What is wrong with this sentence?

#1
Quote:'I never heard of a time traveller who could summon time events.'; Robert looked at the girl. 'Let her rest. Maybe later, she can explain herself whatever is going on. I have to go now. Are you staying?'
'Yeah, I stay. Don't want to leave her alone.'

Grammarly tells me it should be to herself. I just want to stress she will explain herself and that there is no need to speculate about whatever it is.
Help. Who is wrong? Probably me, but I would like to understand.

Re: What is wrong with this sentence?

#2
What you have is correct grammatically, but I would suggest moving the reflexive pronoun:
Quote:'I never heard of a time traveller who could summon time events.'; Robert looked at the girl. 'Let her rest. Maybe later, she can explain whatever is going on herself. I have to go now. Are you staying?'

'Yeah, I'll stay. Don't want to leave her alone.'
If you keep the pronoun where it is, it sounds like the collocation explain oneself, as in to justify one's actions to someone else.
Consider also "I have never heard" or "I've never heard" at the beginning—the continuous present perfect is more natural in this context.
Grammarly struggles with... well, Grammarly struggles.

Re: What is wrong with this sentence?

#3
Alexander Wrote:
What you have is correct grammatically, but I would suggest moving the reflexive pronoun:
Quote:'I never heard of a time traveller who could summon time events.'; Robert looked at the girl. 'Let her rest. Maybe later, she can explain whatever is going on herself. I have to go now. Are you staying?'

'Yeah, I'll stay. Don't want to leave her alone.'
If you keep the pronoun where it is, it sounds like the collocation explain oneself, as in to justify one's actions to someone else.
Consider also "I have never heard" or "I've never heard" at the beginning—the continuous is more natural in this context.
Grammarly struggles with... well, Grammarly struggles.

Thank you, that was perfect!

Re: What is wrong with this sentence?

#9
Mithradates Wrote: A semicolon is never used directly after a period or comma, that's its whole purpose, it is an either-or replacement. (unless it is used in Chicago or APA reference style, but I digress). You should choose either or to mark the end of the direct dialogue.

Thank you for the information, but this is one mark that, even wrong or right, is mine. If it bothers you, I am sorry. But most people on the forum already know what it means to me.

Re: What is wrong with this sentence?

#11
According to the single English grammar book I own (first published 1960 so might a bit outdated and is from Oxford press so a bit British) that sentence would indeed be incorrect.


If you use "herself" as emphasizing pronoun, it has to either be after the phrase it puts emphasis on or after all the objects.

So if you want to say she did the explaining an not someone else, it would be:

"She herself can explain whatever is going on."
or
"She can explain whatever is going on herself."

If you want to instead say she has to do it without help it would be:
"She can explain by herself whatever is going on."

If she was subject an target of the explaining (i.e. no one else it telling her, so she has to tell herself the explanation) it would be:
"She can explain to herself whatever is going on." (explains need a to, unlike e.g. warn or advise).

Then she could be what is explained, but then there would be no other object allowed:
"She can explain herself to us."  (i.e. tell us about herself).

Re: What is wrong with this sentence?

#12
whoever Wrote: "She can explain to herself whatever is going on."
Here, to explain sth. to so. is a different verb structure with a different number of arguments—to herself in that sentence is being used as a true reflexive, as opposed to one merely for emphasis. Some call the latter an emphatic reflexive, others might say it's an intensive pronoun. All the same, really.
I'd say there's no real semantic difference between any of the four possible placements. For the sentence
Quote:"She can explain whatever is going on."
I'd consider any of the following valid:
Quote:"She herself can explain whatever is going on."

"She can herself explain whatever is going on."

"She can explain whatever is going on herself."

"She can explain herself whatever is going on."
However, the final example—as Lara has above—is possible more common in speech than it is in writing. I'd naturally emphasise the pronoun if I spoke it aloud.
Of the first three, the third is possibly the most common and the second least. The first is to my ear very emphatic. I imagine a red-faced man shouting it. Someone perform a frequency analysis so we can all be proper research linguists.

Re: What is wrong with this sentence?

#13
Alexander Wrote:
I'd say there's no real semantic difference between any of the four possible placements. For the sentence
Quote:"She can explain whatever is going on."
I'd consider any of the following valid:
Quote:"She herself can explain whatever is going on."

"She can herself explain whatever is going on."

"She can explain whatever is going on herself."

"She can explain herself whatever is going on."
However, the final example—as Lara has above—is possible more common in speech than it is in writing. I'd naturally emphasise the pronoun if I spoke it aloud.
Of the first three, the third is possibly the most common and the second least. The first is to my ear very emphatic. I imagine a red-faced man shouting it. Someone perform a frequency analysis so we can all be proper research linguists.

I guess grammarly is more about written than spoken English. And the grammar book (which obviously is mostly only about written language) says only 1 and 3 are allowed while 2 and 4 are not. (Of course no grammar book will ever be always correct and language is always changing and slightly different for each speaker and country. So something not allowed by some grammar book is not inherently wrong, but it might still be best to avoid it if you want more potential readers to understand you.)

Re: What is wrong with this sentence?

#14
larareispoetry Wrote:
Mithradates Wrote: A semicolon is never used directly after a period or comma, that's its whole purpose, it is an either-or replacement. (unless it is used in Chicago or APA reference style, but I digress). You should choose either or to mark the end of the direct dialogue.

Thank you for the information, but this is one mark that, even wrong or right, is mine. If it bothers you, I am sorry. But most people on the forum already know what it means to me.
Just to check out of curiosity, you misuse semicolons intentionally as part of your story?  Many famous authors have intentionally broken rules in the past so I won't judge, but I'm just wondering.

Re: What is wrong with this sentence?

#16
Alexander Wrote:
James Wrote: Just to check out of curiosity, you misuse semicolons intentionally as part of your story?

a b s o l u t e
c h a d

Yes, it is part of all my stories, semi-colons are used on dialogue tags in my native language. The use of it is pretty much consistent. I use it to separate dialogue from quick actions. And also, since semi-colon is a landmark in my life it is also my very unique writing style no matter what language I write or what I'm writing (also use it on poetry)