azhong wrote:Linguaphile wrote:azhong wrote:My high school is a historical one with a red-brick building and white pillars, ...
Hi. Thank you very much, and nice to meet you. This is Zhong from Taiwan. I love writing and take it a hobby to write in English.
Just to make sure, is the sentence above what you want to show me? I think it a bit awkward. I want to say the building is composed of red bricks and white pillars.
Thank you for your reply, and for your help again. Very helpful to me.
Yes, and hello!
Your original sentence said "My high school is a historical one with a building in red bricks and white pillars."
"In red bricks" is not how we would usually describe a building. I would call it a "red-brick building" if the building is built out of bricks or another possibility is to say "with red bricks" (which could be a building built out of bricks or could also be something like a wooden building with some bricks attached to the front as decoration).
So, actually, I can think of four different ways you could change it:
1. My high school is a historical one with a red-brick building and white pillars.
2. My high school is a historical red-brick building with white pillars.
3. My high school is a historical one in a building with red bricks and white pillars.
4. My high school is a historical one with a building with red bricks and white pillars.
They each have slightly different nuances, so you can choose the one that fits your meaning the best.
1. My high school is a historical one with a red-brick building and white pillars. - this describes a building of the school, but it leaves open the possibility that the high school may have other buildings or other facilities in addition to this red-brick building. (Probably my instinct was to go with this one based on the fact that high schools where I live tend to consist of a main building surrounded by several smaller buildings and outdoor spaces, but this is probably not the case where you are, so my choice was probably not the best one for you.) So it says the school has a red-brick building and white pillars, but allows for it having (or not having) other things as well.
2. My high school is a historical red-brick building with white pillars. - this sentence makes the high school and the red-brick building synonyms. The high school is the entire building and the building is the entire school.
3. My high school is a historical one in a building with red bricks and white pillars. - almost the same as the above, but if the building also contains other things that are not part of the school, this sentence would allow for that possibility. Also, unlike a "red-brick building," calling it a building "with red bricks" allows for the possibility that the bricks are just decorative and maybe the building is built out of some other material (such as a wooden building with a brick facade).
4. My high school is a historical one with a building with red bricks and white pillars. - this is probably the simplest correction to your original sentence, so I'm not sure why I didn't think of it yesterday. The use of with twice in a row ("with a building with red bricks") sounds slightly awkward to me but is not incorrect. It indicates that the school has a building that has some red bricks (structural or decorative) and some white pillars. It also leaves open the possibility of the high school having (or not having) additional buildings or outdoor spaces.
With the above four sentences I'm analyzing the meanings and nuances very closely. In real life people wouldn't notice those small differences all that much and it most likely wouldn't matter which of the four versions you use, in, for example, a normal conversation. In literature the nuances would be more important. The one I originally wrote sounded the most natural to me, but that's based on both my own personal language use and my own personal image of high schools, neither of which will be exactly the same as yours.