Correct or incorrect sentences

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AnandVishy:
Could you please tell me whether the following sentences are grammatically correct or incorrect?
1) The President along with his advisors attends the meeting tomorrow.
2) I was graduated from high school last year.
3) Speed reading aids in comprehension.
4) The legendary Mark McGwire has established an enviable record, andit probably will not be broken during the next fifty years.
5) Fifty-three thousand shouting enthusiasts filled the stadium tocome to watch the first game of the season and to cheer the home team.

Another question: is it correct to start a sentence with the word "But" in writing?
Thank you.
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CyberCypher:
(Email Removed) (AnandVishy) burbled
[nq:1]Could you please tell me whether the following sentences are grammatically correct or incorrect? 1) The President along with his advisors attends the meeting tomorrow.[/nq]
I don't see any grammatical problem outside the need for commas after "President" and :advisors", but that may be optional here, only a stylistic one. Out of context, I would not use the simple present to talk about the future but would use "will come" instead. Then you can change "along with his advisors", an inelegant phrase if it is to be written instead of spontaneously spoken by someone, to "and his advisors will come". This will eliminate the grammatical question about whether the verb "comes" in the original sentence should be "come". It should be "comes", not "come". Only "The President", a singular noun phrase", is the subject of the verb. It is grammatically correct.
[nq:1]2) I was graduated from high school last year.[/nq]
As this definition of the transitive verb "to graudate" demonstrates", the verb can be used in the passive as it is used here.
Webster's 3rd New International Unabridged
(quote)
b : to grant the right to go or concede the completion of the qualifications for going (as from an elementary school) at the end of the course or last grade many citizens were never graduated from high school
(/quote)
[nq:1]3) Speed reading aids in comprehension.[/nq]
I don't think there is anything grammatically wrong with this awful sentence, but I would change it by deleting the "in" to avoid making the reader think the subject is "Speed reading aids" instead of "Speed reading" with "aids" as the main verb. I would call this an error in style and probably a usage error as well.
[nq:1]4) The legendary Mark McGwire has established an enviable record, and it probably will not be broken during the next fifty years.[/nq]
There are problems with this sentence. Mark McGwire is a real and not a "legendary" person. King Arthur is legendary but might be based upon a real English king, so there's a usage error. The second clause in the sentence should be joined to the first not by ", and it" but by ", which" or, perhaps, "that". But I don't think it's grammatically incorrect, just poor style again.
[nq:1]5) Fifty-three thousand shouting enthusiasts filled the stadium to come to watch the first game of the season and to cheer the home team.[/nq]
I think this contains a grammatical error: "to come to watch". Only one makes sense: "to watch". It would be no better with "to come and watch", because no matter how enthusiastic these shouting fans were, they probably did not anticipate having an orgasm in the stadium while watching the ball game. Also, and more seriously,if we assume "to come" means "to arrive at the stadium", then it is redundant. If they had already "filled the stadium", they had already arrived; it was not their intention to fill the stadium in order to arrive at the statium but to arrive at the stadium in order to watch the ball game.
[nq:1]Another question: is it correct to start a sentence with the word "But" in writing?[/nq]
Theoretically and grammatically there is nothing wrong with beginning a written sentence with "But" or any other conjunction. Stylistically, however, there are many things to consider before so doing.
1. The most important external consideration is whether your reader(an English teacher or a publisher, for example) requires you to use a style manual that prohibits such sentences and strictly enforces that prohibition. Then you will have to argue that while you agree that it is best not to begin every sentence or most sentences or even many sentences with conjunctions, that on occasion there are contexts in which it is the perfect, perfectly correct, and perfectly acceptable way to begin a sentence. But you don't now and never will abuse the usage, just as you do not begin every sentence with "I" or "YOU" or any other particular word.
2. The next important external consideration is the appropriatenessof such a sentence in context. Does it add anything to what you are writing? If your answser is yes, then do it. Does it detract from what you are writing? If your answer is yes, then don't do it. If you can answer no to both questions, then toss a coin, for it does not matter.
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Bruce Tober:
[nq:1]Could you please tell me whether the following sentences are grammatically correct or incorrect?[/nq]
They seem overly formal to me, however:
[nq:1]1) The President along with his advisors attends the meeting tomorrow.[/nq]
insert commas after "President" and "advisors"
[nq:1]2) I was graduated from high school last year.[/nq]
correct.
[nq:1]3) Speed reading aids in comprehension.[/nq]
correct.
[nq:1]4) The legendary Mark McGwire has established an enviable record, and it probably will not be broken during the next fifty years.[/nq]
change "and it" to "which"
[nq:1]5) Fifty-three thousand shouting enthusiasts filled the stadium to come to watch the first game of the season and to cheer the home team.[/nq]
Change to "Fifty-three thousand enthusiasts filled the stadium to watch the first game of the season and to cheer the home team."
[nq:1]Another question: is it correct to start a sentence with the word "But" in writing?[/nq]
Yes. But only in the correct circumstances.
[nq:1]Thank you.[/nq]
You're welcome
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AnandVishy:
Thank you everyone for your help!
I have one more question about sentence 2: the AHD's first definition of "graduate" is "To be granted an academic degree or diploma." Since "graduate" already seems to function like a passive form of "grant", wouldn't it be redundant to say, "to be graduated from" instead of simply "to graduate from?"
Even the sample sentence that AHD provides - "Two thirds of the entering freshmen stayed to graduate" uses "graduate" actively, not passively.
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Mike Lyle:
[nq:1]Thank you everyone for your help! I have one more question about sentence 2: the AHD's first definition of "graduate" ... sample sentence that AHD provides - "Two thirds of the entering freshmen stayed to graduate" uses "graduate" actively, not passively.[/nq]
It's still normal British practice to use "to graduate" in the academic sense of being admitted to a degree as an intransitive verb, which of its nature cannot have a passive voice; and the transitive "to graduate" in its technological sense of "to mark off in units".

Thus: "She graduated in 1989"; "Put 50 cc of water in a graduated cylinder"; "The rule is graduated in millimetres".

You get "admitted to a degree" because "degree" in this sense means something like "rank" within a particular university. (Only Masters and above could vote on University business: "master" here is parallel to "master craftsman" in skilled trades.) "He has a degree" meaning he's a BA, MSc, etc is relatively recent, I think.

Mike.
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Jerry Friedman:
[nq:2]Thank you everyone for your help! I have one more ... entering freshmen stayed to graduate" uses "graduate" actively, not passively.[/nq]
[nq:1]It's still normal British practice to use "to graduate" in the academic sense of being admitted to a degree as ... cannot have a passive voice; and the transitive "to graduate" in its technological sense of "to mark off in units"..[/nq]
"Still"? The sense in "he was graduated" dates to 1421 and the sense in "he graduated" to 1807. I'd consider "he was graduated" obsolete, or at least obsolescent. Something like 35 years ago, one member of the AHD's Usage Panel wrote that "was graduated" is preferred by all who write with a quill pen. For the panel's current view, see , which is also my source for the dates.

Jerry Friedman
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Mike Lyle:
[nq:2]It's still normal British practice to use "to graduate" in ... in its technological sense of "to mark off in units".[/nq]
[nq:1]... "Still"? The sense in "he was graduated" dates to 1421 and the sense in "he graduated" to 1807. I'd ... write with a quill pen. For the panel's current view, see , which is also my source for the dates.[/nq]
I always forget to remember to expect the unexpected round here.

Mike.
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