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Next cases are the ones I translated from a Korean sentnece: “어떤 장사꾼은 칼을 가지런히 벌여 놓았고 또 다른 장사꾼은 여러 가지 그릇을 벌여 놓았다.” What I’d like to know is if (1.1)~(2.2) all can be proper in English.

1. A seller placed his knives neatly, (1.1) another/ (1.2 ) the other placed various pottery in disorder.
2. Some sellers placed their knives neatly, (2.1) some/ (2.2) the others placed various pottery in disorder.

Are the above all be used right? If any ones can’t, how should the ones be corrected?

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The important point to be observed here is that you use the NOUN only when your hearer can be expected to know which NOUN you are talking about because either a) you have already mentioned it, or b) you will define it as soon as you have named it, or c) it is common knowledge the two of you share.

  1. A seller placed his knives neatly, (1.1)another / (1.2)the other placed various pottery in disorder.

In set 1, (1.2)the other is probably ungrammatical. This expression implies one of a pair of sellers you have already mentioned. But the first seller cannot have been identified before you mention him, since you speak of him with the indefinite determiner; this implies that you have not mentioned the pair. Consequently the second seller cannot be the other of the pair: he can only be (1.1)another seller.

In set 2, (2.2)the others may be grammatical or may not. Some determines an indefinite number of sellers, but it does not imply that the sellers belong to a group which you have already mentioned; consequently some may be applied either to previously undefined sellers or to members of a previously defined group. If you have already mentioned the entire group of sellers, then the others is grammatical: it designates all of the group who did not place their knives neatly. But if you have not mentioned the group, then your hearer does not know the group of which they are members, and the others is ungrammatical.

  • I thank you. * In the third line, there seems to be a typo: share – Listenever Sep 2 '14 at 23:59
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I think the better choice is in 2:

Some sellers placed their knives neatly; some/the others placed various pottery in disorder.

You should use a semi-colon as there are two independent clauses. Or say:

Some sellers placed their knives neatly, while some/the others placed various pottery in disorder.

Use of some or the others in the second clause could be OK depending on the context. some if you are not talking about every seller, or the others if you are talking about every seller.

In 1) A seller and the other use mismatched pronouns (indefinite vs. definite). So I would say:

A seller placed his knives neatly; another placed various pottery in disorder.

or use while as mentioned above. This assumes there could be other sellers not mentioned here.

  • 1
    In case of only two sellers I would use "One seller" - "the other". – user3169 Sep 2 '14 at 23:49

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