I have some questions

Moderator: JackFrost

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 20509
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-04-13, 16:57

LifeDeath wrote:It is strange, because I thought that it was the English "r" sound, which is completely different. When you mentioned [ɾ] in one of the previous messages of yours, I found that video, and figured out that it seems like the Russian one more, that the English "r".

There are some speakers of English who pronounce /r/ as [ɾ] or [r]. In fact, it's rather common for /r/ to be realised as [ɾ] after /θ/ in words like "three" or "thread". (Most speakers don't notice that they do this.) But by far the most common realisation of this sound is a postalveolar approximant (IPA [ɹ̠]). (You can read about other variants here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_phonology#Sonorants.)

When I mentioned [ɾ] in an earlier post, it was not as a realisation of English /r/ but of English /d/ or /t/. As Babbsagg's experience attests, even speakers of other languages don't recognise this as an 'r' sound in an English context. Remember how I mentioned that some (posh) speakers of English have [ɾ] for /r/? Other English speakers mock their pronunciation with respellings like "veddy" for "very". This makes it clear that they hear the [ɾ] as a /d/ and not as an /r/ (even though they may be perfectly capable of hearing [ɾ] as /r/ in other languages like Spanish or Polish).
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

LifeDeath
Posts: 512
Joined: 2014-01-29, 21:13
Real Name: Anton
Gender: male
Location: Novosibirsk
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-04-24, 11:25

Okay.
I needed to write a resume for aplying for a job and a dialogue between an applicant and an interviewer for my English classes. I wrote, and I tried to be attentive and correct. But there are some sentences which I'm not sure with. So can you look at them?

"No previous work experience."
Does it sound correct? Or should I drop out "previous"?

"I never give up whatever is not finished yet."
Does "give up" sound idiomatic here or not? The meaning should be "stop doing". I can write like that, but I'm sure there's a phasal verb for that meaning, which I can't recall. Maybe "drop out"?

"I’m a law-abiding citizen of my country. I’ve never been charged with an offense or a crime."
Can I use "charge" in passive? Or should I replace it with something else? (I think "wanted" can work when talking about criminal affairs, but I'm not sure)
Are "offense" and "crime" used correctly at the end?

"Well if you did read our vacancy, you should have seen that we are looking for applicants who have at least three-year work experience."
Are grammatical tenses used here correctly?
How do we meassure work experience? (Underlined part) Is that correct as written?

"I’ll call you back later on."
This is an interesting one. Can I use "on' at the end like I did? I don't know why but when I was writing it I unconsciously added that "on". Examples that I found on the internet were without it. Yet I didn't find a disproof for it. So what do you think?

"reacted so vividly."
Can this be used as a description of a human reaction to someone's else statement or phrase?

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 20509
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-04-24, 15:11

LifeDeath wrote:I needed to write a resume for applying for a job and a dialogue between an applicant and an interviewer for my English classes. I wrote these, and I tried to be attentive and correct. But there are some sentences which I'm not sure withabout. So can you look at them?


LifeDeath wrote:"No previous work experience."
Does it sound correct? Or should I drop out "previous"?

It may sound redundant, but this is how it's commonly phrased.

LifeDeath wrote:"I never give up whateverwhen something is not finished yet."
Does "give up" sound idiomatic here or not? The meaning should be "stop doing". I can write like that, but I'm sure there's a phrasal verb for that meaning, which I can't recall. Maybe "drop out"?

"Give up" is idiomatic in this context, but it is colloquial whereas resumes are often written in a highly formal (and compact) style.

LifeDeath wrote:"I’m a law-abiding citizen of my country. I’ve never been charged with an offense or a crime."
Can I use "charge" in passive? Or should I replace it with something else? (I think "wanted" can work when talking about criminal affairs, but I'm not sure)

"Wanted" means that authorities are seeking to take this person into custody. This may or may not result in their arrest, let alone the bringing of formal charges. (You can be "wanted for questioning", for instance.)

LifeDeath wrote:Are "offense" and "crime" used correctly at the end?

They are, but they mean basically the same thing.

LifeDeath wrote:"Well if you did read our vacancy, you should have seen that we are looking for applicants who have at least three-years' work experience."
Are grammatical tenses used here correctly?
How do we meassure work experience? (Underlined part) Is that correct as written?

