Azhong's Writing Practice.

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Linguaphile
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-12-20, 6:57

azhong wrote:(Sentence-making practice. Thank you in advance for your comments.)

Edward propped himself up on one elbow as soon as he woke up, agilely leaping off the bed.
While dressing himself up, he quickly thought over his schedule today.
He eyesight wandered unconsciously, moving to the front yard downstairs out of the window, and stayed upon the hedges bordering the wide driveway.
Then, after his next awareness, he saw a long-legged spider hanging from a silvery thread in the window above, swaying in a light breeze.

There isn't really anything wrong with this one, aside from "he eyesight" which should be "his eyesight".
Elsewhere the word choice sounds a bit unusual but it isn't incorrect per se. A few suggestions, mostly stylistic:
Edward propped himself up on one elbow as soon as he woke up, agilely leaping off the bed.
While getting dressed, he quickly thought over his schedule for the day
His eyes wandered unconsciously, moving to the front yard downstairs out of the window, and settled upon the hedges bordering the wide driveway.
Then, the next thing he knew, he saw a long-legged spider hanging from a silvery thread in the window above, swaying in a light breeze.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-12-25, 6:49

(Thank you in advance for your assistance.)

Ted could not prevent himself from glancing at the oil painting every once in a while. There drew a nude human figure, with numerous holes and slits on or through, upside down in the air as if suspended by an invisible rope. Stretching above a roaring fire in a dimly lit space, the singular body was pale and emitted a pearly glow. And on his each hand lay a gleaming red eye with a spiral pupil.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-12-26, 4:32

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

(Q: How to say in English the trees lining an avenue, a path, etc? Allée trees, which I googled, is it the most commonly-used?)

Emily was neatening her long hair, the handsome flat wooden comb moving slowly from root to tip again and again. She gathered it all forward over her left shoulder, then started braiding a pigtail with care. While staring at her straight hair swaying softly and gleaming brightly in the gilded mirror, an image flashed in her brain: a straight uphill road, on which she was running. She halted, recalling the other residual details of the dream last night. The birds were chattering out of her window, flying into and out of a big tree; the leaves were waving in the morning breeze.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2020-12-27, 1:39

azhong wrote:(Q: How todo you say in English "the trees lining an avenue, a path, etc"? Allée trees, which I googled, is it the most commonly-used?)

Never heard that expression before, but it's readily comprehensible. I would say there isn't any fixed term.

azhong wrote:Emily was neatening her long hair, the handsome flat wooden comb moving slowly from root to tip again and again. She gathered it all forward over her left shoulder, then started braiding a pigtail with care. While staring at her straight hair swaying softly and gleaming brightly in the gilded mirror, an image flashed in her brain: a straight uphill road, on which she was running. She halted, recalling the other residual details of the dream last night. The birds were chattering outside of her window, flying into and out of a big tree; the leaves were waving in the morning breeze.
"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

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-12-27, 5:35

(Thank you in advance for your emendations.)

"Emily! ...Emily!..." called a male voice from a distance, which awakened her. Emily sat up and listened. It was low but charming, and sounded to come from around the front gates.
Going downstairs with her nightgown, she opened the door but discovered no person near the moonlit, wrought-iron gates. And the mysterious call seemed to have quickly moved farther away, somewhere around the corner the drive ending to the avenue, where the caller was probably shielded by the shadows of the small stand of trees. She walked out toward the gates with her foot being naked; the gravel under stuck but, strange to say, she felt no hurt. While intending to open the gates at her approach, Emily found astonishedly that she could pass directly through as if the metal were nothing more than smoke. She sped up, striding toward the sound, which seemed to have moved farther again.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-12-27, 5:47

My suggestions:

Ted could not prevent himself from glancing at the oil painting every once in a while. There was a nude human figure covered with numerous holes and slits, upside down in the air as if suspended by an invisible rope. Stretching above a roaring fire in a dimly lit space, the singular body was pale and emitted a pearly glow. And on his each hand lay a gleaming red eye with a spiral pupil.


"Emily! ...Emily!..." called a male voice from a distance, which awakened her. Emily sat up and listened. The voice was low but charming, and sounded as if it came from near the front gates.
Going downstairs in her nightgown, she opened the door but discovered no one near the moonlit, wrought-iron gates. And the mysterious call seemed to have quickly moved farther away, somewhere around the corner the drive ending at the avenue, where the caller was probably shielded by the shadows of the small stand of trees. She walked out toward the gates barefoot; the gravel under her feet was sharp but, strange to say, she felt no pain. While intending to open the gates as she approached, Emily found to her astonishment that she could pass directly through as if the metal were nothing more than smoke. She sped up, striding toward the sound, which seemed to have moved farther again.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-12-28, 2:30

(See Linguaphile's quotation under.)
Last edited by azhong on 2020-12-28, 5:19, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-12-28, 2:46

azhong wrote:(Three sentences for making sure the usage of near or around. Thank you in advance for your response.)

