Azhong's Writing Practice.

Moderator: JackFrost

User avatar
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-03, 6:16

How about these two, still imitating Rowling's over-using construction?

The crash sounded, he being startled and the dog snarling.
(He was startled. And the dog snarled.)
The crash sounded, he being startled, the dog snarling.

And, if these two works, I suppose the "being" can be omitted then, can't it? My explanation:

I saw a sentence from the Harry Potter chapter:
Yaxley drew his wand again, pointing it over his companion’s head, but...

Which means Yaxley drew his wand then point the wand (at a peacock).

Similarly, my sentence means "the crash sounded then the man was startled and the dog snarled", thus my imitation should work, isn't it?
The crash sounded, he being startled and the dog snarling.

Moreover, according to the sentence:
they stood still, wands directed at each other

which means their wands were directed. If the were can be omitted, my being/was should be able, too.

The crash sounded, he startled and the dog snarling.

Your comments, please? Grammatical or not?
Last edited by azhong on 2021-02-03, 14:04, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-03, 13:09

(Thank you in advance for your comments.)

Now I am going to rewrite the passage of chapter one, book 7 below by changing it's sentence construction and making the style more natural.
The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. For a second they stood quite still, wands directed at each other’s chests; then, recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction.

The two men appeared out of nowhere with a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. For a second they stood quite still and directing their wands at each other’s chests; then after recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction.

Also, another practice at the participial phrases.
...then, recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction.

...then, recognizing each other, they started walking briskly in the same direction, their wands stowed beneath their cloaks.
(The reason Ms. Rowling didn't choose this construction is, I guess, to avoid being similar as an earlier sentence: "they stood still, wands directed at each other".)

Do the two rewritings tell the original plot, or do they cause any shift?

Linguaphile
Posts: 3290
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-02-03, 15:13

azhong wrote:How about these two, still imitating Rowling's over-using construction?

The crash sounded, he being startled and the dog snarling.
(He was startled. And the dog snarled.)
The crash sounded, he being startled, the dog snarling.

"He being startled" sounds wrong. Perhaps better:
"The crash sounded, him being startled and the dog snarling".
Even so, it's not a construction I'd typically use.

azhong wrote:Moreover, according to the sentence:
they stood still, wands directed at each other

which means their wands were directed. If the were can be omitted, my being/was should be able, too.

The crash sounded, he startled and the dog snarling.

As I pointed out before, you shouldn't have the word "and" between the past tense ("he startled") and the participle ("the dog snarling").
It is okay like this:
The crash sounded and he startled, the dog snarling.


azhong wrote:Now I am going to rewrite the passage of chapter one, book 7 below by changing it's sentence construction and making the style more natural.
The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. For a second they stood quite still, wands directed at each other’s chests; then, recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction.


azhong wrote:The two men appeared out of nowhere with a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.

"The two men appeared out of nowhere with a few yards between them in the narrow, moonlit lane."
(If you are going to use the word "with", the word "apart" no longer works.)


azhong wrote:For a second they stood quite still and directing their wands at each other’s chests; then after recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction.

Again, you shouldn't have the word "and" between the past tense ("they stood quite still") and the particle ("directing their wands at each others' chests"). If you remove "and", it is fine:
"For a second they stood quite still, directing their wands at each other’s chests; then after recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction."

It is possible to have the word "and" between a past tense form and a participle, but the only situation I can think of in which that would work, is if the word "and" connects two clauses that can both function independently without the participle.
For example:
"For a second they stood quite still, and, directing their wands at each other’s chests, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction."
This works because it still makes sense if we take out the participle and leave "and":"
"For a second they stood quite still, and, directing their wands at each other’s chests, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction."

As you can (hopefully) see, yours does not still make sense if we take out the participle and leave "and":
"For a second they stood quite still and directing their wands at each other’s chests; then after recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction.

Maybe (?) this will provide you with a strategy for knowing when it is okay to use "and" between the past tense form and the participle. Otherwise, I would recommend that you just avoid it entirely.

azhong wrote:Also, another practice at the participial phrases.
...then, recognizing each other, they stowed their wands beneath their cloaks and started walking briskly in the same direction.

