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mrsmig
09-09-2017, 05:01 PM
I'm currently understudying a Broadway show, and there's a particular line of dialogue that I stumble over when rehearsing. The line is:

"In situations like this, the truth is never in good taste."

I think I stutter over the line because my inner grammar nerd is complaining. The way I want to say it is:

"In situations like these, the truth is never in good taste."

or, less effectively:

"In a situation like this, the truth is never in good taste."

In other words, I want the demonstrative pronoun ("these") to match the plural noun ("situations"). In my line of work, of course, I have to swallow my objections and say the line as written. But in this case, is my inner grammar nerd mistaken?

Bufty
09-09-2017, 05:13 PM
Nothing wrong with it to my eye. As dialogue, it reads OK to me. Comparing possible relationship of future situations to the present situation.

Context applies as always but no idea of that.

Cindyt
09-09-2017, 05:27 PM
Incorrect grammar, IMO.

My take:

"this" for singular...In a situation like this..

"these: for plural...In situations like these...

Lakey
09-09-2017, 05:34 PM
Either is fine. There need be no agreement on either side of "like" because the two sides don't refer to the same thing. Consider:

Diamonds like this one are not easy to come by.
People like John always rub me the wrong way.
Do you enjoy movies like The Godfather?

In all these cases there is a plural before "like" and a singular after it, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with such constructions. And nothing changes if you choose to use the demonstrative pronoun "this" (or any other singular pronoun) in place of the explicit noun or name.

Tabitha Rose
09-09-2017, 06:42 PM
Either is fine. There need be no agreement on either side of "like" because the two sides don't refer to the same thing. Consider:

Diamonds like this one are not easy to come by.
People like John always rub me the wrong way.
Do you enjoy movies like The Godfather?

In all these cases there is a plural before "like" and a singular after it, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with such constructions. And nothing changes if you choose to use the demonstrative pronoun "this" (or any other singular pronoun) in place of the explicit noun or name.

I find answers like this to be helpful and correct.

Cindyt
09-09-2017, 07:55 PM
It never fails I learn something new here.

MaeZe
09-09-2017, 08:13 PM
Either is fine. There need be no agreement on either side of "like" because the two sides don't refer to the same thing. Consider:

Diamonds like this one are not easy to come by.
People like John always rub me the wrong way.
Do you enjoy movies like The Godfather?

In all these cases there is a plural before "like" and a singular after it, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with such constructions. And nothing changes if you choose to use the demonstrative pronoun "this" (or any other singular pronoun) in place of the explicit noun or name.

Wonderful! It explains why the passage sounds correct to my ear while my less informed logic says it shouldn't.

Sleeping Cat Books
09-09-2017, 08:17 PM
Or, think of it like this: "In situations like this [one], the truth is never in good taste." The current situation is singular, and that's what "this" refers to.

mrsmig
09-10-2017, 05:55 PM
Thanks everyone - that makes it much easier to comprehend (and memorize!).

Asterism
09-26-2017, 03:48 AM
Grammatically I think it's correct--think "situations like this (one)" as others stated--but now that you've drawn my attention to it, it bugs me a little too...