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Old 05-14-2005, 08:53 AM   #1
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Grammar ...and stuff

I had to take this sufficiency test for an English 1 class in my university. (Yeah, I'm actually taking the class because I am lazy and I chose it as another elective; I'm not proud.)

So, anyway, one of the parts in the test asked you to say if one sentence was either Correct "C" or Incorrect "I"

As in:

Joe see the car go by. .........I

So this one sentence says:

How many days are in a week? ......(I wrote in: ) C

Isn't it correct to say "How many days are in a week?". My teacher insisted that it should be "How many days are there in a week?" but he still didn't mark it wrong and I still managed to get the 100%.

Still, I'm kind of intrigued, which way is it?
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Old 05-14-2005, 08:56 AM   #2
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adding "there" just sounds too wordy and unnecessary. i think "How many days are in a week" is better.
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:01 AM   #3
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I know! That's what I thought. Anyone else know about this?
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Old 05-14-2005, 10:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
I still managed to get the 100%.
congrats!!!

i have no idea which is correct...i'm gonna go with the version without there.
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Old 05-14-2005, 10:31 AM   #5
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Thanks Khananda

So, so far Interference has ruled: Me - 2 Teacher- 0
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:35 AM   #6
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I think both are correct. If I were writing, I'd omit 'there', but in natural speech, I think I'd slip 'there' in. Not sure why.
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Old 05-15-2005, 04:00 AM   #7
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I'd say "there"
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Old 05-15-2005, 04:50 AM   #8
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Seriously, trust the ESL speakers. They are more likely to have been taught more recently the correct way to speak and write. Anyone born in an English speaking language country gets lazy very quick.

Count the number of errors in my post alone. I can guess a few
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Old 05-15-2005, 02:02 PM   #9
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I'd definitely say 'there'

it sounds very wrong to me without it
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Old 05-15-2005, 03:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by bammo2
I'd definitely say 'there'

it sounds very wrong to me without it
Same here. I would definitely say "there".

Think of the answer:

Would you say: "Seven days are in a week"
or
"There are seven days in a week."

In this case, "are there" is for the plural form of "there is", ("il y a" in French or "hay" in Spanish)

But then again, English is not my first language. It still sounds wrong without it, though
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Old 05-15-2005, 03:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by bammo2
I'd definitely say 'there'

it sounds very wrong to me without it
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Old 05-16-2005, 02:43 AM   #12
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what lara mullen said
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Old 05-16-2005, 02:45 AM   #13
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I say "there", also.
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Old 05-16-2005, 03:19 AM   #14
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Let’s see, I’ll try to keep this as brief and to the point as I can. The answer is oversimplified (I hope my colleagues will forgive me).

Let’s say there are two perspectives to understand language. One has to do with the rules of what is considered to be good usage, and the other which has to do with the way we actually use language.

If you look at the sentence “How many days are in a week?” from the first perspective, you must say it is wrong. The rule goes that in English you must use an expletive “there” to express the existence of elements within a set, otherwise you would rather be making a description.

Now, if you take a look at the sentence from the second perspective, you must consider it correct. The clues as to why that is so can be found along this very thread. Most of your fellow interferfencers find nothing wrong in “How many days are in a week?” Most of them (probably all of them) are native speakers anf they would use this sentence naturally, understand what it means and move on to their U2 topic of choice.

Your teacher is so well informed that she explained the rule to you (because you have to know it) without penalizing you for making a choice most native speakers would consider adequate.

Wow,

I hope this answers your querstion, BrownEyedBoy. I'd give your teacher a few well deserved points.
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Circe
Let’s see, I’ll try to keep this as brief and to the point as I can. The answer is oversimplified (I hope my colleagues will forgive me).

Let’s say there are two perspectives to understand language. One has to do with the rules of what is considered to be good usage, and the other which has to do with the way we actually use language.

If you look at the sentence “How many days are in a week?” from the first perspective, you must say it is wrong. The rule goes that in English you must use an expletive “there” to express the existence of elements within a set, otherwise you would rather be making a description.

Now, if you take a look at the sentence from the second perspective, you must consider it correct. The clues as to why that is so can be found along this very thread. Most of your fellow interferfencers find nothing wrong in “How many days are in a week?” Most of them (probably all of them) are native speakers anf they would use this sentence naturally, understand what it means and move on to their U2 topic of choice.

Your teacher is so well informed that she explained the rule to you (because you have to know it) without penalizing you for making a choice most native speakers would consider adequate.

Wow,

I hope this answers your querstion, BrownEyedBoy. I'd give your teacher a few well deserved points.
I'm English, and still think that you should say 'there' in that sentence. If someone said the sentence without the word 'there', I would think that they were using bad English
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