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  1. #1
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    Default Very long letter :-/

    Hello! I need someone to correct the following letter. IMO, it's very long. The reason it's so lengthy is I haven't emailed this girl for about a month and had a lot to tell her about. I'd really appreciate it if you would read and correct it.

    Hey Aleksi,

    Iím sorry for not emailing you for so long. I might have told you that I was doing exams in January and probably would be busy while preparing for them. I just canít remember when I last emailed you. I guess it was a long time ago. Iím too lazy to work it out myselfÖ As I can see from your letter, you are enjoying your holidays or you *were* enjoying your holidays.. ;) Are you going to school yet or are you still in Russia?

    Have you visited Moscow? If youíve been to Moscow, tell me what you were doing here! That would really be interesting! I have a lot to tell you about. But first of all, Iíd like to comment on your letter.

    Thereís probably no point in suggesting anything interesting to do in Moscow now because youíve already been here. There are plenty of interesting things to see in the capital of Russia. It depends what youíd like to see. Even though I know most of your hobbies itís hard for me to make any suggestions about what you should see in Moscow. If you havenít visited Moscow yet, just tell me, and Iíll try to think of as many great places to see as I can.

    Glad to hear youíre keen on taking photos as well. I guess you have an expensive photo camera, yeah? I actually have two digital cameras. One costs about $400 and is very good. Since Iím no professional photographer I like this camera very much. I recently read a review of this camera on PC Magazineís website and was surprised by the comments it received. They say that thereís quite a bit of noise in the photos taken by my camera. Thatís odd Ďcoz I can hardly see any noise at all. Maybe, compared to other cameras, my camera has pretty much noise but Iím quite satisfied with the quality of most of my photos. The other camera costs just about $150 but the big advantage of this camera is its size. Itís twice as small as the other one. You can quite easily put it in your pocket and be sure that youíll be able to take a photo of anything you want.
    Now, actually, Iíve got only one camera (for $150), Ďcoz my Daddy dropped the expensive one while he was in Europe. Since I was used to taking photos with that camera it was hard for me to work with the other camera. My Daddy says that weíll buy a new good (I mean fairly expensive) digital camera if this one canít be mended. Weíll see.

    I always take plenty of photos when traveling. I think itís ok that some pics are rubbish because itís impossible to take only great ones. Both my laptop and PC are cramped with photos as well. Iím planning on transferring them onto DVDs sometime. Iíve already burned about 6 CDs with photos but that was about a year ago and Iíve taken plenty more photos since then. Iíve worked out recently that I need to buy 2 (maybe 3) DVDs (4.7Gb each) to burn all my photos. I want to transfer them all onto discs because Iím afraid of losing them. If anything goes wrong with my HDD, I wonít be able to restore them.

    I also get shitty when Iím distracted by someone who knows that Iím working. I couldnít care less about your language because I too use swear words pretty often when hanging out with my friends. . Iíve been getting less and less privacy in my room lately. Iím very annoyed when someone enters my room when Iím listening to music with my headphones. I sometimes donít even notice them enter the room and get frightened when they suddenly start speaking to me. On the other hand, I understand that I canít do anything about it. I donít really feel like forbidding coming into room when Iím in. My parents wouldnít understand that! And they would be right!

    As for contemporary art, I donít think much of it. Donít think badly of me. Iím not a fan of art, frankly. I like some pictures but they hardly ever make much impression on me

    Itís time I said a few words about my exams. We did four exams. Theyíre Philosophy, Economics, Math, and Russian History. I got excellent grades for the first two, bad one for Math (Linear Algebra), and good one for Russian History. I was always good at Math in school but started devoting much less time to it in university, so the result of the exam is not so surprising as it may seem. Now Iíll have to do a resit sometime in February. Iím going to prepare properly for the resit and get a good or excellent grade. Hope I manage that!

