7
   

"to make sure of"

 
 
mcook
 
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2016 05:46 pm
The answer the the question below is option 2, but why can't the first answer be correct? I want to say that it has something to do with pronouns but I'm not certain.


Why is it important to check your answers twice?

1) To make sure of no obvious, foolish errors.
2) To make sure that you've made no obvious, foolish answers.
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Type: Question • Score: 7 • Views: 816 • Replies: 11
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View best answer, chosen by mcook
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2016 06:12 pm
@mcook,
3) To make sure that you've made no obvious errors.
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2016 08:12 pm
@mcook,
I would have said 'To make sure there's no obvious, foolish errors."

1) is definitely wrong - but I can't tell you why in grammar terms.

"Make sure of" = prove beyond doubt.

But you would never say To 'prove beyond doubt' no errors. It's missing a connecting word/phrase - 'Prove beyond doubt' there are no errors. Parses so much more better ;-)
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2016 08:15 pm
@hingehead,
Maybe it's just the preposition 'of' isn't acting on a noun?
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perennialloner
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2016 08:37 pm
@mcook,
Its really hard to explain. The reason why your first example is wrong has to do with the fact that the part that comes after "to make sure of" is negated with "no." If you take out the no the sentence will read fine. It definitely won't make actual sense, but will make grammatical sense.

If you're making sure of something, you're affirming its validity. I guess you can't validate no error, but you can validate the nonexistence of error.

"To make sure of the nonexistence of obvious, foolish errors" makes grammatical sense. (I think)

I may very well be mistaken.
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mcook
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2016 01:32 am
Thanks so much for your help everyone!
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2016 01:45 pm
To make sure there ARE no errors.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2016 02:58 pm
@mcook,
mcook wrote:

The answer the the question below is option 2, but why can't the first answer be correct? I want to say that it has something to do with pronouns but I'm not certain.


Why is it important to check your answers twice?

1) To make sure of no obvious, foolish errors.
2) To make sure that you've made no obvious, foolish answers.

Other than the fact that the first sentence is a passive construction, and some grammarians frown upon them, I don't see that it isn't correct.
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2016 04:14 pm
@InfraBlue,
Doesn't it sound very off, though?

"To make sure no obvious, foolish errors were made" is passive as well, but sounds okay at least.
0 Replies
 
selectmytutor
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Jan, 2017 04:46 am
@mcook,
To make sure that you've made no foolish errors.
0 Replies
 
GrammarIsMyLife
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 10:11 am
@mcook,
To make sure of no obvious, foolish errors.

I don't know much about this, but to me it just sounds off. Instead, maybe try:

"To make sure that there are no obvious, foolish errors."
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2017 10:31 am
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs uses this construction in its examples of the phrasal verb "make sure of."

Quote:
Make sure (of something)

to check something and be certain about it.

Please make sure of your facts before you write the report. We made sure of the route we had to follow before we left.


(found at The Free Dictionary)

To me it's a bit archaic sounding, Modern English at its beginning, but not incorrect.
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