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Kal
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« on: August 18, 2016, 05:16:08 AM »

Hello Jose,

I have stumbled on this book, Words on Words: A Dictionary for Writers and Others who Care about Words  by  John Bremner, a couple of years ago at the library of my alma mater: Florida Atlantic University. In a section of his books, he classifies five types of the sentences(the four we know): simple, compound, complex, compound-complex, and complex-complex sentence.

He did give an example of what a complex-complex sentences would look like, but I regret to not have taking the opportunity to write down that example at that time. Although, I was able to find his book on Google books. I was trying to see if I can find  that same example, but to no avail, it left out the page of his book that had his example along with the definition of the complex-complex sentence. This is a sentence that I wrote to get an idea if that is how a complex-complex sentence is constructed. What do you think about this type of sentence?: Now, popular kids were pursuing those that once pursued them that they had rejected in the past.

Do you have this book at your disposal? If yes, could you provide a copy or type the part on sentences? Because I like the way he explains the types of sentences with examples (the ones that I am able to view) to illustrate his explanations. If not, that is fine too.

Could you provide more examples of complex-complex sentences?
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Michael E. Galario
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2016, 06:38:25 AM »

Hi Kal,

Just my two cents on the sentence you posted:

        "Now, popular kids were pursuing those that once pursued them that they had rejected in the past."

For me, the sentence you provided is an example of a complex sentence.

Independent Clause: Now, popular kids were pursuing those.
Dependent Clause: 1. that once pursued them
                             2. that they had rejected in the past

As to the fifth type of sentence, some regard an elliptical construction as another type of sentence according to structure. This is the very first time I heard about a complex -complex sentence. I'm also curious to know the complex - complex structure if there is such a structure in English.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 07:10:09 PM by Michael E. Galario » Logged

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Kal
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2016, 09:42:27 AM »

Hi Michael,

Sorry for the delayed respond. I didn't realize your reply until a couple of days ago. It is hard to say whether my sentence is a complex sentence or not. However, I am happy to say that I now own a copy of the book, Words on Words written by the late John B. Bremner, which was extremely extremely affordable. I love his entry on sentences that I have decided to put the whole thing(including complex-complex sentence) here and see what you think of it.


Sentences
A sentence is a grammatical unit that conveys a complete thought and contains a subject and a predicate, either or both of which may be understated but understood. Sentences are principally classified as simple, compound, complex, compound-complex, complex-complex. Thus:
-A simple sentence consists of one independent clause: "He knows almost nothing."
-A compound sentence consists of two or more independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction: "He knows almost nothing and he doesn't want to study." and "He knows almost nothing and he doesn't want to study but he may change."
-A complex sentence consists of an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses: "He knows almost nothing because he refuses to study." and "Because he refuses to study, he doesn't know he should."
-A compound-complex sentence consists of two or independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses: "He knows that he should study but he doesn't want to." and "He knows that he should study but he doesn't think that he has a chance of passing."
-A complex-complex sentence consists of an independent clause and a dependent clause that is subordinate to another dependent clause: "He got mad when I told him that he should study."

Before I had this book in my possession, I attempted to create a complex-complex sentence that you commented on: "Now, the popular kids were pursuing those that once pursued them that they had rejected in the past."

I ran this sentence by someone who is a grammar expert, Nancy Sullivan, author of Essential Grammar, who said that the second dependent clause "that they had rejected in the past" was awkward. She created her own version: "Now, the boy was buying cars that needed parts that were difficult to find."

Let me know what you think
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Michael E. Galario
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2016, 08:51:28 AM »

Hi Kal,

Here is my opinion about the classification of sentences according to structure. In most of my readings, both the old books in grammar and the new ones, sentences are structurally classified into four types: simple, compound, complex, and compound complex. Should there be an additional type, elliptical structure, for me, best fits in the classification. With all honesty, I haven't read his books yet, but I'll still give you my point of view about the concern. Let's focus on the complex sentence definition.

A COMPLEX SENTENCE  consists of ONE INDEPENDENT CLAUSE and ONE or MORE DEPENDENT CLAUSES.

Let's review what a dependent clause is. Recall that an independent clause is a sentence, whereas dependent is not. A dependent clause can be a noun clause, an adjective clause, or an adverbial clause.

At this point, I want you to focus on the sentence provided by you and the improved version given by Ms Sullivan. Let's analyze the sentence guided by the complex sentence definition.


"Now, the popular kids were pursuing those that once pursued them that they had rejected in the past."
"Now, the boy was buying cars that needed parts that were difficult to find"

Accordingly, A COMPLEX SENTENCE  consists of ONE INDEPENDENT CLAUSE and ONE or MORE DEPENDENT CLAUSES.

The main clauses in the sentences given are:

A. Now, the popular kids were pursuing those.
B. Now, the boy was buying cars.

The dependent clauses are:

A. 1. that once pursued them
    2. that they had rejected in the past

B. A. that needed parts
    B. that were difficult to find

Regardless of how many dependent clauses a sentence contains and how they are structured, as long as there is one independent clause, the sentence is a complex sentence. The definition does not restrict the structure to dependent clauses subordinated to independent clauses. Please note that the adjective/relative clauses needs to be placed as close as possible to the word/s they modify. It's just how the way it is.

