I'm not a native speaker of English, as some of you may remember (the mistakes I'm bound to make will remind you soon!), and sometimes, when construing a question I realize that, the subject being extremely long, I'd wish to place it at the beginning of the sentence, taking it up again with a pronoun. As is stated in thread "Grammar questions" (23/06/2005), which gave (1) me the idea for this query, this is fine in an informal register. How do you manage to create questions where the subject turns out to be very long and the aforementioned procedure is unadvisable?
(1) Could I have said "which has given me..."?
Bye, FB

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I'm not a native speaker of English, as some of you may remember (the mistakes I'm bound to make will ... you manage to create questions where the subject turns out to be very long and the aforementioned procedure is unadvisable?

Your question is unclear. Can you illustrate by
an example (or two, good and bad) ?

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
I'm not a native speaker of English, as some of you may remember (the mistakes I'm bound to make will ... out to be very long and the aforementioned procedure is unadvisable? (1) Could I have said "which has given me..."?

I wouldn't in this case. I think the simple past is the right tense,

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
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I'm not a native speaker of English, as some of you may remember (the mistakes I'm bound to make will ... be very long and the aforementioned procedure is unadvisable? (1) Could I have said "which has given me..."? Bye, FB

Good question. It takes a lot of practice and many rewrites to ask a complicated question clearly. The best approach, for me, is to write the conditions needed for the question in the sentences preceding the question itself. The question asked then becomes simpler and shorter. This is a good practice regardless of the language involved.
Your question is unclear. Can you illustrate by an example (or two, good and bad) ?

"Can two people who, though having lived in the same small town in the English countryside for a considerable lapse of time, have never ever had the chance even to say hello to one another when casually meeting in the street suddenly and quite unexpectedly to their near relations and most intimate friends, and to themselves most of all, fall in love?"

This is odd (but theoretically correct, I hope), and recasting it wouldn't be at all hard, but I think there are cases when sidestepping the problem of a very long subject is not so easy, especially when there is no introduction stating the conditions of the question in advance. About this very sentence I was wondering whether you could say "Can two people fall in love who, though... ?".
Bye, FB

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Your question is unclear. Can you illustrate by an example (or two, good and bad) ?

"Can two people who, though having lived in the same small town in the English countryside for a considerable lapse ... About this very sentence I was wondering whether you could say "Can two people fall in love who, though... ?".

I would find this easier to read and understand if it started "Is it possible for ..." and ended "... to fall in love". But I'm not sure why.

David
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"Can two people who, though having lived in the same small town in the English countryside for a considerable lapse ... About this very sentence I was wondering whether you could say "Can two people fall in love who, though... ?".

Yes of course: why ever not?
Your draft above
(1) lacks an essentia comma between another and when (2) errs semantically concerning "meeting . . . relations" and nearby prepositions.
You could profitably remove everything between "suddenly" and "of all." These words obscure your question and do not clarify or amplify its meaning. (The two principals are fellow townsmen who have hitherto never spoken to
each other. The relations and intimate friends have no relevance to this background or the main question or if you meant to demonstrate some relevance you failed to do so semantically.)

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Your question is unclear. Can you illustrate by an example (or two, good and bad) ?

"Can two people who, though having lived in the same small town in the English countryside for a considerable lapse ... most intimate friends, and to themselves most of all, fall in love?" This is odd (but theoretically correct, I hope),

Breaking between the 'who' and the 'have' seems to break the sentence for me. A minimally invasive rewrite possibility:
"Can two people, though having lived in the same small town in the English countryside for a considerable lapse of time, yet have never ever had the chance to say hello to one another.."

BTW, that sounds like a good word that needs inventing, the MIRP, the Minimally Invasive Rewrite Possibility. I'll use it when I do not want to be responsible for the sentence completely, but also don't want to rewrite the whole thing, for whatever reason.

"He's asking if you killed Freddie Miles and then killed Dickie Greenleaf."
"No, I did not kill Freddie Miles and then kill Dickie Greenleaf." -, "The Talented Mr Ripley" (!!)
Your question is unclear. Can you illustrate by an example (or two, good and bad) ?

"Can two people who, though having lived in the same small town in the English countryside for a considerable lapse ... About this very sentence I was wondering whether you could say "Can two people fall in love who, though... ?".

I think you should use a discretionary comma between 'street' and 'suddenly' for clarity.
It's rather long and convoluted, and has unnecessary words. Why 'never ever' instead of just 'never'? The word 'even' isn't necessary, and the word 'casually' doesn't add anything. In fact, if they have never had the chance to say hello to one another, why add the condition 'when casually meeting in the street'? If you are trying for flowery, complex writing, though, I guess it's alright.

john
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