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Thread: Are these sentences correct in grammar?

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  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW coffeehunter's Avatar
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    Are these sentences correct in grammar?

    A few sentences for now. I'll put my current sentence in "Current" and my question in "Should it be". I'll probably post more over time in this single thread.

    Current: My sleeves are shorter than Id remembered.  
    Should it be: My sleeves are shorter than I remember.

    Current: The class pulled out their CompXLs for the test.
    Should it be: The class pulled out their CompXL's for the test.
    Note: CompXL is an alternative name for this example.


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Always Learning Enlightened's Avatar
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    I would use these....

    1) Depends on what tense you are using to write (Past or Present)...

    I would use "I remembered" for past tense (with "these sleeves," instead of my sleeves).

    Present tense: These sleeves are shorter than I remember.

    2) The students used the/their CompXLs for the test.
    Last edited by Enlightened; 03-10-2019 at 01:43 AM.
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW coffeehunter's Avatar
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    Thanks. Regarding the first one, it's a thought in a past tense story (third person limited). Thoughts are usually present tense, so I think this fits with "I remember." He just noticed the sleeves in the story, here's the line: Strange, he thought as he wiped his tears. The sleeves are shorter than I remember.
    Last edited by coffeehunter; 03-10-2019 at 02:42 AM.

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW coffeehunter's Avatar
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    Here's the other one that I forgot:

    Current: Father would be very angry if he was to fail.
    Should it be: Father would be very angry if he were to fail.
    Note: Wasn't sure if was or were would be appropriate here.

  5. #5
    Probably drinking coffee. ReadWriteRachel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeehunter View Post
    Here's the other one that I forgot:

    Current: Father would be very angry if he was to fail.
    Should it be: Father would be very angry if he were to fail.
    Note: Wasn't sure if was or were would be appropriate here.
    Why not just "Father would be very angry if he failed"?
    "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
    Benjamin Franklin

  6. #6
    Always Learning Enlightened's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeehunter View Post
    Here's the other one that I forgot:

    Current: Father would be very angry if he was to fail.
    Should it be: Father would be very angry if he were to fail.
    Note: Wasn't sure if was or were would be appropriate here.
    Paste Tense: Father would've (or would have) been very angry if he failed.
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  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW -Riv-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeehunter View Post
    Here's the other one that I forgot:

    Current: Father would be very angry if he was to fail.
    Should it be: Father would be very angry if he were to fail.
    Note: Wasn't sure if was or were would be appropriate here.
    "Were" is correct in this example (for present tense or as a direct thought).

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeehunter View Post
    . . . it's a thought in a past tense story (third person limited). Thoughts are usually present tense, so I think this fits with "I remember." He just noticed the sleeves in the story, here's the line: Strange, he thought as he wiped his tears. The sleeves are shorter than I remember.
    This is fine as written (as a direct thought, present tense).
    Last edited by -Riv-; 03-10-2019 at 03:19 AM. Reason: Everything is in italics in quoted text.

  8. #8
    I write novels eqb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeehunter View Post

    Current: My sleeves are shorter than I’d remembered.  
    Should it be: My sleeves were shorter than I'd remembered. (Though I could make a case for "I remembered" too.)

    (This isn't a thought. It's the POV character telling us about their sleeves, so it should be in past tense since the rest of the story is too.)


    Current: The class pulled out their CompXLs for the test.
    Should it be: The class pulled out their CompXL's for the test.
    Note: CompXL is an alternative name for this example.

    The first version is correct. Some publishers accept apostrophe+s for plurals of acronyms, but this isn't really an acronym, so use the ordinary plural form.


    Thanks!

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW coffeehunter's Avatar
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    Thank you.

  10. #10
    figuring it all out jwhite1979's Avatar
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    "Were to fail" is in the subjunctive mood and therefore correct, as you are discussing a hypothetical situation.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW TellMeAStory's Avatar
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    Yep. Father is in subjunctive territory here. It's "If he were."

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