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Could you please help me with these sentences? Which word would you choose?

1 When will you pick/be picking up the stuff.

2 What is this regarding/about?

3 I'd like to be refunded/I'd like a refund.

4 Breakfast stops at/ends at 10am, after which time you can no longer eat. (can you use AFTER WHICH like this?)

Can you use AVOID like this?

  • That'll avoid you having to go out to buy one.
Thank you
Comments  
1 When will you pick/be picking up the stuff? -- Both OK (apart from the missing question mark), and more or less interchangeable.

2 What is this regarding/about? -- "regarding" feels like business-speak or officialese. In ordinary conversation use "about".

3 I'd like to be refunded/I'd like a refund. -- The second is more natural in most circumstances.

4 Breakfast stops at/ends at 10am, after which time you can no longer eat. -- Both are possible but "ends" seems more natural to me.

(can you use AFTER WHICH like this?) Yes.

alc24
Can you use AVOID like this?

  • That'll avoid you having to go out to buy one.
No.
alc24Can you use AVOID like this?

  • That'll avoid you having to go out to buy one.
The grammatical error in the sentence above is that here there has been an attempt to use a modal verb ("have to") as a gerund ("having to"). This is not possible: take for example another modal verb "ought to" - you cannot saying "oughting to"!
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AnonymousThe grammatical error in the sentence above is that here there has been an attempt to use a modal verb ("have to") as a gerund ("having to"). This is not possible: take for example another modal verb "ought to" - you cannot saying "oughting to"!

Anon,
You are right about the original sentence being incorrect, but I would like to point out that it is not for the reason you stated above. Even with the incorrect use of "having" in the sentence, "have" was not used as a modal. While you are correct that we can't say "oughting to", I don't believe one can compare "have" with "ought" in this case because "have" can have different charactericstics which allow it to function in the "ing" form either as a gerund or a present participle, whereas "ought" doesn't have this property. i.e. " Paul keeps having this problem which is forgetting his passwords ".
AnonymousThe grammatical error in the sentence above is that here there has been an attempt to use a modal verb ("have to") as a gerund ("having to").
Not so. "have to" is not really a modal verb; it is considered a semi-modal, and it can be used as a gerund.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry."

CJ
Could someone please tell me how they would say this?

That'll avoid you have to buy one.

That'll avoid us having to go out to buy food.

Thank you
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That verb "eviter" is sometimes tough to translate into English, isn't it? Though we have "avoid" in English, it doesn't cover all the cases where "eviter" can be used.

I'm trying to think of a way to do this that has a chance of being successful most of the time. Although some phrasing with "get around (the problem of)" is possible, I think we usually just express the whole idea in a different way.

That way you won't have to buy one.
That way we won't have to go out and buy food.

Those above are certainly less cumbersome than these below, though you can use either pattern:

That'll get (you) around (the problem of) your having to buy one.
That'll get (us) around (the problem of) our having to go out and buy food.

Note also "spare oneself (from) (the trouble of) " or simply "save [someone] (from)":

That'll spare you the trouble of having to buy one.
That'll spare you from having to buy one.
That'll spare us from the trouble of having to go out and buy food.
That'll spare us having to go out and buy food.

That'll save you (from) having to buy one.
That's save us (from) having to go out and buy food.

In more formal language, substitute circumvent for get around:

That will circumvent (the problem of) your having to buy one.
That will circumvent (the problem of) our having to go out and buy food.

CJ
Thank you CJ

Yes I got it from French.

Could you say

It'll save us having to buy one?

Thank you
alc24It'll save us having to buy one?
Yes -- with or without from. I'll revise my notes above to include that version. Good suggestion. Emotion: smile

CJ
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