...then, recognizing each other, they started walking briskly in the same direction, their wands stowed beneath their cloaks.
[/quote]
Yes, both of these are fine.

User avatar
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-03, 16:26

Linguaphile wrote:"He being startled" sounds wrong. Perhaps better:
"The crash sounded, him being startled and the dog snarling".
Even so, it's not a construction I'd typically use.

Ok, I have got that my construction is not typical, but may we discuss a bit more? Why is him being startled? I think it should be he being startled. And the being seems to be able to get omitted.

I repeat my grammar analysis below, and hope you can help pick out my errors.

Rowling's sentence:
They stood still.
Their wands were directed at each other.
->They stood still, (their) wands were directed at each other.
( Here "directed" is not a verb but a past participial.)

Similarly, my sentence:
The crash sounded.
He was startled.
-> The crash sounded, he was startled.
(the startled here is also not a verb, but a past participial.)

Linguaphile wrote:
azhong wrote:The crash sounded, he startled and the dog snarling.

As I pointed out before, you shouldn't have the word "and" between the past tense ("he startled") and the participle ("the dog snarling")

No. Not "he startled" but " he was startled". I am not using "startled" as a past tense but a past participial.

Your instinct should be correct, but where does my analysis go wrong? I know I've costed you a lot of time on this inquiry, though.

User avatar
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-03, 16:59

Let me make another sentence with similar construction:

He roared, the baby woken and the dog snarling.
(He roared. [Then] the baby was woken and the dog snarled.)
Both "woken" and "snarling" are participials.

Does this sentence work? It has the same construction as the previous one.

The crash sounded, he startled and the dog snarling.
(Both "startled" and "snarling" are participials.)

Thank you.

Linguaphile
Posts: 3290
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-02-03, 17:47

azhong wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:"He being startled" sounds wrong. Perhaps better:
"The crash sounded, him being startled and the dog snarling".
Even so, it's not a construction I'd typically use.

Ok, I have got that my construction is not typical, but may we discuss a bit more? Why is him being startled? I think it should be he being startled. And the being seems to be able to get omitted.

I'm really not sure. Neither sound quite right to me. The version with "him" sounded a bit better, but I may be thinking of a different construction ("...what with him being startled....") I think you will need to get the answer from someone else, or I will need to look it up somewhere and get back to you.


azhong wrote:Rowling's sentence:
They stood still.
Their wands were directed at each other.
->They stood still, (their) wands were directed at each other.
( Here "directed" is not a verb but a past participial.)

Similarly, my sentence:
The crash sounded.
He was startled.
-> The crash sounded, he was startled.
(the startled here is also not a verb, but a past participial.

Okay, now I see why you have written it like this, but it isn't correct (or, if it is correct, it certainly doesn't sound "right" to me). I cannot explain why Rowling's example works and yours doesn't; I'd have to look it up to find a grammatical explanation. Maybe someone else already knows.

azhong wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:
azhong wrote:The crash sounded, he startled and the dog snarling.

As I pointed out before, you shouldn't have the word "and" between the past tense ("he startled") and the participle ("the dog snarling")

No. Not "he startled" but " he was startled". I am not using "startled" as a past tense but a past participial.

I was using it as a past tense verb, the past tense of the verb "startle". (As I mentioned before, I would normally use a different verb, such as "start", but if I were to use the verb "startle" this is how I would use it.)
I did not realize that you were trying to use it as a participle.
Part of the problem here is that your sentences are so far from my own normal usage that I don't know how to explain why they sound "wrong" to me. Why don't they work with a pronoun when they work with "the wand"? These are not points I studied in formal grammar and I'm just going on what "sounds right". Just because it doesn't "sound right" to me doesn't mean it isn't correct (so it might be grammatically correct after all), but I can tell you that English-speakers (or, at least, American English-speakers of my generation) don't typically say things this way, even in writing. Someone else might be able to explain the grammar better than I can.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 24551
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-03, 18:58

Linguaphile wrote:
azhong wrote:And I have another inquiry please: which one is better, the Simple tense or the perfect tense? Any simple rule? I am often confused.

