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English grammar question

  1. Jan 1, 2009 #1
    is it right to write

    "The QT240 IC is used to sense the user’s touch."

    or

    "The QT240 IC is use to sense the user’s touch." ?

    The subject is the QT240 IC and the verb is "is". What is "use/used"?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 1, 2009 #2
    "used" is proper. Another word may be better used in its place though.
     
  4. Jan 1, 2009 #3
    I like to break things down. "to sense the user's touch" is a modifying phrase.

    "The QT240 IC is used to sense the user’s touch."
    becomes
    "The QT240 IC is used."
    To simplify:
    "It is used."
     
  5. Jan 1, 2009 #4
    What grammar rule says that "used" must be used instead of "use"? I'm not arguing that it is wrong btw.
     
  6. Jan 1, 2009 #5

    jtbell

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    Staff: Mentor

    "Use" and "uses" are active verbs:

    "We use the QT240 IC to sense the user's touch."
    "He uses the QT240 IC to sense the user's touch."

    "Is used" and "are used" are passive verbs:

    "The QT240 IC is used to sense the user’s touch."
    "The QT240 and QR238 ICs are used to sense the user's touch."

    See for example http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/grammar/actpass.html
    and other pages that you can find by doing a Google search for "active and passive verbs".

    We also say that the two kinds of sentences are in the "active voice" and the "passive voice".
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  7. Jan 1, 2009 #6
    You've really got me going here. After realizing that I didn't answer your question, I've been hunting around for my MLA handbood and can't find it. I must have loaned it out at one time. It's the end all, be all of the strange device we call communication in English.

    "Use" and it derivatives is a very complicated word. "Use" is a verb and a noun depending on pronunciation. "Used" is an adverb. "Useless" is an adjective. You certainly picked a good one!
     
  8. Jan 1, 2009 #7
    Have you ever done any research on Turkish Language Family ?
    That language has a very well grammer structure...
     
  9. Jan 1, 2009 #8
    Thank you! When doing technical writing, which voice should be used?
     
  10. Jan 1, 2009 #9
    Passive one would be better IMHO
     
  11. Jan 1, 2009 #10

    LowlyPion

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    In technical writing I think the active voice and present tense is the preferred way to go. Electronics circuits in user terms happens at once in the present tense perceptually.

    In your example I would avoid your problem of using the passive voice by restating the sentence more simply as "The QT240 IC senses the user’s touch." Or if the word "senses" is too squishy and not machine like enough for you, maybe use the word "registers".
     
  12. Jan 1, 2009 #11

    tiny-tim

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    happy new year!

    Hi david90! :smile:
    No, the verb is not "is" … the verb is the whole phrase "is used". :wink:

    English often uses two words for a verb where other languages use only one.

    For example, the future tense in English starts with the separate word "will" (or "shall") … "he will use …", and the emphatic present tense and imperfect present and past tenses with "he does use …" and "he is using …" and "he was using …" (and "he had been using …" but I don't know the name of that :redface:)

    Also "he has used …" and "he is used …" and "he was used …" and "he had been used …"

    The word "used" in these examples is the past participle of the verb "use". It is called that because it appears in the past tense ("he has used"), but it also happens to appear in passive forms of the verb (i dunno why).

    "used" must tbe used if the verb is passive. :smile:

    Nooo … "used" is never an adverb.
     
  13. Jan 1, 2009 #12
    is this a homework problem? :wink: i hated lab reports...
     
  14. Jan 1, 2009 #13
    nah it's not. I have always been bad with grammar and I'm trying to improve it.
     
  15. Jan 1, 2009 #14

    lisab

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    Re: happy new year!

    What about "used car"? And why are we whispering?
     
  16. Jan 1, 2009 #15

    Chi Meson

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    Re: happy new year!

    That's an adjective. The adverb is "usedly" as in: "He was usedly pulling the stuffing out of the penguin." or "The pachinko game fell over usedly." Glad to help.
     
  17. Jan 1, 2009 #16
    more adverbs: usefully, penguinfully.
     
  18. Jan 1, 2009 #17

    lisab

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    Re: happy new year!

    ok, thanks...why are you yelling?
     
  19. Jan 1, 2009 #18
    "The QT240 IC is used to sense the user’s touch." is looks natural for broken English user.
     
  20. Jan 2, 2009 #19

    tiny-tim

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    shhh …


    so as not to wake the penguins :smile:
     
  21. Jan 2, 2009 #20

    Chi Meson

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    Hey, cool. Do a google on "usedly"!
     
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