Celia blows them out or Celia blows out them? | SpanishDict Answers
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I need a reality check from some English speakers. I am commenting on some submissions from the

  • Posted Jan 30, 2009
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For some time now it is considered "bad English" to finish a sentence with a preposition, as preposition means "placing before". Which makes sentences like the given grammatically "wrong". This is of course absurd, as this is a regular usage in the English language.

i found this just now on the web.

*Usage: the ends of sentences

Because, in etymological terms, preposition means 'placing before', and Greek and Latin prepositions precede their complement, the classical prescriptive rule emerged for standard English that sentences should not end with a preposition. However, although English prepositions often do precede their complement, there are structures in which this is impossible (What did you say that for'; What are you getting at') and some which have no grammatical complement (The bed hadn't been slept in; It hardly bears thinking about; He's nothing to look at). Traditionally, such usages have been described as more or less ungrammatical, often with the result that alternatives have been preferred or recommended (Why did you say that? instead of What did you say that for'). The resultant insecurity sometimes produces stilted inversions like To whom do you think you are talking? for Who do you think you're talking to? One such manoeuvre in a government report is said to have led Winston Churchill to make his famous marginal comment: This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put ('bloody nonsense? often being changed to 'English? in quotations). With relative clauses, there are usually two positions for a preposition, the end position being less formal: This is the house in which she lived as against This is the house (that) she lived in. In using such constructions, both native and non-native speakers of English sometimes either forget the preposition (He is the person you have to give it, forgetting to) or repeat it (He is the person to whom you have to give it to).*

Which can take us to [url=http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A609159&x=1&page=1#comments]this thread too[/url], opened by Lazarus

Can you say "What process are you in the middle of"

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From notions of correctness this text.

*Some of these "rules" may be good advice for a speaker looking for a model of clarity, but others are now widely seen as artificial constraints on a living language.

Rules such as "don't finish a sentence with a preposition", "don't start a sentence with 'and'" and "don't split an infinitive" are examples of rules which are held to by some language users but deliberately flouted by others.*

There is an interesting link: How not to write like an idiot

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celia blows them out is the right one...

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I don't want to say that you are confusing me more than I was, but what preposition are you referring to? There is no preposition in either sentence. Maybe I should have qualified that English speaker solicitation?

Heidita said:

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hmmmm

out is listed as a preposition here.

i got carried away with this preposition thing. In any case as you also mention turn them in, the rule applies.

It should be turn in them which sounds strange so say the least.

I found this funny piece on this:

*You may have learned that ending a sentence with a preposition is a serious breach of grammatical etiquette. It doesn't take a grammarian to spot a sentence-ending preposition, so this is an easy rule to get caught up on (!). Although it is often easy to remedy the offending preposition, sometimes it isn't, and repair efforts sometimes result in a clumsy sentence. "Indicate the book you are quoting from" is not greatly improved with "Indicate from which book you are quoting."

Based on shaky historical precedent, the rule itself is a latecomer to the rules of writing. Those who dislike the rule are fond of recalling Churchill's rejoinder: "That is nonsense up with which I shall not put." We should also remember the child's complaint: "What did you bring that book that I don't like to be read to*

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Quentin said:

I don't want to say that you are confusing me more than I was, but what preposition are you referring to? There is no preposition in either sentence. Maybe I should have qualified that English speaker solicitation?

I know, I know, some people just can't keep their mouth shut! jeje

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To this native English speaker from Kansas there is no question. "Blow them out".

"Out" can probably be considered part of the verb: to blow out. You would say "blow out the candles" but if you use a pronoun for candles, the pronoun is placed before that second part of the verb construction. I really do not know how to describe this with the proper language that a grammarian or linguist might use. But in another Germanic language, German, for example, the "out" part of such verbs is actually attached to the root in the infinitive, in the past participle, etc. I called "to blow out" a 'verb construction' above simply because I do not know the proper terminology. Maybe someone else does?

I think that "out" is an adverb. It would make a difference in the meaning if "out" were being used independently in a sentence with blow. For example, I attached the hose of my vacuum cleaner to its output and blew all the leaves out the front door. There, the verb is simply "to blow." I could blow them up into the air (note there is also "to blow up") or I could blow them through the window.

In your examples --, "to put out the trash", "to take out the dog", "to turn out the lights", you would also place the pronoun before the adverb. "Put it out back with the rest of the trash", "take him out on a leash", "turn them out when you leave the room", etc..

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Oh but of course, Quentin. "Out" can even be a verb! However, I think that the prepostion in your example "out of her mind" is the word "of". "Out" seems to me to be functioning as a adjective in that phrase. Consider: "She is out of her mind." Are you not referring to an "out-of-her-mind woman." I hope you did not have my silly post in mindgrin

Quentin said:

Why does out of her mind come to me as an example of out as a preposition.

