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Have or having in a sentence (possession)



 
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Finding mistake | Grammar: When I can use DOES or DO in a question?
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Have or having in a sentence (possession) #1 (permalink) Tue May 06, 2008 9:12 am   Have or having in a sentence (possession)
 

Can't get this one to play right in my head, using any grammar. I'm a 2nd year language student writing a paper and it needs to be perfect:-)

Astronauts (who have) having the best physical en mental conditions, are most likely to be sent to the ISS (Smolders, 1980).


This is a quote from a book but why did they use have and not having? Is there any difference with having? I feel having is better because the astronauts would have to have the qualities every time they go to space. They shouldn't 'lose' them intermittently.

As native speakers, what would you suggest?
Jeroen1000
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Joined: 06 May 2008
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Have or having in a sentence (possession) #2 (permalink) Tue May 06, 2008 11:24 am   Have or having in a sentence (possession)
 

Hi Jeroen

If I understand you correctly, the original sentence was this:

Astronauts who have the best physical and mental conditions, are most likely to be sent to the ISS.

Using 'who have' is fine, however there should not be a comma in the sentence.

The simple present tense (have) is used to refer to facts and actions that happen regularly. Compare this:
I take the train to work. That means that every time I go to work I take the train.

In your sentence it is also possible to use 'having' as a replacement for 'who have'. However, this is not a change to a continuous verb tense. Instead, it is simply a way to change the wording in the defining clause by using the present participle. There is no difference in meaning.

The comma in the sentence is wrong because it incorrectly separates the subject from the verb. If the 'who' clause were a non-defining clause, then there would be two commas: one after the word astronauts and one after the word conditions. Your sentence contains a defining clause, so there should be no commas at all.
.
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Have or having in a sentence (possession) #3 (permalink) Tue May 06, 2008 11:27 am   Have or having in a sentence (possession)
 

I agree with Amy. "Having/possessing, at that time, the best physical and mental conditions" , in that context, means the same as "who at that time have/possess the best physical and mental conditions".
Molly
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Have or having in a sentence (possession) #4 (permalink) Tue May 06, 2008 11:32 am   Have or having in a sentence (possession)
 

.
Even if the verb 'have' were replaced by the verb 'exhibit', for example, the simple present tense would be the appropriate choice, and using a participle to introduce the defining clause would not change the meaning:

- Astronauts who exhibit the best physical and mental conditions are most likely to be sent to the ISS.

- Astronauts exhibiting the best physical and mental conditions are most likely to be sent to the ISS.

In this particular case, the fact that the verb 'have' when used to mean 'possess' is generally not used in a continuous verb tense is not actually the most important consideration for the choice of tense. The simple present tense would be preferable to the present continuous no matter what verb were used. For example:

- Astronauts who answer all of the questions correctly are most likely to be sent to the ISS.
.
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Have or having in a sentence (possession) #5 (permalink) Tue May 06, 2008 12:05 pm   Have or having in a sentence (possession)
 

Super, you all have been very helpful. I was afraid of being shot down over this simple question.
I'm afraid comma's are not my beef. I've lost major credit to that in the past :roll: .

Many thanks!

Jeroen

@ Amy you're much clearer than any grammar I have here:-)
Jeroen1000
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Joined: 06 May 2008
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Have or having in a sentence (possession) #6 (permalink) Tue May 06, 2008 12:22 pm   Have or having in a sentence (possession)
 

Quote:
Even if the verb 'have' were replaced by the verb 'exhibit', for example, the simple present tense would be the appropriate choice, and using a participle to introduce the defining clause would not change the meaning:


Why would it be the appropriate choice?
Molly
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Posts: 4017

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