1. Hwaigon
    Offline

    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Second to the right, and straight on till morning.

    Endeavor/effort + preposition

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Hwaigon, Jun 7, 2015.

    Which of these sentences does seem more correct to you?

    "Despite an effort to restore itself, the order was labeled the enemy of the state and was prohibited."
    "Despite the restoration endeavors, the order was labeled..."

    I've done some research and the words "effort" and "endeavor" never go in prepositional phrase, so
    I've found no preposition the can go with in this context.
     
  2. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,904
    Likes Received:
    10,090
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    They're both perfectly fine. The first sounds a little more idiomatically "workaday" than the second, but in both you are creating a noun phrase that serves the purpose.

    You mention that these terms are not permitted in propositional phrases, as evinced through a bit of research. Never mind what you know to be correct syntax or logic of words in English - throw that out the door for a second - and show me how you would have phrased this in your native language.
     
  3. Hwaigon
    Offline

    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Second to the right, and straight on till morning.
    Thank you for a timely response :)
    I do take the evidence into account because it is the only reliable "crutch" I have. Being a non-native, my grammar-accuracy-instinct
    may be wrong, as befogged by my native language. So, it follows that many times both alternatives seem perfectly ok with me, but a native may see the difference I can not. Speaking of which, in my native language (Czech), the first alternative is as correct as it is formal.
    The second would sound outlandish, 'cos we Czechs don't mind getting a bit verbose even on the formal level. That is, we have far less noun phrases, our language being mostly inflectional.
     
  4. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,904
    Likes Received:
    10,090
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    No, no. I'm not questioning your conclusion or how you came to it. I'm just curious to see how this would be in Czech, compared to English. My Czech is rusty, but my Russian is good and the syntax for the two is very similar. I was just curious to see where your sentence started in your Czech-thinking mind and how you come to the English conclusion, which again, both choices you gave are perfectly fine. It's your mention of prepositional phrasing that's drawing curiosity out of the linguist in me. :) Spanish (my other native language) also allows only a very limited use of stacked noun phrases (the second choice), so... again, just me being the insufferable nerdy linguist. :-D
     
  5. Hwaigon
    Offline

    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Second to the right, and straight on till morning.
    I got lost a bit. Maybe what I thought was whether I could somehow start with the words "effort" and "endeavor" and
    then, what preposition to use.

    Those are both noun phrases, right? My concern was whether I can use the words "effort" and "endeavor" in
    the noun phrase at the beginning of the sentence. 'Cos the examples I found were always like this:

    "He achieved the result with a great endeavor."
    "They put a lot of effort in the project."

    Here, the words function as the object, right?
    My concern was, if I use them in a noun phrase, then what preposition use then? You see, this sometimes differs from the object
    use of a preposition. Kind of a shadowy region in English, isn't it.

    In Czech, you could start with the conjunction "despite" -> "i přes" and then basically translate the consecutive parts of the
    sentence, even the infinitive construction.
     
  6. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,904
    Likes Received:
    10,090
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    The first would be in the instrumental case and the second in the genitive, and yes, I can see how Slavic languages would not go at these statements in this same way at all. ;)
     
  7. Hwaigon
    Offline

    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Second to the right, and straight on till morning.
    I don't know if I answered your question clearly; it's a tricky thing with translating. Sometimes you have to backtrack far
    back to start from a different standpoint, as opposed to the original text. The Czech sentences sometimes start with an object, the
    sentence being in the active voice but for the English text to sound natural you have to use the passive. There are many more such abstruse inaccuracies it's sometimes difficult to pinpoint them. I have to admit that my general linguistic knowledge should be about as ten times
    better than it is now to fully grasp these concepts. Maybe it would render me a better writer, although I can't complain.
    It's just you've put a finger on something I have a hard time explaining.

    For instance, in Czech we say not "washing machine" but "machine for washing".
    That said, we DO say "washing powder".
     
  8. Hwaigon
    Offline

    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Second to the right, and straight on till morning.
    On the contrary, it seems to me Czech is versatile like shit and both of those statements would make perfect sense in Czech - in this
    particular context. In the second sentence, the object would stand at the end of the sentence.
     
  9. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    They're both fine, but I find that if I can eliminate articles and pronouns, I try to. So I'd go with:

    "Despite (adjective: many, countless, intricate, etc.) restoration endeavors ... "
     
  10. Hwaigon
    Offline

    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Second to the right, and straight on till morning.
    True. Articles are tricky in this regard. Most of the time, I get them right but in this instance, I did question my use of "the".
    I thought maybe with no article it sounded better and now that I think of it, it does. :)
     
  11. Hwaigon
    Offline

    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Second to the right, and straight on till morning.
    @Wreybies

    I'd be interested in your take on my blog post here on translating into a foreign language. You might find it interesting from the (socio)linguistic point of view.
     

Share This Page