1. helpme
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    helpme New Member

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    Is this sentence grammatically correct?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by helpme, Feb 6, 2010.

    Well she didn't and she was most likely taken by force, which is known as kidnapping and now my task it to physically harm her, which is also known as child abuse.

    thanks
     
  2. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    How about writing it like this. These two sentences are correct.

    Well, she did not. They most likely kidnapped her, and now I am going to harm her.
     
  3. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    Without reconstructing the sentence, this is how I would correct it:

    Well she didn't, and she was most likely taken by force, which is known as kidnapping, and now my task is to physically harm her – which is known as child abuse.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It lacks necessary punctuation, and there is a misspelled word (is spelled as it). But even if you correct those problems, it's an atrocious sentence because it tries to do too much.
     
  5. cboatsman
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    cboatsman Senior Member

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    As Cogito said, you are trying to do too much with one sentence.

    I suggest you do some basic research through google. A few good search terms to get you started would be:

    english grammar basics
    english grammar rules
    english common grammar mistakes
    english basic sentence structure
    english punctuation


    Good luck, and best wishes.

    Caleb
     
  6. Samomo
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    Samomo Member

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    ^Ouch. That was laying it a bit too thick.

    My suggestion is to split up the sentence into two. End at kidnapping and start a new sentence.

    "...which is kidnapping. Now I'm going to harm her..."
     
  7. cboatsman
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    cboatsman Senior Member

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    My intentions were not to offend anyone. I apologize.

    I actually had wrote a fairly long reply explaining what errors I found in the sentence, how to fix them, and why the sentence would then be more effective. However, considering two members had already taken the time to rewrite the sentence for him it would have only been redundant for me to do so without providing further assistance past this forum.

    I've always believed that for someone to help you, you must first help yourself, and most of the examples I was going to give to helpme could be found with a simple five minute google search.

    I hope that explains my reply a bit better. It was never intended to be a dig or insult.

    Caleb
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    listen to cog!

    it's a terrible sentence to begin with... overwordy, badly structured, some of it makes no sense... needs a total rewrite... i can't help you with suggestions as to how, since it's about violence... and worse yet, against a child...
     
  9. Humour Whiffet
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    Humour Whiffet Banned

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    Other issues aside, why is it felt the sentence is trying to do too much? It seems quite simple: she was taken by force, and his task is to harm her.
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    As people say, there is too much going on to make this one coherent sentence.

    Well she didn't =
    Idea 1.
    Here you are replying to something--someone's idea, something someone has said, maybe--in a conversational manner.

    and she was most likely taken by force, which is known as kidnapping =
    Idea 2.
    You're giving the meaning of a word; again, this writing style indicates dialogue, or internal dialogue, although it's not clear because you don't use speech marks.

    and now my task it to physically harm her, which is also known as child abuse. =
    Idea 3.
    Another definition.

    That's a loose, conversational style of writing, with two definitions bound together in one sentence.

    The sentence would be helped by using the correct punctuation and splitting into two, as other posters have shown you.

    It is only simple to YOU because you know what this is coming from and leading to. We don't. Who is 'he' and 'she'? What do you mean, 'task'? Why would anyone see harming a child as a 'task'? This ambiguity in itself makes the sentence hard to understand.

    Without more background, it's a chatty, random fragment containing two definitions.
     
  11. Humour Whiffet
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    Humour Whiffet Banned

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    But surely the writer intended it to be chatty and ambiguous? It needs the punctuaction, agreed, but all the thoughts seem closely related enough to warrant one sentence. I think this just comes down to style: to split or not to split. Either way seems to work here. In fact, because it appears to be an internal monologue, a rambling feel seems ideal. The use of the the "which clauses" in the same sentence balances it, too.
     
  12. penhobby
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    penhobby Contributing Member

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    It is hard to make an informed decision on this sentence without seeing the whole paragraph, but as it stands, I would put the the book down upon reading this sentence. There is no definitive impact. I am not certain what you are really trying to say. The sentence as a whole is senseless to me. There is power in the written word, and there is nothing powerful or even insightful about this sentence. Like I stated though, I am only reading a small portion of the whole. A couple questions, what EXACTLY are you trying to say? How would you say it in real life, if you were speaking face to face with someone? Stop and consider that last question. Read it aloud to yourself and if you wouldn't use the sentence in a conversation, then it has no place in your writing either. Hope this helped.
     
  13. Humour Whiffet
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    Humour Whiffet Banned

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    Don’t you just love it when you type out an answer and then accidently press the “back button” and lose it!

    Now that I am home from work, I have re-read the sentence. And although I have defended the one-sentence construction, I really don’t understand why you have used the word “force” and then go on to say that it is known as “kidnapping.”

    Why not just say that she was kidnapped? If you’re kidnapped then the use of force is implied. If you want to say something and then define it, how about using a euphemism? That way there is more of a point to it.

    Here’s an example that I’ve quickly put together:

    Well she didn't, and she probably had to be “persuaded” to leave—an onlooker might call it kidnapping. And now it’s my turn, and I’m going to give her a lesson in “growing up”—the same onlooker might call it child abuse.

    It’s not meant to be a great example – just, I hope, something a bit more readable.

    I quite like the “Well she didn’t” bit. It makes you wonder, “Well she didn’t do what?” Provided you supply the answer a little later on, that part works for me.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'well, she didn't' what?!

    if that's referring to something in the previous sentence that you haven't provided, it should be a sentence of it's own... and then the rest [cleaned up/pared down, one would hope] can follow less confusingly...
     
  15. coldu
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    coldu Member

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    Yes, there are several things going on in this sentence, but to say that too much is going on is silly. Taken by force - kidnapping; harm her - child abuse. I'm sure anyone who can read can cope with more than one action element within a single sentence.
    There a hundreds of examples from well-known writers of many ideas being conveyed by a single sentence.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, but they're generally well-structured sentences... which this is definitely not...
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Well-known writers make mistakes too. But I think you'll find there aren't as many examples of that as you think.

    Don't mistakenly include sentences that express a single idea and elaborate upon it clearly in the same sentence. A good writer can do that and still have a well-focused sentence. A good writer knows the difference.
     

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