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    joham is online now Key Member
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    Default the sound/noise of broken glass

    He was woken up by the sound of broken glass.
    This sentence is taken from LONGMAN DICTIONARY OF COMMON ERRORS. The dictionary says noise can't be used in this sentence. I don't understand. Could anyone please explain why it can't be used.

    And I found in the American Corpus far more results of 'sound of breaking glass'. Would 'breaking' be better than 'broken' in this sentence?

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by joham; 24-Mar-2011 at 01:00.

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    JMurray is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: the sound/noise of broken glass

    He was woken up by the sound of broken glass.
    This sentence is taken from LONGMAN DICTIONARY OF COMMON ERRORS. The dictionary says noise can't be used in this sentence. I don't understand. Could anyone please explain why it can't be used.
    And I found in the American Corpus far more results of 'sound of breaking glass'. Would 'breaking' be better than 'broken' in this sentence?


    joham.
    In general terms, "sound" is from a specific source and is often identifiable, whereas "noise" is often random, mixed, unwanted.
    "I was woken by all this noise outside. When I listened I could hear the sound(s) of people shouting and glass being broken".
    Or: "Every morning I wake to the sound(s) of dogs barking and cars revving, there's too much noise in this street". I use (s) because I think the singular would be very common usage, especially in speech.
    In my opinion, the Longman example is borderline. I think it would be natural for someone to say, "He was woken up by the noise of some bottles being broken".
    The "sound of broken glass" is frequently used to mean "the sound of breaking glass" or ".. of glass being broken". Similar would be, "I heard the sound of torn fabric". I'm not sure if this is considered standard.
    not a teacher

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