English Grammar


Grammar point

Dear friends,
I made my third gymglish class today. I did not find the right answer of one grammar point because I had 2 difficulties : I did not antersand the sentence, and the second was that I don't know the differentes cases for using either, neither, better,or .... The sentence is : Bruno said that either (1) you clean up your office, either or (2) he will move you into the closet. I put better instead of either in (1) and either instead of or in (2).


Think you and Best regards to you

10 comments

  • either .... or... is a double conjunction that sets an alternative.


    Bruno said that either you clean up the office, or he will move you into the closet.
    Alternative:
    If you don't clean up, he will move you...
    If you clean up, he won't move you...


    I guess you wanted to say by using 'better':
    You had better clean up the office, or else Bruno will be move you into the closet.
  • Correction: last line
    ... or else Bruno will move you into the closet
  • Hey Nicoudak,
    Your yesterday's question is a matter of great concern to me. Not about the use of either... or...
    It's about the 'that-clause' which reports what Bruno said.
    You said the sentence in your GG lesson was "Bruno said that either (1) you clean up your office, either or (2) he will move you into the closet."
    And I repeated the sentence as you had reported it.
    Now, as I am a screwball, I might have talked rubbish as well.
    If the main clause ('Bruno said') is in the past, isn't necessary that the that-clause - a relative clause - be in the past too?
    Like this:
    Bruno said that either you cleaned up the office, or he would move you into the closet.
    Let's hope that a brainy GGuser, the kind of a Whacky for instance, come and help us.


    Keep up the good work, Nicoudak.
    Joe
  • Think you, Joe for helping me.I think I get the difference now.
  • Joe, the question why obviously there is no time shift in the conditional part is a good question.


    A time shift in the conditional clause is not compulsory here, because the speaker wants to emphasize that Bruno's 'ultimatum' ('either you.. or he...') is still valid and true. Bruno will definitely move the listener into the closet if he doesn't clean up his room. That was true when Bruno uttered it, it's still true and it will be true in the future. The condition is a fact, and the person in question should know that:
    'Bruno said that either you clean up your office, or he'll move you into the closet.'


    On the other hand, if we don't want to make any assumptions about whether Bruno's ultimatum is still valid or even meant seriously, we may deploy a time shift: 'Bruno said that either you cleaned up your room,or he would move you into the closet.'


    Another example for reported speech without time shift is when you learn the name of somebody else and report it later, stressing the fact that his name is still the same You can say:


    'He said that his name is Bill.'


    I would go so far to claim that you don't need a back shift in reported speech either when you render an adamant fact uttered by others.


    'He said that the moon circles the earth.'


    I hope this explanation is valid and not 'whacky'.
  • It's common sense indeed.
    So much the better for English is a so wretched language that far too often it doesn't care either of grammar rules or of common sense.
    Thank you for your time (that is noteworthy for such long an explanation.)
  • Thank you Whacky, you've made me discover "adamant" and "whacky" and remind "compulsory" / "emphasize" / "stress" / ... "Whacky" has nearly the same meaning as "Screwball". Are you twins ?
  • Oh, Ugold, our 'undiscovered gold'.
    I'm glad I could help you discover new words (...)
    Please consider this remarks as ironic or non-ironic
    as you think fit.


    I don't think Joee and I are twins. As far as I could
    see, Joey's mother tongue is French, mine is
    another one. And we've never seen each other, not even in the mirror.


    But maybe we are brothers in spirit.
    At least the two of us seem to share a penchant for self-mockery.


    Ugold, please note down 'penchant'. It's another
    new word...
  • I've just put "penchant" in the reverso box: it has been translated as "inclination" ...perhaps your father's tongue is french ?

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