4

Usage example with a context:

If you try to make a field that already has data an indexed field with no duplicates and the data does not consist of unique values, the system will not let you save the new index.

First of all, let me make sure that I semantically get this right. What this says, as I understand it, is that there's a field that has data and the data have been indexed, i.e. the field has an index. Is that correct? If so, is it alright to say something like this:

These days, I'm having my computer the only way to reach to people because I'm under house arrest. I can't go outside.

I know, this example probably sounds like an awkward way to say it, but that's all I can come up with at the moment. Again, the point for me here is to make sure that I have a coherent understanding of it.

Is this a common pattern in English? Could you please give me some more examples of how to use this pattern?

  • The first sentence is correct; it has a relative "that" clause modifying "field" ("...make a field [that already has data] an indexed field..."). I cannot understand the second sentence. It should probably be "I'm having my computer be the only way..." or even better, "These days, my computer is the only way..." (The first choice, "having my computer be" is grammatically correct, but it means you freely choose to restrict yourself to computer-based communication; however, you probably didn't choose that, if your under house arrest.) – apsillers Dec 11 '14 at 15:37
  • It really feels like both of your sentences are missing some commas. Do you mean, "If you try to make a field that already has data, an indexed field with no duplicates, and the data does not consist of unique values, the system will not let you save the new index."? As written neither sentence is correct. The first is either broken or a run-on and the second has verb conjugation issues. – Jason Patterson Dec 11 '14 at 18:27
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If you try to make a field that already has data an indexed field with no duplicates and the data does not consist of unique values, the system will not let you save the new index.

We can trasform this thus:

If you try to transform a field that already has data into an indexed field with no duplicates and the data does not consist of unique values, the system will not let you save the new index.

That is, if you have:

A field that already has data

and you want to transform it into

An indexed field with no duplicates

and at the same time

The data does not consist of unique values

Then

The system will not let you save the new index

To sum it up, it's not "to have something (as) something else", it's "to make something (into) someting else".

The verb to make in your sentence takes two complements, we can designate then A and B:

Make A B = cause A to be B

  • In ABBA's song "Happy New Year" there is a sentence: "May we all have our hopes, our will to try". Is it possible in English to interpret it so that "hopes" and " will to try" are not just separate elements from the series, but the two complements of the verb "have"? – user2683246 Jul 16 '17 at 16:26
1

CopperKettle's explanation is a good one. To answer your question, the pattern:

make (noun) a (noun)

is pretty common. But it's not common to use this pattern with such complicated noun phrases. I had trouble figuring out your sentence at first, and I'm a native speaker with a strong technical background. In this case, an "into" and another comma would help a lot:

If you try to make a field that already has data into an indexed field with no duplicates, and the data does not consist of unique values, the system will not let you save the new index.

Usually, you'll see this pattern with simple nouns:

We can't make Han Solo an admiral, even if he is the best pilot in the rebellion.

I made the sandwich my dinner.

Are you trying to make me your enemy?

Of course, you can add "into" to those as well.

There's a similar pattern which also implies change or growth:

make a (noun) out of [a] (noun)

A popular phrase that uses this pattern is "making a mountain out of a molehill". This means that someone is treating an unimportant thing like it's very important. Note that the order of the nouns is reversed compared to the previous pattern:

We can't make an admiral out of Han Solo; he's not organized enough.

I made a whole dinner out of one sandwich.

Are you trying to make an enemy out of me?

There's also a similar-sounding but totally different pattern:

make (person) an offer

This doesn't mean you're changing a person into an offer. It means that you're offering something to the person.

  • In ABBA's song "Happy New Year" there is a sentence: "May we all have our hopes, our will to try". Is it possible in English to interpret it so that "hopes" and " will to try" are not just separate elements from the series, but the two complements of the verb "have"? – user2683246 Jul 16 '17 at 16:26
  • I'm not sure exactly what you mean. I read that sentence the same as "May we all have our hopes and our will to try". Both "hopes" and "will to try" are objects of the verb "have". – Adam Haun Jul 16 '17 at 18:26
  • I mean sort of "May we all make our hopes our will to try" but with more statics in meaning rather than dynamics which is entailed by "make". Accusativus duplex in Latin. – user2683246 Jul 16 '17 at 20:02
  • I suppose from your words that in English yours construal is the only possible. – user2683246 Jul 16 '17 at 20:05
  • You could read it as saying that our hopes are our will to try. I don't think you can get any more complex, though. – Adam Haun Jul 17 '17 at 5:30

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