Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 08:17 am
Hi English teachers,
are my sentences below natural and acceptable?I appreciate your guidance in advance.
1)I think you haven't eaten dinner.
2)Your cat seems not to like fishes.
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 2,940 • Replies: 16
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View best answer, chosen by Loh Jane
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 08:34 am
@Loh Jane,
One correction: fish is both singular and plural. Fishes not correct in this instance (though I've heard people use it in informal chats.)

Here's an article for further elaboration:

Fish vs. fishes

"The plural of fish is usually fish, but fishes has a few uses. In biology, for instance, fishes is used to refer to multiple species of fish. For instance, if you say you saw four fish when scuba diving, that means you saw four individual fish, but if you say you saw four fishes, we might infer that you saw an undetermined number of fish of four different species. Fishes’ also serves as the plural possessive for fish—i.e., fishes’. And of course fishes is the present-progressive verb (e.g., she fishes in the river).

Fishes also appears in the cinematic gangster idiom 'sleeps with the fishes', used to indicate that someone has been whacked (and perhaps given a water burial)."
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 08:47 am
@Loh Jane,
I would have said to a student: "Your cat does not seem to like fish" or "Your cat seems to dislike fish"
I am not sure with number one.
"I think you haven´t eaten (your)dinner" sounds more to me as if you did not thouch what is on you plate.
"I think you have´t had dinner" sounds to me as if you skipped dinner.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 08:54 am
@saab,
#1 is quite acceptable to my ear. I've heard it said in everyday (grammatically correct) speaking, as well.
Loh Jane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 08:55 am
@Ragman,
Ragman thank you for your correction,
however, my two sentences stay mysterious.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 08:58 am
@Loh Jane,
why?
0 Replies
 
Loh Jane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 09:01 am
@Ragman,
I am not sure if they are natural and acceptable.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 09:04 am
@Loh Jane,
You've asked for language advice and yet it appears that you're not accepting it. I've explained the proper grammar as well as the common usage. I advise that you not use the word fishes as it's not appropriate.

The advice I offered is the common and natural usage of the words you presented.
Loh Jane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 09:08 am
@Ragman,
Hi Ragman,
I accepted it but a book says my sentences are unnatural and so I want to confirm with you only.
Ragman
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 09:18 am
@Loh Jane,
Fine. Well, I'm not always correct, but certainly neither are books 100% of the time. I feel strongly about the usage in this case.
Loh Jane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 09:26 am
@Ragman,
I have one more question. Can I say the cat seems not to like fish?
0 Replies
 
Loh Jane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 09:38 am
@Ragman,
Thanks a lot.I think the book may have errors.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 09:50 am
@Loh Jane,
I find it easy to stay humble as the subject of English language usage, particularly American Eng., is quite humbling. Having been involved with writing technical manuals, I've had brush-ups (both good and bad) with editors and other writers. I find many editors very often do not agree either on the time of day or which day it is. As a result, books may get published with errors and/or omissions.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 12:16 pm
@Loh Jane,
Loh Jane wrote:

Hi English teachers,
are my sentences below natural and acceptable?I appreciate your guidance in advance.
1)I think you haven't eaten dinner.
2)Your cat seems not to like fishes.


You could say "I don't think you've eaten dinner", but both are fairly natural and acceptable, except that when talking of diet, we say 'fish'.

Your cat seems not to like fish.

(It must be a strange cat!)

A plate of fish

http://image.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/645541/645541,1326353092,2/stock-photo-grilled-sardine-fish-and-french-fries-served-on-a-plate-in-a-pub-92543926.jpg

Some fishes

http://www.unepscs.org/images/posters/Small_Pelagic_Fishes_of_the_Philippines.jpg



roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 12:54 pm
@contrex,

contrex wrote:

Loh Jane wrote:

Hi English teachers,
are my sentences below natural and acceptable?I appreciate your guidance in advance.
1)I think you haven't eaten dinner.
2)Your cat seems not to like fishes.


You could say "I don't think you've eaten dinner", but both are fairly natural and acceptable, except that when talking of diet, we say 'fish'.

That would be my choice as well.

[/quote]Your cat seems not to like fish.[/quote]

"Your cat doesn't seem to like fish." sounds more natural from an American point of view.

[/quote]
Loh Jane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 09:28 pm
@roger,
Yes roger,you are right that is the answer.
0 Replies
 
Loh Jane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 May, 2013 09:31 pm
Hi all,
Thank you very much.
0 Replies
 
 

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