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  1. #1
    Steven Zhu is offline Newbie
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    Default Is it a wrong sentence? How to correct it?

    Dear Sir:

    The follwing sentences are made by one of my friends:

    1. We arrived three days after they had arrived.
    2. We arrived more than two days but less than three days after they had arrived.

    As for the first one, I think it's a correct sentence. The noun phrase "three days " is used as an adverbial modifier to modify the sentence.

    For the second one, though it is made by imitating the first sentence, I don't think it is proper. But I can't tell my friend why it is not proper and how to correct it.

    Looking forward to your reply

    Thanks

    Best regards.

    Steven Zhu
    Last edited by Steven Zhu; 09-Sep-2010 at 17:39.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Is it a wrong sentence? How to correct it?

    From a logical point of view, how long after their arrival did you get there?

    What day is more than two days, but less than three days? (Unless you're counting in hours.)
    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.

  3. #3
    Steven Zhu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is it a wrong sentence? How to correct it?

    Thank you, Mr. Gillnetter, thanks for your instructions and explanation.

    Thank you, Mr. Barb_D, thanks for your question.

    There are some other different ideas about the sentences mentioned above.

    Another friend of mine believes that sentence 1 is not correct. He argues that the predicate verb of the sentence "arrived" is a momentary verb, which can't be modified by an nonu phrase adverbial modifier such as "two days", just as we can't say "He died two days". So the adverb "later" is necessary to be added, that is to say, sentence 1 shall be changed into "We arrived three days later after they had arrived"(referred to as sentence 1-1 hereinafter).

    So, my question is: sentence 1 is acceptable? If so, what's the difference between sentence 1 and sentence 1-1?

    In addition, he pointed out that the sentence I written in the post "it is made by imitating the first sentence" has not a logical subject to match with the participle "imitating", so it's not a proper sentence.

    As for sentence 2, just as Mr. Barb_D has pointed out, What day is more than two days, but less than three days? It is also my question.

    Looking forward to replies.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Steven Zhu; 10-Sep-2010 at 04:30.

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it a wrong sentence? How to correct it?

    Hi,
    I'm "Ms" or just Barb, not Mr.

    Your friend is incorrect.

    He became ill on Monday. He died after two days. He died two days later.
    We arrived two days after we left home. We left home and arrived two days later.

    We arrived two days after they did. They arrived, and we arrived two days later.

    All sorts of ways to say the same thing, but your friend's version isn't one of them!
    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.

  5. #5
    Steven Zhu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is it a wrong sentence? How to correct it?

    Ms Barb:

    Thanks for your reply.

    Frankly, I am confused by your reply.

    For sentence 1, there are two versions:

    Version 1: We arrived three days after they had arrived.

    Version 2: We arrived three days later after they had arrived.

    The difference between the two versions is that adverb later is added in the version 2.

    Which version is incorrect or both of the two versions are incorrect?

    In your reply, you offer me such a sentence: We arrived two days after they did. What is the difference between it and version 1? Do you mean the tense of the subordinate clause of version 1 is incorrect?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it a wrong sentence? How to correct it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Zhu View Post
    Ms Barb:

    Thanks for your reply.

    Frankly, I am confused by your reply.

    For sentence 1, there are two versions:

    Version 1: We arrived three days after they had arrived.

    Version 2: We arrived three days later after they had arrived.

    The difference between the two versions is that adverb later is added in the version 2.

    Which version is incorrect or both of the two versions are incorrect?

    In your reply, you offer me such a sentence: We arrived two days after they did. What is the difference between it and version 1? Do you mean the tense of the subordinate clause of version 1 is incorrect?

    Thanks.
    Version 2 is incorrect as it stands. It needs a comma after "later" otherwise it doesn't make sense.
    "We arrived three days after they had arrived" is correct as are:
    "We arrived three days after they did".
    "We arrived three days after they had".

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