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Thread: Professor Snape says...

  1. #1
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    Professor Snape says...

    In "Harry Potter", Professor Snape says:
    As such, I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion making.

    Shouldn't it be "...the subtle science and exact art that potion making is"?
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    the X that is Y. = the X that Y is.
    This is a correct formulation. It is unusual, kind of poetic. It is rare.

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    While not incorrect, I think it is generally frowned upon to end a sentence with is/are (in certain constructions, that is ). It sounds quite awkward, I think.

    Plus, as Chaika said, it is quite poetic and very much Snape-like to phrase the sentence the way they have.

    Also, it puts more emphasis on "potion making."

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    Re: Professor Snape says...

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    In "Harry Potter", Professor Snape says:
    As such, I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion making.

    Shouldn't it be "...the subtle science and exact art that potion making is"?
    Ты еще к Мастеру Йоде цепляться начни

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    the X that is Y. = the X that Y is.
    This is a correct formulation. It is unusual, kind of poetic. It is rare.
    I'm sorry, but which one? the X that is Y or the X that Y is?
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    I'm sorry, but which one? the X that is Y or the X that Y is?
    Hello Оля, I think when chaika used the "=" sign he meant that both sentence forms are acceptable. In your Snape ("Snape, Snape, Severus Snape") example both alternatives sound OK to me. But, as ZelyeUrsuli points out, it can sound awkward if you end a sentence with the verb "is".

    By the way the verb "is" is a linking verb.
    A linking verb joins a subject to a subject complement (also called a predicate noun or predicate adjective), a word or phrase that describes or explains the subject.
    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/Sec ... 27103.html
    The normal pattern for sentences using linking verbs is S(subject)-V(verb)-Adj(adjective)/N(noun), see: http://www.eslgold.com/grammar/basic_sentence.html
    However, this is not always so; here is a funny rule about linking verbs:
    If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
    Self-contradicting Rules for Writing by Dave McAwesome http://www.maximumawesome.com/reference/g-safire.htm This rule is funny because the sentence stating the rule also violates the rule by ending with the linking verb "is". And yet that sentence does not sound awkward. Read and listen to this famous example of an acceptable sentence ending with "is":
    It depends on what the meaning of the word is, is.
    President Bill Clinton http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4XT-l-_3y0

    So how do you know when ending a sentence with a linking verb sounds awkward or is incorrect? I understand this may be difficult for those for whom English is a second language. I don't have a good answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Watts
    Hello Оля, I think when chaika used the "=" sign he meant that both sentence forms are acceptable.
    I understood that. I only didn't understand which of them is "unusual, kind of poetic, and rare".
    And I'm afraid I didn't get the sense of ZelyeUrsuli's post.

    ("Snape, Snape, Severus Snape")
    What was that?
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    ("Snape, Snape, Severus Snape") What was that?
    Earlier today a Russian teenager, who has grown up loving everything about Harry Potter, pointed me to this funny link about HP and Snape: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx1XIm6q4r4
    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    I only didn't understand which of them is "unusual, kind of poetic, and rare".
    ZelyeUrsuli clearly believes it is the Snape line: . . . "the subtle science and exact art that is potion making." I don't think chaika meant that any phrase written in the format of "the X that is Y" is so. Maybe it comes out as unusual, poetic and rare because actor Alan Rickman knows how to deliver a line (and capture a certain Russian's heart ).

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    Snape's sentence is unusual in conversation, but it is a normal way to introduce an academic topic in a lecture.

    "We will now move on to the exciting field which is microbiology."

    Putting the subject at the end draws special attention to it.

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    Thank you, paulb.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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