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English Usage

 
 
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 12:33 pm
Hi, I just happened to find a strange-sounding English sentence in the pages of a grammar book, which has a sentence like this " "are you going to be starting work on the room today? " I'm not sure if this sentence makes sense or not, considering that the author of this grammar book is a well-regarded grammarian, who is said to have published several grammar books. Could it have been a misnomer or typo? I just can't imagine a sobersides writing something like "on the room. "

Plus, the author also said he 'd suggest using "are you going to be+ing to ask plans in a particularly polite way. Is that correct?

What do you make of it? My native language is not English, so I want to sound you guys out about this sentence or usage. Thanks.
 
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 12:44 pm
@goldberg,
It's perfectly correct.
It means are you commencing work on the room today, the 'work' implying any form of cleaning, renovation, emptying etc.
goldberg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 12:50 pm
@fresco,
Sorry, Fresco, I still don't get it. Could you define the meaning of "on the room "in this sentence? I was thinking about the correct one might have been in the room, not "on the room. "

Could you dwell on it for me? Thanks.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 12:55 pm
@goldberg,
see update...'on' is perfectly acceptable...'in' could merely imply a location for doing any task like written homework and not work on the structure of the room itself.
0 Replies
 
goldberg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 01:00 pm
@fresco,
Oh, I see. I never would have thought we could write something like on the room. Thanks a lot.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 01:00 pm
@goldberg,
goldberg wrote:

Sorry, Fresco, I still don't get it. Could you define the meaning of "on the room "in this sentence? I was thinking about the correct one might have been in the room, not "on the room. "

Could you dwell on it for me? Thanks.


He using the word "room" as it's own object, like, say, a car. You work ON a car, not in it.

He could have said "in," but that could mean a lot of things, like doing work at your desk. Just like saying that you are going to work "in" your car would mean something quite different than working "on" your car.
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 01:02 pm
@goldberg,
goldberg wrote:


Plus, the author also said he 'd suggest using "are you going to be+ing to ask plans in a particularly polite way. Is that correct?

What do you make of it? My native language is not English, so I want to sound you guys out about this sentence or usage. Thanks.


I'm with you on this one. Makes no sense whatsoever to me.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  3  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 01:09 pm
"Are you going to be starting work on the room today?"

This is something said in conversation, which has much fewer rules and conventions than written English. The two successive gerunds linked by 'to be' are perfectly normal. In conversation it is often considered ill-mannered or unfriendly to be brisk and curt. Speech is often adorned with extra words in this way. Are you going to be cooking fish tonight? Are you going to be working next week?

As for 'on' we use this, as layman says, to talk about tasks or jobs - are you going to be starting work on the room, the car, your novel, your speech, the vegetable patch?

goldberg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 01:11 pm
@layman,
Got it, layman. Thank you. I'm reading a few grammar books which are all published by two respectable British publishing houses. And I'd say some of the sentences written by the authors and usage of some tenses introduced by them seem to be decidedly odd for a foreign learner like me. I'm not saying they are all mistaken sentences; the sentences just sound befuddling to me.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 01:16 pm
@goldberg,
goldberg wrote:
Plus, the author also said he 'd suggest using "are you going to be+ing to ask plans in a particularly polite way. Is that correct?



Are you going to be performing this weekend?

Are you going to be swimming this weekend?

Are you going to be cooking tonight?

__

It's a commonly used formulation.
goldberg
 
  2  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 01:16 pm
@contrex,
Thanks for taking your time to answer my questions, contrex. I have learned something new from you , fresco and layman.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 01:18 pm
@goldberg,
Well, you're right to be wary of the way those limeys talk, Goldberg. They don't spel so dam good, either.
0 Replies
 
goldberg
 
  2  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 01:19 pm
@ehBeth,
I see. Thank you, EhBeth.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 01:30 pm
@goldberg,
I can imagine saying I would be working on the garage today, or, on the room in a general way. I've done a lot of remodeling in my time, and I definitely worked on the garage (for example, adding beams to it) and on rooms (for example, painting them.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 01:33 pm
@ossobucotemp,
I see I'm late to the thread; I didn't see the other replies before I responded.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 04:55 pm
@goldberg,
goldberg wrote:
Plus, the author also said he 'd suggest using "are you going to be+ing to ask plans in a particularly polite way. Is that correct?

Yes. It is particularly polite.
layman
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 07:04 pm
@contrex,
I get what the "be+ing" is referring to now. I never knew that was the polite way to ask a simple question.

I would probably just ask something like: "What the hell are ya gunna be doin on Saturday?," my own damn self.

I guess a cheese-eater might take "offense" at that and somehow consider it to be "nosy."

But I don't have much truck with cheese-eaters, so I really wouldn't know.
0 Replies
 
goldberg
 
  0  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 11:18 pm
@ossobucotemp,
ossobucotemp, thanks for your explanation and sorry for my tardy reply. I would have replied to your message if I had seen it in the first place.


0 Replies
 
MikkaBarsotti
 
  0  
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2016 11:30 pm
@goldberg,
English Grammatical rules do not make much logical sense to the deriving languages of which English cultivated from. If the dialogue is put in a understanding way by the interpreter then it's going to be absolute regardless. Yet we all have different perceptions of what things mean to us by order of context and context generally.
0 Replies
 
 

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