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Old 01-11-2010, 02:09 PM   #1
Volcano
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sharks live at ocean depths + ENGLISH help required


Is it a correctly written English ?

Scientists have recently discovered that nearly all of the world’s sharks live at ocean depths of 2,000 meters or less ; and this creates a danger zone within reach of modern deep-sea trawlers’ deadly fishing nets.



I don't want to make it correct if its wrong . Rather I would like to know what is wrong here (if any)
 
Old 01-11-2010, 02:17 PM   #2
gnashley
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Correct.
 
Old 01-11-2010, 02:18 PM   #3
johnsfine
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The blank before the ; is certainly wrong. Having a ; at all there looks wrong, but I'm not certain it is wrong. With or without the ; having that many different ideas in one sentence is called a "run on sentence". That is bad writing if not strictly incorrect English.

"sharks live at ocean depths" is using a noun "ocean" to modify a noun "depths". I'm not certain that usage is correct. But it is a common usage. I think it is correct.
 
Old 01-11-2010, 02:35 PM   #4
Volcano
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see the use of 'this' . is it correctly used ? what 'this' is going to refer? I am doubtful on that...

Last edited by Volcano; 01-11-2010 at 02:41 PM.
 
Old 01-11-2010, 03:09 PM   #5
Jeebizz
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Seeing as most of your posts in general are related to grammatical help in English, I think it would benefit you the most to take an English course aimed at non-native English speakers. Since your skills in English are above the very beginner's level, you could consider taking some kind of placement test at your local community college. There are plenty of beginner-to-advanced levels of English courses there, and would actually offer you a lot more than just posting onto a forum.
 
Old 01-11-2010, 03:21 PM   #6
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Myself, I would adjust it slightly:


...2000 meters or less; this creates a...

or:

...2000 meters or less-- a danger zone, within reach...

However, I'm being rather fussy here. The way you originally wrote the sentence is quite adequate for nearly every occasion: it's perfectly understandable, and has no blatant aspect that would be construed as "very wrong".

For a non-native English speaker, your English is definitely good, there's no arguing that; but if you really do want to try to learn all the nuances of grammar and punctuation, there are CD audio courses, online-courses, and as mentioned, the option of community college or other type of study you may be able to do at home.

Anyhow, whatever you choose, you're doing well as it is.

Sasha
 
Old 01-11-2010, 05:04 PM   #7
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http://www.englishforums.com/
 
Old 01-11-2010, 06:18 PM   #8
cantab
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The semicolon should not have the word and following it. Either the semicolon should be changed for a comma, or the word and deleted.

Also, there should not be the word "a" in "Is this a correctly written English ?"
 
Old 01-11-2010, 10:02 PM   #9
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I had a argument with my friend. he says this is wrong . he says you’re not sure whether this refers to the scientific discovery or where the sharks live.

is he correct ?

I told , see.. this is placed just after the ";" i.e after the shark living area and so this could refer to 'where the sharks live' ..... no ambiguity here.


what you guys think ? native speakers ? English experts ?
 
Old 01-11-2010, 11:04 PM   #10
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Break it up into two different chunks to examine it, separating the components of the sentence, and you can see that "this" is referring NOT to the fact that any discovery was made, but it refers to the discovery ITSELF.

Consider the two sentences:

1) Scientists have recently made a discovery, and this creates a danger zone within reach of modern deep-sea trawlers’ deadly fishing nets.

The above sentence makes no sense. The fact that scientists have made a discovery, does not create any danger zone. However, the word "this" refers to the "scientists having made a discovery".

Now consider:

2) Nearly all of the world’s sharks live at ocean depths of 2,000 meters or less, and this creates a danger zone within reach of modern deep-sea trawlers’ deadly fishing nets.

Now that makes sense! Who cares about the scientists now . Because the word "this" is referring to the fact that "sharks live at ocean depths of 2,000 meters or less". That is what creates the danger.

So in the original sentence, I'll put bold on the part that "this" refers to:

Scientists have recently discovered that nearly all of the world’s sharks live at ocean depths of 2,000 meters or less ; and this creates a danger zone within reach of modern deep-sea trawlers’ deadly fishing nets.
 
Old 01-12-2010, 06:28 AM   #11
salasi
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sharks live at ocean depths

Note that this title, which may, or may not be part of the question, is ambiguous (as in "See sharks live at..." or as in "Sharks do live at...", which may be, in context, an error, but is not a grammar error) and should have a capital letter at the start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcano View Post
Is it a correctly written English ?

Scientists have recently discovered that nearly all of the world’s sharks live at ocean depths of 2,000 meters or less ; and this creates a danger zone within reach of modern deep-sea trawlers’ deadly fishing nets.
My view (and this is a personal view):

Is this in correctly written English ?

Scientists have recently discovered that nearly all of the World’s sharks live at ocean depths of 2,000 metres, or less, and this creates a danger zone within reach of modern deep-sea trawlers’ deadly fishing nets.

The 'or less' is a real problem here: the rule is, if you can count it, it should be fewer rather than less, but '2,000 metres, or fewer' sounds really clunky.

'creates a danger zone within reach...' is also a bit difficult, in that it suggests that there may be several danger zones and that another one has been created.

I also feel that it is not the sharks living at any particular depth that creates a danger zone; the danger zone is created by the trawlers and their deep-reaching nets and the sharks may or may not spend time in that danger zone.

'makes the zone to a depth of 2000 metres a dangerous one in which the sharks are within the range of modern deep sea trawlers' nets' would be harder to misinterpret, but more fussy.
 
Old 01-12-2010, 07:03 AM   #12
brianL
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It's no use asking an Oldhamer about correct English.
 
Old 01-12-2010, 07:13 AM   #13
cantab
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I think "2000 metres or less" is correct. Depths are continuous. A shark could be living at a depth of 1789 and 1/4 metres. "Fewer" should only be used for discrete things. Here's an example:

"A bus can carry 12 people or fewer. Each passenger must be less than 7 feet tall."

Even in the case of discrete things, "less" will still be understood, and many people won't even recognise it as 'wrong'.
 
  


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