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A native speaker of English needed


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#26 legotrainfan

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 08:58 PM

Which LEGO set should I buy? => Object: LEGO set; that's why "which" must be used.

What "no object" should I buy? => No object; that's why "what" must be used.

Tell me whether I've understood. I think I have.

I usually do it the correct way anyway. However, recently I've seen sentences with "what" plus object so often that I felt the need to ask.

I actually signed up at an English forum for such questions, but I'm sometimes quite sceptical in regard to the replies I get there. Sometimes non-native speakers reply and I highly doubt I get an answer I can rely on. And even if a native speaker responds, the answer is often quite perfunctory and not really explained well. But it's different here. You guys know how to help. Thanks a bunch!
[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


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#27 Rufus

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:10 PM

View Postlegotrainfan, on 25 May 2011 - 08:58 PM, said:

Tell me whether I've understood. I think I have.
You've got it :wink:

Quote

I usually do it the correct way anyway. However, recently I've seen sentences with "what" plus object so often that I felt the need to ask.
As I said, the incorrect form is often used colloquially; in time it'll probably be acceptable, unfortunately.

Quote

I actually signed up at an English forum for such questions, but I'm sometimes quite sceptical in regard to the replies I get there. Sometimes non-native speakers reply and I highly doubt I get an answer I can rely on. And even if a native speaker responds, the answer is often quite perfunctory and not really explained well. But it's different here. You guys know how to help. Thanks a bunch!
You can trust us pedants :laugh:

#28 legotrainfan

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:49 AM

In a circus you travel a lot.

=> Here the writer wants to say that as a circus artiste you move from one location to the next all the time, but is the preposition "in" correct or not? What about saying:

With a circus you move a lot.
[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


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#29 Pandora

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 03:44 PM

Again, technically both are correct.

In a circus, you travel a lot. or: You travel a lot, in a circus.  (I pretty sure there should be commas.)

Equally the same with the second phrase.

Being "in" or "with" a circus is the same as being "in" or "with" any group.  Overall, I'd personally choose the first phrase ("in") as a more natural way of saying it. :sweet:
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#30 Mr Man

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 04:25 PM

View Postlegotrainfan, on 29 May 2011 - 09:49 AM, said:

In a circus you travel a lot.
=> Here the writer wants to say that as a circus artiste you move from one location to the next all the time, but is the preposition "in" correct or not? What about saying:
With a circus you move a lot.

The second one is more correct, however in a normal conversation the first one is still correct.
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#31 legotrainfan

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 06:38 PM

She said that trapeze artist was an exciting job.
=> OK this way without an article before "trapeze artist"? I think it is.

She got the job by the circus.
=> I'd say: ...AT the circus.

Somehow this sentence sounds strange:
In the show she has the part which is the most exciting.
=> Correct or not? I'd either say "which is the most exciting one" or "which is most exciting".


PS: Mr Man and Pandora, thanks for your previous replies!
[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


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#32 Trent

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 08:14 PM

I would say:

Original:  She said that trapeze artist was an exciting job.
My take:  She said that being a trapeze artist was an exciting job.

The original does make sense, but doesn't sound quite right.  

Original:  She got the job by the circus.
My take:  She got the job at the circus.

The original is confusing, and suggests that she got the job at a venue next to the circus.

Original:  In the show she has the part which is the most exciting.
My take:  She has the most exciting part in the show...or...In the show, she has the most exciting part.  

The original definitely sounds as if it's from a non-native speaker.  

Hope that helps.   :classic:

#33 Rufus

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 08:15 PM

View Postlegotrainfan, on 29 May 2011 - 06:38 PM, said:

She said that trapeze artist was an exciting job.
=> OK this way without an article before 'trapeze artist'? I think it is.
If you replace 'trapeze artist' with something more down-to-earth (no pun intended) like 'teacher', it sounds odd:

She said that teacher was an exciting job.

Depending on the context, you could say:

She said that being a trapeze artist was an exciting job.

Quote

She got the job by the circus.
=> I'd say: ...AT the circus.
Agreed.  Unless she got a job next to the circus!