Either "three years of work experience" or "three years' work experience". Without the s (i.e. "a three-year work experience"), you're talking about a single specific experience which lasted for three years.

LifeDeath wrote:"I’ll call you back later on."
This is an interesting one. Can I use "on' at the end like I did? I don't know why but when I was writing it I unconsciously added that "on". Examples that I found on the internet were without it. Yet I didn't find a disproof forprohibition on it. So what do you think?

I would leave it off. It sounds more like what you'd say to a friend than what you'd say during a formal interview.

LifeDeath wrote:"reacted so vividly."
Can this be used as a description of a human reaction to someone's else statement or phrase?

It can, but I'd need to see the full context.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

LifeDeath
Posts: 512
Joined: 2014-01-29, 21:13
Real Name: Anton
Gender: male
Location: Novosibirsk
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-04-24, 15:52

linguoboy wrote:
LifeDeath wrote:"I never give up whateverwhen something is not finished yet."

"Give up" is idiomatic in this context, but it is colloquial whereas resumes are often written in a highly formal (and compact) style.

Yes, that's what I was thinking about, too. But what if we consider the sentence differently? Where "give up" (or its equivalent) doesn't describe my intention, but my action towards "whatever is not finished". Can this sentence be structured like that?

More examples to show what I mean:
"I never leave whatever is not finished yet".
"I never quit whatever is not finished yet".
"I never stop working on whatever is not finished yet".


I think the last one is the most demonstrative. I was struggling to find a proper phrasal verb for it.


linguoboy wrote:It can, but I'd need to see the full context.


Here's my dialogue:

"- Hello! Just come in! Sit down, please.
- Hi!
- Umm, what's your name?
- My name is Jack.
- So Jack, why did you come here?
- I just came here because I want to work in your company.
- Alright, how old are you?
- I’m thirty.
- Okay, do you have a degree?
- Yes, sure, I graduated from Novosibirsk State Technical University. I'm a radio engineer.
- Sounds good to me. Where did you work before?
- I didn't work. You know, this is the first time I'm actually trying to apply for a job.
- Ohh you must be kidding me! Did you read our vacancy?
- Yeah, I think I did.
- Well if you did, you should have seen that we are looking for applicants who have at least three years' work experience.
- Really? Well, maybe I just didn't notice. So what do we do then?
- Just write down your number here, I'll call you back later on.
- Do I have chances?
- I don't know, I'll just jot down what you tell me, and then I'll decide. Can you tell me more about your education?
- I studied radio engineering, I majored in radiophysics. I’ve always been good at math and physics.
- Anything else?
- Yes, I speak Russian as well, it's my native language by the way.
- I'm going to disappoint you by saying that it's pretty useless here. What else?
- I'm responsible. I work hard.
- So does everyone who's being interviewed here.
- Alright, you're just being a nitpicker. I don't want to hold this conversation anymore, I'm leaving. Go and find yourself another candidate to make fun of!
- [Door closed] Ohh, reacted so vividly, I like it. I should seriously consider calling him back later."


We usually present dialogues in pairs in front of the group. That's why it may seem a little dumb, not to be too boring.
The last sentence is where I used "reacted so vividly". Is it appropriate there?

I am also not sure about tenses. I think I'm getting better at it since we have many times talked about them here, but sometimes I just can't definitely change one of them. I just have logical explanations for both usage.
"Where did you work before?", shouldn't it be "Where have you worked before?"?
The action is completely in the past, we consider it as juct a fact, and that's the reason to use the simple past. On the other hand, there's bearing in the present moment - it's important right now, whether I worked then or not. And that's the reason to use the perfect. Here I have such a dilemma. What would you use? (I just used the simple past because it sounds better to me in that context)

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 20509
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-04-24, 16:24

LifeDeath wrote:Yes, that's what I was thinking about, too. But what if we consider the sentence differently? Where "give up" (or its equivalent) doesn't describe my intention, but my action towards "whatever is not finished". Can this sentence be structured like that?

More examples to show what I mean:
"I never leave whatever is not finished yet".
"I never quit whatever is not finished yet".
"I never stop working on whatever is not finished yet".