Heidita said:

Quentin said:

I don't want to say that you are confusing me more than I was, but what preposition are you referring to? There is no preposition in either sentence. Maybe I should have qualified that English speaker solicitation?

I know, I know, some people just can't keep their mouth shut! jeje

>

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Now look what you did. I wrote a long resonse to Heidita but went beyond the time limit. It deleted most of my answer. So I erased the comment since the abbreviated reply seems deprecative. However, you managed to record it. Now I'm going to be on Heidita's %^$$&%^ list. I'm going to quit while I'm behind. I thank everyone for their replies since I received an answer to my original question and Heidita...all I can do is plead insanity.

Janice said:

Oh but of course, Quentin. "Out" can even be a verb! However, I think in your example "out of her mind" it is the word "of" that is the preposition. "Out" seems to me to be functioning as a adjective in that phrase. She is out of her mind. You are referring to an "out-of-her-mind woman." I hope you did not have my silly post in mindgrin

Quentin said:

Why does out of her mind come to me as an example of out as a preposition.

Heidita said:

Quentin said:

I don't want to say that you are confusing me more than I was, but what preposition are you referring to? There is no preposition in either sentence. Maybe I should have qualified that English speaker solicitation?

I know, I know, some people just can't keep their mouth shut! jeje

>

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out in this sentence is an adverb.

My opinion: Celia blows out them is wrong in the sense that no native speaker would ever say it. If you do say it, you're sure to be corrected.

I can't think of any rule, though, that would apply. However, it seems to have something to do with the use of a pronoun.

Take out the trash. -- OK. (Take the trash out is OK, too.)
I already took out it. -- NO, sounds wrong. Should be: I already took it out.

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I can't think of any rule, though, that would apply. However, it seems to have something to do with the use of a pronoun.

Yes, this is correct. When the noun is used, it can go before or after the preposition, but when a pronoun is used, it must split the verb and preposition. My son (now 7) had some trouble with this, and I actually had to do some research to find out what was going on. I found no rule explaining WHY this happens, but it is a very consistent rule.

Ex.:
Take out the trash. OK
Take the trash out. OK
Take out it. NO
Take it out. OK

Furthermore, even when there is no preposition, we have to include a "to" in a sentence with a pronoun.

Ex.:
I showed them the picture. OK
I showed the picture to them. OK
I showed them it. NO
I showed it to them. OK

This seems to be just one of the many quirks of English. "I showed them it" is perfectly logical, and SHOULD sound fine, but it doesn't. We just don't say it that way.

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James Santiago said:

This seems to be just one of the many quirks of English. "I showed them it" is perfectly logical, and SHOULD sound fine, but it doesn't. We just don't say it that way.

I don't think it is a quirk. Without declensions to make distinctions, English relies particularly on the position of words to make sense, and there has to be certain restrictions with some words to prevent misinterpretations, especially with words with as overloaded with functions as "it". I don't recall the exact details, but the restrictions you outlined above actually make perfect sense, given the way English works. See if I can remember where did I read about this, and I'll post the details, if you want.

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Yes, I would like to know of any explanation, because to me, as I said, "I showed them it" is perfectly logical and unambiguous.

I suppose that you will say that the "to" is necessary to eliminate ambiguity between "I showed them it" and "I showed it them," which could conceivably mean the same thing, but to me, the order of the pronouns indicates which is direct and which is indirect.

Anyway, Quentin was justified in making a correction, because with a preposition, the pronoun must split the verb and preposition.

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I showed them it. NO
I showed it to them. OK

I've heard English speakers (and done it myself) get tangled up in a long explanation and say something like:

"and then he gave me it . . . I mean, he gave it to me"

The first one just sounds wrong. If Lazarus finds the explanation, it would be very interesting.

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Yours is exactly one of the more important points made by the Munich linguist professor in his little book, the one I mentioned in an earlier post. Apparantly there are other languages, too, which also lack or have lost declensions - I think I remember that he mentioned Chinese - and which rely heavily on things like word order. (I read that book a long, long time ago.) I think I remember his discussion of Sanskrit as having a lot of grammar and as being "the language of the gods."

lazarus1907 said:

James Santiago said:

This seems to be just one of the many quirks of English. "I showed them it" is perfectly logical, and SHOULD sound fine, but it doesn't. We just don't say it that way.

I don't think it is a quirk. Without declensions to make distinctions, English relies particularly on the position of words to make sense, and there has to be certain restrictions with some words to prevent misinterpretations, especially with words with as overloaded with functions as "it". I don't recall the exact details, but the restrictions you outlined above actually make perfect sense, given the way English works. See if I can remember where did I read about this, and I'll post the details, if you want.

>

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