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Is this a shop which you always buy?

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,

Someone asked me if the sentence above makes sense.
I said that it does not make sense and "which" should be replaced with "where".
Am I right?

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 

mdchachi

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I agree with you. However you can also say,
Is this a shop in which you always buy (something)?
 
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Your correction is right, but I would add that "buy" is transitive and you don't normally use a transitive verb without at least implying an object. So the word that would normally be used is "to shop". At the same time, though, we tend to avoid saying the same word twice in a sentence (except when grammatically necessary), so "shop" (the noun) would likely be replaced with a synonym, like "store". I personally would use this version:

"Is this a store you always shop at?"

Just one more note of worth, though not terribly important: the original sentence is wrong for what they meant, but technically it is grammatically correct with a completely different meaning: it means to ask if you have a history of buying the shop. That is to say, paying to acquire ownership of the entire shop (and with it, ownership of the business that runs the shop).
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the help, mdchachi and Julimaruchan.
Is this a shop in which you always buy (something)?
mdchachi, do you mean "something" can be omitted?

Julimaruchan, I know "buy" is usually used as a transitive verb, but it can be an intransitive according to my dictionaries. Would "Is this a shop where you always buy?" sound off?

How about these sentences from my dictionaries? Would they sound right?
(a) Americans like to buy and sell.
(b) We buy direct from a manufacturer.
(c) If you are willing to sell, I'll buy.
(d) I'm buying this time since you treated me last time.
(e) Clients who buy through this service will receive a quarterly newsletter.
 

HanSolo

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Is this a shop which you always buy? ->
Is this a shop which you always buy from?
 

mdchachi

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mdchachi, do you mean "something" can be omitted?

No I meant it's more natural to put an object into the sentence. But it's ok to omit if it's very clear what the object should be.
 

johnnyG

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I think more common phrasings would be:

Is this where you always shop? ...always go shopping?

Do you always shop here/there? ...go shopping here/there?
 

johnnyG

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(a) Americans like to buy and sell things/stuff.

The others seem okay.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, mdchachi and johnnyG.

Most of us usually learn English through books that is written by Japanese people. Those books often contain
errors or unnatural sentences that would not be used by native speakers. That's one of the reasons we can't be good English speakers or writers though all of us are forced to learn the language for many years.

I think we should use textbooks by well-educated native speakers, but our stupid Monbukagakushou (MEXT, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) forces us to use ones by Japanese.
 
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Eh, most of the Japanese people I've met in the U.S. speak pretty good English. Your English is pretty good, too. It's way better than what the Nigerian Prince scammers get.
 

hirashin

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Julimaruchan, if you are in Japan, you can see that very few Japanese people speak good English. Though we are all forced to learn English at school for six years or more, only a few people can speak the language. I think foreign languages should be elective subjects.
 
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Oh, I'm sure few Japanese people living in Japan speak good English. Have you seen how horrible our Japanese can be over here in the States, though? ;)
 

hirashin

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Hahaha. But American people are not forced to learn Japanese at school. In Japan, almost all the Japanese people have learned English for at least six years! What a great waste of time!
 
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Yeah... well, look at the bright side: learning a foreign language actually improves cognitive function somehow. I forget exactly how, but yeah, that's a nice benefit even if disinterested students are doomed to only ever speak Engrish.
 
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