I think the last one is the most demonstrative. I was struggling to find a proper phrasal verb for it.

Those are all fine at getting the point across, but you'd generally find something more formal (and much briefer) like "demonstrates persistence".

LifeDeath wrote:"- Hello! Just Come on in! Sit down, please.
- Hi!
- Umm, what's your name?
- My name is Jack.
- So Jack, why did you come here?
- I just came here because I want to work in your company.
- Alright, how old are you?
- I’m thirty.
- Okay, do you have a degree?
- Yes, sureof course, I graduated from Novosibirsk State Technical University. I'm a radio engineer.
- Sounds good to me. Where did you work before?
- I didn't work. You know, this is the first time I'm actually trying to apply for a job.
- Ohh you must be kidding me! Did you read our vacancythe job description?
- Yeah, I think I did.
- Well if you did, you should have seen that we are looking for applicants who have at least three years' work experience.
- Really? Well, maybe I just didn't notice. So what do we do then?
- Just write down your number here, I'll call you back later on.
- Do I have a chances?
- I don't know, I'll just jot down what you tell me, and then I'll decide. Can you tell me more about your education?
- I studied radio engineering, I majored in radiophysics. I’ve always been good at math and physics.
- Anything else?
- Yes, I speak Russian as well, it's my native language by the way.
- I'm going to disappoint you by saying that it's pretty useless here. What else?
- I'm responsible. I work hard.
- So does everyone who's being interviewed here.
- Alright, you're just being a nitpicker. I don't want to hold this conversation anymore, I'm leaving. Go and find yourself another candidate to make fun of!
- [Door closed] Ohh, he reacted so vividly, I like it. I should seriously consider calling him back later."


We usually present dialogues in pairs in front of the group. That's why it may seem a little dumb, not to be too boring.
The last sentence is where I used "reacted so vividly". Is it appropriate there?

Seems a bit off. "Vivid" is most often used to describe a visual impression. Like a description will be "vivid" if it creates a powerful image. I'd prefer a term like "lively", and a different construction, i.e. "What a lively reaction!"

LifeDeath wrote:I am also not sure about tenses. I think I'm getting better at it since we have many times talked about them here many times, but sometimes I just can't definitely change one of them. I just have logical explanations for both usages.

You're overusing "just" in this post. It's most often used in English as a way of softening a statement, e.g. "I was just asking. No reason to get so mad!" If you have some other purpose, there's probably a better alternative.

LifeDeath wrote:"Where did you work before?", shouldn't it be "Where have you worked before?"? The action is completely in the past, we consider it as just a fact, and that's the reason to use the simple past. On the other hand, there's bearing on the present moment - it's important right now, whether I worked then or not. And that's the reason to use the perfect. Here I have such a dilemma. What would you use? (I just used the simple past because it sounds better to me in that context)

I would use perfect because this is a general question. As you say, the most important thing is whether you've worked before or not. The details are less important. It would be more common to use the simple past when referring to specifics, e.g.:

"Are you currently employed?"
"No, I quit my job to go back to school full-time."
"Where did you work before?"

Here the interviewer is specifically asking about the job the applicant quit in order to go back to school. He could also have said, "Where were you working before?"

But there's also a dialectal difference here. American English speakers often use the simple past where speakers of other varieties would prefer the perfect. To them, "Where did you work before?" would sound fine as an open-ended question about all previous workplaces. So if you're getting a lot of your exposure to English from colloquial American sources that could explain why both versions sound acceptable to you.

A BE speaker would also probably prefer "Why have you come here?" to "Why did you come here?" After all, the person is still there. And also "this is the first time I've actually tried to apply for a job". There are some cases where the progressive would sound natural (e.g. "Which job are you applying for?" when there is more than one on offer), but here the perfect sounds better.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

LifeDeath
Posts: 512
Joined: 2014-01-29, 21:13
Real Name: Anton
Gender: male
Location: Novosibirsk
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-04-28, 19:10

Okay, thank you for those corrections.

