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  1. #881
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    A friend of mine can't stand (from a grammatically correct point of view) people saying 'it's just a bit further'

    What's her beef? Other than it being an oxymoron, I can't figure out the grammar problem?

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    Double post sorry
    Last edited by saltygirl; 28-10-2011 at 08:50.

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    I think "further" refers to time or amount and "farther" refers to distance. Maybe that's why?

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    Ah! Most likely that is it, although how does that work, like "how much longer do I have to sit in the car" - really the kid is asking how much longer in minutes/hours (not really caring about mileage) in which case "it's just a bit further" would be the more correct response?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MissSteph View Post
    Don't know if this has been mentioned or not but using a instead of an. I think this is what annoys me the most!!

    Example:
    You are AN amazing person.

    If the word following begins with a vowel (aeiou) use AN, not A
    Isn't H included in that list? I hear newsreaders saying "An horrific event" "An honourable act" "An historic occasion" I was taught that you only use 'an' when it was followed by a towel also... Any insight?

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyslapper View Post
    Isn't H included in that list? I hear newsreaders saying "An horrific event" "An honourable act" "An historic occasion" I was taught that you only use 'an' when it was followed by a towel also... Any insight?
    This best sums up this issue:

    The rule states that “a” should be used before words that begin with consonants (e.g., b, c ,d) while “an” should be used before words that begin with vowels (e.g., a,e,i). Notice, however, that the usage is determined by the pronunciation and not by the spelling, as many people wrongly assume.

    You should say, therefore, “an hour” (because hour begins with a vowel sound) and “a history” (because history begins with a consonant sound).

    Similarly you should say “a union” even if union begins with a “u.” That is because the pronunciation begins with “yu”, which is a consonant sound.



    **Coming to you live from my iPhone**

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  8. #887
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    lambjam is offline Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
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    The thing to remember about vowels is that they're sounds rather than letters. My understanding is that a vowel is any sound which doesn't cause any part of the mouth to touch another part, whereas with consonants two parts of the mouth will connect (teeth on tongue, tongue on roof of mouth, etc... those who have been through speech therapy will be more than familiar with this!). It is common to teach children that the vowels are "aeiou", but there are actually many, many more vowels than this. Sounds like "oo" and "aah" are also vowels, even though there is no one letter that represents them. So in "yak", y is a consonant, but in "happy" it is a vowel.

    Onto the next point... it is correct to drop the "h" sound when words like "historian" and "hotel" are preceded by the word "an". Because the "h" sound has been dropped, the words can now be said to begin with a vowel. (So while I'll agree that most newsreaders are morons, this is not actually a case in point!)

    PS So happy to see this thread up again! Ahhh
    Last edited by lambjam; 29-10-2011 at 15:03.

  9. #888
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    SpecialPatrolGroup is offline T-rex is cranky until she gets her coffee.
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    I would love some feedback on this comma issue that I am having with my boss. He regards me as a serial comma-abuser but I think that there are times when they are justified. He is of the opinion that you should never use a comma after *and* but I think that there are.

    As an example - We had a lovely day at the beach and, despite the cold, even went for a swim.

    Comments please.

  10. #889
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    That's nuts, that comma is absolutely justified! It's using a comma before the "and" that really gets people divisive...

    Personally I'm a fan. Let me tell you a story that illustrates why.

    A man writes a will leaving his inheritance to his three children. He states that "the estate is to be divided between Tom, Judy and Charles". Tom takes the matter to court and argues that the estate should be split two ways, between himself as one beneficiary, and Judy and Charles as the other. In order to make it clear that the estate should be split three ways, the wording would have to be "the estate is to be divided between Tom, Judy, and Charles".

    Ok fine people, argue away...

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    Hi SPG
    I believe in the example you gave the comma is correct because the part between the commas can be removed from the sentence and it still makes sense. I was taught this is a correct way to use commas.

    I may be wrong though...

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