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The dress Mary is in is very pretty.

hirashin

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I have another question.
One of my students wrote:(a).
Does (a) have the same meaning as (b)?
And I think (c) is different from (b). Would (c) sound right, too?

(a) The dress Mary is in is very pretty.
(b) The dress Mary is wearing is very pretty.
(c) The dress Mary wears is very pretty.

Hirashin
 
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Out of the three, (b) sounds better. All three would be understood, although (a) would be used if the dress is seen by all. It implies the dress is apparent before giving the statement. I suppose it is all about context.
 
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Speak directly:

Mary's dress is very pretty.

(a) is weak, and (c) is weaker. (b) is okay.

(c) would be very acceptable if you made it a general statement of fact: "The dresses (that) Mary wears are very pretty."
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, johnnyG.
(c) The dress Mary wears is very pretty.
Would (c) suggest that Mary usually wears the same dress?
Hirashin
 
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(a) should be "The dress Mary has on is very pretty."

(c) is framed as a statement of fact, and it's odd since it suggests that Mary only has one dress. I am taking (reading) the word 'dress' there as one specific item of clothing.
 
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C implies that there is only one dress that Mary wears. I think that structure would most often be used in past tense when dress is used. For example if you were talking to someone about an event that you both had gone to with Mary you would say, "The dress Mary wore was very pretty."
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, OoTmaster.
What's the difference between (d) and (e)?
(d) The dress Mary wore was very pretty.
(e) The dress Mary was wearing was very pretty.
Hirashin
 

mdchachi

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Thanks for the help, OoTmaster.
What's the difference between (d) and (e)?
(d) The dress Mary wore was very pretty.
(e) The dress Mary was wearing was very pretty.
Hirashin
I think there's no difference. Same meaning and both sound natural.
 

Lothor

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I think that (a) is fine in spoken English though it looks a bit odd written down. To me, it's entirely natural to say 'you look great IN that dress'. (b) looks best written down and I don't like (c) for all the reasons given above.
 
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