I've just had an argument with a girl, who claims to be a native speaker. I was talking with another guy about clefts, there was an example "Who has done it is he". I totally agree that it sounds completely unnatural. But is it theoretically possible? I said that it's called a "wh-cleft". Like "Who did it was I", "Who knows it is you", "Who has done it is he". The latter is supposed to mean "It is he who has done it". The girl said that it should be "Who has done it, it's he!".
What do you think? I just want to know your opinion to refer to if she's still arguing.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 20509
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-04-28, 20:03

LifeDeath wrote:I've just had an argument with a girl, who claims to be a native speaker. I was talking with another guy about clefts, and there was anthe example "Who has done it is he". I totally agree that it sounds completely unnatural. But is it theoretically possible? I said that it's called a "wh-cleft". Like "Who did it was I", "Who knows it is you", "Who has done it is he". The latter is supposed to mean "It is he who has done it". The girl said that it should be "Who has done it, it's he!".
What do you think? I just want to know your opinion to refer to if she's still arguing.

I think you're correct: It's grammatically acceptable but unnatural-sounding.

It might help to know that cleft sentences, despite their importance to English grammar, are a topic rarely covered in English courses. It's likely this woman has never heard the term before.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

LifeDeath
Posts: 512
Joined: 2014-01-29, 21:13
Real Name: Anton
Gender: male
Location: Novosibirsk
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-05-15, 13:26

Hello!
My teacher checked and gave back the essay that I asked about a couple of weeks ago. Today I want to ask you about some corrections she made.
Here's the photo.
You see the first time when she underlined she wrote "tense". So it must mean that the tense that is used is not correct here. But since the whole narration goes in the past it must be not about the tense, but about an aspect. What seemingly confused her is that I used the progressive form where she expected the simple. What do you think? Is that really that incorrect or just sounds unnatural? I think that the progressive sounds more emphatic. The previous sentence ("I worked with radio equipment") is a kind of introduction, this is simply a fact, no need to put it into progressive. But the next sentence is a clarification and explanation of the introduction. So I used the progressive form because I wanted to stress the procces of "repairing" and "adjusting" that I wrote about. I think it's pretty common in English.
A couple examples to show what I mean:
"Yesterday I met my friend. We were talking about his marriage".
"The audience was bad. They were making a lot of noise when I was speaking".
"I prevented a crime lats month. A guy was trying to steal money from and old-woman's pocket".

How does it sound to you?

The second word she underlined is "constructed" and she marked it a wrong word. But what if I literally mean that I constructed that electronic elements? I know that maybe it's not the best word because it's used to talk about big things, maybe buildings. But anyway, does it sound understandable? This is the example of the procces. So you take a semiconductor and melt in another one into it. Maybe the teacher thought that I was writing about using already-produced transistors in electric circuits. (Because student don't typically do it. I just made this information up to fill the essay)

And the last one is about articles. I know that I should have put the article before "very responsible kind". But the reason I didn't is because I wrote "I'm very responsible." at first and then added "a kind of" and forgod to put the article. And only nouns in English should be used with determiners. Not adjectives. And here's the interesting question: What if we omit a noun in the end of a sentence? And the article remains. In school I was thaught to say "This is a very good thing" and "This is very good". (Well, I think that "good" is not the best example because people use it a lot). But what about "He is the best guy". After leaving off "guy" it should be "He is best", but I think I heard something like "He is the best" many times. Even there's the song "Simply the best". I think there are many others adjectives where it can also be so, but I can't remember them now.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 20509
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-05-15, 15:12

LifeDeath wrote:And the last one is about articles. I know that I should have put the article before "very responsible kind". But the reason I didn't is because I wrote "I'm very responsible." at first and then added "a kind of" and forgot to putadd the article. And only nouns in English should be used with determiners. Not adjectives.

Not strictly true. Adjectives can be substantivised in English, but generally only in the definite plural, e.g. "the poor", "the undocumented", "the hopeless".

LifeDeath wrote:And here's the interesting question: What if we omit a noun inat the end of a sentence? And the article remains. In school I was thaught to say "This is a very good thing" and "This is very good". (Well, I think that "good" is not the best example because people use it a lot). But what about "He is the best guy". After leaving off "guy" it should be "He is best", but I think I've heard something like "He is the best" many times. Even There's even the song "Simply the best". I think there are many others adjectives where it can also be so, but I can't remember them now.

