Are these English sentences grammarly correct?

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!
Cainntear
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1859
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:04 am
Location: Scotland
Languages: English(N)
Advanced: French,Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Intermediate: Italian, Catalan, Corsican
Basic: Welsh
Dabbling: Polish, Russian etc
x 4652
Contact:

Re: Are these English sentences grammarly correct?

Postby Cainntear » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:13 pm

Le Baron wrote:
Saim wrote:
To "communicate one's mindset" doesn't really exist as a collocation in English.


Of course it does.

It does not.
It may be a rather vague expression, but it's perfectly legitimate.

It may be legitimate as a grammatically-formed utterance, but that doesn't change the truth of Saim's statement: it does not exist as a collocation in English.
1 x

User avatar
Le Baron
Yellow Belt
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:14 pm
Location: Pays-Bas
Languages: English (N). Dutch (C2). French (B2). German (B1). Esperanto (a very worthy language). Studying: Spanish, Swahili, rather slowly, but surely. Also Sranantongo in the past with my wife, but it has lapsed.
x 102

Re: Are these English sentences grammarly correct?

Postby Le Baron » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:41 pm

Cainntear wrote:
Le Baron wrote:
Saim wrote:
To "communicate one's mindset" doesn't really exist as a collocation in English.


Of course it does.

It does not.
It may be a rather vague expression, but it's perfectly legitimate.

It may be legitimate as a grammatically-formed utterance, but that doesn't change the truth of Saim's statement: it does not exist as a collocation in English.


No. All collocations are mere utterances (some not even grammatically legitimate) some just more widely used than others. This one has been knocking around psychology for quite some time. Let's revisit it in 25-50 years.

The main reason I challenged it was because I thought it was a trivial 'correction' of an expressed idea whose meaning any halfway decent English speaker could understand. I don't think there's any value in that sort of thing.
0 x

User avatar
Saim
Green Belt
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:14 pm
Location: Novi Sad
Languages: Native: English (AU)
Advanced fluency: Catalan, Serbian (+heritage), Spanish, Polish
Basic fluency: Hungarian, French, Galician, Asturian
?? (depends on register): Urdu
Intermediate (mostly passive): Hebrew, Punjabi, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Occitan, Dutch, Turkish, German
Basic/dabbled: lots of Slavic languages, Romanian, Esperanto, Basque, Arabic, Mandarin
x 1457

Re: Are these English sentences grammarly correct?

Postby Saim » Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:06 am

Le Baron wrote:The main reason I challenged it was because I thought it was a trivial 'correction' of an expressed idea whose meaning any halfway decent English speaker could understand.


Understand immediately or understand after using the context to decode it? I didn't really know what it meant at first (and my rephrasing was really just my best guess after putting some effort into trying to understand it), and you also agreed that the expression is "vague".

Keep in mind also that the OP asked for natural sentences, not just grammatically correct ones. Of course intuition among speakers can differ especially when they're from different regions or social groups but to me at least it feels like you're reflexively dismissing my intuition.

All collocations are mere utterances (some not even grammatically legitimate)


Do you have any examples of common collocations in English that aren't "grammatically legitimate"? I'm not sure what you mean by this.

This one has been knocking around psychology for quite some time. Let's revisit it in 25-50 years.


If I've understood you correctly (and feel free to correct me), you're saying that this expression is used in the field of psychology. That would certainly be useful usage notes to provide for a non-native learner, although it's not a field I have any expertise in so I am unaware at what sort of technical usage there is in psychological literature. But if it's technical usage how could it be "vague"? Also if it's used in a specific field of study surely citations would help demonstrate that?
0 x

Cainntear
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1859
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:04 am
Location: Scotland
Languages: English(N)
Advanced: French,Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Intermediate: Italian, Catalan, Corsican
Basic: Welsh
Dabbling: Polish, Russian etc
x 4652
Contact:

Re: Are these English sentences grammarly correct?

Postby Cainntear » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:21 pm

Le Baron wrote:The main reason I challenged it was because I thought it was a trivial 'correction' of an expressed idea whose meaning any halfway decent English speaker could understand. I don't think there's any value in that sort of thing.

Two demonstrably "halfway decent English speakers" have already communicated their failure to readily understand the phrase.

