Azhong's Writing Practice.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-01-02, 1:59

azhong wrote: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?

It means "from one end of the table to the other". It emphasizes that the table is very long and Yaxley and Voldemort are at (or near) different ends of it, far from each other even though they are both seated at the same table, with a lot of the table between them. This construction can be used with anything that is especially long: "he looked down the long hallway," "he looked down the long corridor" etc.
I don't think it would be ungrammatical but it's not common to say "look up" in place of "look down". Maybe this is because "look up" is also a phrasal verb on its own, with a different meaning. However, you would use "look up" in a sense similar to your example if you were talking about something that was literally up, like "he looked up the long stairwell" or "he looked up the long elevator shaft."
For tables and corridors I'd stick with "looked down".

azhong wrote:Q2: A Confundus Charm, does it mean a person named Confundus Charm? If so, I guess it's an oral expression, being informal, even ungrammatical?

No, Confundus is the name of a charm (= magic spell, incantation) that has been used against Dawlish. "Confundus" is a made-up word here but because of its similarity to words like "confuse" and "confound" (and Latin confundo or Spanish/Portuguese confundir for us language geeks), it's meant to be obvious to most readers that a "Confundus charm" is a magic spell that causes its victim to become confused or disoriented. So this is what happened to Dawlish: magic was used to make him become confused.
It then says "he is known to be susceptible" which means that he tends to have these magic spells or charms placed upon him quite easily; in the context of Harry Potter this probably means that his own magic is not strong enough to protect himself from becoming a victim of these charms.
In a more normal (non-magic) context we'd says someone is "known to be susceptible" if were talking about disease, for example, we might say that someone is "known to be susceptible to the flu" or "known to be susceptible to pneumonia". It means that person tends to become sick with those illnesses more easily or more often than other people do, and has had those illnesses several times already.

azhong wrote:
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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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-03, 4:25

(Thank you in advance for your assistance.)

In recent weeks, I've kept reading chapter one of Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows as my language material, a small passage a day regularly at a slow speed. I've previously read the whole series over for times, in Chinese translation of course, and by far enjoyed the story, in a world with magic a young hero with his braveness and love confronting a ferocious, cold-blooded demon ambitious to reign over the world.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-01-03, 4:41

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

In recent weeks, I've kept reading chapter one of Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows as my language material, a small passage a day regularly at a slow speed. I've previously read the whole series over for times, in Chinese translation of course, and by far enjoyed the story, in a world with magic a young hero with his braveness and love confronting a ferocious, cold-blooded demon ambitious to reign over the world.


"read the whole series over for times" - do you mean that you have read it four times? Or that you have read it more than four times? Or that you have read the series completely (just once), in which case I'm not sure what you mean by "for times"?
Of these, the only one that wouldn't need much correction would be if you mean to say that you have read the series more than four times. Then you could say "I've previously read the whole series over four times", changing the spelling of "four" but leaving the rest as is.
If you have read it exactly four times, I'd take out the word "over".

"by far enjoyed the story" - usually "by far" is used when you are comparing things, like "I've read every book in the series, but Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows is by far the one I enjoyed the most."
Since there is no comparison in your sentence, I would just say "I really enjoyed the story," "I greatly enjoyed the story", "I tremendously enjoyed the story" - there are many different adverbs you can use.
If you did want to make a comparison to other things you've read, you might say "...and by far enjoyed the story more than other books".

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-03, 4:56

Linguaphile wrote: do you mean that you have read it four times? Or that you have read it more than four times? Or that you have read the series completely (just once), in which case I'm not sure what you mean by "for times".


I've read the whole series over, and more than once.
I suppose for times works just like for years, for months...

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-03, 6:28

(Thank you in advance for any comments.)

I still remember how I couldn't prevent myself from reading over every each of the series with few desires for meals or sleep, to drink or pee. Reading it once again but in English this time, however, I am immune to the strong temptation of the unable-to-pause plots, normally effective only to a new reader, plus I am often trapped by vocabularies; thus, as a result, an unexpected bonus emerges: I am able to sense more subtleties through my lingerness.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-01-03, 7:15

azhong wrote:
Linguaphile wrote: do you mean that you have read it four times? Or that you have read it more than four times? Or that you have read the series completely (just once), in which case I'm not sure what you mean by "for times".


I've read the whole series over, and more than once.
I suppose for times works just like for years, for months...

