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  1. #1
    sunsunmoon is offline Member
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    Default "smaller" in "In smaller cars, simply plugging in the portable DVD player is..."

    1
    Determine how extravagant the installation will be. In smaller cars, simply plugging in the portable DVD player is enough of an installation. For minivans, SUVs and conversion vehicles, additional monitors will be required, as well as an acceptable sound system.
    (From
    http://www.ehow.com/how_2214501_install-portable-dvd-player-car.html)

    Not "small cars" but "smaller cars"? I wonder what the cars are smaller than.

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: "smaller" in "In smaller cars, simply plugging in the portable DVD player is..."

    They are smaller than larger cars.

    The writer could have chosen to say small cars and have been just as easily understood.

    Rover

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "smaller" in "In smaller cars, simply plugging in the portable DVD player is..."

    sunsunmoon, you are turning up lots of examples of native speakers producing flawed English. You could save yourself time and effort by just taking one British or American newspaper - any one. You'll probably find a couple of dozen imperfections on every page.

    The fact is, as a couple of us have pointed out in earlier posts, most native speakers just do not bother about these things. So long as they communicate their message - and they do - they are satsfied. If you pointed out the imperfections to them, they would simply laugh. I imagine a fair number would say, or think, that you were talking rubbish.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: "smaller" in "In smaller cars, simply plugging in the portable DVD player is..."

    Another point- this text comes from the site ehow- texts written for the web will often try to include things for the search engines to catch, so they may try to include variations- small cars/smaller cars, etc, to include terms people might search for, so you will often find examples of strange or forced usage.

  5. #5
    sunsunmoon is offline Member
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    Default Re: "smaller" in "In smaller cars, simply plugging in the portable DVD player is..."

    Thank you for the comment, 5JJ, but it has left me somewhat confused, to be honest. I do hope I can make myself understood below.

    When I ran into "In smaller cars," I asked myself why it should've been "In small cars." I couldn't reach the answer, so I posted the question. I wanted to know why "In smaller cars" sounded natural if it was. I do apologize for not even knowing whether there is nothing wrong with the "smaller." Asking about the "smaller" might be ridiculous, but that's what I really wanted to know about. I would be very thankful if you could help me deepen my understanding. I hope you understand what I'm saying. Even if my statement here is nonsense, there is one thing I would like to ask you to remember. That is that I thank you all the time for answering a lot of my silly questions kindly.

    To tell you the truth, I feel a bit sad to hear that most native speakers would laugh at me because of my posts.
    Last edited by sunsunmoon; 26-Sep-2011 at 11:03.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "smaller" in "In smaller cars, simply plugging in the portable DVD player is..."

    I don't think there is anything wrong with "smaller cars."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: "smaller" in "In smaller cars, simply plugging in the portable DVD player is..."

    Quote Originally Posted by sunsunmoon View Post
    li

    To tell you the truth, I feel a bit sad to hear that most native speakers would laugh at me because of my posts.
    Don't get over-sensitive. I wrote, " If you pointed out the imperfections to them, they would simply laugh". It was a conditional sentence.

    As someone who is interested in language, you can worry about these small points as much as you wish - and note that I have responded positively to quite a few. However, I think that many native speakers would find the suggestion that their English contained imperfections rather laughable.
    Last edited by 5jj; 26-Sep-2011 at 13:43. Reason: typo

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: "smaller" in "In smaller cars, simply plugging in the portable DVD player is..."

    The thing with native speakers (of most languages) is that in the main, they don't care whether what they're saying is grammatically correct or not.

    Language learners are much more sensitive about it.

    I can assure you that I regularly say "There's six people over there". A little red light doesn't go off in my brain saying "Oh no! I've just made a grammatical error. I should have said 'There ARE six people over there'!" If I were writing it down, I would probably get it right but situation and context are always very important.

    Most people in the UK aren't remotely interested in language and would not be able to spot imperfections or errors in a piece of writing. We're not taught grammar at school any more and many people weren't taught it in the past either.

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