When analysing a grammatical construction, you have to be careful to take all relevant variables into account. You're not just looking at ordinary adjectives here, you're looking at superlative forms and they don't follow the same rules as positive forms. Compare:

(1) He is good.
(2) *He is the good.
(3) He is better.
(4) *He is the better. (But, in formal registers: He is the better of the two)
(5) ?He is best.
(6) He is the best.

The reason is that a superlative is specific: There can be only one example within any particular class. Everyone in the class is the student; some are good and some are bad. A given student might be better than another, but only one student is the best in the class.

[BTW, there actually are circumstances in which (2) and (4) are acceptable sentences, but they are rare and I don't recommend trying to use these constructions until you've mastered more common usages of the article with adjectives.]
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 20509
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-05-15, 15:19

LifeDeath wrote:You see the first time when she underlined she wrote "tense". So it must mean that the tense that is used is not correct here. But since the whole narration goes in the past it must be not about the tense, but about an aspect. What seemingly confused her is that I used the progressive form where she expected the simple. What do you think? Is that really that incorrect or just sounds unnatural? I think that the progressive sounds more emphatic. The previous sentence ("I worked with radio equipment") is a kind of introduction, this is simply a fact, no need to put it into progressive. But the next sentence is a clarification and explanation of the introduction. So I used the progressive form because I wanted to stress the proccess of "repairing" and "adjusting" that I wrote about. I think it's pretty common in English.

A couple examples to show what I mean:
"Yesterday I met my friend. We were talking about his marriage".
"The audience was bad. They were making a lot of noise when I was speaking".
"I prevented a crime latsst month. A guy was trying to steal money from and old-woman's pocket".

How does it sound to you?

These are all conversational examples, but a CV is not a conversation. It requires a more formal register and the conventions are different.

In fact, the whole thing sounds off to me because you started out dropping the subject (e.g. "Graduated from...", "Majored in...") but then you suddenly start using it ("I worked...", "I constructed...", "I completed..."). That's acceptable grammatically, but it's bad style.

LifeDeath wrote:The second word she underlined is "constructed" and she marked it a wrong word. But what if I literally mean that I constructed that electronic elements? I know that maybe it's not the best word because it's used to talk about big things, maybe buildings. But anyway, does it sound understandable? This is the example of the procces. So you take a semiconductor and melt in another one into it. Maybe the teacher thought that I was writing about using already-produced transistors in electric circuits. (Because student don't typically do it. I just made this information up to fill the essay)

I can't say what she was thinking. Maybe you could ask her?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

LifeDeath
Posts: 512
Joined: 2014-01-29, 21:13
Real Name: Anton
Gender: male
Location: Novosibirsk
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-05-15, 16:33

linguoboy wrote:These are all conversational examples, but a CV is not a conversation. It requires a more formal register and the conventions are different.

In fact, the whole thing sounds off to me because you started out dropping the subject (e.g. "Graduated from...", "Majored in...") but then you suddenly start using it ("I worked...", "I constructed...", "I completed..."). That's acceptable grammatically, but it's bad style.

Yes, but then I decided that dropping the subject would sound too oficial and even oppressive. That's what you can do in Russian, but I'm not sure if this is a common thing in English.
I switched to more colloquial style as I felt that formal one is unaffordable on my level. And regarding from that style I wondered if that progressive aspect is acceptable in that sentence.

linguoboy wrote:I can't say what she was thinking. Maybe you could ask her?

Do you think the sentence is correct? When talking about creating components.

linguoboy wrote:When analysing a grammatical construction, you have to be careful to take all relevant variables into account. You're not just looking at ordinary adjectives here, you're looking at superlative forms and they don't follow the same rules as positive forms.

This is interesting. I've just remembered yet one point. Is that possible to drop an article before "most"? (Despite its being a superlative form). I can't really say why, but a lot of examples that's coming to mind now are like "... yes, and that's most interesting!". Or something like "most people do". So here no article is used. Do you think it's correct?

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 20509
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-05-15, 16:56

LifeDeath wrote:Yes, but then I decided that dropping the subject would sound too official and even oppressive. That's what you can do in Russian, but I'm not sure if this is a common thing in English.