And if you google "communicate your mindset" and "communicate my mindset" (rather than "one's", and which I have to admit that I failed to do before backing up Saim's claim that it wasn't a collocation), you'll find that it is used to mean exactly what I said it would mean: to express, to make explicit, to allow others to know and understand your mindset.

Now if you think it's still a small enough error that the word correction deserves scare quotes, that's fine -- you're entitled to that opinion.

However, I have noticed that a fair number of Europeans tend to get confused over the meaning of "communicate" in English, assuming it means something closer to its cousin words "commune", "communal" -- that something "communicated" is something made common, something now shared -- but in English, you can communicate something and be explicitly understood without the other person changing their mindset at all.

In the sentence given, "communicate one's mindset" fell into that misconception. The people pushing negative ideas aren't wanting you to understand that they have negative self-judgements, but they want you to feel about yourself what they feel about themselves. That's not explicit, so it is not "communication" as English (colloquial English, certainly) uses it.

You may still feel that this is not an important enough error to bring up, and that's still a perfectly valid opinion to hold, but it doesn't change the fact that it was an error.
2 x

User avatar
Iversen
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3077
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: Denmark
Languages: Monolingual travels in Danish, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Romanian and (part time) Esperanto
Ahem, not yet: Norwegian, Afrikaans, Platt, Scots, Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Greek, Latin, Irish, Indonesian and a few more...
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1027
x 7385

Re: Are these English sentences grammarly correct?

Postby Iversen » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:49 pm

I must first say that I haven't had problems figuring out what "communicate one's/your mindset" means - there are some things in your mind that makes you communicate specific messages, a 'mindset', and if you doubt that the receiver is aware of this mindset then you send some information to inform him/her about it. There is a whole section of linguistics that deal with the reasons people have for communicating (check J.L.Austin and his 'speech acts'). But even if the meaning is clear then it isn't certain that a combination of words constitutes a collocation - to deserve that name the combination has to be frequently used (more often than expected) - and probably also be used in a sense that isn't too bloody obvious (although in this case I personally think it is). But you would also expect a collocation to be short and grammatically simple - otherwise it would be categorized as an idiomatic phrase or (if you know the first person to use it) a quote.

So when I looked "communicate one's mindset" up and got 6 hits I somewhat hastily concluded that it isn't a collocation, but just a one-off combination of words. However with 22.800 hits for "communicate one's/your mindset" I do start to think that at least this version is used commonly enough, and if enough native Anglophones think that the meaning of the expression is unclear then it also fullfils the second condition. Restat the last condition, and here I don't think that "communicate your mindset" looks like my conception of a collocation. So my conclusion is that only the version with "your" is common enough to be taken seriously, but as an idiomatic phrase rather than a collocation.

Psykologi.JPG
Psykologi.JPG (8.97 KiB) Viewed 183 times

PS: I just checked "collocation" in the English Wikipedia, and here it is claimed that "Phraseological collocations should not be confused with idioms, where an idiom's meaning is derived from its convention as a stand-in for something else while collocation is a mere popular composition." . Fine, that's my first (and main) criterion. But if you look at the following examples from the article then they seem to contradict the statement: " 'crystal clear', 'middle management', 'nuclear family', and 'cosmetic surgery'". It is not crystal clear why crystal was chosen for "crystal clear", and at least since the second world war the most obvious interpretation of 'nuclear' would be something radioactive and potentially explosive - and 'middle management' doesn't have to be sitting physically in the middle of an office building. Only 'cosmetic surgery' seems to mean what it says. One reason that a combination of words becomes more common than pure statistics would indicate could be that it has something striking or suggestive about it.

Apart from that the article enumerates six main types of collocations: adjective + noun, noun + noun (such as collective nouns), verb + noun, adverb + adjective, verbs + prepositional phrase (phrasal verbs), and verb + adverb.
1 x

User avatar
Le Baron
Yellow Belt
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:14 pm
Location: Pays-Bas
Languages: English (N). Dutch (C2). French (B2). German (B1). Esperanto (a very worthy language). Studying: Spanish, Swahili, rather slowly, but surely. Also Sranantongo in the past with my wife, but it has lapsed.
x 102

Re: Are these English sentences grammarly correct?

