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The teacher marked the words "interests me" in the following sentence to be gramatically wrong, why? I think the sentence is gramatically correct.

"I never thought that I was going to be accepted straight into the advanced level classes to learn the advanced material that interests me and that will help me to get better grades in english exams."

Someone had told me that it is because of the fact that the teacher might be a "prescriptivist" instead of a "descriptivist". Is that the only possible explanation for "interests me" beign marked as wrong there?

Or is there any grammar rule that says that it is gramatically wrong to write "interests me" there in that way?

Please note that in this case "interests me" refers to "the advanced material" so i think it's the same that in the sentence "I will do something that interests me" in this case "something" would be "the advanced english material". So since "I will do something that interests me" is gramatically OK ( i think because saying "something that interests me" is common ), then my sentence should be ok gramatically too then. What are your thoughts about this?

Your help is really apprecciated thanks.

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  • please note that i added the S to the verb "interest" here, because "interest" here refers to "the advanced english material" ( third person singular ), thus the need to add S to the verb Apr 23, 2016 at 7:20
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    The antecedent for that is the singular material, so the verb interests has to be singular. So your sentence is correct. What did your teacher say was wrong and what was the suggested correction? If you want to get better grades on English exams, capitalize English.
    – deadrat
    Apr 23, 2016 at 7:26
  • my teacher didnt answer me yet, he just marked the words "interests me" to be gramatically wrong, however i dont know why he think it's gramatically wrong, for me, it's gramatically ok, i will post a comment as soon as my teacher gives me an answer Apr 23, 2016 at 7:29
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    Well done for explaining clearly what the issue is and why you think you're right. So many people don't. I believe you are entirely right: "advanced material" is a non-count/mass noun and should have a singular verb.
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 23, 2016 at 9:04

4 Answers 4

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Here's my thinking.

"I never thought that I was going to be accepted straight into the advanced level classes to learn the advanced material that interests me and that will help me to get better grades in english exams."

should be

"I had never thought that I was going to be accepted straight into the advanced level classes to learn the advanced material that interested me and would have helped me to get better grades in english exams."

You are referring to past tense, 'I was going to be implies something 'would have been interesting' or 'interested you' or 'was interesting to me'. 'Interests me' refers to now - is interesting to me now.

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  • Present tense is fine if it was and still is the case (cf "He told me that Paris is the capital of France"); there are several questions discussing this on ELU.
    – Stuart F
    Sep 29, 2022 at 11:11
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'interests me ' is grammatically correct same as ' I'm interested in '.

Mistakes are not ,all the time, in grammar , it's sometimes in choosing the suitable word or expression for the right meaning or context.

The sentence : "I never thought that I was going to be accepted straight into the advanced level classes to learn the advanced material that interests me and that will help me to get better grades in english exams."

The question here : Is the advanced material interests you so much that you decided to learn it? Or You were interested in the advanced material because it will help you get better regards in English exams? I think both meanings here are different.

Look at these example :

1- The subject of the talk was one that interests me greatly.

2- The students were all very interested in the lecture.

I think the meaning in both sentences are different.

Would you please, let us know about the reason of the mistake when you get your teacher's reply?

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  • sure i will let you know as soon as the teacher gives me a reply Apr 25, 2016 at 15:22
  • Thanks a lot, what matters is to find out the right answer to improve our knowledge
    – Naseem
    Apr 26, 2016 at 10:12
  • the teacher didnt answer anything yet, i dont know if he will answer me something about it, but if he answers me, i will surely post it here Apr 26, 2016 at 17:31
  • Ok. I hope you will get the answer soon.
    – Naseem
    Apr 27, 2016 at 16:24
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I just performed a quick Google search of the definitions of interest, interested and interests, and based on what I read it appears that interested implies past tense and interests implies third person perspective. Because the rest of the sentence is written from first person perspective interest would be the most accurate word. Interest implies present tense and first person.

This was fun!

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    Is your answer saying that the sentence should be "...the advanced material that interest me..."?
    – Andrew Leach
    Jan 17, 2019 at 21:59
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I think the correct answer here is 'I am interested in' rather than 'interests me'

So it becomes like this :

"I never thought that I was going to be accepted straight into the advanced level classes to learn the advanced material that I am interested in which will help me to get better grades in english exams."

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  • if for you "i am interested in" sounds better, it doesn't mean that "interests me" isn't grammatically correct too, the point here is if it's grammatically correct to place "interests me" there or not, i got score discounted on an english exam for saying "interested me" that for me, it's grammatically correct, so i think that no one can beforehand on an exam guess what the teacher likes more, if he likes more saying "i am interested in" rather than "interests me" i think it doesnt mean that "interests me" is grammatically incorrect and that the teacher has to discount me score for that Apr 25, 2016 at 2:12
  • in this case i wanted to emphasize that the advanced material interests me, and will ALWAYS interest me, so i think "i am interested in" isn't better than "interests me" for emphasizing that, "i am interested in" is better to emphasize that the material is interesting for me at this moment, but it isn't better to emphasize PAST and FUTURE as well, just PRESENT CONTINUOUS Apr 25, 2016 at 2:17
  • why do you think the correct answer is "i am interested in" instead of "interests me" ? why i can't say "interests me" there? Apr 25, 2016 at 2:21

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