Author Topic: Is this sentence correct?  (Read 1615 times)

Offline binumal

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Is this sentence correct?
« on: June 17, 2020, 01:15:59 AM »
 Hi all
Is the following sentence correct.
If I said like that I must have been joking.
If the sentence is correct, here the sentence  is expressing an epistemic meaning ,Isnt it ? Thanks in advance
« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 01:25:53 AM by binumal »

Offline panini

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Re: Is this sentence correct?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2020, 09:00:40 AM »
There is no governing body that says what is correct or incorrect. I find the sentence to be unacceptable and arguably ungrammatical. If you change "said" to "said it", "spoke" or "talked", then it's okay. If you make that change, it is probably an epistemic use of "must", but maybe there is some far-fetched context in which it is deontic.


Offline binumal

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Re: Is this sentence correct?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2020, 12:55:07 AM »
Thank you very much - hope you wont mind one more question about the sentence. What do you think is the problem with the sentence? Is that the combination 'said like that'- Is said incompatible with like?.

Offline panini

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Re: Is this sentence correct?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2020, 08:43:58 AM »
I can't make "said like" fly. There should be object, so "He said" is mostly ungrammatical, although there are some elliptical constructions like "You say...", and some idioms like "I'll say!" (but not *"They'll say!"). Other verbs like "speak, talk" don't strongly require an object, so "talk/speak like that" is okay. Similarly, *"If I gave like that" is bad, and so is *I gave" (with provisions for elliptical constructions like "I already gave").

Offline Rock100

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Re: Is this sentence correct?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2020, 09:56:09 AM »
I do believe I have heard it before that “to say” is transitive verb from the point of view of many native English speakers. But English dictionaries list it as intransitive too in the meaning of “to express oneself”, “to speak” or “to declare”. There are some discussions in the Internet about whether “to say” is transitive or not and almost all of them conclude that it is transitive. Though the Corpus of Contemporary American English (www.english-corpora.org/coca) lists a lot of intransitive usages.
So I wonder if there is a resource where one could check the modern tendencies of the words usage as above?
Thanks in advance.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Is this sentence correct?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2020, 07:28:07 PM »
I completely agree with what panini wrote above.

In Spanish, it's odd to say "I know" ((yo) se) without an object, so in response to something you might say "yeah, I know", as (yo) lo se (lit. "I know it"). In Engilsh, "say" requires some object: "say it", "say something", etc. Other verbs like "talk" and "speak" do not require an object. Just lexical variation.

I am not aware of any dialectal variation for this, but it's possible that in some dialects "say" may be intransitive (it sounds sharply ungrammatical to my ears), or perhaps examples you've seen are from non-native speakers. Or very specific contexts like panini mentioned.
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