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Thread: how natural

  1. #1
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default how natural

    "The negotiations were conducted behind closed doors, measures having been taken that no correspondent should receive any information."

    How would you simplify it?

    How about this "The negotiations were conducted behind closed doors to avoid any information leak to the press"?

  2. #2
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: how natural

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "The negotiations were conducted behind closed doors, measures having been taken that no correspondent should receive any information."

    How would you simplify it?

    How about this "The negotiations were conducted behind closed doors to avoid any information leak to the press"?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Ostap,


    (1) I think that you did a great job in simplifying that sentence. Using an

    infinitive to replace that absolute construction shows that you are really

    becoming fluent in English.

    (2) I would only respectfully suggest a tiny change:

    The negotiations were conducted behind closed doors to prevent

    any information [from being] leak[ed] to the press. (Americans

    seem to prefer saying "prevent from." Some varieties of English

    may not require the "from.")


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    P. S. Press is now an old-fashioned word in the States. Most people

    prefer media. Press was used in the "old days" when there were

    only printing presses. Nowadays -- as you young people know -- there

    are many other ways to distribute the news (the Internet, mobile devices,

    etc.). In fact, Mr. Rupert Murdoch just yesterday started a news "paper"

    that is available ONLY on a mobile device.

    P.P.S.

    The press is.

    The media are.

  3. #3
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: how natural

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Ostap,


    (1) I think that you did a great job in simplifying that sentence. Using an

    infinitive to replace that absolute construction shows that you are really

    becoming fluent in English.

    (2) I would only respectfully suggest a tiny change:

    The negotiations were conducted behind closed doors to prevent

    any information [from being] leak[ed] to the press. (Americans

    seem to prefer saying "prevent from." Some varieties of English

    may not require the "from.")


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    P. S. Press is now an old-fashioned word in the States. Most people

    prefer media. Press was used in the "old days" when there were

    only printing presses. Nowadays -- as you young people know -- there

    are many other ways to distribute the news (the Internet, mobile devices,

    etc.). In fact, Mr. Rupert Murdoch just yesterday started a news "paper"

    that is available ONLY on a mobile device.

    P.P.S.

    The press is.

    The media are.
    I guess absolute constructions are very formal and wouldn't be often heard in conversation?
    Last edited by ostap77; 04-Feb-2011 at 15:35.

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: how natural

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    I guess absolute comstructions are very formal and wouldn't be often heard in conversation?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Ostap,


    I believe that you are 100% correct.

    I believe that if a person regularly used nominative absolutes in

    her speech, she would be considered a bit "strange." Can you imagine

    what people would think if she were to say:

    The sun having set, the thermometer began to fall.
    His mind burdened with many details, Bill forgot his appointment.
    The conference started late, the chair[person] having been delayed by traffic.

    Those three examples come from R.W. Pence and D.W. Emery, A Grammar of Present-Day English (New York: MacMillan Publishing, 1963), p.139.

    Messrs. Pence and Emery remind us that there are other kinds of

    absolutes. (REMEMBER: an absolute is a word or words that have no

    grammatical connection to the rest of the sentence. That is, it is does

    not "modify" (belong to) any particular word in the main sentence.)

    For example: To tell the truth, Henry doesn't seem to know his own mind. That is an infinitive

    phrase being used in an absolute sense, and native speakers have no

    trouble using such sentences in speech. As I said before, he is certainly

    not a handsome dog. That is a clause that is used in an absolute sense,

    and -- again -- native speakers have no trouble using such sentences

    in speech. Those last two sentences are also credited to Messrs. Pence

    and Emery's book.

    *****

    I believe that nominative absolutes (noun + participle) are the kind

    to avoid in conversation -- unless a person wants to sound like a book!!!


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

  5. #5
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: how natural

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    unless a person wants to sound like a book!!!
    I love this expression, TheParser.

  6. #6
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: how natural

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "The negotiations were conducted behind closed doors, measures having been taken that no correspondent should receive any information."

    How would you simplify it?
    Simplify it?

    'The talks were held in private with reporters kept out.'

    Rover

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