1. yokone
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    yokone Member

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    Confusion of joining two sentences

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by yokone, Dec 29, 2010.

    Hi everybody...

    I was writing an email and I was confused with joining three sentences... Actually I did but I couldn't be sure if it was grammaticaly corect...

    Ex:

    If you can find any book about renaissance or have any idea about it and send me an email, I ll be happy...

    That's not the exact sentence, but it is grammaticaly same...

    I used Can in the first sentence. After then I joined this sentence with two independent sentences...

    If I write the other sentences without joining to the first one. They are like;

    If you have any idea about it. AND If you send me an email.

    My question is if the other independent two sentences include the "CAN" in the first sentence grammatically and semantically.

    As grammatical and semantic, are the sentences "if you can have any idea about it" and "if you can send me an email" or "if you have any idea about it" and "if you send me an email"?

    2) I hope I explained my question well :)... If there is a better way to ask this question and you explain me how, I ll appreciate... :)

    Thank you...
     
  2. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    You haven't really joined sentences together. The independent bit is "I'll be happy." The rest is subordinated by the "if". "If you have any idea about it" isn't a complete sentence, is it? And neither is "If you send me an email." Neither is "If you can find any book about renaissance." They are all clauses, so (by the definition of clause) they all have their own verb phrases: "have", "send" and "can find". The "can" just applies to the clause it's in.

    Generally the way you've put them together is not too bad. It should be "the renaissance", it's not clear whether "if you send me an email" relates just to "have any idea about it" or whether it also relates to "If you can find any book about the renaissance". And perhaps you should use "could" rather than "can". "Perhaps" because the English subjunctive is dying out.
     
  3. Villalobos
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    Villalobos New Member

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    Well, I dunno... the sentences looks correct to me. No grammatical mistakes there
     
  4. Villalobos
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    Villalobos New Member

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    Sentence, sorry.
     
  5. yokone
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    yokone Member

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    I tried to relate the clause of "if you send me an email" to the previous two clauses. I mean

    If you send me an email if you can find any book about the renaissance and/or have any idea about it , I ll be happy.

    BUT I did not want to use two if clauses that's why I tried to join the "if you send me an email" by the way I did in the first message. BUT Isn't it understandable that the meaning of the clause is that "If you send me an email if you have any idea about it and can find any book about it, I ll be happy."?


    Couldn't we use "can" only one time?

    Ex:

    If you can learn what our homework is for today and call me, I ll appreciate.

    Is the sentence above enough to give to the readers that the meaning of the clause is that "If you can learn what our homework is for today and if you can call me"? OR

    Do I have to write the clause by using TWO CANs as you said?

    If you CAN learn what our homework is for today and CAN call me, I ll appreciate.

    Also is that understandable that the meaning of the clause is that "if you can learn what our homework is for today and can call me TO INFORM ME ABOUT THE HOMEWORK" . Is the clause above (If you CAN learn what our homework is for today and CAN call me, I ll appreciate.) enough grammatically and semantically to give this meaning OR do I have to indicate that I wait for his call to be informed about the homework.

    Thank you all ...
     
  6. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    digtig has answered the central point very well: in the above sentence can does not apply to the have any idea bit or the send me an email bit.

    You seem now to be saying that you want can to apply them - that you think it desirable or necessary that it applies to them. It is not necessary or desirable.

    Can you do something? means, in other words, Are you able to do something?

    It is not appropriate, if you seek a meaningful response, to ask somebody: can you have an idea about the Renaissance? because the answer to that question is always yes whether you are asking a professor or a five year old.

    Better, more appropriate to ask: have you any ideas about the Renaissance?

    Can you send me an email is entirely acceptable in informal communication - but if you are dealing with a waggish, pedantic fellow he might respond not with the expected email but with the answer 'yes, I am able to send you an email - so here, too, can is not always the best option.

    I would be reluctant to apply can to the find any book bit, too.
     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, you can join them that way. Because it's an "If" at the beginning it should really be "I'd appreciate" rather than "I'll appreciate", and appreciate needs an object, so you'd appreciate it. To make it more idiomatic I'd write "If you could find out what our homework is for today and call me, I'd appreciate it." "Could" then applies to "find out" and to "call", as you say.
    If you were writing a computer program you would have to spell it out. Unless you are writing to somebody unusually dim, I think you can expect a human to work it out for themselves. Even if they don't, you can raise the matter when they call, can't you?
     
  8. yokone
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    yokone Member

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    Roger that thanks alot.
     

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