asked them to stop

This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.
Post Reply

asked them to stop

Post by azz » Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:37 am

a. It is an industrial cleaner whose producers have asked the public to stop using at home.
b. It is an industrial cleaner whose producers have pleaded with the public to stop using at home.

Are the above sentences grammatically correct?

Many thanks.

Re: asked them to stop

Post by tony h » Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:40 pm

They are not natural.
Try :
It is an industrial cleaner. The manufacturers have asked the public to stop using it at home.

Produce/producers tend to be used with crops, not manufactured items. However this statement is capable of clarification as I am well aware that, inter alia, theatre shows and newspapers are produced.
Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

Re: asked them to stop

Post by Phil White » Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:51 pm

Again, trying to pack so much information into a single sequence is causing the problem. Depending on the context, a speaker would approach the sentence differently. In particular, I think the relative clause would be avoided completely. The simplest rendering (in speech with a strong emphasis on "industrial") would simply be:
"It is an industrial cleaner, and its manufacturer has asked people to stop using it at home." This linearizes the utterance far better and puts the focus on the (intended?) distinction between "industrial" and "home".
Alternatively, you could focus on cause and effect: "The manufacturer has asked people to stop using this cleaner at home because it is an industrial model."

Many of your questions feature more or less complex relative clauses that sound unnatural in English. We have talked of the reasons for this before (English has no case system to speak of, which makes it difficult to construct sentences where a noun or noun phrase is qualified by multiple or complex adjectival constructs). It is natural to native English speakers to disentangle such complex constructs in their heads before they speak or write. This is often simply a matter of following a temporal sequence or a cause and effect sequence. Other languages have other mechanisms for coping with complex interrelationships. German, for instance, regularly constructs sentences in which native speakers of English find the logic difficult to follow. An example of a literally translated German sentence: "The having been turned on machine is ready for immediate use". As English speakers, we simply do not think in this way. We think sequentially: "After the machine has been turned on, it can be used immediately".

As so often, it is not a case of whether the grammar of your sentence is correct. Rather, it is a question of whether they reflect a natural (English) thought process.
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Post Reply