LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||05/JUN/2008 12:41 PM|
(1) "It is asked that the audience stand up and clap." (You caught me! I left out the word "asked".)
(2) "The actors saw the audience stand up and clap." This is like in Portuguese, right? The "to" isn't used with the infinitive in this construction. A variation is "The actors saw the audience standing up and clapping."
(3) "It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
Languages are not logical, and yet speakers of every language seem to find ways to rationalize irrationalities in their language. Forget Portuguese for a moment. In Portuguese the correct verb would be "sao", right? in English the rationale is probably that you are answering a question, regardless if it was asked or not!
Q-What is causing the current level of poor health in our cities?
A-It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.
Q-What is causing the water to taste like that?
A-It's the rust in the pipes and the plastic cup you are using.
Even if someone asked "What are causing the current level of poor health in our cities?" (implying that the speaker knows that there is more than one factor), you would still answer, "It's the..." and not "They are..." (as in Portuguese).
The above works with "what" but not with "who". If someone asks "Who is coming to party", you can say (1) "John is coming to the party" or (2) "John and Mary are coming to the party."
(4) one impurity, two or more impurities
(5) Yes, a movie has an audience, a play has an audience, a speech has an audience, a grandfather has an audience when he tells a story, when your neighbors argue they may have an audience, etc.
(6) There may be contexts when "the public who attends" is acceptable. "The public who attends Indiana Jones movies...."
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