Postby Le Baron » Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:47 pm

I think the post directly above says somewhat more than I would have said and I agree with it.
0 x

User avatar
tarvos
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2865
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:13 am
Location: The Lowlands
Languages: Native: NL, EN
Professional: ES, RU
Speak well: DE, FR, RO, EO, SV
Speak reasonably: IT, ZH, PT, NO, EL, CZ
Need improvement: PO, IS, HE, JP, KO, HU, FI
Passive: AF, DK, LAT
Dabbled in: BRT, ZH (SH), BG, EUS, ZH (CAN), and a whole lot more.
Language Log: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... PN=1&TPN=1
x 5800
Contact:

Re: Are these English sentences grammarly correct?

Postby tarvos » Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:20 pm

Another native speaker's $0.02 - I think that communicating your mindset vaguely makes sense, as in "you're trying to express what your mindset means to others", and in that context it could be a usable phrase. But in the context of the OP, I'm inclined to correct it because it doesn't cover the intended meaning.

I wouldn't rate this as a mistake, rather a slight inaccuracy. It doesn't sound egregious, but it certainly comes off as slightly unnatural language use. On the whole, in the given text there were errors that stood out to me more than this particular one - but I feel it would still merit an asterisk in my corrections with the question: "what exactly were you trying to imply here? If you meant abc, then xyz would be a more apt formulation".
1 x
How can you "just be yourself" when you don't know who you are?
Stop saying "Yeah, I know how you feel."
How could anyone know how another feels?

Is a girl.

Cainntear
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1859
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:04 am
Location: Scotland
Languages: English(N)
Advanced: French,Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Intermediate: Italian, Catalan, Corsican
Basic: Welsh
Dabbling: Polish, Russian etc
x 4652
Contact:

Re: Are these English sentences grammarly correct?

Postby Cainntear » Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:36 pm

Iversen wrote:I must first say that I haven't had problems figuring out what "communicate one's/your mindset" means

Perhaps not, but...
- there are some things in your mind that makes you communicate specific messages, a 'mindset', and if you doubt that the receiver is aware of this mindset then you send some information to inform him/her about it.

...that is what the phrase would mean if used correctly, meaning you haven't found it easy to understand what the OP meant in his use of the phrase.
PS: I just checked "collocation" in the English Wikipedia, and here it is claimed that "Phraseological collocations should not be confused with idioms, where an idiom's meaning is derived from its convention as a stand-in for something else while collocation is a mere popular composition." . Fine, that's my first (and main) criterion. But if you look at the following examples from the article then they seem to contradict the statement: " 'crystal clear', 'middle management', 'nuclear family', and 'cosmetic surgery'". It is not crystal clear why crystal was chosen for "crystal clear", and at least since the second world war the most obvious interpretation of 'nuclear' would be something radioactive and potentially explosive - and 'middle management' doesn't have to be sitting physically in the middle of an office building. Only 'cosmetic surgery' seems to mean what it says.

Well, the borders will always be fuzzy. "Crystal clear" is a metaphor that works on a very literal level, and you can argue it both ways.

"Middle management" is only an idiom if you consider the use of a height scale to describe seniority as not literal; you can certainly talk about "upper management" and "lower management", and you can talk about "climbing the career ladder" and there's a whole extended metaphor in there... when does the metaphor become so settled that it's part of the language? We could always conduct a survey of the angels dancing on the heads of our pins to find out... ;)
But what makes it interesting as a collocation is that many of us choose to talk about "senior management" in preference to "upper management", but talk about "middle" and "lower" management.
1 x

jmw
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:30 am
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese (beginner)
x 2

Re: Are these English sentences grammarly correct?

Postby jmw » Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:36 am

I would suggest for the first question:

Are these English sentences *grammatically* correct?

Original: "Others will do everything to make you not believing in yourself. It is because neither do they believe in themselves and they just communicate their own mindset, or they just simply do not want you to be better than them."

Here's how I would say it:

"Some people will do all they can to keep you from believing in yourself. This could be because they don't believe in themselves, and they're passing that mindset on to you. Or, maybe they just don't want you to be any better than they are."
0 x


Return to “Practical Questions and Advice”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest