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    #1

    Are these sentences natural? April 11

    Hi,

    Are the following sentences natural to a native ear?

    1. I don’t know what grade kids they were.

    2. What grade kids were they?

    3. What, you didn’t like my pumping of the idea? ( was joking with a colleague)


    Thanks,
    MG

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 11

    You might hear 1 and 2. I think they sound clumsy, and I would not write them. Better to both write and say (in my opinion) would be "I don't know what grade those kids were in?" or "What grade were the/those kids in?"

    I don't know what you mean by "pumping." Can you different words?
    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.

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    #3

    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 11

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    You might hear 1 and 2. I think they sound clumsy, and I would not write them. Better to both write and say (in my opinion) would be "I don't know what grade those kids were in?" or "What grade were the/those kids in?"
    I was asked this question and I didn't know the answer: Were those grade 5 or grade 6 kids?
    How should I have answered the question?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 11

    Quote Originally Posted by musicgold View Post
    I was asked this question and I didn't know the answer: Were those grade 5 or grade 6 kids?
    How should I have answered the question?
    Just, "I don't know."

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    #5

    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 11

    In the US, you'd say "They were in fifth grade" or "They were in sixth grade."
    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.

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    #6

    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 11

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    In the US, you'd say "They were in fifth grade" or "They were in sixth grade."
    We English admit our ignorance.


  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 11

    Well, granted, I was going out on a limb by expecting that you knew the answer... but we'd say "they were in [the] 5th grade" not "they were grade 5 kids."
    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.

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    #8

    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 11

    Thanks guys.

    I am still confused. Yes I could have said, "I don't know", but I wanted to say a bit more than that. Which one of the following is more appropriate?

    1b. I don't know which grade they were.

    1c. I don't know which grade they were in.

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Are these sentences natural? April 11

    I would say "in."
    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.

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