Your post has inspired me.
Your post inspired me.

They are both fine, and often used interchangeably, even though they can have slightly different meanings.

It's also worth noting that there are significant regional differences here. Speakers of North American English frequently use the simple past in contexts where speakers of other varieties (notable UK English) would prefer a present perfect. To take one example that I overheard at work:

"Did you see him today?"

To me, the speaker is asking if the listener had an appointment to see this particular person. But from context, it became clear that she was simply asking if the listener had happened to see this person at all. IMD (and in the speech of most BE speakers), the usual way to ask this would be "Have you seen him today?" because this day isn't over so the possibility that you might see him still exists. Similarly:

"Did you see Parasite?"

is a quite neutral way in NAE of asking if someone has seen the movie Parasite. But, again, for me and other speakers this would imply a particular occasion or closed period of time, e.g. "Did you see Parasite at the film festival?" or "Did you see Parasite with your boyfriend?" (who you're not dating any more). If you explicitly make the query open-ended by adding "yet", then the use of simple past sounds almost wrong to me, but many USAmericans speak this way every day.

tl;dr: The rules for use of the simple past and present perfect vary between dialects, particularly between North American English and British English. When I offer you corrections, I try to follow the rules of BE (and my own dialect) since that appears to be the standard form you're aiming at.

azhong wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:"He being startled" sounds wrong. Perhaps better:
"The crash sounded, him being startled and the dog snarling".
Even so, it's not a construction I'd typically use.

Ok, I have got that my construction is not typical, but may we discuss a bit more? Why is him being startled? I think it should be he being startled. And the being seems to be able to get omitted.

Contemporary English has a feature called disjunctive use of pronouns. Without getting too technical, what this means is that the subject forms are only absolutely required immediately before a finite (conjugated) verb. In every other context, objective forms are preferred.

So:

"She is here."
"She loves me."

BUT:

"It's her."
"It's her who's here." [BUT: "She's the one who's here."]
"Who loves me? Her." [BUT: "Who loves me? She does."]
"Who loves me more than her?" [BUT: "Who loves me more than she does?"]

For many speakers, there's even an exception when two subjects are conjoined. For instance, I normally say:

"Me and her are here."
"Her brother and her love me."

Grammarians will tell you that is should be "She and I are here" and "Her brother and she love me", but these sound very horribly stilted to me. If I wanted to use subject pronouns, I'd probably have to rephrase the whole sentence to something like "She's here with me".

So now we get to gerundive-participles like being. According to formal grammar, since "being" functions as a noun here, the form of the pronoun should actually be possessive:

"His being there upset me."

But again, this sounds too formal for ordinary conversation. "He" doesn't sound correct either since "being" isn't a finite verb. So what most speakers do is reach for the default in all cases where you have something besides the independent subject of a finite verb and say "Him being there upset me".

tl;dr: English-speakers have a strong preference for object pronouns over subject pronouns everywhere except right before a conjugated verb form.
"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
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-04, 2:09

I think I've gotten the point, and thank you both. Let me repeat what I have learned from your posts.

The crush sounded, the man was startled, and the dog snarled.
(verb-verb-verb. A natural sentence.)

The crush sounded and the man was startled, the dog snarling.
(verb-verb-participial. A natural sentence.)

The crush sounded, the man (being) startled and the dog snarling.
or
The crush sounded, him (being) startled and the dog snarling.
(verb-participial-participial. Grammatical but unnatural.)
(Since (being) startled here is functioning not as a finite verb but as a (noun) participial, him is preferred instead of he.)

And, as an exception of the rule linguoboy mentioned, a sentence I learned in my high school
You, he, and I are all students.
is grammatical but too stilted for native speakers and should be better replaced by
You, him and me are all students.

Have I mistaken anything?

Linguaphile
Posts: 3290
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-02-04, 5:03

azhong wrote:I think I've gotten the point, and thank you both. Let me repeat what I have learned from your posts.

The crush sounded, the man was startled, and the dog snarled.
(verb-verb-verb. A natural sentence.)

