as big as i thought it might of been...

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by tchev, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. tchev

    tchev Senior Member

    Dublin, Ireland
    France, French
    (talking about a motorbike show) wasnt as big as i thought it might of been... but the models sat on the bikes were nice!

    I understand the idea but it looks very awkward to me (both parts of the sentence sound weird) so my question is... is this correct english? (I've received this from a native englishman)

    Thanks!
     
  2. mnzrob Senior Member

    Denver, Colorado USA
    Chicago English and German
    No, it's not completely correct.
    The show wasn't as big as I thought it might have been (or: wasn't as big as I thought it was going to be - sounds better), but the models sitting on the bikes were nice!/but the models who sat on the bikes were nice!
     
  3. charlie2 Senior Member

    I am not a native Englishman.
    I think "might of been" should read "might have been" but when they are spoken, they would sound similar.
    And "sat" should be "sitting" to be grammatically correct.
    As amended, the sentence sounds fine to me.
    Edit : I was one minute late.
     
  4. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    france
    it contains the modern spelling mistake that i hate most, the 'of' instead of 'have'. if anybody can explain to me why so many english speakers write that way, i'd be grateful.


    not as big as i thought it might have been

    as for 'sat' instead of 'sitting', i've only heard it in the mouth of my northern britt friends so far, but it needs confirmation.
     
  5. mnzrob Senior Member

    Denver, Colorado USA
    Chicago English and German
    People write that way, because, as charlie said, when it's spoken they sound similar. People usually say "would've" (might've, etc.) when speaking, which sounds like "would of". Basically it's a lack of education, or a lack of attention to detail...people write the way that they speak.
     
  6. charlie2 Senior Member

    This is exactly my understanding, Mnzrob.
     
  7. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    france
    still, it's always been pronounced the same way, yet it's only recently that i've seen it spelt that way. so it corroborates my general 'dumbing down' idea.

    <sad sigh>
     
  8. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    "the models sat on the bikes".. that's correct right? sat = past participle acting as an adjective?

    les x assis sur les y etaient.. there is nothing wrong with that from a grammatical point of view surely?
     
  9. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    Thank you. I had never seen "spelt" spelled that way.:)
     
  10. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    france
    rofl !!!!!!! my mistake !! :)
     
  11. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    france
    and no. not a mistake. after consultation of a conjugator it appears this form exists. phew !!! ;););)
     
  12. tchev

    tchev Senior Member

    Dublin, Ireland
    France, French
    to spell, spelt, spelt... what's wrong with this ?
     
  13. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    There is nothing wrong. It's only that I didn't know it could be spelled that way.
     
  14. charlie2 Senior Member

    In French I am just a kid, Benji. :p In English it is the present participle acting as an adjective which should be used here. I don't want to run away like this, but don't ask me why.
    (One of these days, I will start a thread on the use of gerondif, participe present and participe passe in French.)
     
  15. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    ha! not good enough charlie boy ;) see if you can find an answer i'd be interested to know why because to my ear it sounds ok. in the meantime i will have a poke round and see what i can find :)
     
  16. pen Senior Member

    Maryland,USA
    Honduras/Spanish
    You are always right! it is correct.
    :)
    pen
     
  17. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    That's right Fetchez, pronunciation has not changed; I have an explanation to offer that differs slightly from yours.

    Because of the increasing popularity of the Internet, more and more people (or classes of people) get to express themselves in writing, wheras before they'd mainly use their language in its spoken form.

    In the past, the only people whose writings were made available for all to read - in books and newspapers - were at least reasonably educated writers, and whenever they made spelling mistakes they did so unbeknownst to readers since paid professional proof-readers would correct their work.

    Those days are over and just about anybody has the possibility to become a public writer. Near-illiterates can have their own webpage.

    What has not changed is that the educated minority still reigns, eager to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    My personal preferences go to wholemeal bread.:)
     
  18. charlie2 Senior Member

    Don't charlie boy me, please! :p I hate it when people say that. I promise I will try to find the answers, but homework first.
     
  19. cat_dwo New Member

    canada- english and french
    I don't know if people are still reading this thread but I'd like to propose a new perspective to consider regarding the changes in language. In my opinion (and in the opinion of many linguists) languages do not evolve or devolve, they are just in a constant state of change; therefore, there actually is no "correct" or "incorrect" way of speaking. Basically the rule of thumb, in my mind, is that if is accepted by native speakers then it's okay! I think it's fascinating to see the variation in language in the many parts of the world. What a neat discussion!
    Cat (British Columbia, Canada)
     
  20. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    I think I'll change my signature! :thumbsup:
     
  21. charlie2 Senior Member

    Does it mean it is no longer worth the effort to find out whether we should say "the models sitting" on the cars or "the models sat" on the cars? Not that I have started anything on this.
     
  22. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Hi Charlie, :)
    my view is that it is worth the effort for those of us who think it is.
    I'm afraid we're getting onto one of our dreaded "cultural issues"...;)
     
  23. fetchezlavache

    fetchezlavache Senior Member

    metz, france
    france
    thanks egueule for your views. they are not really far from mine, if i extrapolate them a little bit !!!! ;)

    i'm not sure that 'sat' on the bikes is correct. can someone explain it to me ? because in that case 'sat' would be an adjective ? or a what ?
     
  24. cat_dwo New Member

    canada- english and french
    I think 'sat' is explained in a preceeding comment as being something that they say in Northern UK (although I personally wouldn't say it). And to answer the question do I think that it's worth even trying to understand the differences betweent "sat" or "sitting" or "would of" (would've) or "would have," well I think that formal written communication is by necessity more standardised than oral communication so yes I would have to agree that knowing which form is "correct" for written production is important. Another reality to take into consideration is that whether we like it or not, people in general form jugements based on how "well" we speak, so in order to succeed you need to be able to... well... sound smart, I guess.

    What do you guys think?

    Cat.
     
  25. tchev

    tchev Senior Member

    Dublin, Ireland
    France, French
    Just to bring some water to your mill, I'd like to add that I got this sentence from a guy who is quite intelligent, very good at logic and maths, but very bad at spelling and grammar. He definitely writes as he speaks, and I have quite some difficulties to understand him when he speaks or writes. And he is from northern England (not northern UK).
     
  26. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
    The models sitting with you were sat there by Benjy...:)
     
  27. charlie2 Senior Member

    Que je suis bete! J'aurais pu y penser plus tot! Elles n'etaient pas belles du tout!
    Plaisanterie a part, (enough demonstration of my french), let's go to the sitting/ sat point which I have promised Benji. I will have to use some boring terminology. So pardon me.
    We are dealing with a creature called participial phrases. (The grammarians will tell you a whole bunch of more terms like sentence line, etc. in this regard. However, I am not a grammarian.)
    Type A Where the present participles are used. (+ing form)
    You look for what is "the underlying sentence" every time.
    e.g.1 The students taking the French exam look nervous.
    The underlying sentence ?
    The students are taking the French exam.
    e.g.2 Do you see the girl crying all by herself?
    The underlying sentence ?
    The girl is crying all by herself.
    Type B Where the past participles are used. ( + en/ ed, etc. form)
    Again you do the same exercise.
    e.g.1 Museum Miho designed by Mr. I. M. Pei is extraordinary.
    The underlying sentence?
    Museum Miho was designed by Mr. I.M. Pei.
    e.g.2 The record collection stored in the attic is precious.
    The underlying sentence?
    The record collection is stored in the attics.
    Now you might ask, what are you trying to say, Charlie (boy)? ;)
    In one sentence, Type A is active participle and Type B passive, voila!
    Going back to our little problem with the models, they certainly sat there actively! The underlying sentence? The models (beautiful or not) were sitting there for you to see.
    That ends my little report. I am not ready :p , but you can still "bring it on".
     
  28. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    hmm thanks for the in depth reply! i guess they were sat on the bench seems wrong to you as well? ;)
     
  29. RODGER

    RODGER Senior Member

    France
    UK ENGLISH
    A favourite "northernism" of mine "and there she was, sat sitting there !" As for "sat" vs
    "sitting", for me "sat" is the past tense of a transitive verb "I sat her down on the bike" after this "she was sitting on the bike"

    Rodger
     
  30. charlie2 Senior Member

    In that case, we have to go to a different point.
    Examples:
    1.Having been sat on the cars, the models are now sitting there.
    2.The models being sat on the cars are now (naturally) sitting there, that is to say, if they wanted to get paid.

    What is your point, Charlie?

    The new element here is the verb "to be" ("been" in the first example and "being" in the second one.)

    Anything else?
     
  31. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    ahh but you see this is what i am saying. im my mind the models were sat on the bikes == the models were sitting on the bikes (ie doesn't imply that they were sat there by someones else) which the more i think about it is probably incorrect english lol.
     
  32. charlie2 Senior Member

    Now, Benji, you know what to do when I ask about gerondif, etc. in French later non? ;)
     

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