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When one reads..., he finds...

English translation: To avoid the he/she conundrum...

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10:50 Aug 23, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: When one reads..., he finds...
When one reads the poetry of seventeenth century,...
1) you find similarities
2) one finds similarities..
3) he (or she) finds similarities..


This is a grammar question, answer 3 has been favored, but somehow it doesn´t sound too good to me.
Any ideas about which pronoun must follow the pronoun "one"?
aivars
Argentina
Local time: 05:19
English translation:To avoid the he/she conundrum...
Explanation:
When reading the poetry of the seventeenth century, one finds...

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Note added at 2002-08-23 12:56:08 (GMT)
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Ah! A GMAT!
In that case, if one were to need a rule to apply to GMATs, one would indubitably post the question on Proz. By doing so, one would (hopefully) find one\'s answer. :-)

Yes: it\'s one/one, he/he, she/she, you/you. You\'re right -- option 3) sounds incorrect.
Selected response from:

Catherine Bolton
Local time: 10:19
Grading comment
Well thanks for all the options, I must tell you that if you use Barron´s books to prepare students for GMAT and such you´ll find many of these oddities
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +9To avoid the he/she conundrum...
Catherine Bolton
5 +82ttiberia
5 +2When one reads the poetry of seventeenth century,...
Margaret Lagoyianni
5 +1Its pretty simplecheungmo
5 +1...one findsFuad Yahya
5 +1one
Sven Petersson
4 +1one and youxxxsergey
4 +1Reading the poetry of the 17th century..Herman Vilella


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +9
To avoid the he/she conundrum...


Explanation:
When reading the poetry of the seventeenth century, one finds...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-23 12:56:08 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ah! A GMAT!
In that case, if one were to need a rule to apply to GMATs, one would indubitably post the question on Proz. By doing so, one would (hopefully) find one\'s answer. :-)

Yes: it\'s one/one, he/he, she/she, you/you. You\'re right -- option 3) sounds incorrect.


Catherine Bolton
Local time: 10:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 98
Grading comment
Well thanks for all the options, I must tell you that if you use Barron´s books to prepare students for GMAT and such you´ll find many of these oddities

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxsergey
7 mins

agree  Enza Longo
13 mins

agree  luskie: don't know exactly the rule, but I would say too "when reading" - if you still want a preference between the three: he or one, but for sure not you
21 mins

agree  Libero_Lang_Lab
1 hr

agree  5Q
1 hr

agree  Yelena.
2 hrs

agree  MikeGarcia
2 hrs

agree  Antonio Camangi
4 hrs

agree  John Kinory: Option 3 IS incorrect. So is 1.
7 hrs
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +8
2


Explanation:
keep coherence in the sentence

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Note added at 2002-08-23 10:57:18 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Are you composing or are you reading (exercise?)

ttiberia
Italy
Local time: 10:19
PRO pts in pair: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Valeria Verona: exactly: one / one (although it sounds a bit awkward). Saludos!
3 mins

agree  Jos Essers
6 mins

agree  Enza Longo
10 mins

agree  jerrie: one/one, you/you, he/he for coherence, balance, continuity, sense
35 mins

agree  RHELLER
1 hr

agree  5Q
1 hr

agree  MikeGarcia
2 hrs

agree  John Kinory: Jerrie: also for grammatical correctness :-)
7 hrs
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
one


Explanation:
Implicit in answer.

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Note added at 2002-08-23 10:59:00 (GMT)
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please see http://www.parl.gc.ca/committees352/fine/evidence/73_96-11-1...


    My geriatric brain!
Sven Petersson
Sweden
Local time: 10:19
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 156

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  MikeGarcia
2 hrs
  -> Thank you very much!
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
...one finds


Explanation:
This is less a matter of grammar than a matter of acceptable or favored style. If you stick to the construction of the antecedent clause, then, for the sake of paralellism, you would use the indefinite pronoun "one" in the consequent clause as well. Violations of such rules are not mortal.


Fuad

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  MikeGarcia
2 hrs

neutral  John Kinory: Not mortal, but grammatical error nonetheless.
7 hrs
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20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
one and you


Explanation:
One - is used in coversation mostly by 'careful' speakers, especially, perhaps, by middle and upper class people and intellectuals.
e.g.
'One' simply doesn't drink red wine with fish.
To really appreciate Italian painting, 'one' should see it in Italy.

In a formal style, (for instance, in written English), 'one' - is more common than 'you'.

Compare:

If you want to make people angry, just tell them what 'you' are really thinking.

If 'one' wishes to make oneself thoroughly unpopular, 'one' has merely to tell people exactly what one has on one's mind.

it's all about being 'oh, so correct, really'

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Note added at 2002-08-23 11:23:41 (GMT)
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so, in your case it should be:

When \'one\' reads..., \'one\' finds.



xxxsergey
Local time: 09:19
PRO pts in pair: 84

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  MikeGarcia
2 hrs

neutral  John Kinory: You are conflating 'formal' with 'written'. 'You' is very common in written English. 'One' may be very stylised, but it's nothing to do with being 'oh, so correct' (whatever that means); it's a question of register.
8 hrs
  -> all i said was that 'one' is very formal, which is 'oh, so correct' - you need to be all that to dominate etc, hence you have upper and middle classes etc
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Reading the poetry of the 17th century..


Explanation:
finish it off with:

.. one finds
... we find

Herman Vilella
Local time: 10:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 14

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  MikeGarcia
1 hr
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Its pretty simple


Explanation:
When "one" (whoever "one" is) reads, it is "one", and only "one" that finds.

For the moment, its impossible for someone in particular to read something and, thereby, allow someone else to find something (as a result of that first someone else's reading). And, until ESP becomes as common as the air we breath, this holds true for all situations (involving "one", "she", "he", "you", "me", it, we, thou, etc.).

"One", while being a very fuzzy pronoun (it could refer to anyone) does not exactly refer to the same person(s) as some other pronoun. "You", for example, refers to the person being addressed (when you read.., you will find...) as opposed to "one" which refers to anyone. The distinction (between "one" and the impersonal "you") may appear to be minor but it *is* there.

Reword your sentence this way to see the problem with switching pronouns (or "pronoun types" if you like):
When Bill reads the poetry of the seventeenth century, Mary finds similarities.
(proof of ESP?)
or
When he reads the poetry of the seventeenth century, one finds similarities
(this one implies that anyone can find similarities but only when "he", a specific person, read this poetry)

I think the problem you're experiencing may be more the result of sentence that forces you to repeat "one".

Perhaps something like this would solve your problem:
One find similarities to [...] when reading the poetry of seventeenth century.
The repetition of "one" (or "one is") is avoided by its ellipsis ("when on is reading..." becomes "when reading...").


cheungmo
PRO pts in pair: 27

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  MikeGarcia
20 mins
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
When one reads the poetry of seventeenth century,...


Explanation:
similarities can be found.......

In this way you avoid the he/she dilemma. The grammar points have been discussed above.

Margaret Lagoyianni
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:19
PRO pts in pair: 9

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  MikeGarcia: Good idea!
10 mins
  -> Thankyou

agree  Christopher Crockett: No doubt the best of several very good (i.e., correct) alternatives proposed, *if* "one" must keep the original awkwardness of the first clause.
29 mins
  -> Thankyou
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