The crush sounded and the man was startled, the dog snarling.
(verb-verb-participial. A natural sentence.

Yes, these are fine (other than the typo: crash, not crush).

azhong wrote:The crush sounded, the man (being) startled and the dog snarling.
or
The crush sounded, him (being) startled and the dog snarling.
(verb-participial-participial. Grammatical but unnatural.)

I still don't like it :whistle: but as you've said yourself, it's unnatural. In the sentences without the word "being", I think it's the lack of parallelism in the participles that makes it especially unnatural to me (the first is a past participle, the second is a present participle).
We might just leave it at that. :wink:

User avatar
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-04, 9:54

(I want to say thank you again. Such discussion really costs your time and consumes your energy.
I come back to my routine writing practice for now, with my thanks in advance for your assistance.)

No doubt, more swamps are still ahead, waiting for my visit. I might get bogged again like these two days, leaving my messy footprints in mud and struggling to step back into something solid. But to me that's the pleasure of hiking in a natural park, walking through the wilderness, sometimes you are walking on the safe trail while sometimes you don't know you've trudged out.

Linguaphile
Posts: 3290
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-02-04, 19:12

azhong wrote:(I want to say thank you again. Such discussion really costs your time and consumes your energy.
I come back to my routine writing practice for now, with my thanks in advance for your assistance.)

No doubt, more swamps are still ahead, waiting for my visit. I might get bogged again like these two days, leaving my messy footprints in mud and struggling to step back into something solid. But to me that's the pleasure of hiking in a natural park, walking through the wilderness, sometimes you are walking on the safe trail while sometimes you don't know you've trudged out.


No doubt, more swamps are still ahead, waiting for my visit. I might get bogged down again like these two days, leaving my messy footprints in mud and struggling to step back into something solid. But to me that's the pleasure of hiking in a natural park, walking through the wilderness; sometimes you are walking on the safe trail while sometimes you don't know you've trudged out off of it.

"bog" is usually used with the word "down" - "I might get bogged down".
For "sometimes you don't know you've trudged out," I think you mean that sometimes you don't know that you have walked off of the trail, right? In that case perhaps "sometimes you don't know you've trudged off of it" or perhaps "sometimes you don't know you've trudged away from it". Or, "sometimes you don't realize you've trudged off of [or: away from] it."

User avatar
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-05, 2:43

Yes, "to walk off of the trail" or "to walk away from the trail" is exactly what I want to say. My chinese instinct failed; it's not "*to walk out of the trail".
An inquiry please, is it possible to omit "it(=the trail)"? I guess "of" needs to be omitted together?
... sometimes you...while sometimes you don't know you have trudged off/away.

And my writing practice today below, also discussing a sentence construction I studied.
“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.

The construction of the bolded sentence above is unclear to me at first for the long distance between "easy" and "to subjugate". Then, searching another possible construction, I find the below one might work better, not only eschewing the mentioned unclearness but also sounding more natural. (For avoiding distraction, I didn't move "I think" forward to in front of "it will" to make the sentence more natural.)
If I am right, why do you think Ms. Rowling didn't choose my version? Please note that this sentence appears in a dialogue but not in a narration. Have I missed something else?

Now that we have such a high-ranking official under our control, it will, I think, be easy to subjugate the others, and then they can all work together to bring Scrimgeour down.

Thank you in advance and look forward to your reply.

Linguaphile
Posts: 3290
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-02-05, 4:35

azhong wrote:Yes, "to walk off of the trail" or "to walk away from the trail" is exactly what I want to say. My chinese instinct failed; it's not "*to walk out of the trail".
An inquiry please, is it possible to omit "it(=the trail)"? I guess "of" needs to be omitted together?
... sometimes you...while sometimes you don't know you have trudged off/away.

Yes, you can. I added it because I thought it made the meaning clearer, but in part that was because your original sentence ("with trudged out") was unclear.

azhong wrote:And my writing practice today below, also discussing a sentence construction I studied.
“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.

