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skylee

English grammar query

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skylee
My classmates at Goodyear have all been transferred to Thailand and are planning to move within the next 2 weeks.

This is off-topic. I would like to ask a question on the grammar of the sentence above. It is a genuine question that I need help with.

When I read the first part of the sentence, I thought those interns have left China and are in Thailand, but the second part of the sentence told me that they have not left China yet. I have come across similar situations. Like when an office has already decided that there should be a meeting on the first of next month, should you say that the meeting has been scheduled for next month? Sometimes I find such a sentence confusing.

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lukoktonos

Yes, I guess English sometimes uses the past tense in this situation--when a decision has been made but not yet acted upon.

Or perhaps the difference is "being transferred" is a type of decision made by the company, rather than the actual motion of the interns moving from one place to the other.

I think you could also say "My classmates at Goodyear will be transferred to Thailand..." and keep the same meaning.

Your example about a meeting isn't quite the same, because the meeting has been scheduled (in the past) but hasn't yet been held. You couldn't say "There was a meeting (held) on the first of next month." because the tenses wouldn't make sense.

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yialanliu

yea, my english sentence up there isn't the best. Probaby should say will be transfered.

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skylee

So "A meeting has been scheduled for the 1st of next month" is OK, right?

[i usually use "will be held on", but sometimes I want to use "schedule for" but I am not sure if it is OK.]

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anonymoose

"scheduled" here means the same as "planned". In other words, the act of scheduling has already been performed, and is thus legitimately in the past tense, even though the meeting hasn't yet taken place.

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David Wong

I could say to someone while in the middle of a conversation that "I've been pulled into an important meeting, I'll have to call you back", even though I'm not yet in that meeting.

I find the use of "transferred" here quite natural because to me it suggests that the act was initiated by the employer and that the classmates are passive participants. Another way of looking at it is to consider "transferring" a human resource activity involving strategic planning, making decisions and communicating those decisions, something separate from the act of moving.

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WestTexas

I take the word 'transferred' here to mean 'reassigned', so they have all been reassigned to Thailand and will move in two weeks. They aren't in Thailand yet. If you check Webster's for 'transfer' it has an extremely broad meaning. Transfer here refers to the order given by the higher-ups to move to a new location.

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skylee

No I didn't check a dictionary. Thanks for pointing out the broad meaning of the word.

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animal world
So "A meeting has been scheduled for the 1st of next month" is OK, right?

[i usually use "will be held on", but sometimes I want to use "schedule for" but I am not sure if it is OK.]

Skylee, your confusion seems the result of not recognizing that sentences such as these are a shortcut for two different actions. One is the action to schedule the meeting. The other is to announce when the meeting will be held. So, this correct sentence stands for: A meeting has been scheduled. It will take place on the first of next month. "To schedule for" means "to plan for a certain date."

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Outofin

I have no problem understanding "A meeting has been scheduled for the 1st of next month". But I want to take the chance to ask a different question.

Say I'm in a situation I don't know what to do

Me: We need more crackers in the break room. Whom should I talk to?

Co-worker: I'd talk to the division assistant.

In this case, will he talk to the assistant, or he's simply answering my question? Does he actually mean "(If I were you,) I'd talk to the division assistant." I usually confirm again. But I don't know if it's just me or it's a common communication problem.

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jkhsu

Co-worker: I'd talk to the division assistant.

He's saying that if he were you, he'd talk to the division assistant. So in essence, he's saying, "you should talk to the division assistant."

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creamyhorror
Does he actually mean "(If I were you,) I'd talk to the division assistant."

This is exactly what he means. It's funny that the first bit often gets left out; I noticed this a lot in the US.

So "A meeting has been scheduled for the 1st of next month" is OK, right?

[i usually use "will be held on", but sometimes I want to use "schedule for" but I am not sure if it is OK.]

To add to what others have said, what do you think of the sentence "A meeting will be scheduled for the 1st of next month tomorrow"?

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animal world

As jkhsu and you already said, it is understood that the reply is meant to be "if I were you ..."

Outofin, in your little dialogue," I'd talk to the division assistant" the would (i'd) makes it clear that he means "if i were you..." If he meant that he would talk, then he would say to you: I'll talk to the diviision assistant."

Actually, i agree with you that it's somewhat of a communication problem. People are often sloppy in what they say or write. Just give it another decade of texting and netspeak and English will be in a sorry state.

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David Wong

To add to what others have said, what do you think of the sentence "A meeting will be scheduled for the 1st of next month tomorrow"?

I can understand what you mean, but I'd probably say "The meeting will be on the first of April. You'll receive the invite (I know, it should be invitation) tomorrow."

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roddy

There's no communication problem there bar Outofin not being sure what he means. It's an entirely appropriate way of telling Outofin what he should do Sure, it's indirect, but English is massively indirect.

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Outofin

Thank you all. Fair enough. That was what I thought too but I wasnt sure. Now I think again, that sounds so obvious. I got the answer myself when I finished asking the question. :)

I guess my mistake was I used my experience in Chinese.

我要是你,我会跟部门助理说。

In this case, taking out 我要是你 makes the sentence very ambiguous.

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c_redman
To add to what others have said, what do you think of the sentence "A meeting will be scheduled for the 1st of next month tomorrow"?

The date of the meeting has already been determined, but hasn't been officially scheduled (e.g. the time, participants, location). That scheduling will happen tomorrow.

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creamyhorror
I can understand what you mean, but I'd probably say "The meeting will be on the first of April. You'll receive the invite (I know, it should be invitation) tomorrow."
The date of the meeting has already been determined, but hasn't been officially scheduled (e.g. the time, participants, location). That scheduling will happen tomorrow.

I was just trying to use that sentence to illustrate to skylee that the verb 'schedule' can operate ostensibly with two dates. From there it's easy to infer why "A meeting has been scheduled for the 1st of next month" is correct without a need for "will be". (Sorry if it was obvious already, skylee.)

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animal world

Skylee and Outofin, you both have an excellent command of English. Your questions illustrate what everybody experiences at times: a mental block about something that you actually already know.

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