Does this sentence have a verb?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Syzygys, May 9, 2008.

  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    By verb I mean statement. It does have a verb, but only in the subsentence, and there is no really verb for the mainpart, thus the sentence doesn't state anything.Here is the infamous sentence :

    "China and India, and their emerging demand for oil on the world market, and the fact that they will do what is ever is necessary for the best interest of their economies and countries."

    The sentence is trying to say something about 2 countries, and it has a I think so called subsentence, which is usually add or clarify something, also accidentally a repeat of the word is, but at the end it really does not state anything.

    Somebody expert correct me...
     
  2. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

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    It's a fragment. ie incomplete. It leaves things unstated.
     
  3. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    OK, I will correct it 2 different ways to make it sensible:

    1. China and India, (and their emerging demand for oil on the world market), will do what ever is necessary for the best interest of their economies and countries.

    So I had to cut out a few words, but at least now it makes sense.

    2. China and India, and their emerging demand for oil on the world market, (and the fact that they will do what ever is necessary for the best interest of their economies and countries) will act as a balance.

    Here I had to add a few words including a verb "act". You notice I used () for the subsentence...Man, I had to read it like 5 times while trying to understand what Buffalo was trying to say, and at the end he said nothing.
     
  4. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

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    Well done.

    *pats Sygfzys on teh head*
     
  5. Kadark Banned Banned

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    Let me guess ... Buffalo Roam?
     
  6. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I think the use of emerging qualifies as a "gerund functioning as a verb" in the earlier part of the sentence.

    do is also a verb

    Its not entirely grammatically correct, but its not entirely incorrect either.

    e.g. Emerging from the hotel, I did a piddly in the puddle.
     
  7. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    No, in the instance quoted emerging functions as an adjective, i.e., "an emerging demans"
     
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah I know, its a bit of a stretch I'm making on Buffalos behalf.
     
  9. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    I'm slightly unsure of myself — a situation Grammar Nazis don't like to find themselves in — but I believe your incomplete phrase is really a very large compound subject, a string with two simple subjects and two noun phrases acting as subjects. Those noun phrases are very wordy, and the person who wrote that clause probably lost his train of thought half-way through. Observe the structure of the phrase:

    1. China,
    2. [and] India,
    3. [and] their emerging demand (for oil on the world market),
    4. [and] the fact (that they will do whatever is necessary for the best interest of their economies and countries)
    5. [the rest of the sentence belongs here...]

    1 and 2 are simple subjects. 3 contains a simple subject modified by a possessive pronoun "their" showing it belongs to something else, an adjective "emerging", and a prepositional phrase in parentheses. 4 has a simple sentence modified by an adjective clause describing which fact you're talking about.

    When you talk about "mainpart" and "subsentence", you are probably thinking about subjects and predicates. The subject contains who or what is doing the action in the sentence. The predicate contains everything after it that says something about the subject, including the verb for that action. However, your phrase doesn't have a verb saying what China, India, and everything else are doing, which would be the reason for saying anything at all about them. Read this page for more information. The two noun phrases in your monstrous phrase, within themselves, do contain subjects and predicates. But if you step back, you will see one huge subject that has no predicate and is, therefore, incomplete.

    You might also be talking about dependent and independent clauses. I can pick out one dependent clause, "that they will do whatever is necessary for the best interest of their economies and countries". The "that" makes the clause dependent. If it weren't there, you'd have an independent clause which could be its own sentence.

    The way you describe "subsentence" makes me think of adjective clauses. There's some information about them on this page.

    Here's a list of links. Some of them appeared above, but there are extras which help explain other relevant grammatical topics.

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_clause
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependent_clause
    3. http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/subordinateclause.htm
    4. http://www.arts.uottawa.ca/writcent/hypergrammar/claustyp.html
    5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adverbial_clause
    6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adverbial_phrase
    7. http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/410/grammar/advcls.htm

    It looks like an adjective to me. It's modifying the noun "demand". I can't find any websites that describe what I'm talking about though.

    But since you're trying to help Buffalo here... ;)

    Your example contains what I think is an adverbial clause. Or something like that. We're getting into finer details I hardly ever think about but should.
     