Quote

Somehow this sentence sounds strange:
In the show she has the part which is the most exciting.
=> Correct or not? I'd either say "which is the most exciting one" or "which is most exciting".
It's technically correct, but I don't think anyone would say that, unless for emphasis:

In the show, she has the part which is the most exciting of all.

A more natural way to say it would be:

In the show, she has the most exciting part.

#34 legotrainfan

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 09:15 PM

View PostRufus, on 29 May 2011 - 08:15 PM, said:

If you replace 'trapeze artist' with something more down-to-earth (no pun intended) like 'teacher', it sounds odd:

She said that teacher was an exciting job.

Agreed! This way it is pretty obvious that "being" is needed!


Again, you've helped a lot, guys. Thanks!

More questions might follow!

Edited by legotrainfan, 30 May 2011 - 09:17 PM.

[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


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#35 legotrainfan

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:47 AM

What do you say to these sentences:

Here the prison warden is law and order.
=> I'd say: ..is THE law and order. (Meaning: The prison warden sets up his own rules in his prison.)

We will see us on Monday again.
=> I'd say: We will see EACH OTHER...
[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


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#36 Pandora

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:10 AM

View Postlegotrainfan, on 02 June 2011 - 10:47 AM, said:

Here the prison warden is law and order.
=> I'd say: ..is THE law and order. (Meaning: The prison warden sets up his own rules in his prison.)
I'm not entirely sure if I'm understanding you, but if I am then we would say:
"Here the prison warden is the law." and probably leave off "and order"
or you could say:
"The prison warden's word is the law"
but I agree that "the" is required.
Similarly despots have been known to exclaim: "I am the law!"

View Postlegotrainfan, on 02 June 2011 - 10:47 AM, said:

We will see us on Monday again.
=> I'd say: We will see EACH OTHER...
I agree with you, it is "We will see each other on Monday" and if you want to add in the "again" then it would be:
"We will see each other again on Monday"

"Seeing us" implies both seeing both at the same time (e.g. in a mirror.)
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#37 legotrainfan

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 10:08 AM

Thanks!

View PostPandora, on 02 June 2011 - 11:10 AM, said:

I agree with you, it is "We will see each other on Monday" and if you want to add in the "again" then it would be:
"We will see each other again on Monday"

Aren't there two possibilities of where you put "again", either where I placed it or where you placed it? Can another native speaker add their opinion on this matter? It'd be interesting.
[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


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#38 Pandora

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 10:52 AM

View Postlegotrainfan, on 03 June 2011 - 10:08 AM, said:

Aren't there two possibilities of where you put "again", either where I placed it or where you placed it? Can another native speaker add their opinion on this matter? It'd be interesting.

That is actually a very fair point, "We will see each other on Monday again" is completely valid, but to me implies that the two involved meet every Monday, rather than have met and will meet again on a day which happens to be Monday.

I'll leave it there as I don't wish to be accused of philosophy again!  :wink:  :tongue:
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#39 MetroiD

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 11:07 AM

View PostPandora, on 03 June 2011 - 10:52 AM, said:

I'll leave it there as I don't wish to be accused of philosophy again!  :wink:  :tongue:


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#40 legotrainfan

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 09:46 PM

Version a) is correct. Can you also say b)?

a) I found it one day ago.
b) I found it a day ago.
[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


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#41 Sisco

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 10:00 PM

I believe so, yes. "One day ago" and "a day ago" are the same thing, I think.
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#42 Arigomi

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 10:19 PM

Both are correct but option B is used more often in casual conversation. Option A tends to be used when emphasis on "one day" is important.

Wife: You need to clean up your LEGO room. It's a mess.
Husband: It's not a mess! I remember where everything is.
Wife: Let's test your memory. When did you find your shiny gold minifigure crown in the couch cushions?
Husband: I found it three days ago.
Wife: You found it one day ago. Where is it now?
Husband: ...

Edited by Arigomi, 11 June 2011 - 10:29 PM.


#43 Rufus

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 01:04 AM

View Postlegotrainfan, on 11 June 2011 - 09:46 PM, said:

Version a) is correct. Can you also say b)?

a) I found it one day ago.
b) I found it a day ago.
Both of these are correct, but most people would say, 'I found it yesterday.'  The exception would be for emphasis, usually with another word: 'I found it a whole day ago.'