The most common thing in English would be to use bullet points.

LifeDeath wrote:I switched to more colloquial style as I felt that formal one is unaffordable onimpractical at my level. And regarding from that style, I wondered if that progressive aspect is acceptable in that sentence.

It's acceptable for talking about your experience in an informal essay format, yes. This is something more appropriate for a cover letter than a résumé proper.

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I can't say what she was thinking. Maybe you could ask her?

Do you think the sentence is correct? When talking about creating components.

"Construct"means to assemble from smaller parts. Like you "construct" a house; the builders don't plane the lumber, bake the bricks, craft the drywall, etc., they buy all of these elements pre-made and then put them together to form a dwelling. So if there's casting or moulding or smelting involved, then, no, I don't think it's an appropriate word.

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:When analysing a grammatical construction, you have to be careful to take all relevant variables into account. You're not just looking at ordinary adjectives here, you're looking at superlative forms and they don't follow the same rules as positive forms.

This is interesting. I've just remembered yet oneanother point. Is thatit possible to drop an article before "most"? (Despite its being a superlative form). I can't really say why, but a lot of examples that's are coming to mind now are like "... yes, and that's most interesting!". Or something like "most people do". So here no article is used. Do you think it's correct?

These aren't adjectives. In the first example, most is an adverb of quantity or adverb of degree modifying interesting. In the second, it's a quantifier defining the scope of people.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

LifeDeath
Posts: 512
Joined: 2014-01-29, 21:13
Real Name: Anton
Gender: male
Location: Novosibirsk
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-06-05, 15:58

Hello! I now have an exam period so I've had to reduce the intensity of learning English. But still some questions appear.

The first one is yet again about articles. I think that pieces of emotion are usually mass nouns. So we don't say "a love" or "an anger" because those are mass nouns. I think that "shame" follows the same principle. But I've noticed that in some specific expressions that rule doesn't work! Like "What a shame!". What is this phenomenon called? Or "What a love they have! I think I'll never meet my own prince charming!".
But following the same logic it seems that we can use words like "advice" with the indefenite article. Like "What an advice she just gave me!". But every native speaker says that it's incorrect (and they usually provide "advice" as an example). Is it?

What word do we use to talk about some things that are new in terms of time? I know that the common word for it is "modern". But I suppose it has a little bit different meaning. When I hear "modern" I picture couples dancing waltz in a German castle's hall. And it's 1800 - 1900s. So that's why "modern music/culture/art/films" refers me to that period. But what do we say to talk really about these days? Like "I hate ___ music, I hate any kind of electronic music". Or " ___ fashion is a crazy thing. If my grandparents could see it they would never believe that we've ended up like that".
I've found "up-to-the-minute" but it sounds too complex. I'm sure there must be a simple word for it. So can you tell me it?

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 20509
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-06-05, 16:31

LifeDeath wrote:Hello! I now have an exams period now so I've had to reduce the intensity of my English learning English. But still some questions appear.

The first one is yet again about articles. I think that pieces of emotions are usually mass nouns. So we don't say "a love" or "an anger" because those are mass nouns. I think that "shame" follows the same principle. But I've noticed that in some specific expressions that rule doesn't work! Like "What a shame!". What is this phenomenon called? Or "What a love they have! I think I'll never meet my own prince charming!".

I think it's a form of metonymy. In the first case, "shame" is used to mean "a shameful event". In the second, "love" is used to mean "a love affair".

LifeDeath wrote:But following the same logic it seems that we can use words like "advice" with the indefinite article. Like "What an advice she just gave me!". But every native speaker says thatit's incorrect (and they usually provide "advice" as an example). Is it?

It is. Advice simply isn't used as a count noun by native speakers ever.

The difference may lie in the fact that with shame and love, you're using the abstract term to refer to something closely related. A shameful event makes you feel shame. A love affair is characterised by love between the two people.

But the second example is different. Advice is just a collective term for individual instances of advising someone, in the same way that snow is a collective term for a mass of snowflakes. It's more concrete. I can point to a sentence out of context and say, "This is a piece of advice." But can I point to a kiss and say, "This is a piece of love"? Not really.

