General Writing and Grammar Help/Word usage

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Question
Hi Ted, How are you !. I'm confused about word usage in some situations, so i need your help.
First, sometimes, i catch some phrases, such as : drought-tolerant trees, school-leaving age. I don't know how to create phrases like that. Are there any rules for phrases like that ?.
Second, In your answer to a questioner named Laura, you give her a better version : " The soldiers do NOT question NOR are they concerned about their duties in this war.". If i remove the word " they " , the sentence will be wrong or less formal ?.
Thirdly, sometimes, in writing, i just want to say somethings generally, i don't want to use the noun. For example : " Hoping that everybody will be lived in a peaceful world ". I don't want to use " I hope ". Is my sentence correct ?. If not, can you give me a better version.  
Finally, " I had in five or six days got as complete a victory over conscience as any young fellow that resolved not to be troubled with it could desire ". The sentence is in " The life and adventures of Robinson crusoe". I'm confused about the grammar usage, especially " as complete a victory over conscience as ". I just know about "as adj(adv) as", so the sentence is quite unfamiliar to me.
It seems to be that I asked you quite a lot of questions.Sorry for my greed.
Thank you sincerely,

Answer
Dear Data:

Hi Ted, How are you !. I'm confused about word usage in some situations, so i need your help.
First, sometimes, i catch some phrases, such as : drought-tolerant trees, school-leaving age. I don't know how to create phrases like that. Are there any rules for phrases like that ?.

*** Dat, I think you mean phrases that are joined with hyphens.  The rule is that the two adjectives are hyphenated if each one does NOT modify a noun by itself.  It is only when they are joined that they make sense.

For example, she wore a long-sleeved sweater.  You ask yourself the question, "Does EACH word used alone make sense?"  In other words, "She wore a long sweater."  That seems all right, doesn't it?  But, "She wore a sleeved sweater" is also all right.  However, if you keep the word "long" and "sleeved" separated, you are not expressing the idea that the SWEATER had long sleeves.  Therefore, you must use a hyphen:  She word a long-sleeved sweater."

In your two examples, do the words make sense by themselves.  Can you have a "drought" tree?  Can you have a "tolerant" tree?  No.  The two adjectives must be joined with a hyphen in order for the sentence to have any meaning.  You are talking about "drought-tolerant" trees.

Here's another example:  If you mean to say that a new car has been driven on a highway to test the car's functioning, you would call it a "road-tested car."  It is NOT a "road car."  It may be a "tested car," but who knows if the testing was done on an actual road, instead of in the manufacturing plant?  The hyphen solves that problem:  The car was "road-tested" means that the testing took place on a road.  You MUST have the hyphen in order to express this idea.

Second, In your answer to a questioner named Laura, you give her a better version : " The soldiers do NOT question NOR are they concerned about their duties in this war.". If i remove the word " they " , the sentence will be wrong or less formal ?.

*** If you remove the word "they," the sentence lacks "balance."  You pair the two subjects with the two verbs - soldiers + do question; they + are concerned.  You
CAN remove the word "they," but the sentence will not have the parallel construction that I mentioned above.

Thirdly, sometimes, in writing, i just want to say somethings generally, i don't want to use the noun. For example : " Hoping that everybody will be lived in a peaceful world ". I don't want to use " I hope ". Is my sentence correct ?. If not, can you give me a better version.  

**** Dat, your version is acceptable, but I would not use it in "formal writing."  In a personal letter or e-mail to a friend, you can end with "Hope to see you soon."  However, that kind of casual writing is not good for formal essays.

Finally, " I had in five or six days got as complete a victory over conscience as any young fellow that resolved not to be troubled with it could desire ". The sentence is in " The life and adventures of Robinson crusoe". I'm confused about the grammar usage, especially " as complete a victory over conscience as ". I just know about "as adj(adv) as", so the sentence is quite unfamiliar to me.

*** The sentence is written in an old [19th century] British style.  It essentially means that a "young fellow" is not often troubled by moral codes.  As people grow older, they accept [or reject] the moral beliefs of their society.  Robinson Crusoe was NOT a young man, but he began to think like a young person, after living on his island for less than a week.  That's the meaning of the sentence, but, the idea is expressed in language that we no longer use in our era.


It seems to be that I asked you quite a lot of questions.Sorry for my greed.

*** You are not greedy.  You just want to learn, and I want to help you.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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