The construction of the bolded sentence above is unclear to me at first for the long distance between "easy" and "to subjugate". Then, searching another possible construction, I find the below one might work better, not only eschewing the mentioned unclearness but also sounding more natural. (For avoiding distraction, I didn't move "I think" forward to in front of "it will" to make the sentence more natural.)
If I am right, why do you think Ms. Rowling didn't choose my version? Please note that this sentence appears in a dialogue but not in a narration. Have I missed something else?

Now that we have such a high-ranking official under our control, it will, I think, be easy to subjugate the others, and then they can all work together to bring Scrimgeour down.

Yes! Personally I like the second sentence, with your change, better than the first one.

As for why Rowling didn't write it this way, I don't know. Only she could say! But I can think of two possibilities:

(1) it might be meant to reflect the way people sometimes speak, and while this isn't a "natural-sounding" sentence for spoken language, sometimes people change the word order when speaking simply because they think of new information mid-sentence and add it as soon as it occurs to them: "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."
I know that she doesn't write the punctuation that way, but I did that to show that the part beginning with "now" might have simply been added when the speaker realized mid-sentence that this would be a useful detail to include. That part does sound best at the beginning of the sentence, but maybe the speaker hadn't even thought about including that detail when he began saying the sentence. (This does happen in real life! But in writing, it can look very awkward.)
So, maybe Rowling was trying to imitate that kind of "spontaneous" speech.

(2) Another possible reason would be what I mentioned in an earlier post: language use that is a little different from our own normal language use reminds us that the characters in the story are a little different from us, they live in a different world, they have different abilities and different thought patterns, etc.

So one of those two may have been why she wrote it that way, or maybe there was some other reason. It isn't incorrect, so maybe she just liked how it sounded for some other reason. (It is exactly things like this that make Harry Potter books perhaps not the best language model to follow for a non-native speaker.)

User avatar
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-05, 9:35

The first conjecture works perfect to me. Thank you. It didn't come to my mind.

(Another writing practice, with my thanks in advance for your assistance.)

Of late I've learned an adverb "palpably", which means "obviously", and I tried to practice its usage by making such a sentence, using its adjective form:

This snake might have sensed their approach, felt disturbed, thus was showing its palpable hostility, opening its mouth wide and hissing angrily.

Later, I was told by a British that using "palpable" this way is unnatural although grammatical. A more natural expression is to say something like "their hostility is palpable." However, it's natural if I say, changing another word, "showing it's obvious hostility".
Why does "obvious" work well while "palpable" not? I still don't know. After looking it up, I did see in the dictionary such a phrase: "a palpable effect". I won't surprise if I am told it's inexplicable. That's perhaps one of the features which make learning a language different from learning mathematics.

User avatar
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-06, 2:24

(Thank you in advance for your assistance.)

All his acquaintances came to persuade him in turn, dishing out the tremendous difficulties thwarting ahead, yet Tom resolved to bring down David by running for the president.
"At least I can get him stumbled, bogging him down more or less, to remind him of being cautious," said Tom thoughtfully, his fist pounding the armrest of his chair slightly but repeatedly. "A canker of a tree must get cured, or pruned, to eschew its infecting the rest."

Linguaphile
Posts: 3290
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-02-06, 3:57

azhong wrote:Later, I was told by a British that using "palpable" this way is unnatural although grammatical.

Honestly, it sounds fine to me.

azhong wrote:All his acquaintances came to persuade him in turn, dishing out the tremendous difficulties thwarting ahead, yet Tom resolved to bring down David by running for the president.
"At least I can get him stumbled, bogging him down more or less, to remind him of being cautious," said Tom thoughtfully, his fist pounding the armrest of his chair slightly but repeatedly. "A canker of a tree must get cured, or pruned, to eschew its infecting the rest."


My version:

All his acquaintances came to persuade him in turn, dishing out warnings of the tremendous difficulties looming ahead, yet Tom resolved to bring down David by running for the president.
"At least I can make him stumble, bogging him down more or less, to remind him to be cautious," said Tom thoughtfully, his fist pounding the armrest of his chair slightly but repeatedly. "The canker of a tree must be cured, or pruned, to eschew its infecting the rest."