LifeDeath wrote:What word do we use to talk about some things that are new in terms of time? I know that thea common word for itthis is "modern". But I suppose it has a little bitslightly different meaning. When I hear "modern" I picture couples dancing a waltz in the hall of a German castle's hall. And it's 1800 - 1900s. So that's why "modern music/culture/art/films" refers me to that period. But what do we say to talk really about these days? Like "I hate ___ music, I hate any kind of electronic music". Or " ___ fashion is a crazy thing. If my grandparents could see it they would never believe that we've ended up like that".
I've found "up-to-the-minute" but it sounds too complex. I'm sure there must be a simple word for it. So can you tell me it?

"Contemporary" works best in those instances. "Current" works well, too.

More colloquial alternatives would be phrases like "today's music"/"the music of today" or "Fashion these days" (where "these days" is an adverbial phrase).

Another alternative is "modern-day", which has a different meaning from "modern". "Modern" refers to the modern era. When this begins depends on which aspect of human civilisation you're referring to. In history, it goes back to the 16th century. But "modern music" often refers to the innovations which began in about 1920.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

LifeDeath
Posts: 512
Joined: 2014-01-29, 21:13
Real Name: Anton
Gender: male
Location: Novosibirsk
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-06-07, 17:50

Okay. Thanks.

You know, I was preparing my presentation about a company I would like to strat up. The text is pretty simple (because my co-presenter orginally whote it and he's at a lower lever in English. I only had to rewrite some parts and correct mistakes.) but there are some issues that I have doubts about and I want to ask you.
Here's the text:
"1. Repair services "Andrew's labs".

2. The staff will consist of highly qualified and young engineers who will provide services of restoration and repairing of broken electronic systems.
The employees will be given special working conditions. One will need to place an order to use the service.
Also, seminars and courses on upgrading qualifications for employees will be held.

3. It is very important to recruit a team of young ambitious specialists under the supervision of experienced engineers.

4.A bonus card system will be implemented for our clients that will increase the number of customers.
Regular customers will also receive favorable offers from our company. Also, services will be provided for the express-repair of household appliances by sending specialists directly to a customer's house.

5.Our laboratories will be equipped with advanced devices that will allow us to perform not only the restoration of household electronics, but also industrial, which will let us develop our market and sign contracts with large companies.
Registration of the company as a joint-stock company will attract investors as well as expand business outside the country.
All those steps will finally let us fulfill the orders of the government.

6.Our company will conduct advertising campaigns through social networks: vk.com, facebook.com and instagram. And through special services like Google Ad, Yandex Ad, etc.
We will also set up large posters and distribute flyers.

7. The goal is developing our network in the main regions of the country and then reaching the international level."




Is that possible to say "Repair-service company "[NAME]"? I think it sounds more natural than what I have written but I'm not sure.

Is "place an order" a possible option? Like if a customer wants to use the service he fullfills the form on our website. Do we call that "place an order" in English?

"A bonus card". After talking so much about the articles I still get confused by such cases. I think that the indefinite article sounds better here, right?

"Sending specialists". How do we call a process when workers are sent to people's flats to do their job? (Like some gas or plumber stuff). It was originally written "departure of specialists" but I don't think this is the best option.

"All those steps will finally let us fulfill the orders of the government." Does it sound correct? It is supposed to mean that once we are developed enough, the government itself will want to use our service because we are a trustful company.

"Set up large posters". Is this possible to say about real objects? Or should I better use words like "attach" or "pick up" or maybe even "place up"?

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 20509
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-06-07, 18:20

LifeDeath wrote:You know, I was preparing my presentation about a company I would like to start up. The text is pretty simple (because my co-presenter originally wrote it and he's at a lower lever in English.


LifeDeath wrote:2. The staff will consist of highly qualified and young engineers who will provide services of restoration and repairing of broken electronic systems.
The employees will be given special working conditions.

What's the difference between "providing services of restoration and repairing...systems" and just "restoring and repairing...systems"? Seems like a lot of unnecessary words.

What are "special working conditions"?

LifeDeath wrote:Is that possible to say "Repair-service company "[NAME]"? I think it sounds more natural than what I have written but I'm not sure.

