4

I have to go to sleep because I have a class [-----] at 7:30 A.M.

In the above sentence, which of the following fits correctly in the blank, and why?

  • begin
  • begins
  • is beginning
  • began
  • 2
    You should a choice for present participle 'beginning'. So the sentence could be: I have to go to sleep because I have a class beginning at 7:30 a.m. – EnglishLearner Mar 28 '13 at 16:42
  • 3
    The sentence works quite well without adding anything in the blank. – mcalex Mar 28 '13 at 18:32
  • How do I ask a mod to edit my comment? I missed out 'have' in my first comment (above). – EnglishLearner Mar 28 '13 at 20:51
  • @EnglishLearner: In general, if you didn't notice a mistake in your comment within the first 5 minutes (during which time you can just edit it yourself), I think the easiest solution is to just copy the text, delete the comment, and paste the copy into a new comment which you can then edit. – FumbleFingers Mar 28 '13 at 22:17
7

None of the above are strictly correct. A proper construction would be the following:

I have to go to sleep because I have a class that begins at 7:30 A.M.

(Note you could also say "which begins" instead of "that begins"; either is fine.)

To explain why, let's deconstruct the sentence. We begin with the simplest part:

I have to go to sleep.

That's fine as a sentence on its own, but raises the question of why you have to go to sleep. The answer is "because you have a class." So we build on the construction:

I have to go to sleep because I have a class.

Now the author of the sentence wants to add more to the sentence; they want to describe that class. You must sleep because you have a class; what kind of class do you have? A class that begins at 7:30 am. And now we've arrived at the complete construction:

I have to go to sleep because I have a class that begins at 7:30 A.M.

  • Thank you but I still need to know why I should add "that "? – user1218 Mar 28 '13 at 16:53
  • 1
    @user1218 Because you're adding a clause that describes the class you have. "I have an apple that is red." "I have a dog that likes bacon." When you're describing an object, you use that (or which) to add the description. I have a dog. What kind of dog? A dog that likes bacon. "A dog likes bacon" without the that means that any dog in general (and therefore every dog) likes bacon. If you have "a dog that likes bacon", you have one dog that specifically likes bacon (you're not saying every dog likes bacon, only this one). – WendiKidd Mar 28 '13 at 17:11
  • @user1218 This EL&U answer might help. As the poster mentions, here 'class' is the subject of the clause, so you must use 'that'. – WendiKidd Mar 28 '13 at 17:15
  • Ok if i have this example : The plane ........ at ten tomorrow . Should i say (leave ,will leave ,leaves ,is going to leave )? – user1218 Mar 29 '13 at 22:15
  • @user1218 "Leaves" (note the plural), "will leave" and "is going to leave" are all perfectly fine :) – WendiKidd Mar 29 '13 at 22:23
-1

I have to go to sleep because I have a class that begins at 7:30 A.M

You will need to add that in order to make the sentence correct.

Since class is singular, begin is incorrect. begins can be swapped with is beginning, but that is less common for this purpose. You hear is beginning with events like a music concert, where the beginning of the event may take some time to complete (at which point in time, you can say "the event began" or "the event has already begun"). began is the past tense, so it would not work here either. If you were talking about yesterday's 7:30 AM class, you could say that it began at that time.

In conversation, it is usually shortened to this:

I have to go to sleep because I have a class at 7:30 A.M

  • 2
    is beginning is present tense. You can't say "I have a class that is beginning at 7:30 am" when 7:30 am is in the future. You can say "I have a class that is beginning now", but not at 7:30; no more than you could say "I have a class that is beginning last night." – WendiKidd Mar 28 '13 at 17:22
  • 1
    @WendiKidd , is this sentence correct: I have a class beginning at 7:30 a.m. – EnglishLearner Mar 28 '13 at 18:07
  • @WendiKidd I was referring to slang usage. I should have mentioned that. Edited – Gaʀʀʏ Mar 28 '13 at 20:15
  • @EnglishLearner I've been bouncing that one around in my head since I read this question. I don't think it's correct, though I won't say so 100%. What I know is correct would be "I have classes beginning at 7:30 a.m.", meaning you have more than one class and the first of those classes begins at 7:30. I'm fairly sure that "a class beginning at" is not correct. I know it sounds wrong. I'd stick with "that begins at" or "which begins at" because even if it's right, it isn't common. (Sorry I couldn't be more decisive!) – WendiKidd Mar 28 '13 at 20:30
  • 1
    @EnglishLearner: Also, in your I have a class beginning at 7:30 a.m. the word beginning couldn't possibly be an adverb, because the only other verb in the sentence is have, and there's no way it modifies that. It's a present participle, forming part of the "adjectival" phrase beginning at 7:30 a.m. – FumbleFingers Mar 28 '13 at 22:36

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