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Is this sentence grammatically correct?
Thread poster: Thomas Carey

Thomas Carey  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:43
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Jun 12, 2013

Hi all,

I have a problem with these sentences (both languages) and would like your opinions.

Depuis plus de 10 ans, XYZ fabrique des [Nom], des [Nom] et plus récemment des [Nom].

XYZ has been manufacturing [Noun] and [Noun] for more than 10 years, and more recently [Noun].

If there was a specific date I'd have no problem (... since 2001, and more recently...) or if the sentence was XYZ began manufacturing... 10 years ago, and more recently ...

But "for more than 10 years" + "more recently" doesn't sound right although this structure is often used.

De meme, "Depuis plus de 10 ans" + "et plus récemment" me semble bizarre également.

Thanks for your thoughts

Tom


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
My take Jun 12, 2013

I'd say that this sentence is correct:
"XYZ has been manufacturing [Noun] and [Noun] for more than 10 years, and more recently [Noun]."

Whether or not it is strictly speaking grammatically correct, I consider it acceptable and I'd understand it as including an ellipsis of "has (also) been making", either before or after "more recently".

However, having said that, I'd probably render the end of the sentence in a different way, perhaps something like "and more recently, (has) started producing [noun]..."

PS: Strictly speaking, the present perfect can be a bit of a minefield between English and Romance languages, but - in my view, at any rate - I think the flexibility of English helps overcome most doubts in this sense. Unless it's for exam purposes, I think it is sometimes all right to take liberties with the grammar rules of English, as long as a comprehensible and nicely flowing text is the result. For example, if everyone followed the putative "rule" about never splitting an infinitive, Capt Kirk could never have trodden boldly...

[Edited at 2013-06-12 14:09 GMT]


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:43
Hebrew to English
Change the conjunction Jun 12, 2013

From "and" to "but". "And" is non-contrasting, whereas in the sentence you are actually contrasting what they have been manufacturing for 10 years compared to what they have been manufacturing more recently. Thus....

XYZ has been manufacturing [Noun] and [Noun] for more than 10 years, but [has] more recently [been manufacturing] [Noun].


[Edited at 2013-06-12 14:10 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
And, but Jun 12, 2013

Ty Kendall wrote:

From "and" to "but". "And" is non-contrasting, whereas in the sentence you are actually contrasting what they have been manufacturing for 10 years and what they have been manufacturing more recently. Thus....

XYZ has been manufacturing [Noun] and [Noun] for more than 10 years, but [has] more recently [been manufacturing] [Noun].


[Edited at 2013-06-12 14:09 GMT]


Well spotted Ty, I was focusing on the present perfect usage and didn't pay much attention to the conjunction. Top banana


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:43
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Grammatically correct Jun 12, 2013

It is true that maybe the client could have put dates, which would have helped you. What I think it means is that XYZ has been manufacturing the product for 10 years, and the last one has only recently been introduced. Agree with TY. That is the distinction between the time frames.

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:43
Hebrew to English
Thanks! Jun 12, 2013

neilmac wrote:

Ty Kendall wrote:

From "and" to "but". "And" is non-contrasting, whereas in the sentence you are actually contrasting what they have been manufacturing for 10 years and what they have en manufacturing more recently. Thus....

XYZ has been manufacturing [Noun] and [Noun] for more than 10 years, but [has] more recently [been manufacturing] [Noun].


[Edited at 2013-06-12 14:09 GMT]


Well spotted Ty, I was focusing on the present perfect usage and didn't pay much attention to the conjunction. Top banana


I would also agree with you that the present perfect is acceptable here too. The first instance with "for 10 years" is probably the trickiest one though because it's in the eye/ear of the beholder as to whether those 10 years reach into the present. For example:

"I haven't spoken to him for 10 years" (up to and including now)
"For 10 years I went to the gym, then I stopped and I got lazy and fat" (definite end point in the past)

So the phrase in itself could lend itself to both present perfect and simple past. Therefore it has to be possible to say:

"XYZ manufactured [Noun] and [Noun] for more than 10 years, but has more recently been manufacturing [Noun]."

I would say present perfect definitely belongs in the second clause, but is highly debatable and subjective in the first.


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Mithila Pethe
Sweden
Local time: 12:43
German to English
Order of the Time Adverb Jun 12, 2013

Hi Thomas,

I feel, what disturbs you in this sentence is the order of the words. I would suggest this:
'for more than 10 years, XYZ has been manufacturing [Noun] and [Noun] and more recently [Noun]'.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:43
Hebrew to English
This is the crux..... Jun 12, 2013

Josephine Cassar wrote:
What I think it means is that XYZ has been manufacturing the product for 10 years, and the last one has only recently been introduced.


This is the dilemma that would determine the tense usage....

Did they in fact cease manufacturing what they had been manufacturing for 10 years and then start something else more recently OR did they continue with what they had been manufacturing, merely introducing new products? If it was the latter, I would have liked an "also" thrown in there to clarify, but how often are writers clear? (Not often, if my source texts are anything to go by )

I don't think it's 100% clear from the sentence itself. I'd say this is a judgement call, presuming you don't have that information to hand/can't find out for sure.

[Edited at 2013-06-12 14:36 GMT]


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Theo Bernards  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:43
English to Dutch
+ ...
Would you not split the sentence? Jun 12, 2013

The fact that it is one sentence in the source language does not necessarily mean that the translation should also be one sentence. CAT-tool users, including myself, occasionally forget the fact that not every sentence can be translated into one sentence ...

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Thomas Carey  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:43
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting feedback Jun 12, 2013

Thanks for the feedback!

The manufacturer began producing another product whilst continuing to make the other products.

I did originally actually split the sentence due to my doubts, and offered the client various solutions.

Anyway I was just concerned about the actual strictly grammatically correctness of the
"for more than 10 years" + "more recently" (more recently than for more than 10 years would be incorrect).

Any thoughts on the correctness of the French sentence? I may have post a thread in the French forum.


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Françoise Vogel  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:43
English to French
+ ...
en français Jun 12, 2013

Unless the last product is a mere update of what has been manufactured for 10 years, I would consider splitting the sentence.

Another possible solution would be:

Depuis plus de 10 ans, XYZ fabrique des [Nom], des [Nom] auxquelles/auxquels se sont ajouté(e)s plus récemment des [Nom].


[Edited at 2013-06-12 14:53 GMT]


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
NeilMac's solution or Mithila's Jun 12, 2013

Personally, I would go with

XYZ has been manufacturing noun and noun for over (or more than) ten years, and more recently, has started to produce...

I think that your original translation of the sentence is grammatically wrong, the references to the different parts of the sentence are mixed up.

I think that if you keep the same order as in French the sentence works too.

For more than 10 years, XYZ has been manufacturing noun and noun, and more recently, noun.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 16:13
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
I think that would change the meaning Jun 12, 2013

Ty Kendall wrote:

From "and" to "but". "And" is non-contrasting, whereas in the sentence you are actually contrasting what they have been manufacturing for 10 years compared to what they have been manufacturing more recently. Thus....

XYZ has been manufacturing [Noun] and [Noun] for more than 10 years, but [has] more recently [been manufacturing] [Noun].


[Edited at 2013-06-12 14:10 GMT]


I don't think contrasting the first part of the sentence with the second is the intention here, but just to convey two bits of independent information, without saying anything about the relative importance of either parts of the sentence.

This purpose is served well by the "and" conjunction. But if you replace it by "but", then the latter part of the sentence gains greater importance and the former part becomes relatively less important.

Consider these sentences,

For ten years I went to the gym, and now I do yoga.

And this one:

For ten years I went to the gym, but now I do yoga.

The first simply conveys two facts that the writer did without making any value judgement on yoga or the gym - they are equivalent activities.

In the second, he seems to be slightly apologetic about the gym business and he considers yoga superior to it. (It is also possible to argue the other way round, that he is apologetic about yoga and is a bit wistful of the days when he used to go to the gym).

This difference in nuance has been introduced by the conjunction "but".

So I think it will be better to stick with "and" so as not to add non-existent/unintentional meanings to the translation.

[2013-06-12 15:03 GMT पर संपादन हुआ]


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:43
Italian to English
Points and periods Jun 12, 2013

Thomas Carey wrote:

But "for more than 10 years" + "more recently" doesn't sound right although this structure is often used.

De meme, "Depuis plus de 10 ans" + "et plus récemment" me semble bizarre également.

Thanks for your thoughts



There's nothing wrong with the original. In French, you can happily construe "depuis" as applying to both "plus de 10 ans" and "plus récemment".

In the English, however, the construction changes. The "for" referring to duration ("more than ten years") has to be replaced by "since" in the second adverbial because "more recently" is a point in time and not a length of time.

HTH


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:43
Hebrew to English
Hmmm.... Jun 12, 2013

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:
I don't think contrasting the first part of the sentence with the second is the intention here, but just to convey two bits of independent information


I would argue against them being "independent" myself. Now we know it's an addition we're dealing with "and" is certainly possible, but I still think "but" is an option. However, I would reiterate what I said earlier, that an "also" would be required to maintain/clarify the additive element (...but more recently XYZ has also been manufacturing...). I would also argue that there are inherent contrasts in the sentence - for more than 10 years vs. more recently / what they manufactured vs. what they also manufacture now. More than enough to justify using "but".

This isn't adding or changing the meaning, just clarifying it.

This doesn't subordinate the second clause because both "and" and "but" are coordinating conjunctions.

This doesn't add any value judgements because "but" is essentially neutral. (If I'd said "but unfortunately" fair enough, but I didn't).



[Edited at 2013-06-12 16:38 GMT]


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