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  1. #1
    rainous's Avatar
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    reserve their sensibility

    They reserve their sensibility not only for themselves but for others, they are compassionate without being condescending; their courage, far from being bravado, is the power that endures; and they take jokes in stride.


    Hi,

    I want to know how the sentence above which I wrote sounds to natives in terms of its grammatical structure and semantics and would greatly appreciate any insights or tips to make it sound more natural.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: reserve their sensibility

    Quote Originally Posted by rainous View Post
    They reserve their sensibility not only for themselves but for others, -- I don't know what you mean by this part at all.

    they are compassionate without being condescending; -- this one is good

    their courage, far from being bravado, is the power that endures; -- I'm not sure how "courage" is an "ensuring power" but the grammar is okay

    and they take jokes in stride. -- I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean that they are self-effacing? They have a good sense of humor? They don't take themselves too seriously? Something else?

    The overall grammar seems okay, but I'm not sure what you want to say. I can help you reword it, but I need to understand your intentions better.
    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
    rainous's Avatar
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    Re: reserve their sensibility

    They reserve their sensibility not only for themselves but for others, -- I don't know what you mean by this part at all. Forget about this one. I quoted this from an author, and I don't even know what exactly he means by that. It sounds something like being sensitive and artistic in terms of one's thoughts or behaviors not only with regard to oneself but when treating others as well. Does it make sense to you?

    they are compassionate without being condescending; -- this one is good Thanks

    their courage, far from being bravado, is the power that endures; -- I'm not sure how "courage" is an "ensuring power" but the grammar is okay I tried to mean their courage is what's helping them to endure and sustain whatever difficulties they might be facing, rather than serving as mere bravado. Maybe I could use your help in rewording it if it sounds awkward.

    and they take jokes in stride. -- I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean that they are self-effacing? They have a good sense of humor? They don't take themselves too seriously? Something else? I tried to mean somewhere along the lines of, as one of their noble attributes, they have large enough hearts to play along with jokes, even with ill-intended jokes, that are directed at them without being bitter about them.


    Thanks for you help^^
    Last edited by rainous; 20-Nov-2011 at 04:04.

  4. #4
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    Re: reserve their sensibility

    "and they take jokes in their stride."

  5. #5
    rainous's Avatar
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    Re: reserve their sensibility

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "and they take jokes in their stride."
    Adding the word "their" in the sentence seemed like a very subtle and exquisite choice.

    Would you mind elaborating on how the meaning changes by adding that word?

  6. #6
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    Re: reserve their sensibility

    It's neither subtle nor exquisite. It just happens that the expression is 'take things in one's (my, your, his, etc)', not 'take things in stride'.

  7. #7
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    Re: reserve their sensibility

    Well, on this side of the pond, we "take things in stride."

    If you change "eduring power" to "sustaining power," that part will sound better to my ear.
    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.

  8. #8
    rainous's Avatar
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    Re: reserve their sensibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Well, on this side of the pond, we "take things in stride."

    If you change "eduring power" to "sustaining power," that part will sound better to my ear.
    So if you were to give me closure, is my initial "taking jokes in stride" OK as it is; or do I still have to try rewrites?

    Is it still confusing as to what I try to mean by that phrase?
    Last edited by rainous; 20-Nov-2011 at 16:16.

  9. #9
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    Re: reserve their sensibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Well, on this side of the pond, we "take things in stride."
    Yet another of the BrE/AmE differences that are appearing at the moment.

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