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What's the difference? (if any)
Thread poster: Aurora Humarán
Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 11, 2006

Ave, proZians!

This is a question for a research paper I am preparing for my Comparative Analysis final exam. (The reply from English speaking prozians is appreciated.)

What is the difference between these two sentences?


I hate John's eating snails.

I hate John's eating of snails.



Another favor: could you ask the same question to your relatives/friends who are not linguists?

Thank you so very much!

Au


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:19
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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Hmmm Sep 11, 2006

Subjectively, I'd use the first if what I meant was "I hate the fact that John eats snails" and I had no other choice. The second one sounds, well, like the multiplication of the loaves and fish.

But how could I? I eat snails...


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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maybe Sep 11, 2006

The first one

I can t tolerate that John is eating snails (at this moment)

The second one


I hate the way he eats snails or the fact that he eats snails


[Edited at 2006-09-11 23:29]


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:19
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English to Spanish
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Also: Sep 11, 2006

In the first one you have a subordinate clause

I hate (that John is eating snails)


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 08:19
Spanish to English
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Hmmmm, indeed! Sep 11, 2006

Both sentence structures are common in everyday spoken English and they both convey the same message, at least to me as a native English speaker.

The first one should (I think ...) read I hate John eating snails., without the 's. At least, that's how I would have written it...

The second one looks to be grammatically correct, but sounds 'posh' - certainly too posh in relation to the subject-matter, which is commonly regarded as distasteful.

Frankly I don't like either form. When faced with such construtions in my former capacity as an editor of technical publications (handling texts written by people far more knowledgable about engineering than about the English language), I usually re-wrote the sentences. For example, in the case in hand:

I hate it when John eats snails.

MediaMatrix

[Edited at 2006-09-11 23:41]

[Edited at 2006-09-11 23:48]


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:19
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
meaning Sep 11, 2006

Alicia Casal wrote:

In the first one you have a subordinate clause

I hate (that John is eating snails)



Hola, Alicia.

I am interested in differences at the semantic level only.

Thanks!

Au


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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ok Sep 11, 2006

so i gave them in my fist posting.


XO


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Olivia MAHÉ  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:19
English to French
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To me... Sep 11, 2006

To me, "I hate John's eating snails" means I dislike THE FACT that he eats snails, because I find it disgusting or cruel, while "I hate John's eating of snails" means I hate HIS particular way of eating them, which is probably disgusting too...
That's how I understand it... but I'm not an English-speaking prozian!
Getting curious...


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craigs
Local time: 06:19
English to Portuguese
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They mean exactly the same. Sep 11, 2006

There is no effective difference in the two sentences. The second one simply adds the preposition that is implied in the first. Any English speaker that understands one should understand the other.

The first one is more colloquial than the second.


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Stand-by Sep 12, 2006

mediamatrix wrote:

The first one should (I think ...) read I hate John eating snails., without the 's. At least, that's how I would have written it...



That is what I copied from the blackboard, but I will double check right now to make sure that those are the two sentences!

I will be right back!

Au


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 13:19
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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Yök! Sep 12, 2006

I hate those easting snails of John, but not the snails that are non-eating. This seems to be the meaning of the first sentence.
You could have chosen a more pleasent example, like George's kicking horses. And I do hate George's kicking of horses, but not George's kicking horses, b'cause thats what horses naturally do.


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Waiver! Sep 12, 2006

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

You could have chosen a more pleasent example...


It was not my example, but the teacher's .

I confirmed that spelling of the sentences is ok.

Au


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 12:19
Member
Catalan to English
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An eating of snails...... Sep 12, 2006

... a pride of lions
..... a skulk of foxes
..........a business of ferrets
............etc.....

Hi Au,

Semantic difference: See Olivia. Nail firmly hit on head, IMHO.

a) = the fact that he eats........
b) = the manner in which he eats.....

BUT, like MM, I find neither of these sentences natural sounding.

Preferably:
a) I don't like John eating snails......
b) I don't like the way John eats snails.....

And while we're on the subject of snails....

"I don't like him eating snails"
"I don't like his eating snails"

?

Candidates must not attempt to write on both sides of the paper at the same time.

Saludos,
Andy

PS. Ceci, I'd invite you to "Los Caracoles" in BCN, if you're ever over here, except eating slugs in shells, well.... I hate the idea.


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Au: I guess i know your teacher Sep 12, 2006

And there must be a difference

of course, i don t mean It s the one i wrote.

I hate Mary s cooking fish
i hate Mary s cooking of fish

just trying to help-


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Alicia, yes, we are talking about the same teacher) Sep 12, 2006

We analyzed the difference and my (obvious?) concern was:

1) Do English speakers see the difference? (which I did not see)

2) Does any English speaker see the difference? (We, linguists, enjoy deep structures so much that we may have orgasms going deeper and deeper, but what about a standard speaker?

[Edited at 2006-09-12 01:20]


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