  10. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    :D

    You're right. I was trying to frame a sentence where the -ing would be the verb in the clause but the clause would act as a noun for the rest of the sentence. But I was a dismal failure.
     
  11. Sciencelovah Registered Senior Member

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    I guess that sentence can make sense if that is meant as an answer. Such as in:

    Q: who drive the oil market?
    A: China and India, and their emerging demand for oil on the world market, and the fact that they will do whatever is necessary for the best interest of their economies and countries
     
  12. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, that way it makes sense. Otherwise I think he just got lost in the sentence, because it was too long for him and by the time he reached the end, he forgot the beginning....
     
  13. John99 Banned Banned

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    How could you not understand that? Are you serious?
     
  14. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Because it wasn't posted as an answer?
     
  15. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Oh dear, can I suggest that what you intended to write above should be. ON emerging from the hotel......; otherwise you are saying you piddled on the way out, i.e., while you were emerging, If I remembe correctly, emerging in the way you used it was known as a hanging participle.
     
  16. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

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    Emerging from an hotel ( al la Malcolm Fraser,..pants around ankles)I hung a coupla participles whilst pissing myself..whoops, wrong thread (long dung lump)
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    By "subsentence" I assume you mean "subordinate clause." A subordinate clause is a complete sentence preceded by a subordinating conjunction, in this case "that." If we pull the subordinate clause out of this alleged sentence, we get:
    • China and India, and their emerging demand for oil on the world market, and the fact. . . .
    This leads inexorably to your own conclusion:
    • . . . .and there is no really verb for the main part. . . .
    However, it isn't quite true that
    • . . . . thus the sentence doesn't state anything.
    The alleged sentence includes an assertion that it's a
    • . . . .fact that they will do what is ever is necessary for the best interest of their economies and countries.
    It also asserts that China and India have an
    • . . . .emerging demand for oil on the world market. . . .
    This sentence fragment does indeed contain information.
    Gerunds do not function as verbs in sentences formed in standard English. You can run out the door and breathlessly call out to your husband as it slams shut behind you, "Chasing bear out of yard," and he will understand both your meaning and your reason for curtness as he grabs the shotgun and wonders whether you, the dog or the bear are more in need of protection. But it's still just a sentence fragment. "I am. . . ." is the "understood" part of that sentence, and understood parts are allowable in vernacular speech to the extent that the circumstances fill them in for the listener.
    That is a complete sentence in standard English. It's perfectly allowable to use a gerund to introduce an adverbial phrase. A gerund can serve grammatically as a noun, adjective, adverb, or verbal object of an auxiliary verb, e.g. "I am chasing."

    Yes, the paradigm of "parts of speech" is breaking down in English when the same word can serve as four different parts. We also have new compound words breaking all the old rules of "parts of speech" such as "user-friendly" and "fuel-efficient." Perhaps we can dream that some day English will be as streamlined as Chinese, with only nouns and verbs as parts of speech, and all relics of the Stone Age, such as articles, prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, inflections, gender, number, and tense will be gone.
    Yes, since the previous interrogative sentence provides the "understood" verb for the answer: "China and India (drive the oil market). Nonetheless, the alleged sentence is poorly composed. The subject of the sentence is "China," "India," "demand" and "fact," all connected by "and." "Demand" and "fact" do not logically serve as subjects for "drive the oil market."

    It should be
    • China and India, with their emerging demand for oil on the world market and their intention to do whatever is in the best interest of their countries' economies.
    Anyway you look at it, this is a pretty poor piece of writing. As an editor I'd think twice about retaining this writer on my staff, since there are good writers out there willing to work at home for $25 an hour or less. Editing his writing is almost more work than writing it myself.
     
  18. Sciencelovah Registered Senior Member

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    Wow, thanks, Fraggle :thumbsup:
     
  19. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    You Antipodeans have very small participles. Ask any European woman who has had the misfortune to sleep with an Ozzie !
     
  20. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Based on what I had dinned into me some sixty yeras ago, I suggest that "emerging" refersto an action not yet completed, so that the piddling took place in the hotel. On emerging or having emerged refers to a completed action, so the sentence means that the piddling took place outside the hotel.

    Do tell me if you think I am wrong because I can be unwittingly pedantic.
     

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