Actually, it does not. "For times" is honestly not understandable at all. You can only use the "for..." construction with words that indicate a specific period of time: years, months, days ("for years," "for months", "for weeks," "for days", etc.) The word "time" itself doesn't indicate a specific period of time and it can't be used this way.

Also, your sentence works better without the word "over". "Read over" is a phrasal verb which has a meaning which is often a bit different from the meaning of "read". To borrow the definition from this dictionary, it means "to read something quickly from the beginning to the end, especially to find mistakes".
I'm guessing you chose that expression because it has the meaning of reading something "from the beginning to the end", but along with that it usually means "reading quickly" and usually "checking for mistakes". You might "read over" a school assignment before turning it in, or "read over" an important letter before you send it, or ask someone else to "read over" those same things for you to check for mistakes you hadn't noticed. And when that person is finished reading it over, he/she might not have a strong understanding of its content because they read it quickly and were simply looking for mistakes, so they may not have paid all that much attention to what it was really about. This isn't how you are reading Harry Potter, I'm sure.
If you want to emphasize that you read a book from "the beginning to the end", you could add the word "completely" (or "from beginning to end"). However, since your sentence already says "the whole series", this would just be for emphasis and isn't necessary.

You could say:
I've previously read the whole series [from beginning to end] more than once, in Chinese translation of course.
I've previously read the whole series [from beginning to end] several times, in Chinese translation of course.


azhong wrote:(Thank you in advance for any comments.)

I still remember how I couldn't prevent myself from reading over every each of the series with few desires for meals or sleep, to drink or pee. Reading it once again but in English this time, however, I am immune to the strong temptation of the unable-to-pause plots, normally effective only to a new reader, plus I am often trapped by vocabularies; thus, as a result, an unexpected bonus emerges: I am able to sense more subtleties through my lingerness.



over: as above, you might take this out. Actually, it sounds better here, although I can't quite say why. Maybe it is the word order; here you have put "over" immediately after "read," while in your earlier sentence you put it at the end of the phrase, "read the whole series over". "Reading over each book of the series" does actually sound okay, because it makes me think of a similar phrase, "poring over" (pore over: to look at and study something, usually a book or document, carefully. Maybe this is a phrasal verb you'd like to use here. I think it describes what you are doing with Harry Potter quite well!) :D

each: it should be "reading every book of the series". (I'm guessing you know this and had edited the sentence from "each book of the series" to "every book of the series" and changed the wrong word by mistake so that you ended up with "every each of the series".)
Personally I tend to say "every book in the series," but it's correct both ways ("in" or "of"... "every" or "each"... but not "every each"!).

few desires: it's perfectly fine, but most native speakers would probably say "with little desire" instead of "with few desires".

for meals or sleep, to drink or pee: it will sound much better if you use parallel structure here, making all four items nouns, or making all four items verbs.
nouns (the -ing words here are participles, which function as nouns): for meals or sleep, for drinking or peeing
or
verbs: to eat or sleep, to drink or pee

vocabularies: "I am often trapped by the vocabulary" (singular, as a mass noun)

lingerness: this isn't a word as far as I know. You should use another -ing participle here: "I am able to sense more subtleties through my lingering."

Still, despite all of these corrections, I have to say that when I read this latest paragraph it really sounded quite good. The errors make it obvious that it wasn't written by a native speaker, but it's still easy to understand and nicely descriptive. :waytogo:

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-04, 9:54

(Thank you in advance for your help.)

It will, I think, be uneasy now that you have quitted and are stepping out of the comfort zone to fulfill your dream, to subjugate fears for an uncertain future, and your present courage might subside then.
(=Now that you have quitted and are stepping out of the comfort zone to fulfill your dream, I think it will be uneasy to subjugate fears for an uncertain future, and your present courage might subside then.)

You'd better, I suggest, suspend attending unimportant activities, which might be helpful, so as to eschew curious inquiries and unfriendly mocks from the unfamiliar.

c.f.:
“Yes — my Lord, that is true — but you know, as Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Thicknesse has regular contact not only with the Minister himself, but also with the Heads of all the other Ministry departments. It will, I think, be easy now that we have such a high-ranking official under our control, to subjugate the others, and then they can all work together to bring Scrimgeour down.”

(Maybe I've chosen a wrong example to imitate--is the odd sentence structure designed to show the speaker was in a tense, nervous situation and could not speak in a correct order?)

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Rí.na.dTeangacha » 2021-01-04, 14:59

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

It will, I think, be uneasy*1 now that you have quitted*2 and are stepping out of the*3 comfort zone to fulfill your dream, to subjugate*4 fears for*5 an uncertain future, and your present courage might subside then.
(=Now that you have quitted and are stepping out of the comfort zone to fulfill your dream, I think it will be uneasy to subjugate fears for an uncertain future, and your present courage might subside then.)

You'd better, I suggest,*6 suspend attending unimportant activities*7, which might be helpful, so as to eschew curious inquiries and unfriendly mocks*8 from the unfamiliar*9.



Corrections:
1. "uneasy" isn't the opposite of "easy", it means "disconcerted". You probably want "difficult" here.
2. "quit" is the past participle of "to quit" not "quitted".
3. "out of your comfort zone". I can have a comfort zone, you can have one, but there is no general comfort zone one can be out of.
4. "subjugate" is used for people, not fears. Fears are "suppressed" I suppose in this context.
5. "fears of X" means X is the thing you're afraid of (i.e. that you fear). "fears for X" means you wish to protect X from something else which you are afraid of, e.g. "He feared for his life" (he wasn't afraid of his life, he was afraid of something that threatened his life).
6. I think you need to choose either "You'd better" or "I suggest", e.g. "I suggest you suspend..." or "You'd better suspend...", it doesn't sound right with both.
7. You attend events, but you engage in activities. So you should either change the verb or the noun there, depending on what you actually want to say.
8. "to mock" is a verb, "mockery" is the general (uncountable) noun referring to the act of mocking, a "mock" in this sense doesn't exist. "unfriendly mockery" would work.
9. "the unfamiliar" means all things which which the person is unfamiliar, it doesn't suggest people (which is what I imagine you mean here). Maybe you mean "from those who don't know you".

In general, this is all extremely formal/literary, this is not how anyone would actually speak in reality.


azhong wrote:c.f.:
“Yes — my Lord, that is true — but you know, as Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Thicknesse has regular contact not only with the Minister himself, but also with the Heads of all the other Ministry departments. It will, I think, be easy now that we have such a high-ranking official under our control, to subjugate the others, and then they can all work together to bring Scrimgeour down.”

(Maybe I've chosen a wrong example to imitate--is the odd sentence structure designed to show the speaker was in a tense, nervous situation and could not speak in a correct order?)


If you're referring to the injection of "I think" between the "will" and the "be", it's just supposed to reflect how people actually speak. "I think it will be...." obviously does occur in live speech, but it's just as likely that they'd only remember to insert the "I think" after they had already said "It will", usually to soften the force of the "will" as that can sound like you're guaranteeing it will happen, whereas with "I think" it shows that you are only giving your opinion.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby OldBoring » 2021-01-04, 16:13

Don't listen to Rí.na.dTeangacha! He's teaching you Irish English! :twisted:

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-01-04, 17:46

Rí.na.dTeangacha wrote:In general, this is all extremely formal/literary, this is not how anyone would actually speak in reality.

It's meant to be literary, Azhong is using Harry Potter books as a model for these sentences.

OldBoring wrote:Don't listen to Rí.na.dTeangacha! He's teaching you Irish English! :twisted:

Azhong: he's joking. Rí.na.dTeangacha's advice is good for any variety of English. :waytogo:

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2021-01-04, 21:41

Rí.na.dTeangacha wrote:2. "quit" is the past participle of "to quit" not "quitted".

Quitted exists as an alternative form, but it's rare or archaic in most parts of the Anglosphere. To the extent that I do encountre it, it's most often transitive (e.g. "As he quitted the room, Elizabeth felt how improbable it was that they should ever see each other again[.]" Pride and prejudice), so I'd prefer "quit" here, too, even if Azhong is writing in a highly literary register.

Rí.na.dTeangacha wrote:4. "subjugate" is used for people, not fears.

I know of no such limitation on the use of "subjugate". (E.g. "[H]e felt an almost nostalgic need to subjugate his fears to something even greater, if such a thing existed." The last town on Earth.) However, things are most often subjugated to something, so here I would prefer "conquer".

Rí.na.dTeangacha wrote:7. You attend events, but you engage in activities.

Again, your usage differs from mine here. IMD, you can use either verb with "activities" (only "attend" works with "events", however).

Rí.na.dTeangacha wrote:8. "to mock" is a verb, "mockery" is the general (uncountable) noun referring to the act of mocking, a "mock" in this sense doesn't exist. "unfriendly mockery" would work.

Alternatively, if you had to have a count noun there, "jibe" would work.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-05, 9:14

(Thank you in advance for your assistance.)

The gravel of the driveway crackled underneath Snape's feet, his long cloak flapping around his ankles. He was straight striding forward as being very nearly late for attending his appointment with Vordemort. Some key, secret information he had got would be reported later at the meeting, which he believed would win him good approval. He sped up, his tense features sliding in and out of sight as the branches of overhanging trees broke the moonlight.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-06, 4:19

(Thank you in advance for your assistance.)

In December 1941, the German Army, dominated by Adolf Hitler during World War II, trooped into Moscow, intending to subjugate Russia. There, however, these armed invaders were seriously thwarted by extremely cold weather and could not but withdraw. This failure caused a palpable loss of Hitler's empire and suppressed his ability of expanding German territory. Yet still, Hitler's ambition to strengthen Germany didn't subside.

(It's just a language practice and may not meet the historical fact.)

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-07, 6:06

(Thank you in advance for your help.)

"I've -- with great difficulty and after tremendous effort -- performed an Imperious Course upon Thicknesse, which, no boasting, is surely due more to my triumph than to his error, and he is now totally under my control. No doubt it is a good start to convert the rest of the high-ranking officials since he is contacting them regularly. Not long later, I assure you, these guys around the head of the Magical Ministry will all be ours, and then our Lord can intend to the head, bring him down and take over the Ministry
just in one easy act. At that time, you just wait and see, I'll be highly awarded."

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-08, 4:38

(Thank you in advance for any comments.)

The pool formed by her tears repeatedly rose, feeling more like a big flood now to shrunken Alice. She struggled, swimming with effort, and just in time she saw a chair. It was a normal dining chair but now tremendously huge to Alice; still yet, she successfully scrambled it up at last, with as great difficulty as climbing up a mountain. At the moment, seemingly in response to her arrival in gasps, the chair issued a sound, which startled Alice when she heard it speaking.
"Don't stand on me," said the chair, sounding bitterly annoyed.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-09, 4:49

(Thank you in advance for your emendations.)

At the moment I turned the bronze handle and opened the heavy wooden door of the drawing room, I could see, dimly-lit there, nothing but his silhouette sitting in front of the roaring fire in the fireplace. As I drew nearer and grew accustomed to the lack of light, I then saw his twisted features with an odd smile on his mouth and strange gleams in his eyes.
"So?" He inquired in a cold, high tone after I have sat down before him. "Will the Ministry have fallen by next Saturday?"

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-10, 4:12

(Thank you in advance for your assistance.)

Feeling ashamed of ever staying in front of the classmates, some of whom were sniggering while the others started laughing, Ted pushed his way through the throng and scurried from the classroom, leaving them startled behind. In a quarter of an hour, he had agilely leaped over a bramble fence and scrambled up a big tree, hiding himself there, enjoying his solitariness with comfort.
"God-damned trigonometry! Malicious Pythagoras,” spit Ted, "what is it about my failure in solving the problem that pleases you?"

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-11, 3:36

(Thank you in advance for your assistance.)

Then Voldemort said he'd borrow a wand from one among us--a wand of a wizard, what a humble request! And it fell upon Malfoy, such the poor chosen one. Startled but staying as calm as he could, Malfoy reluctantly withdrew his wand from his robe and passing it along to Vordemort, who then drew out his own for a comparison of length.Just then, you should be there and have a look at Malfoy's split-second gesture, which appeared as if he was expecting to receive Voldemort's wand in exchange for his own. Malfoy's involuntary movement, however, was not missed by his ferocious lord and so caused him a malicious scolding.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-12, 4:12

(Thank you in advance, as usual, for your any comments.)

Tom detected some slight sound from the main door of the house, which seemed to be just unlocked. He rushed out of his room and, looking down the long corridor, found a man standing at the threshold, with a dark, dirty backpack lying aside. They stared at each other as the cold wind sneaked in from behind the open main door and violently swayed the weak candle fires on the table. For a fraction of a second then, Tom could sense the new arrival, even though curving his lips into something like a smile, had hidden his nature of ferocity behind his gaze.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-01-13, 3:30

(Thank you in advance for your help.)

Yaxley arrived just in time for their meeting with Voldemort this night, along with the other followers. He brought some secret let lip from an official of the Magical Ministry, and debated Snape on it with effort, but eventually failed in winning Voldemort's trust. Then he squared his chest to answer a sharp question from Voldemort, again trying his best to win some approval. His resentment about being less-valued was, however, somewhat relieved later when he saw Malfoy was forced to donate his wand and still got scolded.


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