If there's more than one day, then it's obvious:  'I found it two days ago,' but you could also say, 'I found it a couple of days ago.'

All of these are perfectly acceptable.

#44 legotrainfan

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 01:14 PM

Native speakers of English, I need your help again! What do you say to the following sentences?

In the next days we drove to Geneva.
=> My suggestion: Within the next few days we drove to Geneva.
=> I don't like the preposition "in" in connection with the past tense. I'd use it for the future: In the next few days we will go there. Or (past tense): On the next few days we decided to...

It is a big city with a chemical industry.
=> Is it OK to say "A chemical industry." If no, what would be the correct version?

We drove to Cologne, where a big cathedral stands.
=> I don't like "stands." I'd say "...where there is a big cathedral."
[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


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#45 legotrainfan

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:50 AM

I'm quite surprised that no one has offered any help yet.  :sceptic:
[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

#46 Pandora

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:31 AM

View Postlegotrainfan, on 23 October 2011 - 01:14 PM, said:

In the next days we drove to Geneva.
=> My suggestion: Within the next few days we drove to Geneva.
=> I don't like the preposition "in" in connection with the past tense. I'd use it for the future: In the next few days we will go there. Or (past tense): On the next few days we decided to...
I agree with your opinion on the use of "in" and "within".  If you wished, you could replace "within" with "during" or indeed "over".
If the driving to Geneva took part over the course of a couple of days (as "within" implies it might) then "over" would be the most natural sounding choice.

View Postlegotrainfan, on 23 October 2011 - 01:14 PM, said:

It is a big city with a chemical industry.
=> Is it OK to say "A chemical industry." If no, what would be the correct version?
Chemical industry is correct.

View Postlegotrainfan, on 23 October 2011 - 01:14 PM, said:

We drove to Cologne, where a big cathedral stands.
=> I don't like "stands." I'd say "...where there is a big cathedral."
Again, I agree with your opinion that in this form "...where there is a big cathedral" is more natural, however if you wish to expand the sentence, you could say "We drove to Cologne, where a big cathedral stands surrounded by trees/ in a grand square etc."  If the intent is merely to state that Cologne has a big cathedral, then the former is more appropriate.
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#47 legotrainfan

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:33 PM

Thanks for confirming my opinions, Pandora!

What about this one:

"We rode with the bikes to the next city."

I'd say: We rode our bikes to the next city.
[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


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#48 Pandora

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:50 PM

View Postlegotrainfan, on 28 October 2011 - 07:33 PM, said:

Thanks for confirming my opinions, Pandora!

What about this one:

"We rode with the bikes to the next city."

I'd say: We rode our bikes to the next city.
Again I would agree with you.  Saying "with the bikes" implies you rode something else and took the bikes with you.
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#49 The Crazy One

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:05 PM

Just to be annoying legotrainfan, but you can't confirm opinions. As opinions are purely your view, they can't be confirmed as a fact. They can be agreed with, but not confirmed. I know you didn't ask for help but I felt I might as well add my point.


Edit-Actually, ignore that comment. I don't want to open a massive debate on this slightly shady subject. Go on saying what you were saying.

Edited by The Crazy One, 28 October 2011 - 09:23 PM.


#50 legotrainfan

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 02:17 PM

Hi guys! Some more questions for you:

Is this sentence correct?
=> I am going to sleep by mum and dad tonight.
I suppose that the student who wrote that sentence wants to say that the kid is going to sleep in their parents' marital bed, as children sometimes love doing.
If the writer wanted to say spending the night in the house of the parents, I'd say: I am going to sleep at my mum and dad's tonight.

Is the tense correct?
=> Every day we were swimming in the lake.
I'd say: "Every day we SWAM in the lake." I don't know if it is OK to use the past progressive for repeated actions in the past.

What about this one:
=> We were in England with the car.
Or should it be: We were in England by car.

Are both of the following versions correct? I think they are.
=> We were by the river.
=> We were at the river.

Thanks in advance for your comments!
[...]
I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
From: "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by W.B. Yeats


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