Either sounds better with the proper name first followed by the generic term.

LifeDeath wrote:Is "place an order" a possible option? Like if a customer wants to use the service he fullfills the form on our website. Do we call that "place an order" in English?

Yes.

LifeDeath wrote:"A bonus card". After talking so much about the articles I still get confused by such cases. I think that the indefinite article sounds better here, right?

The sentence would sound wrong without it.

Is this a reference to some sort of loyalty programme?

LifeDeath wrote:"Sending specialists". How do we call a process when workers are sent to people's flats to do their job? (Like some gas or plumber stuff). It was originally written "departure of specialists" but I don't think this is the best option.

"Departure of specialists" makes it sound like specialists are deserting your company for something else. "Sending" is fine in this context.

LifeDeath wrote:"All those steps will finally let us fulfill the orders of the government." Does it sound correct? It is supposed to mean that once we are developed enough, the government itself will want to use our service because we are a trustfulworthy company.

"Orders" is too ambiguous to use here. It makes it sound like the government is using its authority to demand compliance from you in some unspecified way. If you mean "orders" in the sense of "a contract for services", you should phrase the sentence some other way.

LifeDeath wrote:"Set up large posters". Is this possible to say about real objects? Or should I better use words like "attach" or "pick up" or maybe even "place up"?

"Place up" isn't idiomatic English. "Pick up" means to lift off of a surface (like the ground or a table) or--by extension--to load up a delivery of something into a vehicle, which is how it would likely be understood here. If you don't want to use "set up", you could use "hang", "post", or "mount".
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

LifeDeath
Posts: 512
Joined: 2014-01-29, 21:13
Real Name: Anton
Gender: male
Location: Novosibirsk
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-06-07, 18:50

linguoboy wrote:What's the difference between "providing services of restoration and repairing...systems" and just "restoring and repairing...systems"? Seems like a lot of unnecessary words.

Okay, I'll correct it in that way. I wasn't sure how to write it and make it sound natural. Maybe that's why it happened to seem overfilled.

linguoboy wrote:What are "special working conditions"?

I tried to mean that staff will work in the good environment, surrounded by good co-workers, having convenient schedule, a kind boss, etc.

linguoboy wrote:Is this a reference to some sort of loyalty programme?

Yes, like many companies do have their own ones, we decided that ours will have one, too.

linguoboy wrote:If you mean "orders" in the sense of "a contract for services", you should phrase the sentence some other way.

I rewrote "Those steps will finally invite the government to use our service". Hope it sounds better now.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 20509
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-06-07, 19:33

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:What are "special working conditions"?

I tried to mean that staff will work in the good environment, surrounded by good co-workers, having convenient schedule, a kind boss, etc.

What does it say about working in Russia that those sorts of conditions are considered "special"?

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Is this a reference to some sort of loyalty programme?

Yes, like many companies do have their own ones, we decided that ours will have one, too.

I would say that then, since it's more clear. If you want to clarify how it will work, you could say "card-based loyalty programme".

LifeDeath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:If you mean "orders" in the sense of "a contract for services", you should phrase the sentence some other way.

I rewrote "Those steps will finally invite the government to use our service". Hope it sounds better now.

"Invite" isn't the best word there. "Persuade" would be better.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

LifeDeath
Posts: 512
Joined: 2014-01-29, 21:13
Real Name: Anton
Gender: male
Location: Novosibirsk
Country: RU Russia (Российская Федерация)

Re: I have some questions

Postby LifeDeath » 2017-06-07, 20:08

linguoboy wrote:What does it say about working in Russia that those sorts of conditions are considered "special"?

Well, I think that I spoiled the thought. My partner wrote "specific conditions" (in Russian) and I understood and translated it as "good (special) conditions". Now I realize that what he probably may have meant is that workers will be able to choose the working time as they want (like flexible) or that they will be provided with proper equipment (which is also pretty obvious to be mentioned).
Thanks for the advice, by the way.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 20509
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: I have some questions

Postby linguoboy » 2017-06-07, 20:35

LifeDeath wrote:Now I realize that what he probably may have meant is that workers will be able to choose the working time as they want (like flexible)

"flexible hours"
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons


Return to “English”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests