1. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Rephrasing sentences to work out what you should do

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Aaron DC, Aug 14, 2015.

    @daemon has done this twice recently, and I have a similar technique for inverted commas of possession, so thought I would start a thread to accumulate the goodness.

    Who / whom: http://www.writingforums.org/threads/who-or-whom.139610/#post-1364360
    Was / were: http://www.writingforums.org/threads/was-were.140690/#post-1359108
    Possessive inverted commas: http://www.writingforums.org/threads/rephrasing-sentences-to-work-out-what-you-should-do.140972/#post-1364377
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
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  2. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    To work out where to place a possessive inverted comma, rephrase the sentence to add an "of" pre-subject, then add the apostrophe before the s back in the original sentence. Which doesn't even make sense to me.

    eg:

    I pulled the girls hair. (singular girl)
    I pulled the hair of the girl. ==> I pulled the girl's hair.

    I pulled the girls hair. (plural girls)
    I pulled the hair of the girls. ==> I pulled the girls's hair. / I pulled the girls' hair. is also accepted to avoid the s's construct.

    She's the cats mother.
    She's the mother of the cat. ==> She's the cat's mother.


    a womans hat
    a hat of a woman ==> a woman's hat

    the bosss wife
    the wife of the boss ==> the boss'(s) wife

    the bosses wives
    the wives of the bosses ==> the bosses' wives (or the bosses's wives but no, just no)

    Mrs. Changs house
    the house of Mrs. Chang ==> Mrs. Chang's house

    guys night out
    night out of the guys ==> guys' night out

    I am currently working on my second books first draft
    I am currently working on the first draft of my second book ==> I am currently working on my second book's first draft

    John and Marys house
    The house of (John and Mary) ==> John and Mary's house

    Someone mentioned this to me in my final year of school and it's stuck. Hope it is of some help.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  3. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    The way I usually rephrase sentences like this is by separating them into simple sentences (or as close as possible). So much grammatical confusion is due to conjunctions and pronouns in subordinate clauses (e.g. the "who/whom" issue). Replacing a pronoun with its antecedent, or with another pronoun, forces you to think about what it refers to. Turning a clause into a sentence forces you to think about how it relates to another clause.
     
  4. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    It certainly does, daemon ... uh-yah.
     

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