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Is this sentence grammatically correct..?
14

Scarletohello · 09/04/2014 17:46

I have a feeling it isn't but I could be wrong. This was just a question on The Chaser so would assume it would have been checked...

Which of these country's flags is not a tricolour?

This was a multiple choice question so there were 3 countries to choose from.

What do you think..?

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gastrognome · 09/04/2014 17:47

Countries'

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Scarletohello · 09/04/2014 17:50

I bloody knew it! Disgraceful. I mean if a massively popular TV show which is about getting things right, gets it wrong, what hope is there..?

< and yes I know I'm a pedant but it really bugs me! >

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gastrognome · 09/04/2014 21:34

Agree. Highly annoying. Just came back from the zoo where a large printed sign announced something about the "animals habitat". Practically ruined my afternoon!

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vintagesewingmachine · 09/04/2014 21:45

Hideous. We live on the coast and lots of local seafront establishments have put their new signs out advertising their"tea's and coffee's". Then there is my absolute favourite....."sandwich's". Eughhh!

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Scarletohello · 09/04/2014 21:48

Good to know I'm not alone and that at least a few people care. Most don't seem to..:(

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StuntBottom · 09/04/2014 21:53

Definitely should be "countries'" and that would really annoy me too.

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RedRoom · 09/04/2014 22:20

It is grammatically correct. It is the punctuation that is incorrect. Grammar relates to the syntax of a sentence, and is quite different to spelling and punctuation.

'Which of these countries' flags are not a tricolour?' would be ungrammatical.

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noelrobx · 11/04/2014 19:07

Agree with RedRoom. It's grammatically correct with poor punctuation. But hey, punctuation is a moveable feast!

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SconeRhymesWithGone · 11/04/2014 21:45

Spoken language has grammar. Written language has grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

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Scarletohello · 11/04/2014 21:48

Hmmm confused now. So which is it?

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SconeRhymesWithGone · 11/04/2014 23:14

As written, it's incorrect punctuation and spelling. If it were spoken, it would be correct because there would be no punctuation and spelling to contend with.

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purplemeggie · 12/04/2014 22:12

It should definitely be countries' - plural countries, possessive apostrophe. You can check it by changing word-order and using "of" instead of the apostrophe: "the flag of which of these countys is not a tricolour" - that way the spelling mistake is obvious.

Interested to know what people think should be different about the punctuation though - don't have a problem with that, personally.

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purplemeggie · 12/04/2014 22:13

and I should have typed "countrys" rather than "countys" then....

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gastrognome · 13/04/2014 16:32

Hmm, I'd have said that it is grammatically incorrect because "these country" is incorrect - plural demonstrative with singular noun. In this case the punctuation mark (apostrophe) also serves a grammatical purpose.

But because country's and countries sound the same you could also argue that it's incorrect spelling/punctuation. So in fact it's wrong on all three levels :-)

PS I'm pretty sure that grammar relates to more than just syntax, which is word order. Though in English grammar and syntax are often inextricably linked, in other languages (e.g Latin) it's not necessarily the case.

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