How are the family you lived with in Canada last year doing?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by loureed4, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. loureed4 Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    Hello,

    I woke up today with this question, it may be too silly but I can´t figure it out:

    1. How are THEY doing?
    2. How are THE FAMILY YOU LIVED WITH IN CANADA LAST YEAR doing? . This one sounds very awkward to me.

    Could I rephrase it like: "How are they doing, the family you lived with in Canada last year?"

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    You could also use: "Remember that family you lived with in Canada last year -- how are they doing?" :D

    Seriously, I understand your concern, but when you actually say #2 in conversation it sounds fine. I believe your rephrasing would sound awkward to most native English speakers.
     
  3. loureed4 Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    Thanks Copyright for replying!

    Your suggestion sounds perfect!, "Remember the family ..."

    In fact, my concern is a bit more than that, for instance:

    "How did THE ACCIDENT YOU SAW LAST NIGHT WHILE WITH JANE IN THAT PARTY happened"?. I mean, I could make that sentence as long as I wanted I guess, and that is my concern, if that sentence between "did" and the verb, can be very long, or, in such cases, you make the sentences in other ways.

    According to your previous suggestion, I suppose I could have said: "Remember the accident you saw while you were with Jane in the party, how did it happen?".

    But my concern remains, I mean, I really would love to know how you make such long questions?

    Thanks again Copyright!
     
  4. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    I was sort of joking with the "Remember" version, but you can easily start these questions with "You know ..."

    You know the family you lived with in Canada last year ... how are they?
    You know the accident you and Jane saw at the party last night ... how did that happen?
     
  5. loureed4 Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    I see. Thanks again! :)

    Is that the way you make such long questions then, not by making an only question, but in this manner? ...I see.

    I have to study this a bit deeper, although it sounds not difficult.
     
  6. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Well, it's the way I would probably phrase it. The "You know" is just a way of setting the stage, letting the person know what the subject is that you're going to talk about ... and then you ask the question.

    If the event is some time in the past, you can use "You remember," as well.

    Of course, there's the straightforward approach:

    The family you lived with in Canada last year ... how are they?
    You lived with a family in Canada last year ... I was wondering how they are?

    The accident you and Jane saw at the party last night ... what happened?
    You and Jane saw an accident last night at the party ... what happened?
     
  7. loureed4 Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    Yes, I understand your approach Copyright, really, it is just that I thought you made long questions in an only sentence.

    :)

    THANKS A LOT!
     
  8. WIgirl New Member

    Wisconsin - US
    English - American
    Not silly at all! Family is a group noun which can be used with either a singular or plural verb. In American English, singular verbs are generally used with group nouns. How is the family you lived with in Canada last year doing? This doesn't sound awkward to me and it's grammatically correct.

    Another example of a group noun is team. How are the team you played with last year doing? OR How is the team you played with last year doing? Which one sounds better to you?

    The reply, of course, requires the use a plural verb. They are doing very well.

    The rephrase seems contrived, like you are trying really hard to be grammatically correct. As Copyright replied, it would sound awkward to most native English speakers.
     
  9. loureed4 Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    Thanks a lot WIgirl.

    Your explanations is quite enlightening!!

    I have to say that my concern was about long questions separated between the auxiliary "would, did, do..." and the verb, for instance:

    Why did the girl you and other of your friends talked to last night in Annie´s party rush?

    I am probably very clumsy explaining myself. :eek:

    Again: Thanks a lot for your assistance!
     

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