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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default rephrasing of a few sentences 8

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to share with me your appreciated opinion concerning the following sentences?

    1.1. She was not alone in the house. Her husband lay asleep in his room after the night shift.
    1.2. But for her husband, who lay asleep in his room after the night shift, she would have been alone in the house.

    2.1. I don’t want to tell you this. But I promised to.
    2.2. But for my promise I should not tell you this.

    3.1. In the end he went to see the doctor. His wife made him to.
    3.2. But for his wife, he wouldn’t have seen the doctor.

    4.1. He did not die. The operation saved him.
    4.2. But for the operation he would have died.

    5.1. We didn’t have a very good time after all. The weather was too bad.
    5.2. But for the weather, we should have had a good time.

    6.1. It was impossible to red the inscription in the dark. Then he remembered he had a torch.
    6.2. But for his torch it would have been impossible to read the inscription.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 09-Apr-2010 at 18:31.

  2. #2
    mchandler is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: rephrasing of a few sentences 8

    I am not a certified English teacher, yet I will relay to you the best I may.

    Sentences 1.1 would be, for me, the proper ones. They state a fact; "she" is in a place with one other person. Sentence 1.2 proposes a nebulous idea. Imagine saying, "If it were not for the brigade of foot soldiers sleeping in her basement, she would have been alone."

    2.1 & 2.2 Please, let's become colloquial. "I said I wouldn't, but I did/will," I would think, is closer to what you wish to say. As I like to ask, jokingly, "What is the next word after someone says, 'I told you so?'" The word is always "but..." As a person who studies several languages, I recommend making your language simple and conversational and not to grow small aspects into big questions.

    3.1 Although there are exceptions, generally, to end a sentence with a preposition, "to," as in your example, is improper grammar. Use sentence 3.2, but please use a comma after the word "wife."

    4.1/4.2 Either is correct.

    5.1/5.2 What is the part of time which you describe? Sentence 5.1 implies to me that you had an expectation which you might have previously described to me, your reader. "After all" what? Please tell you reader either before or after whatever "all" is ("...after all of our preparations/best efforts...") In sentence 5.2, please use the conditional imperfect tense; "We would have had a good time," is certainly a conditional thought; there was an option. If I or my friends "should" have done something, I am implying an action of responsibility, rather than what was simply a possibility. "I should have lit a campfire to keep my friends warm," means I was responsible for doing such. Also, in your example, add a comma after the word, "weather."

    6.1/6.2 I am not very happy, as a writer, about either of these; although, grammatically, each is okay. What explorer is going to forget that he has a flashlight? Imagine saying, "The police officer faced the armed criminal, and then he remembered that he was carrying a pistol himself." How about something like, "He pulled out his torch in the darkness, to read the inscription?"

    Very good luck with your writing!!!

    Best,

    MC

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: rephrasing of a few sentences 8

    Vil,
    The use of "but for" is really quite uncommon in everyday speech.

    We're much, MUCH more likely to say "If it hadn't been for..."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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