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Seeming contradiction in TL I Ch. 4

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    Seeming contradiction in TL I Ch. 4

    My students got stuck in the day 2 exercises because first the proposition is presented as "a statement or sentence which expresses truth or falsity" followed by "there are three elements to ANY proposition." So they got several wrong in the exercises because they rejected all sentences that didn't have a copula. Their understanding from reading the chapter is a proposition has an S, P, and c and anything else isn't a proposition. I'm not sure how to explain this to them because I don't really understand either because my understanding is a proposition is simply a sentence that expresses truth or falsity. Thank you for any help. -- Erin

    #2
    Copulas in statements

    Erin,

    A statement may have a copula, but it may not be expressed. There are lots of statements with implied copulas. But if you could tell me which book and which chapter, I'll take a look at the examples. Thanks.

    Martin

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      #3
      Erin,

      It was just pointed out to me that the title has the book and chapter. Sorry! Yes, so in the case of "There were three thousand purple ducks found on Mars," the copula is "were." That is a form of the "to be" verb. That is why you can translate it into "Three thousand purple ducks WERE found on Mars."

      In the case of "No purple dinosaurs go to heaven," the copula is implied: "No purple dinosaurs ARE THINGS THAT go to heaven."

      Again, on the last one, and several others in this exercise, the copula is implied. You know this simply by reformulating the sentence with a copula. If you can do that without changing the meaning, then it is a proposition.

      Let me know if that helps.

      Martin

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