accept when

Can one say

a. You have to accept when you've done something wrong.

b. You have to accept  it when you've done something wrong.

c. You have to admit when you've done something wrong.

d. You have to admit  it when you've done something wrong.

?

My feeling is that (a) and (c) are natural and the other two aren't, but what are the objects of 'accept' and 'admit' in (a) and (c)?

Many thanks.

Original Post

Azz,

I don't really like any of your examples.  Try these:

e: We all make mistakes.  Accept the fact.
f: If you've done something wrong, admit it.  People will respect you for doing so.

My personal favorite, as an improvisational guitarist, is:

g: If you make a mistake, do it again.

I've heard that attributed to Carlos Santana, but I can't find any documentation to  confirm that he actually said it.  Regardless, though, it means that, when you are improvising a solo and you hit a wrong note note, hitting the same wrong note will make people think that the mistake was intentional.  I'm not sure how well this idea works outside of the realm of music, though.

DocV

Thank you so much Doc.

It must have been Santana, since there 'a' is repeated in his name twice and 'an' once.

I NOTICED the 'note note' in your reply. Was that a typo or was it deliberate? Looks deliberate to me! You seem to be one of those teachers who want to see if the students are paying attention.

 

 

Azz,

I wish I could say that this was deliberate.  It would be the perfect context in which to make such a "deliberate mistake", as it were.

The unfortunate truth is that I started writing my piece, got interrupted, and came back to it, and, in doing so, I accidentally typed "note" a second time.

I have, on rare occasions, done such things deliberately.  For example, please see this thread:

I Got you, babe

I draw your attention specifically to the place where I ask people to "check their speling [sic] rigorously".

DocV

azz posted:

Can one say

a. You have to accept when you've done something wrong.

b. You have to accept  it when you've done something wrong.

c. You have to admit when you've done something wrong.

d. You have to admit  it when you've done something wrong.

?

My feeling is that (a) and (c) are natural and the other two aren't, but what are the objects of 'accept' and 'admit' in (a) and (c)?

Hello, Azz and DocV,

If we stick with the original four examples, my feeling is just the opposite of yours, Azz. I think (b) and (d) are fine and the other two are not.

Both "accept" and "admit" require a direct object, and the "when"-clause here is not properly the direct object. None of the sentences is analogous to:

e. You have to accept what he said.
f. You have to admit where you put it.

In (e), "what he said" is the direct object of "accept"; and in (f), "where you put it" is the direct object of "admit."

Your "when"-clauses, Azz, are not functioning as direct objects but rather as adverbials. Notice that you can't say:

a'. *When you've done something wrong, you have to accept.
c'. *When you've done something wrong, you have to admit.

But when we add "it" at the end, all is well. What does the "it" mean? "It" stands in for an understood "that"-clause: "When you've done something wrong, you have to accept/admit that you've done something wrong."

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