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I'm new to this forum

Postby albandken » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:11 am

Hi, everybody, I'm from Hong Kong and am new to this forum. I'm happy to have "accidentally" found the EnglishClub out of a desperate search for advisers for a query about English usage, that is, which of the following two sentences is correct/incorrect? Is any of them "unacceptable" to a native speaker?

1. They pointed out that property prices had already soared to a level hardly affordable by ordinary middle-class families.

2. They pointed out that property prices had already soared to a level hardly for ordinary middle-class families to afford.

Thanks a lot.
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Re: I'm new to this forum

Postby Josef » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:02 pm

#1 is ok.

#2 is not English.
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The "for somebody to..." pattern

Postby albandken » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:42 am

Thank you for your prompt reply, Josef. I really appreciate your help.

You said that the sentence "They pointed out that property prices had already soared to a level hardly for ordinary middle-class families to afford" is not English. Would you please tell me if it is because of the misuse of the adverb "hardly", or because the pattern "for someone to ..." is uncommon in English.

As far as I can observe, sentences in such a pattern are often found uncommon. But the following examples are all fine by me:

"It is time for Bob to go to bed."

"It is impossible for dad to go there."

"It is difficult for me to handle."

Or I have wrongly observed the condition?
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Re: I'm new to this forum

Postby TheStephen » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:01 pm

All of the examples you listed use adjectives, not adverbs. The following, I think you would agree, are wrong:

"It is difficultly for me to handle."

"It is impossibly for dad to go there."

"It is hardly for ordinary middle class families to afford" is no different.
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Re: I'm new to this forum

Postby albandken » Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:54 am

Thank you. So it means the problem of the sentence lies with the wrong use of adverb.

A follow up question: can I take it that the sentence "They pointed out that property prices had already soared to a level hardly for ordinary middle-class families to afford" still makes sense should the "hardly" be interpreted as "not"?
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Re: I'm new to this forum

Postby TheStephen » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:40 pm

It's quite easy to make sense of it, but it is still incorrect. A better way to write that would be with "hard," "difficult," or "too expensive" in its place.

"Hardly" means much the same thing as "scarcely" or "barely," in a sense.

"It was hardly half five in the morning when the alarm bell rang."
"I could hardly believe that he had died."
"I hardly work at all during the evening."
"Our teacher hardly ever laughs."
"That tiny boy hardly ate!"

Those are all correct uses of the word.
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Re: I'm new to this forum

Postby albandken » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:48 am

I now know how to use "hardly" in my writing. Thank you very much.
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Re: I'm new to this forum

Postby TheStephen » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:05 am

You're quite welcome.

I just want to correct a mistake I made: the first sentence should read "half past five."
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Re: I'm new to this forum

Postby tandvictor » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:51 am

TheStephen wrote:You're quite welcome.

I just want to correct a mistake I made: the first sentence should read "half past five."

:lol: what a fun post TheStephen!!You seem so good at grammar!
But i think you dont use the Edit button before post!! :lol:
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Re: I'm new to this forum

Postby TheStephen » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:42 pm

The edit button forsook me. :-(

My time limit had expired by the time I went to edit my teensy little error. Ahhhh well, such is life. :mrgreen:
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