1. Frostcat
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    Frostcat Member

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    Seems A; Grammatical Problem

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Frostcat, Mar 26, 2011.

    Recently I went to write "Seems a plague" as in "The self doubt that seems a plague in todays youth." Is this grammatically correct?
     
  2. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    It depends what you are trying to say.
    Seems, appears, impression etc. are not definite.
    Whereas, 'Self doubt is a plague in todays youth', has no doubt.
     
  3. abelsaywell
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    abelsaywell Member

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    I don't think you can have a plague "in" something.

    Maybe one way of writing what you wanted to was:

    There seems to be a plague upon today's youth. That plague is self doubt.

    Is that what you were after?
     
  4. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    As abe indicates, the bit in the sentence that gave me pause was the in not the seems. I suspect in here is not technically incorrect but certainly that formulation is rather odd and perhaps ugly.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in your example, 'seems' needs to have 'to be' after it to make any sense... however that whole sentence isn't a sentence, anyway... it's a fragment that doesn't work on its own, but could, depending on what came before it...

    plus:
    'todays' is missing an apostrophe
    'in' makes little sense, as noted above
     
  6. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say YES if it's being used in informal conversation. Otherwise, "it seems to be a plague" would probably be more appropriate.
     
  7. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    Maia's suggestion of "to be" or using "like" ("seems to be a plague", "seems like a plague"). I also agree with folks concerning "upon" or "on" instead of "in".

    I don't know about the actual grammatical correctness of either in your original sentence, but they both make me pause and reread, so probably don't serve your interests as a writer very well.
     
  8. Frostcat
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    Frostcat Member

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    Oops! Look at me mucking up my example sentence. It's not the full sentence, anyway, just the snippet that I was referring to.

    Thank you for the advice, I do tend to use it that way when I'm speaking among friends, but generally not in my non-informal writing.
     

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