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    Doppelpunkt/colon hinter "we have to ask ourselves"


    Doppelpunkt/colon hinter "we have to ask ourselves"

    1. We have to ask ourselves: Why is it that those maxims are constantly broken?
    2. We have to ask ourselves why it is that those maxims are constantly broken.
    3. We have to ask ourselves why is it that those maxims are constantly broken?

    Which one is correct? I found all three forms; is one more correct than the others? Is one completely wrong?

    My gut instinct says number one is correct, but I'd rather hear a second opinion.
    AuthorCrocusnuss (840350) 29 Jun 15, 15:07
    I suppose you can use a colon, but I'd prefer a comma. English doesn't use colons as frequently as German does. Of course, #2 is also correct.
    #1Authordude (253248) 29 Jun 15, 15:21
    Agree with dude in principle, but if you use a comma, you should use quotation marks as well.
    #2Authorhbberlin (420040) 29 Jun 15, 15:25
    I was going to suggest that, too, but upon further reflection I don't think you have to. It's more of a thought that's being expressed, not really speech.
    #3Authordude (253248) 29 Jun 15, 15:28
    #2 is correct because '... why it is ...' is a dependent clause (= reported speech).

    I don't think #3 can be considered correct by a conscientious editor.

    But what about the capital W in 'why' in#1 and after a comma? I would have to look it up. I tend to use W with quotation marks (after colon or comma) and probably w without them (after comma). What do you think?
    #4AuthorsebastianW (382026) 29 Jun 15, 15:48
    Not everyone agrees with that. Here's one example:
    You don't use quotation marks with thought. Only with spoken dialogue.
    #5Authordude (253248) 29 Jun 15, 16:01
    Thank you all so far. A comma it is then. I would not use quotation marks either, even though I have the feeling that this utterance lies somewhere between a though and a somewhat weird quotation of a question that I have asked myself and now address the reader with. Well, if language was easy it wouldn't be fun.
    #6AuthorCrocusnuss (840350) 29 Jun 15, 18:15
    #2 is what I would say and write; that is if I thought you could break a maxim - which I am not sure you can.
    #7AuthorSD3 (451227) 29 Jun 15, 18:46
    Mmh now that you mention it… I mean the german 'verstoßen gegen'.

    Ger: Was ist der Grund dafür, dass wir diese Maximen nicht einhalten können? / Warum verstoßen wir (denn) permanent gegen diese Maximen?

    Es geht um Grices Cooperative Principle, dessen Maxime ja im normalen Gespräch aus den verschiedensten Gründen fast gar nicht einzuhalten sind.
    #8AuthorCrocusnuss (840350) 29 Jun 15, 20:57
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