a week in Thailand <learning, to learn, for learning> the local cooking

whitestone

New Member
hong kong -cantonese
Hi, which of the following sentence structures is/are grammatically feasible?

1. They spend a week in Thailand learning the local cooking style.
2. They spend a week in Thailand to learn the local cooking style.
3. They spend a week in Thailand for learning the local cooking style.
4. They spend a week in Thailand, learning the local cooking style.

Thanks!
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Welcome to the forum, whitestone!

    We need you to tell us which sentence 0r sentences you think is/are correct. Once we know your thinking, we can provide more helpful guidance.
     

    whitestone

    New Member
    hong kong -cantonese
    Actually, to me, I guess all of them can be acceptable.

    Though 1. is less likely to be correct because " learning the local cook style" is immediately following the object " week", which is not the one the author trying to describe, 4. should be fine as a comma"," separates the 2 sentences and make the adj. phrase directly mentioning the object " they".

    The only discrepancy in 3. and 4. is whether we use "to" or "for" . Either one can constitute a right adverbial phrase to state the purpose of the couple visiting to Thailand.

    I can't really distinguish the difference between them or the reason "why/why not " if there is an existence of difference .

    Please help, thanks.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    1. They spend a week in Thailand learning the local cooking style.
    2. They spend a week in Thailand to learn the local cooking style.
    Both of these are correct. There may be some nuance of meaning, but it is slight.
    (2) is more purposeful. Their specific reason for going to Thailand is to learn the local cooking style. (1) may simply be tellng us what they do while in Thailand.

    3. They spend a week in Thailand for learning the local cooking style.:thumbsdown:

    4. They spend a week in Thailand, learning the local cooking style.
    Correct, and similar to (1). The difference is that their learning the local cooking style is incidental to their visit - not the purpose of the visit.
     

    whitestone

    New Member
    hong kong -cantonese
    Hi panjandrum and Englishmypassion,

    Sentence 3. is wrong because we shouldn't use "for" to state a purpose or intention?

    What about, " The couple has learnt to cook in Thai style for spending a week in Thailand"
    or " The course the couple has taken is for learning to cook in Thai style."
    or " The course the couple has taken to learn to cook in Thai style is marvelous."

    Something off-topic, should I say " the stay of the couple" or " the stay of the couple's" in Thailand is fantastic. Thanks.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think sentence 4, with a comma, follows more traditional grammar, while sentence 1 is more modern English. Am I right, @panjandrum?
    I don't believe so.
    I understand (1) to indicate that their intention in going to Thailand is to learn Thai cooking. There is no comma, so the part of the sentence about learning Thai cooking is an essential part of the information being conveyed.
    With (4), the comma suggests that what follows is not an essential part of the sentence, it is supplementary information. The important part of the sentence is that they spend a week in Thailand. While they are there, they learn Thai cooking.

    This distinction is very similar to the use of punctuation to distinguish between essential (restrictive) and non-essential (descriptive) relative clauses.
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Sentence 3. is wrong because we shouldn't use "for" to state a purpose or intention?
    I think you have it right: "for" is used to state a purpose or intention. But the clause after "spend a week in Thailand" should describe the activity that took up the week of time - that is what "spend a week" is used for. If the goal were to give the purpose or intention of the people spending the week, the sentence would be different. It might look like this:

    They used their one week of vacation for a course in Thai cooking.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    I don't believe so.
    I understand (1) to indicate that their intention in going to Thailand is to learn Thai cooking. There is no comma, so the part of the sentence about learning Thai cooking is an essential part of the information being conveyed.
    With (4), the comma suggests that what follows is not an essential part of the sentence, it is supplementary information. The important part of the sentence is that they spend a week in Thailand. While they are there, they learn Thai cooking.

    This distinction is very similar to the use of punctuation to distinguish between essential (restrictive) and non-essential (descriptive) relative clauses.
    Oh, I see, panjandrum. Great answer:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:. I am very happy:):):) to have learnt this. You really made my day. Thank you very much.
     
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