winner take all/dog eat dog world -- grammar?
Thread poster: xxxOlaf
xxxOlaf
Local time: 12:29
English to German
Apr 7, 2008

Because of the elections I hear the phrase winner take all system a lot and was wondering why it's not called winner takes all and whether this phrase and the similar dog eat dog world is considered slang or is grammatically correct.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
adjectives Apr 7, 2008

Olaf wrote:

Because of the elections I hear the phrase winner take all system a lot and was wondering why it's not called winner takes all and whether this phrase and the similar dog eat dog world is considered slang or is grammatically correct.


These are adjectives qualifying nouns and should - strictly speaking - be hyphenated.

It's a dog-eat-dog world / a winner-take-all system

Why they are not in the 3rd person is probably related to the infinitive (without to) form being preferable for making an adjective.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
The Misha
Local time: 06:29
Russian to English
+ ...
Right on, Lia! Apr 7, 2008

That's exactly what I was going to suggest. Cheers!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Why there's no S at the end Apr 7, 2008

I always understood these verbs as being in the imperative. Commands don't generally have an S at the end.

I, too, prefer to see these terms hyphenated, though the hyphenation of compound adjectives seems to be on the decline.

[Edited at 2008-04-07 18:27]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
+ ...
as Steven says... Apr 8, 2008

though more precisely it's a subjunctive, short for:

"may/let (the) winner take all"

You find a similar construction (for example) in:

"Every man for himself, and (the) Devil take the hindmost"

[Edited at 2008-04-08 02:01]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
agree Apr 8, 2008

Jim Tucker wrote:

though more precisely it's a subjunctive, short for:

"may/let (the) winner take all"

You find a similar construction (for example) in:

"Every man for himself, and (the) Devil take the hindmost"

[Edited at 2008-04-08 02:01]


Preisely Jim, the original phrase would have been the subjunctive, formed with expressions like "may" or "let" combined with the infinitive without "to", then converted to an adjective form with hyphens.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:29
Spanish to English
winner takes all Apr 8, 2008

My understanding that the phrase is winner-takes -all and dog-eat-dog

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Peter Winch  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:29
Japanese to English
+ ...
as David says Apr 9, 2008

I learnt the phrase as "winner-takes-all", but it is arguable whether it is an imperative, more often it seems to be a statement of fact.

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

winner take all/dog eat dog world -- grammar?

Advanced search







memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search