Notes:

Dishing out: you can dish out gossip, or dish out advice, or dish out warnings, etc. but you can't dish out difficulties (or if you can, it wouldn't mean what you want it to mean; it would mean they are causing the difficulties). You want to say they are warning him about the difficulties, right? In that case either "warning him of the tremendous difficulties" or "dishing out warnings of the tremendous difficulties".

Thwarting doesn't seem to be the right verb here. In modern usage "thwart" is a transitive verb so it needs an object. A better verb might be loom, which I've used in my version above.

A canker of a tree doesn't sound natural, probably because this type of phrase is also used in idioms such as "a monster of a tree" (meaning a very large, perhaps ugly tree). In other words, if I say "a monster of a tree" I am not talking about a "tree's monster" but rather about a tree that is like a monster; so the phrase "a canker of a tree" can sound as though you are not talking about a "tree's canker" but rather a tree that is like a canker (possibly). We could also just use context to figure out that's not what you're saying, so it's not really wrong, but it sounds more natural as either "a tree's canker" or "the canker of a tree".

User avatar
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-07, 4:21

(Thank you in advance for your emendations to my writing practice for today.)

The lunar Chinese New Year, probably the most important festival for Chinese, is very nearly next to its arrival. All the Chinese folks had seemingly started preparing for the celebration, house-cleaning and purchasing, since after seeing students start their winter vacation weeks ago, rambling around on the street with laughters and roars at day during the weekday.

Linguaphile
Posts: 3290
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-02-07, 4:49

azhong wrote:(Thank you in advance for your emendations to my writing practice for today.)

The lunar Chinese New Year, probably the most important festival for Chinese, is very nearly next to its arrival. All the Chinese folks had seemingly started preparing for the celebration, house-cleaning and purchasing, since after seeing students start their winter vacation weeks ago, rambling around on the street with laughters and roars at day during the weekday.


The lunar Chinese New Year, probably the most important festival for the Chinese, is very nearly next to its arrival here. All the Chinese folks had seemingly started preparing for the celebration, house-cleaning and purchasing shopping since after seeing students start their winter vacation weeks ago, rambling around on the street with laughters and roars shouts at day during the weekday during the daytime on weekdays.

Notes:

for the Chinese or for Chinese people
I would also say in the second sentence "all the Chinese people" rather than "all the Chinese folks", but generally I think that is a regional or personal preference.

purchasing is usually used with an object; shopping is not, and sounds better here

roars tends to have a connotation of an angry sound, except when it refers to roars of laughter, but in that case you need to specify that it is roars of laughter or roaring with laughter. Even though you have already mentioned "laughter" previously, it still doesn't sound right unless you have "of laughter" after it.
Note: when we use "roar" as a noun (as you did) we tend to say "roars of laughter", and when we use "roar" as a verb we tend to say "to roar with laughter".

User avatar
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-08, 3:52

(Thank you in advance for emending my writing practice.)

Not for the first time, a drunken brawl had occurred at midnight on the thirty-eighth street, also known as "the bar street" in High Hill city. John Harper had gotten annoyed in the early hours of the night at Speakeasy when ordering his drink.

"Johnnie Walker Old Fashioned," said John to the bartender as sitting in the bar area.

User avatar
azhong
Posts: 834
Joined: 2008-11-18, 9:06
Gender: male
Location: ZhangHua
Country: TW Taiwan (臺灣)

Re: Azhong's Writing Practice.

Postby azhong » 2021-02-09, 5:11

"Third time this month," she said irritatedly, her voice suppressed for the other customers around in the restaurant.

"Don't get angry, honey," he looked at her imploringly. "My work, you know, and my boss. He called an emergency meeting ten minutes before our off-time. And the traffic jam…"

"Stopping those excuses," her eyes opened wide. "If you can't show up on time, you'll have to find another girlfriend."

What? Had I really said that? She herself felt a bit startled the moment those words had been thrown out. What's the matter with me? Was it really mere because of his being late for our date? She looked at the man across the table, who was still begging for her forgiveness. Since when had he lost his appeal, whom she once had admired so much?


Return to “English”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest