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  1. #1
    musicgold is offline Senior Member
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    Are these sentences natural? April 5

    Hi,

    Are the following sentences natural to a native ear?

    1. I applaud you for that performance.

    2. When I came back to senses, I was like, “what happened?” (used this in a conversation)


    3. When it came time to do this in March, I was glad that I started preparing for it early.


    Thanks,
    MG

  2. #2
    J&K Tutoring is offline Member
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    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 5

    1. I applaud you for that performance.
    Not natural. A better sentence would depend on the context. Is the 'applause' actual or metaphoric? If actual, then the applause itself makes the statement. If metaphoric, then performance is the wrong word.

    2. When I came back to my senses, I was like, “what happened?” (used this in a conversation)

    3. When it came time to do this in March, I was glad that I started preparing for it early.
    In March, when it came time to do that, I was glad that I had started preparing early. Probably the words in March could be left out- it depends on context.


  3. #3
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 5

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    1. I applaud you for that performance.
    Not natural. A better sentence would depend on the context. Is the 'applause' actual or metaphoric? If actual, then the applause itself makes the statement. If metaphoric, then performance is the wrong word. I really don't see anything wrong or unnatural with the statement as posted.

    2. When I came back to my senses, I was like, “what happened?” (used this in a conversation) Agree.

    3. When it came time to do this in March, I was glad that I started preparing for it early. In March, when it came time to do that, I was glad that I had started preparing early. Probably the words in March could be left out- it depends on context. Agree.

    b.

  4. #4
    J&K Tutoring is offline Member
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    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 5

    Present tense indicates that the listener- the one receiving my applause- is there with me. Seems absurd to be telling someone that I am applauding while I am applauding.

    If the statement was in the past tense, it would be more reasonable and natural. You would be telling the performer that you had clapped your hands at a time he/she may not have seen you clapping. I applauded your performance.

    If I am not actually clapping my hands at a performance- singing, dancing- something after which one would typically clap ones hands- then probably performance would not be the best choice of word to use as in this example. I applaud your economic restraint. I applaud your willingness to cooperate.

  5. #5
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    Barb_D is online now Moderator
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    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 5

    I hear you and agree with what you've written, but I had interpretted it along the lines of something you say sardonically to a coworker after a meeting with the big boss where that coworker describes how how he worked on a project when it was really someone else's work. The "performance" was the complete lie, told convincingly.

    However, if it means what you have described, then I agree.
    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.

  6. #6
    J&K Tutoring is offline Member
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    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 5

    Both applaud and performance are ambiguous in the given sentence, which is why I wrote: A better sentence would depend on the context.

    Going back to the original question: Are the following sentences natural to a native ear? No.
    Even understanding it as you (and apparently billmcd) did, I don't think it's very natural. We applaud the performance, not the performer. It's a very fine point, but I've heard, 'I applaud your performance' or 'I applaud whatever-you-did' much more than I hear 'I applaud you'.

    'I congratulate you on your performance.'
    'I applaud your performance.' 'Congratulations!'

  7. #7
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 5

    I simply see the use of applaud in the post not in a physical sense, but rather as synonymous with and in the sense of congratulations and I would not consider it unusual to say or hear.

  8. #8
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 5

    I agree with both sides! Yes, I'm a fence-sitter for once.

    I imagined something along the same lines as BarbD, I think. Let's say there is a rather unpleasant boss at a company. Usually, the workers are scared of him and don't stand up to him. One day, Bob (sorry, Bob!) decides he's had enough and lets rip at the boss, telling him exactly what he thinks of him and that he is a terrible boss. He makes a real scene, shouting, waving his arms around and genrally getting quite carried away. Regardless of the likely outcome (Bob is probably about to be sacked, after all), I think his co-workers could say any of the following:

    It was about time someone said something. I applaud your performance.
    It was about time someone said something. I applaud you for your performance.
    Well done for doing that. I applaud you.

    However, in none of those examples would "applaud" literally mean "clapping one's hands". It means "congratulate".

    If the workers had actually clapped but for some reason Bob didn't hear them, they might say to him later "We applauded your performance" or "We applauded you".

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