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Correct my English Please

  1. Feb 15, 2009 #1
    I am being paranoid about my english, which of the following sentences are correct?

    1)
    "...increasing a samples length..." OR
    "...increasing a sample's length..."

    2)
    "...having known a standardized samples cross-section..." OR
    "...having known a standardized sample's cross-section..."

    3)
    "...signals defining a molecules characteristics..." OR
    "...signals defining a molecule's characteristics..."

    Anyone with the right answer will go on the acknowledgements page of my thesis! :biggrin:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2009 #2

    Math Is Hard

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    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    The second case appears correct for each of these.
     
  4. Feb 15, 2009 #3

    mgb_phys

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    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    All are 's you use this when it belongs to something
     
  5. Feb 15, 2009 #4
    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    What about words' plural ?
    So what about
    Am I overdoing it ?

    BTW, it's "please", not "prease" :tongue2:
     
  6. Feb 15, 2009 #5
    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    It's also "english" not "engrish" :rolleyes:
     
  7. Feb 15, 2009 #6
    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    So when would you use "equations" compared to "equation's"?

    eg. "...Maxwell's equations..." or "...Maxwell's equation's...".
    (I guess that implies the equations "belong" to Maxwell right?).
     
  8. Feb 15, 2009 #7
    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    AHAHA :rofl:

    .
    ..
    ...
    ....
    .....no.

    Also why are you putting an apostraphe after "acknowredgments"? I'm pretty sure that's incorrect. You could say "acknowredgments' pages" I think?
     
  9. Feb 15, 2009 #8
    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    Because that's the way we would translate french, literally. We would say that the page "belongs to" the acknowredgments, as we would certainly use "Maxwell's equations". Yet I do not think these forms are commonly used in english.

    Let's wait for english speakers' valuable advices !

    I can correct your french if you want though :cry:
     
  10. Feb 15, 2009 #9

    cristo

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    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    You spelt standardised wrong!
     
  11. Feb 15, 2009 #10
    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    Standardize = american spelling.
     
  12. Feb 15, 2009 #11

    cristo

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    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    Exactly. I thought you wanted your English corrected? :uhh:
     
  13. Feb 15, 2009 #12

    Math Is Hard

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    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    All about apostrophes:

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_apost.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. Feb 15, 2009 #13

    Kurdt

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    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    I've come down with a bit of apostropheitis from nowhere recently. There must be something going round.
     
  15. Feb 15, 2009 #14

    Evo

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    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    And it's "spelled" not "spelt", American English is the correct English. :tongue2:

    Spelt is an ancestor to wheat.
     
  16. Feb 15, 2009 #15

    Kurdt

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    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    Oooh, there's going to be trouble.
     
  17. Feb 15, 2009 #16

    OmCheeto

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    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    Thank you MIH. I've always been confused about apostrophes. Except for of course, the trivially obvious ones listed above, and on the previously non-mentioned previous page. :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  18. Feb 15, 2009 #17

    mgb_phys

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  19. Feb 15, 2009 #18

    Math Is Hard

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    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    I am a recovering apostrophe abuser. I donate regularly to the http://www.apostrophe.org.uk" [Broken].
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  20. Feb 15, 2009 #19

    Chi Meson

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    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    Hair splitting time!

    While it has already been stated that the second example of each of these is the more correct one, they are not the best choice for what you want to say.

    I would prefer to read
    1)...increasing the length of a sample...
    2)...having known the cross-section of a standardized sample...
    3)...signals defining the characteristics of a molecule...

    Although the rule is old (arcane, in fact), the apostrophe s is a contraction of "his"; "John's Pony" is a contraction of "John, his pony." By it's original nature, the apostrophe s lends to a personification of the noun and its application to inanimate objects and intangible concepts should be limited, especially in a formal report (where most contractions should be avoided in general).

    But sometimes, when the time is right, you simply have to break the rule's fingers.
     
  21. Feb 15, 2009 #20
    Re: Correct my Engrish Prease

    Thanks for that Chi. Instead of debating these contractions, I should've been avoiding them from the start. And you're right, your versions sound more formal. :approve:

    I think some serious review is required on my part...
     
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