General Discussion

All-purpose section for discussions that donít clearly belong in any of the other categories.

General Opinions on a Sentence

General Opinions on a Sentence

I had a question concerning a sentence (which was part of a short paper I wrote). Please keep in mind that the only critique I want is on the sentence. I will be providing the paragraph for context, but the sentence is the only thing I want an opinion on. Please stick to the sentence.

First off, I wrote the short paper in minutes flat, in a hurry. I know not all of it would make a great English paper. However, I am a good enough writer that I also know its not a piece of worthless trash either.

On that note, I want an opinion. I ask because my Graphic Design teacher said, that part of the sentence in question, doesn't work and I say it does. I question his logic because he is a Graphic Design teacher and not an English teacher; plus I have taken up becoming an Author (in the future) and thus am getting more and more serious about becoming a better writer (sure some pride may be involved on my part; I won't deny it).

Does this sentence/part of the sentence work? Why or why not?

Lastly please keep in mind that since these are opinions I am asking for, I can't hold them up as rock-solid fact. I've learned that everyone has a different opinion on styles of writing. What I'm looking for is perhaps a general consensus or maybe a solid reason (even if it may not be correct according to the rules of English) for why it might or might not work.

Sentence in Question Below (In bold and underline) Section of sentence in question colored red.

"Margo, while an influential and skilled designer, had first trained as a biologist. It was only after her discovery of Design did she fall in love. She has never since turned back. In 1986 she founded a company named, in part, after herself - Chase Design Group. This company, under her creative direction, has gone onto produce top-notch award winning work in numerous types of design."

I would replace did with that and fall with fell. If did is used in a non-questioning manner the noun that is doing the doing generally precedes the did. If you were to do that for this sentence then it would make sense to add an extra 'that' before she - "It was only after her discovery of Design that she did fall in love". This still seems more cumbersome than "It was only after her discovery of Design that she fell in love."

'It was only after' generally is followed by something in the past tense, which you didn't do here.

Edit: did she fall in love is a question. she did fall in love is a statement. You are making a statement here, not asking a question.

This all assumes that you are using modern English. The sentence fragment sounds like it might work in Shakespearean English, which is poetic in nature anyway.

Does it work? Maybe. Is it grammatically correct, probably not with the past tense there in the beginning. Flow wise I think your issue is the 'It was' more than anything. As soon as I see 'It was' my brain is expecting that last part to the 'that she'.

It would actually flow far better in my opinion if you eliminated the 'It was' portion so that the sentence read: Only after her discovery of Design did she fall in love.

Yeah, that's a good example of did she being used in a declarative manner.

Madadh's sentence doesn't work because it changes the tense. In order to maintain the sequence of tenses from the rest of the paragraph, you need a 'that' and a conjugation of the verb: "It was only after her discovery of Design that she fell in love."

I always sucked so hard at grammar -.- The way I see it, as long as the sentences flow properly (or have a reason for not doing so, as the case may be), then being absolutely grammatically correct should be of secondary concern.

I'm kinda curious why your graphic design teacher is critiquing you on an english assignment anyway.

I'm not a native speaker, so I won't comment on correctness, and I am no expert in English literature at all.
That said, I do not like the flow of the sentence. It drops dead for me when I reach the "did she". "that she fell" is much smoother. Madadh's sentence lies somewhere in between. I guess it could work if you are aiming for a more "Literary sounding" style.

I was an English teacher in the dark and distant past. The sentence is grammatically incorrect. You are shoehorning two independent clauses together when that is not their relationship.

Presumably you intend to say that she fell in love with design, but you are not saying so. The phrasing "Only after her discovery of design did she fall in love," though grammatically correct, is rather ambiguous as to what or whom she fell in love with. So, really, is "It was only after her discovery of design that she fell in love." The reader must assume that she fell in love with design rather than a particular designer, for example, from context.

"It was only after her discovery of Design that she fell in love" or "Only after her discovery of Design did she fall in love."

Non-native speaker here but that sentence is a mental stumbling block; it violates expectancy and forces the reader to reread the sentence - and is still ambiguous afterwards. It really kills the flow of the paragraph.


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