Not yet convinced? Let's try to analyze Mr Bremner stands. In his book he maintains that there is a complex - complex sentence structure wherein a dependent clause is subordinated to another dependent clause. I'm just quite wondering why he did not propose another classification wherein there are 2 independent clauses, each containing one or more dependent clauses.

Maria reads the book that I gave her on her birthday and she plans to finish reading it on the 1st of November which is a holiday.

Let's analyze this.

Main Clause: Maria reads the book
                   She plans to finish reading it on the 1st of November.

Dependent Clause: that I gave her on her birthday
                            which is a holiday

Each dependent sentence above is subordinated and coordinated.

Can I call such a structure as a Compound - Complex - Complex sentence, the same way how Mr. Bremner arrive at the complex - complex structure name/classification?

Another example would be:

"I looked for Mary and Samantha at the bus station which is near Mcdonald, but they arrived at the station before noon and they left on the bus before I arrived.

Can we call this structure as Compound - Compound - Complex or Compound - Complex - Compound?

Hope this sentence analysis helps you.


P.S.

I am not a grammar expert. I just love the language.
This analysis of mine does not intend to question the authorities in the language. ☺
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 09:44:38 AM by Michael E. Galario » Logged

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Kal
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2016, 08:35:46 AM »

Hello Michael,


I would have agreed with you, but I realized that the complex sentence would not work. You see, you are right in saying that a complex sentence contains one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses. The thing is if the complex sentence has two dependent clauses, those dependent clauses would modify the independent clause, which is why it does not work and why the complex-complex sentence fits the bill. That being said, I love the way that you broke down your argument even though we don't entirely agree. By the way, I recognize that last sentence that you gave dealing with Mary and Samantha. I think that you got it R. Rambo's website. He gives good examples of sentences. 

P.S.
I don't think none of us are grammar experts, but I do believe that we can learn from one another because I myself love my native English language as well.  We can feel free to agree and/or disagree, which makes this forum great. I am curious, what is your native language and where and when did you start learning the English language(a beautiful and powerful language)?
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Michael E. Galario
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2016, 02:06:04 PM »

Hi Kal,

Sorry for this late reply. I was just too busy doing my stuff this past few weeks. ☺

My native language is Filipino. I started learning the English language at the latter part of my college days. From then thereon, I have come to love the language. Until now, I am still spending time learning your mother tongue. I am trying to learn it as much as I can and I am trying to contain it within the realm of the academic English, but I just can't nail it down. Whenever I am about to finish an element of the language, another question, which is beyond what an academic English normally covers, emerges and branches out in my grey matter, and It's weird though as my brain doesn't stop from questioning usages and structures of your language.

In addition, my understanding of the language has been challenged by the opposing school of thoughts and stylistic preferences in the language, which, in my opinion, complicate the matter and which I myself need to consider in my study. My notion of correctness has begun to change. I  have begun describing the language usage of English speakers as appropriate and inappropriate in a given register or context. The question of grammaticality has again put me in such a quandary where I need to ask who set the grammar rules and what body/organization govern these rules of usage. I have come to realize that language is dynamic and these grammar rules that we have today are not set in stones and in time may change depending on how the language is used by the majority. It's we, speakers, who make the rules.

From my study what I can only say is that English is indeed a quirkish language.lol! ☺

I hope you guys, Joe and you,kal, would be around if there's is something that I need clarification about the language. Seeing the language in different perspectives is,for me, a better way of understanding this language than seeing it alone by oneself. ☺

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"The only thing that's worse than not knowing how to do something is to do something wrong while believing that it's right."

Remember: We may know something but definitely not everything.
Kal
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2016, 07:11:33 AM »

Hello Michael,

No problem with replying late. I do that myself as life is unpredictable and sometimes hectic. I want to apologize if I had offended you. I did not mean to if I do. That being said, I want to say that your English is PHENOMENAL. You would even some native English speakers to shame. I definitely could with about nailing down the English language because I, as a native English speaker, is still learning and like you, another question emerges when mastering one element. Indeed, academic English does not always reflect how English is actually used in the real world, which is why there can be confusion with non-native speakers and sometimes with native speakers.

I think some English grammar experts would echo your sentiments about the English language being a quirky and complex language. Believe me. I ran that same question about complex-complex sentences with them and they were unaware that this type existed, but intrigued, interested, and informed by it. They do see a compelling case for it. I think that they may spread the word. What this shows is that there are still aspects/elements that have yet to be discovered in the English language.

You are right, language does change over a period of time. What was once considered ungrammatical has become grammatical; what was once considered grammatical is not obsolete. However, sometimes an element that has been discarded, may resurface in a later generation of the language. Languages do recycle old items that it once used. So yeah, grammar rules do change and it does depend the majority. Keep in mind, dialects as well. As in one country, a particular dialect is standard while in another country speaking the same language, a different dialect is standard as in the case of American English and British English. That is what makes languages so fascinating because it is fluid.

I do want to say that you have learned a good deal from you as you have gave me pauses and perspective regarding my native language, which is a good. I hope you are around as well. I feel that I could learn from you as how it is with native speakers. I am glad that I have a chance to have great discussions together.

Lets learn together!
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