The post office is not far; it is just around the first street corner.
The post office is not far; it is just near the first street corner.
He is standing near the corner where the avenue leads off the lane, where a stand of trees grows.


Yes, they're all fine.
The first two have different meanings. The first sentence emphasizes that you must not only go to the corner but also turn the corner and go a bit further. You will probably see it after you turn the corner, but you can't see it now. The second sentences emphasizes that you must go someplace near the corner, but not much further than that and in fact you might come to the post office before arriving at the corner.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-12-28, 2:52

((See Linguaphile's quotation under.)
Last edited by azhong on 2020-12-28, 5:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-12-28, 3:26

azhong wrote:(And then another four for practicing sound. Thank you.)

You sound confident that you will pass the mid-term.
You sound as if you are confident that you will pass the mid-term.
The voice sounds as if it comes from near the gates.
The voice sounds coming from near the gates.


The first three are fine, the fourth one is not.
Basically "sounds" should be followed by either "as if", "as though", "like", or an adjective describing how the person sounds (like "confident").
So you could instead say:
The voice sounds as if it is coming from near the gates.
The voice sounds like it is coming from near the gates.
The voice sounds as though it is coming from near the gates.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-12-28, 5:17

(Thank you in advance for your emendations.)

When allotting tasks to his team members, Thomas felt suddenly an uncomfortable tide of dizziness, the whole office revolving on him. He seized in a hurry the chair on his immediate right and had himself seated, making a space for his balance. A commotion then rose at the meeting corner: some stiffened, others inquired, all gazing at Thomas.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-12-28, 7:03

azhong wrote:(Thank you in advance for your emendations.)

When allotting tasks to his team members, Thomas felt suddenly an uncomfortable tide of dizziness, the whole office revolving on him. He seized in a hurry the chair on his immediate right and had himself seated, making a space for his balance. A commotion then rose at the meeting corner: some stiffened, others inquired, all gazing at Thomas.



My changes are in bold like usual, but this time I've also changed the word order in some parts, and so I've put those changes in italics and underlined parts I will make other comments about.

When allotting tasks to his team members, Thomas suddenly felt an uncomfortable tide of dizziness, the whole office revolving around him. He seized the chair on his immediate right in a hurry and sat down to catch his balance. A commotion then arose at the meeting corner: some stiffened, others inquired, all gazing at Thomas.


on his immediate right is correct, but to me it sounds more natural to say "to his right". "Immediate right" sounds very specific, more specific than is expected in a text like this.

at the meeting corner: I'm not sure what kind of place you are talking about here. I would have probably written about the people rather than the place: "A commotion then arose among the other team members".... Or alternately, "A commotion then arose in the meeting room"... "Meeting room" sounds better to me because it is a standard phrase and "meeting corner", in my experience, is not. (But if a "meeting corner" is a common thing elsewhere, then perhaps your wording is fine.)

some stiffened, others inquired: this does not sound natural to me. By "stiffened," do you mean that they stood up straight or that they became tense and worried? For "others inquired", are they actually asking questions or just looking at him in a questioning way? ("Inquired" means they ask questions, but it's odd to write this without mentioning anything about what they ask.)

I'd probably say it like this - if my changes do not depart too far from what you wanted to say. I'm not just changing the language here, but also changing the content and word choice a bit (especially in the last sentence, in part because I'm not certain what you mean to say):

When allocating tasks to his team members, Thomas suddenly felt an uncomfortable tide of dizziness, the whole office revolving around him. He quickly grasped the chair to his right and sat down to catch his balance. A commotion then arose among the other team members: some looked alarmed, others asked if he was okay, all gazing at Thomas with concern.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-12-28, 15:23

Hi Linguaphile:

Your comments are very helpful to me as usual. And just FYI, I have been all the way merely trying to practice something I have read, and my present textbook is chapter 1, Harry Potter 7. The sentence under is what I tried to practice.

The interest around the table sharpened palpably: Some stiffened, others fidgeted, all gazing at Snape and Voldemort.

Thank you again for your help.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-12-28, 18:21

azhong wrote:Hi Linguaphile:

Your comments are very helpful to me as usual. And just FYI, I have been all the way merely trying to practice something I have read, and my present textbook is chapter 1, Harry Potter 7. The sentence under is what I tried to practice.

The interest around the table sharpened palpably: Some stiffened, others fidgeted, all gazing at Snape and Voldemort.

Thank you again for your help.

"Stiffened" and "fidgeted" can be considered antonyms here, so it works quite well. It was the combination of "some stiffened" with "others inquired" that made it sound wrong.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-12-30, 5:17

By mistake I posted a reply to your post in the Creating Sentences thread, thinking that the post was in this thread, asking for feedback. When I realized it was the Creating Sentences thread I deleted it, because I haven't been involved in that thread much and don't want to just suddenly show up correcting people's English in a game I haven't been part of. It might discourage people from participating there if they think I'm going to show up randomly correcting small errors without contributing in a more positive way. But I did it because I know that's the kind of feedback you normally ask for, and I thought it was this thread, so I'm going to re-post it here in case you do want that feedback yourself:

azhong wrote:"I have just heard that Harry Potter is organizing a regular activity for practicing the defenses against the Dark Art?"
"Yes, and it will be on every Friday evening, and the recruitment with details has been posted on the bulletin before the restaurant."


"I have just heard that Harry Potter is organizing a regular activity for practicing the defenses against the Dark Arts?"
"Yes, and it will be on every Friday evening [or: it will be Friday evenings], and the advertisement [or: announcement] with details has been posted on the bulletin board in front of the restaurant."

Note: in the actual Harry Potter books, I believe it's called "Defence Against the Dark Arts". Your version is correct English as well.
I'm also not sure what to do with the first sentence. Technically, it should not be a question; it is just stating a fact, that "I have heard this". However, in practice people do say things like this as a question, asking if what they have heard is true.
It's one of those things that English teachers would often correct and that nevertheless authors sometimes put in their works anyway, and you will hear people say it that way. So it is incorrect if you are going for prescriptive grammar, but fine if you are going for natural-sounding speech.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-12-30, 5:31

(Thank you, Lingraphile. And I do also have a personal writing practice attached below for today. Thank you again in advance for your emendations. )

After you had left me, I stowed our shared memories underneath my pillow, which I wouldn't touch till in my sleep. Without you, I was very nearly empty, and weak, for most of the energy had to get consumed by defending the loneliness which, more often than not, fastened upon me, which I had to pretend I could calmly look back without any stiffness or fredgetness.
Last edited by azhong on 2020-12-31, 9:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-12-31, 9:08

Linguaphile wrote:...and theadvertisement with details has been posted on the bulletin board in front of the restaurant."

Q: Before vs in front of:
If the bulletin board is on the wall of the restaurant, I guess I should only say the bulletin board is in front of the restaurant.
But if the bulletin board is an independent architectural structure located next to the restaurant, then I guess both in front of the restaurant and before the restaurant are correct.
Am I right or wrong? Thank you in advance for your reply.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2020-12-31, 9:52

(Thank you in advance for your assistance.)

After decades of years when Tom appeared before us again, he had become impossibly ferocious. One could easily sense the ferocity of Tom's gaze, which seemed able to fasten you up and then scorch you. Why did a man growing up in a family full of love become so humanless? It puzzled us all.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2020-12-31, 18:02

azhong wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:...and the advertisement with details has been posted on the bulletin board in front of the restaurant."

Q: Before vs in front of:
If the bulletin board is on the wall of the restaurant, I guess I should only say the bulletin board is in front of the restaurant.
But if the bulletin board is an independent architectural structure located next to the restaurant, then I guess both in front of the restaurant and before the restaurant are correct.
Am I right or wrong? Thank you in advance for your reply.


This one is honestly a bit tricky for a native speaker to explain, because some of the nuances come from a sense of "it just sounds right".
"Before" and "in front of" can be synonyms, but they aren't exactly the same (at least not in my own usage).
I would not make the distinction you described above (about the bulletin board being on the wall of the restaurant versus an independent architectural structure).

For locations, "in front of" always works.
For time, "before" always works.

In terms of using "before" when referring to locations, here is how I use it:

(1) If I am giving directions, I might say something like "the bulletin board is before the restaurant" and in that situation I actually mean it in a time-related sense: if you are walking or driving or whatever, you will arrive at the bulletin board before (in time!) arriving at the restaurant.

(2) If one thing is directly facing another, then I can use "before" to mean "in front of". For example, "The restaurant stands before me." (I am facing the restaurant, looking at it, and it is in front of me.) "He has to go before the judge." (He has to go to court and meet with the judge; he will be standing in front of the judge's chair, either literally or metaphorically). Or your own example from your next post: "Tom appeared before us again". This is also correct.
It seems to me that I only use "before" in this way when there is a person involved or, more specifically, a person's face facing (and most likely looking at) the thing that is "before". I think this is why I would not say "the bulletin board is before the restaurant" when I want to say that it is in front of the restaurant. There is no person involved in that sentence, and no face, and so it just doesn't "sound right" to say it. I could say "the bulletin board is before me," however.

I believe that in more archaic English, "before" was used more widely as a general synonym for "in front of".
It would not surprise me if some English speakers still use it that way.
I do not.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-02, 1:24

I have two questions in the text below. Thank you in advance for your reply.

Q1: Does down the long table mean something like along the table or following the table? If so, can I say up the table instead?
Q2: A Confundus Charm, does it
mean a person named Confundus Charm? If so, I guess it's an oral expression, being unformal even ungrammatical?

Yaxley had leaned forward to look down the long table at Voldemort and Snape. All faces turned to him.
“My Lord, I have heard differently.”
Yaxley waited, but Voldemort did not speak, so he went on, “Dawlish, the Auror, let slip that Potter will not be moved until the thirtieth, the night before the boy turns seventeen.”
Snape was smiling.
“My source told me that there are plans to lay a false trail; this must be it. No doubt a Confundus Charm has been placed upon Dawlish. It would not be the first time; he is known to be susceptible.”


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