"To go where no man has gone before boldly..."

Nope.

"Boldly to go where no man has gone before..."

Yikes.


I haven't seen a rewrite that worked, and I've seen one that really stretched. "To go, boldly go, where no man has gone before.

Which is, of course, a takeoff of "To ride, boldly ride"

Eldorado by Edgar Allan Poe

Gaily bedight,
A gallant night
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of El Dorado.


But he grew old --
This knight so bold --
And -- o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like El Dorado.


And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow --
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be --
This land of El Dorado?"


"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied --
"If you seek for El Dorado."

Alexenafi
08-28-2006, 12:23 AM
Sure grammar is important. But as writers we have to use it to our advantage to create tone. To do this effectively we need to understand the difference between grammatical correctness and style. Correctness: following the hard and fast rules of grammar, such as spelling. And style: using grammatical tools such as commas and word usage to communicate purpose and/or tone.

Most of you would probably frown when I tell you that as a copywriter I have written business pieces where "And" has started the sentence. But the intent of the piece was to communicate the brand to the reader. In each case, a formally written piece would be true to the company's brand. Think of the difference between a brochure written for IBM versus one written for Apple. Both are formal business communication tools. But each has a very specific and different brand that must be demonstrated in each and every communication.

Alexenafi
08-28-2006, 12:27 AM
In each case, a formally written piece would be true to the company's brand.

Sorry, should read:

In each case, a formally written piece would NOT BE true to the company's brand.

similan
09-01-2006, 10:31 AM
Maybe. But I wonder, do grammatical rules really help an author? I mean we've probably all studied grammar because it's part of what we want to do..but was it necessary for our actual writing?
For instace, let's say there was a guy who'd NEVER studied ANY grammar yet he'd read thousands and thousands of books. He's also spoken English his entire life, in a non-heavyily slanged vernacular. Now is there any real reason he shouldn't be successful if he decides to write his own book someday? (By lack of grammatical knowledge alone, I mean?)

The reason I ask is when I hang around editors or just grammar snobs who are constantly reiterating rules it seeps in and I'll go home and find myself following their rules somewhat unconsciously and a lot of the time I'll go back to that writing and find it kind of flaccid. My rigid adherance to etymology and grammar dousing my creative voice some.

-G

Ya got me!

I'm one of them peeps you were talking about. Troubled kid. Very low self-esteem. Didn't finish high school. Eventually got my GED and tried college for two semesters then quit. Never realized I'm such a story teller until an Eng teacher, he confessed he's hoping to have his novel picked up, loved my style and creativity. Gave me an A just because the end surprised him. Several years later, I started writing.

Several mouths ago I found this forum. The best thing google ever found for me. Thanks guys. :D

Jamesaritchie
09-01-2006, 12:09 PM
Maybe. But I wonder, do grammatical rules really help an author? I mean we've probably all studied grammar because it's part of what we want to do..but was it necessary for our actual writing?
For instace, let's say there was a guy who'd NEVER studied ANY grammar yet he'd read thousands and thousands of books. He's also spoken English his entire life, in a non-heavyily slanged vernacular. Now is there any real reason he shouldn't be successful if he decides to write his own book someday? (By lack of grammatical knowledge alone, I mean?)

The reason I ask is when I hang around editors or just grammar snobs who are constantly reiterating rules it seeps in and I'll go home and find myself following their rules somewhat unconsciously and a lot of the time I'll go back to that writing and find it kind of flaccid. My rigid adherance to etymology and grammar dousing my creative voice some.

-G

This guy probably knows far more grammar than the average writer. He studies grammar every last time he reads a good writer. He may not know the technical terms, but he should know how it all works, inclduing punctuation.

Darned few good writers actually break the grammatical rules of informal writing. And most keep to the main points of formal writing, evn if the do break the more rigid ones.

I think it's true that if you want to break the rules in a way that works, you first have to know what the rules are.

But as I said, the guy who has read enough books, and has paid careful attention to what he's read, probably does know the rules, he just doesn't know what they're called.

I'll also say that editors and grammarians usually get it right. They don't make up the rules. Rules are made by good writing and centuries of experimentation. They work.

And I will say this. One way or another, you have to learn what makes writing work, and what makes writing fail. Grammar makes it work, and grammar rules that are broken well are almost always broken by writers who know a great deal about grammar.

seun
09-01-2006, 01:32 PM
And I can't think of a better way to write that sentence...

"To go boldly where no man has gone before..."

Not really.

"To go where no man has gone before boldly..."

Nope.

"Boldly to go where no man has gone before..."

Yikes.


The last one made me want to poke my eyes out.

Speed
09-01-2006, 11:44 PM
And where did your teacher get the idea that because it, there, but, and, and however are conjunctions, they can't be used to start sentences? That's a misapplication of logic. I believe this is a false rule, as false as the notion that you can't split an infinitive, or end a sentence with a preposition.

The authoritative source of good English is English prose by good writers, and they don't hesitate to start sentences with those words:Jane Austen: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Charles Dickens: Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to.

Lord Chesterfield: Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However,they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable.

Winston Churchill: However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

William Blake: And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark satanic mills?
William Shakespeare:GLENDOWER: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

HOTSPUR: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?
Francis Bacon: But men must know, that in this theatre of man's life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on.

Samuel Johnson: But if he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, Sir, when he leaves our houses, let us count our spoons.

Thomas Jefferson: But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life.

Benjamin Disraeli: There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Benjamin Franklin: There was never a good war, or a bad peace.

Mark Twain: There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.
I'll stack those up against any quantity of English teachers.

C.bronco's English teacher was right, but not for grammatical reasons. "There is" and "There are" tend to be weak openings, and "nice" tends to be a weak adjective.

Not ending sentences with prepositions, and not splitting the infinitive, are both false rules. My favorite rants on the subject are in H. W. Fowler's A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (first or second edition, not third). They're also ranted about in some detail (as is the inappropriate application of algebraic rules to multiple negatives used as intensifiers) in TNH's Making Book.

Bk_30
09-02-2006, 12:43 AM
As others have pointed out; you need to know what the rules are, so that you can know when and how to break them. Even if it is subconsciously, because when you end a sentence with 'at' you make my ears hurt and my momma cry ;)

arrowqueen
09-02-2006, 03:11 AM
A Texan boy wins a scholarship to Harvard.

On his first day, he's ambling round checking things out, when he runs into a couple of preppies. 'Hi guys,' he says. 'Where's the library at?'

The first preppie smirks at his friend then says: 'Actually, here at Harvard, we don't end sentences with prepositions.'

'Fine,' says the Texan. 'So where's the library at, arsehole?'

Aubrey
09-02-2006, 03:28 AM
In my case the only time ending with prepositions bothers me is when the prepositions are completely unnessesary. I see that a lot on daytime court shows, usually with 'at'. They say things like "I just asked him where he at" and it'll be all I can do not to throw something at the TV!

With words like 'but', 'however' and the like, I use them all the time. Especially 'though'. It's extremely rare I'll be able to write something without using 'though'. I'm not sure I could ever manage to break that habit.

Jamesaritchie
09-02-2006, 04:25 AM
A Texan boy wins a scholarship to Harvard.

On his first day, he's ambling round checking things out, when he runs into a couple of preppies. 'Hi guys,' he says. 'Where's the library at?'

The first preppie smirks at his friend then says: 'Actually, here at Harvard, we don't end sentences with prepositions.'

'Fine,' says the Texan. 'So where's the library at, arsehole?'

I love that story for a special reason. It began as a true tale many years ago, though it wasn't with a Texan. And the last word was "jerk."

I've encountered it many times since, and it changes a bit each time. As a writer, I find it fascinating.

arrowqueen
09-02-2006, 05:37 AM
Really, James? I thought it was apocryphal. Knowing it's real makes it even better.

arrowqueen
09-02-2006, 05:42 AM
And you should avoid Glasgow, Aubrey. Up there they say things like: 'I was going to the pictures, but.' - and that's it.

I kept waiting for the qualifying clause - but it never came.

Theo Neel
09-02-2006, 06:01 AM
Maybe. But I wonder, do grammatical rules really help an author? I mean we've probably all studied grammar because it's part of what we want to do..but was it necessary for our actual writing?

-G

If it were not necessary for our actual writing, why did you bother to adhere to the rules in your post? :)

I would speculate you did so because you wanted to be understood, and that you punctuated carefully so as not to appear ignorant or inept.

As others have pointed out, there's a difference between not knowing the rules and not using them. You may not know them, but you clearly use them.

Knowing the rules will help a poor writer become a better writer. A better writer is probably already using them effectively. The best writers are using the rules skillfully.

At the end of the day, what defines good writing is an artistic use of the tools of the craft. The tools are grammar and words.

blacbird
09-02-2006, 08:16 AM
I hate the "never end a sentence with a preposition" rule.

Even the split infinitive ruile is a silly one most of the time. It's based on Latin, and in Latin it isn't possible to split an infinitive.

Exactly. The never end with a preposition rule was also formulated by a grammarian (something in my brain says Dryden, but I might be wrong) who had an unholy desire to impose Latin construction rules on the sloppy and vibrant language called English. Go read some John Dryden. He wrote like, well, like John Dryden.

caw.

Speed
09-04-2006, 11:58 PM
It's absolutely necessary to observe the rules of grammar when we write. The trick is to know the difference between rules, suggestions, and small craft advisories. For example:

Real rules: Subjects and verbs should agree (except for some very rare cases where the sentence works better if they don't).

There should be a clear relationship between modifiers and the things they're intended to modify.

If you have your characters speaking Early Modern English, but you aren't straight on I have, thou hast, he hath, you will be taken out back and beaten with a stick.
Suggestions:Most of the supposed rules governing comma placement are actually suggestions. There are a few hard-and-fast rules; for instance, if you open a sentence with however or anyway, and they don't literally mean in whatever manner, they have to be followed by a comma. On the other hand, the notion that strings of adjectives must necessarily be separated by commas is merely a suggestion. Robert Silverberg and Patrick O'Brian ignore that one all the time.
Small Craft Advisories:
Multiple negatives can see legitimate use as intensifiers, but if used imprudently they can generate unintended reversals of meaning.

To gratuitously, without regard for the reader's ability to keep track of the unresolved ambiguity, split an infinitive, can make a sentence unnecessarily hard to understand.

For weak writers, using very, nice, or really as modifiers, or it, there, but, and, and however as sentence openers, or a preposition at the end of a sentence, tend to be warning signs of weak constructions.
And then there's dialogue, which is a whole different can of worms.

Jamesaritchie
09-05-2006, 03:44 AM
It's absolutely necessary to observe the rules of grammar when we write. The trick is to know the difference between rules, suggestions, and small craft advisories. For example:

Real rules:Subjects and verbs should agree (except for some very rare cases where the sentence works better if they don't).

There should be a clear relationship between modifiers and the things they're intended to modify.

If you have your characters speaking Early Modern English, but you aren't straight on I have, thou hast, he hath, you will be taken out back and beaten with a stick.
Suggestions:Most of the supposed rules governing comma placement are actually suggestions. There are a few hard-and-fast rules; for instance, if you open a sentence with however or anyway, and they don't literally mean in whatever manner, they have to be followed by a comma. On the other hand, the notion that strings of adjectives must necessarily be separated by commas is merely a suggestion. Robert Silverberg and Patrick O'Brian ignore that one all the time.
Small Craft Advisories:
Multiple negatives can see legitimate use as intensifiers, but if used imprudently they can generate unintended reversals of meaning.

To gratuitously, without regard for the reader's ability to keep track of the unresolved ambiguity, split an infinitive, can make a sentence unnecessarily hard to understand.

For weak writers, using very, nice, or really as modifiers, or it, there, but, and, and however as sentence openers, or a preposition at the end of a sentence, tend to be warning signs of weak constructions.
And then there's dialogue, which is a whole different can of worms.

I wouldn't go that far with commas. There are five not to be ignored rules with commas, and they aren't suggestions. Comma use is seldom as discretionary as most want to think, and correct comma use is one of the most important aspects of writing well.

Just because you find a couple of writers who ignore a rule does not mean it's a good idea to follow suit.

As an editor, one of the main reasons I reject stories is because the writer has no idea how to use commas properly. It just isn't possible to read a story objectively when the writer think correct comma use is merely a suggestion.

It's been my experience that a writer who masters the comma is going to get almost everything else right, and a writer who doesn't master the comma is going to have huge problems selling his stories.

Speed
09-07-2006, 05:11 PM
I wouldn't go that far with commas. There are five not to be ignored rules with commas, and they aren't suggestions. Comma use is seldom as discretionary as most want to think, and correct comma use is one of the most important aspects of writing well.

Just because you find a couple of writers who ignore a rule does not mean it's a good idea to follow suit.

As an editor, one of the main reasons I reject stories is because the writer has no idea how to use commas properly. It just isn't possible to read a story objectively when the writer think correct comma use is merely a suggestion.

It's been my experience that a writer who masters the comma is going to get almost everything else right, and a writer who doesn't master the comma is going to have huge problems selling his stories.There now, I have to disagree with you. I'll grant that a writer who always puts a comma in the right place will probably have other virtues; but if the only problem is a few misplaced commas, I can fix them.

On the other hand, I can also agree with you. Anyone who can't hear that there's a need for a comma following direct address, or separating two independent clauses joined by a conjunction, or for two commas setting off an appositive, is so earless that I doubt they can get anywhere with the rest of their writing.

The rules I had in mind are the baroque feral ones used by people who've been taught comma placement by rule. I learned to have a lively dread of that system by seeing it imposed by copyeditors. "Phrases or clauses not essential to the meaning of the sentence" is an invitation to trouble. It's also literally untrue. What the framers of that rule had in mind are those participial or dependent phrases and clauses which aren't part of the sentence's basic grammatical structure. Whether or not they're essential to the meaning of that particular sentence is a different question entirely.

Here's what I know: when a copyedit comes back with documentation explaining the system of comma-placement rules the copyeditor imposed, Very Bad Things will have happened in the text markup. Is there any sane person who parses each sentence as they go, and on that basis decides where to put the commas?

It seems to me that what actually happens is that a person starts by reading job lots of good prose, during which they internalize the English language's comma-placement tendencies. Then they turn around and use that knowledge in their own writing. The more elaborate comma-placement "rules" are attempts to systematize what your ear is telling you anyway; and if you've got a sufficiently good ear, in cases where the rules are in conflict with its counsels, the ear wins.

As for "Just because you find a couple of writers who ignore a rule does not mean it's a good idea to follow suit," I do not, in fact, think it's a good idea simply because I've observed that a couple of writers do it. I think it's a feasible maneuver because I've seen a couple of good writers make it work. That doesn't mean I think everyone should do it. It just means that particular "rule" isn't invariably true.

ggglimpopo
09-07-2006, 05:20 PM
Rules are there to be broken.

And I do. But not all the time. It matters to some people. However, frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. There you go.

Theo Neel
09-07-2006, 07:52 PM
Is there any sane person who parses each sentence as they go, and on that basis decides where to put the commas?


I parse sentences as I go.

Nuns smacked sentence diagramming into my head with rulers and guilt-flinging glares.

Bartholomew
09-07-2006, 08:52 PM
A Texan boy wins a scholarship to Harvard.

On his first day, he's ambling round checking things out, when he runs into a couple of preppies. 'Hi guys,' he says. 'Where's the library at?'

The first preppie smirks at his friend then says: 'Actually, here at Harvard, we don't end sentences with prepositions.'

'Fine,' says the Texan. 'So where's the library at, arsehole?'

Version I've always heard:

A country girl wins a scholarship to Oxford; on her first day, she finds herself lost on the massive campus. She corners one of her fellow students and asks her, "'A'scuse me, miss, where's the main classroom building at?"

"At Oxford, we do not end our sentences with prepositions."

"Oh. Ah'm mighty sorry-like. Where's the main classroom building at, *****?"

arrowqueen
09-08-2006, 01:51 AM
There's probably a French/German version out there somewhere, too.

Kentuk
09-26-2006, 11:55 AM
My girlfriend has a strange brain. She has trouble with nouns and substitutes pronouns and then gets mad at me for not understanding. You can start a sentence with 'it' but starting a conversation or paragraph with it can be agravating.

Kentuk
09-26-2006, 12:09 PM
"As others have pointed out, there's a difference between not knowing the rules and not using them. You may not know them, but you clearly use them."

Children seem to automaticly grasp the basics of grammar. It is one of the reasons they hate grammar in school.

Spirit_Fire
09-26-2006, 01:03 PM
Ok. Anyone tell me if you've heard of this usage before:

'However many books I read, I still can't perfect my grammar.'

It might not be the best example, but I'm sure I've heard the use 'However many'. Or: 'However you do it...'

Is this incorrect? Or am I thinking of 'How ever ...'?
I'm sure it's used. Maybe it's my geographical displacement. :)

rekirts
09-26-2006, 09:24 PM
Examples of use from my dictionary--Oxford Complete Wordfinder:

Do it however you want.

I must go however inconveniant.

Colloquial: However did that happen?

I've also heard it used the way you mentioned as in, "However many books I read..."