    I havenít gone skating since something like Jan 10. The first exam was on Jan 9, so I had no time to play ice hockey at the time. Whatís more, it was extremely cold in the Moscow region. It was about -28C for about a week. This is an anomaly for Moscow! Thatís very cold. If itíd been warmer Iíd probably have gone skating once but itís very easy to get sick at such low temperature. The main reason that you can get sick quite easily is that you have to inhale a load of very cold air. You can get a serious sore throat by skating at such low temperature. Maybe, itís good that it was so cold when I was doing exams because I was spending all my time studying. On the other hand, I felt that I needed to do a little physical exercise. Nevertheless, now that Iím having winter holidays I can skate as much as I want. My friends have done all of their exams as well, so we can all go skating now. The temperatureís quite good for hockey Ė about -5C.


    What have you been doing since you last emailed me? Iím sure that your lifeís been extremely interesting. Being an actress, pianist, artist, and singer (did I miss anything? J) is rarely boring. I liked English, Math, PE, History (though I only like Russian History starting from 1917), and IT when I was in school. Now that I go to university, Iíve included a few more subjects on the list of my favorites. These are Philosophy, Economics, and Swimming. What do you think of my favorites?

    Having done the exams, we all felt like celebrating the end of the exams. Even though I failed Linear Algebra I still wanted to celebrate. Those were my first exams in university and they were very helpful. Now we all understand that we must work hard before exams, so exams will be easy to prepare for.
    A friend of mine invited a few students from my group to his cottage in the Moscow area. We all agreed to go. The cottageís about 17km away from Moscow, so he asked his driver to pick us up near the university and drive us to his cottage. This friend of mineís very rich, so itís small wonder that he has a personal driver and a very expensive car. He has a Range Rover that costs about $113.000! Iíd never ridden on such an expensive car before! That was great. Once we got to his cottage, we were all amazed by its size and the place where it was located. The houseís located in the most prestigious place of the Moscow area. Iíve no idea how much it is to buy a house there. But I can say that itís extremely expensive. Thereís a sauna, small swimming pool, billiards, and lots of other awesome things in his house! I had a great time there! We all did. We drank Mexican beer ďCoronaĒ and Absent (have you ever heard of Absent? As far as I know, itís illegal in the States) We did plenty more things in his house but writing about this will take me hours! Itís a pity that we spent only one day there! (we arrived closer to the evening and left at about 3pm the next day). We owe so much to Alex (thatís the guyís name whose cottage we went to).
    Well, I better be going now! Talk to you soon!
    cheers,
    Alex

    Thanks for taking so much trouble to read and correct this letter!

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Very long letter :-/

    I'll have a look after dinner, but will come back.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Very long letter :-/

    Are you going to school yet- Are you at school yet?
    Even though I know most of your hobbies- comma
    an expensive photo camera- I'd delete 'photo'
    Since I’m no professional photographer- comma
    has pretty much noise- a lot of noise
    are cramped- crammed
    like forbidding coming- like forbidding them from coming
    exams will be easy- easier?
    ridden on such an expensive car- in
    Absent- Absinthe
    arrived closer to the evening- it was nearly evening when we arrived

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Very long letter :-/

    Thanks, tdol!
    I'd like to ask you: what's your overall impression of the letter? Just be honest!

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Very long letter :-/

    Generally good, a few things that didn't sound so natural for this sort of writing- the line about the Captial of Russia didn't seem in place in this sort of writing. Few mistakes and clear and chatty.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Very long letter :-/

    Thank you for answering the last question! I wanted to get your general impression of the letter because you seldom read my letters to this Austalian pen-pal and isn't used to my way of writing yet. I asked the Aussie girl about my English but she's used to 'my' English as she reads it very often, so her answers aren't as, shall we say, precious as yours.

    As for the Capital of Russia, that doesn't sound natural in Russian either. It seemed to me that I referred to the word Moscow too often, so I decided to leave one out by changing it to this formal phrase - the Capital of Russia

    Another reason I asked you about your overall impression is I wanted to know what I ought to do to improve my English, to lift it up to a considerably new level. It's more and more harder to come on English with progress. The better you know English, the harder it is to come it on

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Very long letter :-/

    In an informal text, there's less need to use synonyms, or you could have just used 'here'. Overall, it'as of a high standard, so I am afraid you'll find yourself running out of levels to lift it up to- you'll spend time moving from 9 to 9.1 to 9.11, etc, rather than a huge jump from 3 to 4- at advanced level, it's about little subtle changes.

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