[Grammar] The manual instruction of surfscan machine

jerry185

New Member
Chinese
Hello, everyone. I really can't figure out whether the grammar is correct or not.

Please see the quote below.

"You can specify that whenever a job starts a dialog box is displayed prompting you to enter a Job ID."

Question 1: Why do "starts" and "is" appear together?

Question 2: Why does this sentence need to add "to" in "...prompting you to enter a job ID."?


Thank you for your help.
 

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  • pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think that sentence needs a comma:

    "whenever a job starts, a dialog box is displayed . . ."

    The box prompts you. What does it prompt you to do? It prompts you to enter an ID.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Hello Jerry, welcome to the forum. :)
    Question 1: Why do "starts" and "is" appear together?
    Because here the word "starts" is used as a verb not a plural noun. "is" is the verb of the time when "a job starts a dialog box"
    Question 2: Why does this sentence need to add "to" in "...prompting you to enter a job ID."?
    Because it's idiomatic and you should memorize that construction.
    This is the construction:

    prompt somebody + to do + something

    For example: What prompted you to buy that suit?


     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    "Starts" is a verb, SB, but it's not transitive here; the job is simply beginning, not starting something else. "A dialog box" is not an object but the subject of the passive "is displayed".
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Question 1: Why do "starts" and "is" appear together?
    They don't appear together, there are three other words inbetween. :) More than that, they belong to different parts of the sentence.

    The original text is misleadingly punctuated. The job does not "start a dialog box". The analysis is "You can specify that whenever a job starts, something should happen". As POB points out, adding a comma after "starts" would help us to understand better what is being said. What can you specify should happen whenever a job starts? That a dialog box is displayed.
     

    jerry185

    New Member
    Chinese
    Hi Edinburgher,

    I am glad to receive your clear description.

    Finally, the unclear punctuation was too easy to mislead me.

    p.s. May I know what the "POB" is?

    Thanks for your help.
     

    jerry185

    New Member
    Chinese
    Hi, everyone:

    Sorry for my bad comprehension and poor English at first. I really didn't notice that the sentence lost some punctuation.

    Finally, I understood. Thanks for all of your clear responses. I hope I can keep learning from you at this forum every day.:)
     
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