I am slowly becoming that I need to cooperate with others.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by stevenst, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. stevenst

    stevenst Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    << I am slowly becoming that I need to cooperate with others. >>

    Hi all,
    I came across this sentence today. It was said by a non-native speaker.
    I'm not sure if the sentence is grammatically correct or logical. Another non-native speaker even said "become+clause" is good usage in English. I doubt its validity and need native speakers to clarify the matter because I can hardly find related subjects once discussed on the Internet.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    << Please put your subject sentence in your post. >>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2012
  2. heypresto

    heypresto Senior Member

    South East England
    English - England
    I think the writer or speaker meant to say 'I am slowly becoming aware that I need to cooperate with others'. If the sentence was written or printed, it was probably just a typo.
     
  3. stevenst

    stevenst Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Thanks for your help, heypresto.
    Does that mean the usage "become + that clause" is definitely impossible in English?
     
  4. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    It is not impossible, but it is awkward. It is not something a native speaker would normally say if they have time to think about it. A native speaker might say it when struggling to express an idea.
     
  5. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I guess you're referring to the title of the thread; the sentence doesn't actually appear in your message.

    Where did you see this sentence? Are you sure you copied it correctly? If you are, then I think it's obvious that the writer omitted the word "aware" by mistake.
     
  6. Tazzler Senior Member

    Maryland
    American English
    Not just awkward, but senseless. Since "become" takes a noun or an adjective, a person after saying "become" will try to retrieve a noun or adjective from his mind. I don't think a sober person with no trauma would say "I become that" to express an idea within in their head.
     
  7. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    The question was whether it was 'definitely impossible'. Could a native speaker ever come out with this?
    According to stevenst, this did in fact happen.

    This is a different question from whether it is correct. When speaking on the spur of the moment, people may easily start one sentence, readjust their thought and carry on with a different structure.

    The original post could well be an example of that.

    Would you say native speakers never utter anything but strict grammatical English?
     
  8. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 73)
    UK English
    We are talking about something that was not said by a native speaker.
    The question was dealt with in post #2 and post #6.
     
  9. Tazzler Senior Member

    Maryland
    American English
    Maybe stevenst edited his/her post but s/he says that a non-native speaker produced the sentence? I just find "awkward" to be an understatement. And the definition of "possible" I go by here is "correct" (i.e. would a native ever knowingly write or say this?).
     
  10. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    For purposes of language discussion, I believe we should draw a distinct line between 'possible' and 'correct'.

    I would also maintain a distinct difference between 'what is correct' and 'what a native speaker would knowingly write or say' (otherwise, native speakers would acquire the superhuman privilege that as long as they know what they are saying, they cannot make a mistake).
     
  11. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    True. However:
    I still understand this to be the meaning of the original question, even though I did misread the statement about who said it.

    My impression is that the topic-sentence did not arise by accidental omission of 'aware', but in the belief that the sentence as given was correct.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  12. Tazzler Senior Member

    Maryland
    American English
    Oh, I've come to use "correct" here in the sense of descriptive grammar, not prescriptive grammar, so I agree that that distinction should be made (and that "correct" should refer to descriptive grammar unless otherwise defined). That's how I use "possible" too because why ask or say if something is possible if everything is possible? What's the point in that? I just felt that some meaning can usually be teased out of awkward constructions, but with "become that" there is none.
     
  13. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I would like to ask again: What is your source for this sentence? Please provide a link if possible.
     
  14. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    My impression is that the original poster understood the sentence
    'I am slowly becoming that I need to cooperate with others' as meaning:
    'I am slowly becoming a person such that I need to cooperate with others'.
     
  15. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I've heard native speakers say things like I am slowly becoming such that I need to cooperate with others.
     
  16. stevenst

    stevenst Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Sorry, when I read this post again today, I found that I still have some problems.

    'I am slowly becoming a person such that I need to cooperate with others' --> Is this a grammatically correct sentence? What does "such that" mean here?

    Is this a grammatically correct sentence?
     
  17. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    It is grammatically correct. It means the same as:
    'I am slowly becoming such a person that I need to cooperate with others'
    'Such' means 'of that kind', or 'of that type': in other words, 'a person of the kind that would need to cooperate'.
     
  18. stevenst

    stevenst Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Thanks for your clarification.
    Can I say that "such" is the abbreviation of "of that kind/type" ?
    Eg. Flower such is my favorite.
    People such are easy to get along with.
     
  19. heypresto

    heypresto Senior Member

    South East England
    English - England
    I'm afraid it's not that easy. :eek:

    To use 'such' in these examples, you would say 'Such flowers are my favourites', (I'm not sure I can explain why 'flowers' and 'favourites' have to be plural), and 'Such people are easy to get along with'.
     
  20. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    They don't have to be, HP. One can say Such a flower is my favourite.
     
  21. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    'Such' is equivalent semantically to 'of that kind', but not syntactically.

    It conveys the same idea, but its role in the structure of the sentence is different.

    'Such a person is easy to get along with' means the same as 'A person of that kind is easy to get along with'.
     
  22. heypresto

    heypresto Senior Member

    South East England
    English - England
    I wrote that at first, then thought it sounded unnatural. I couldn't convince myself that it was OK. But I'm now having third thoughts . . .
     
  23. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    It sounds odd to me too, but not more so than the plural form, I think.
     
  24. stevenst

    stevenst Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    I am slowly becoming a person such that I need to cooperate with others. -->

    Why is the sentence above acceptable (a person such) while it doesn't sound good to say "a flower such"

    ? How do I know when I can use "noun+ such" and when I can't?
     
  25. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    You could say 'Buddleia globosa is a flower such that you do not see every day'.
    This means 'Buddleia globosa is a flower of a kind that you do not see every day'.
    Read good authors and copy their style.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  26. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    The difficulty with this is really that 'such a flower' is a generic expression, whereas a favourite must be a particular one.

    'Such a flower could be my favourite' works, because it does not create the same conflict of generic and particular (the favourite has not yet been chosen: but a group has been identified from which it could come).
     
  27. stevenst

    stevenst Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Sam is a person such that I like to talk to.
    Cats, dogs are animals such that I see every day on the street.
    I made up these two sentences. Are they correct?
     
  28. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    Yes, they are (except that it should really be 'cats and dogs').
     
  29. stevenst

    stevenst Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Can "that" in these sentences actually be omitted in less formal context?

    Thanks for your clear explanation, I think I have understood when I can use "noun+ such".:)
     
  30. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    No. However, it can be replaced by 'as'.
     
  31. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 73)
    UK English
    Sam is a person such (that) I like to talk to.
    Cats and dogs are animals such (that) I see every day on the street.

    I would not expect a native speaker to use such in these sentences.
     
  32. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    I hope you do not mean that 'such that' (or 'such as') is incorrect in these cases. It is perfectly good English.
    Granted, in ordinary speech, people would normally use the shorter alternatives you have provided.

    Unfortunately, the shorter sentences do not illustrate the workings of the word 'such', which was the reason for these examples. They demonstrate that stevenst has correctly understood how to use 'such'.
     

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