mostly we get good deals

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mostly we get good deals

Post by azz » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:34 am

Can one say
a. We mostly get good deals in this country, but sometimes our rivals do.
b. Mostly we get good deals in this country, but sometimes our rivals do.

c. We mostly get research grants at this university, but sometimes they do.
d. Mostly we get research grants at this university, but sometimes they do.

(Let us say 'we' is the faculty of the physics department and 'they' is the French faculty.)
?

Many thanks.
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Re: mostly we get good deals

Post by Phil White » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:52 am

In the meaning you seem to intend, only b and d are possible, and then only really in spoken English. They are difficult to understand first time in written form, but when spoken with the "we" and "they" heavily stressed, b and d are fine.

a and c cannot be stressed in the same way and do not really work for what you want to achieve.

In informal written form, we would probably use something like "It is mostly us that get ... but sometimes it is them."

In formal writing, you may say something like "As a rule, it is we who ... but sometimes it is our rivals".
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Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: mostly we get good deals

Post by azz » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:44 am

Thank you so much Phil.

One more question, if I may.

Do these work?

e. I mostly sell books I have read, but I sometimes give them away for free.
d. Mostly I sell books I have read, but I sometimes give them away for free.


Many thanks.
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Re: mostly we get good deals

Post by Phil White » Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:52 pm

I think they are both okay. In spoken English, the stress will be on "sell".
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Non sum felix lepus

Re: mostly we get good deals

Post by tony h » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:19 pm

Also of interest is the difference between

a) Mostly we get research grants at this university, but sometimes they do.
b) Mostly we get the research grants at this university, but sometimes they do.

a) can be ...
a1) Mostly we get research grants at this university, but sometimes they do as well. - non-competitive these are different grants.
a)2 Mostly we get research grants at this university, but sometimes they do instead. - competitive we and they are after the same grant money.

b) Mostly we get the research grants at this university, but sometimes they do.- this would usually be competitive.
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Signature: tony

With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

End of topic.
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