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  1. #1
    LeTyan is offline Member
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    Default rumors about English

    In some Chinese English-learning forums, I have often seen people who claim to be English experts post some strange English expressions or sentences and tell people they do exist and they mean something different from what they seem to.

    Some of them are obviously wrong while some others are confusing.
    I absoutely hate those people for whatever reason they have.

    That's why I have to come here to ask native speakers for help.

    Please tell us if they do exist or they just made things up.

    Here are some examples:

    It has been 4 years since I smoked (I personally find this sentence extremely wierd and confusing)

    All his friends did not turn up (still wierd and confusing)

    People will be long forgetting her (makes no sense to me)

    He was only too pleased to let them go (confusing)


    Thanks ahead!

  2. #2
    SlickVic9000's Avatar
    SlickVic9000 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: rumors about English

    (Not a Teacher)

    1) I would add "last" before "smoked" or use the present perfect (have smoked).

    2) It's not wrong, but most native speakers would say, "Not all of his friends turned up."

    3) This is more common in its negative form: "People will not be long forgetting her," meaning she will soon be forgotten.

    4) This form is used in speech and in writing frequently enough for me to say it's accepted, though I'd be hard pressed to explain the syntax of the statement to you.

  3. #3
    LeTyan is offline Member
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    Default Re: rumors about English

    Thanks for your clarification!

    For 4)"He was only too pleased to let them go", just to make it easier to understand, does he want to let them go or not?

  4. #4
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: rumors about English

    He was eager to do it.
    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.

  5. #5
    SlickVic9000's Avatar
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    Default Re: rumors about English

    (Not a Teacher)

    He was eager to let them go. The sentence emphasizes the speaker's distaste for the man's willingness to let them go over the act of releasing them itself.

  6. #6
    JMurray is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: rumors about English

    The sentence emphasizes the speaker's distaste for the man's willingness to let them go …

    It does not necessarily express distaste, it may be merely emphasizing how keen the man was to let them go.
    Another example: "Her daughter asked for some advice and she was only too pleased to help her out".

    not a teacher

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: rumors about English

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    It has been 4 years since I smoked (I personally find this sentence extremely wieird and confusing)
    SlickVic's suggestions are fine, but this sentence is possible as it is, in my opinion.

  8. #8
    Jadoon 84 is offline Member
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    Default Re: rumors about English

    It has been 3 years since I have seen Watson.
    Does this sentence mean "I have seen Watson 3 years ago and have not seen during the tenure of these 3 years"?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: rumors about English

    "I have seen saw Watson 3 years ago and have not seen him during the tenure of these 3 years"

  10. #10
    LeTyan is offline Member
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    Default Re: rumors about English

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    SlickVic's suggestions are fine, but this sentence is possible as it is, in my opinion.
    Dear 5jj:

    Thanks for your explaination but I still have trouble understanding this so if you could explain more I'd really appreciate it!

    "It has been 4 years since I smoked" still makes no sense to me(I could be severely retarded in that regard).

    what I do understand:
    1)It has been 4 years since I quit smoking (4 years of non-smoking period).
    2) It has been 4 years since I last smoked. (4 years of non-smoking period)
    3) I have been smoking for 4 years.(4 years of smoking period)

    I understand all three above and the only thing I don't understand is "It has been 4 years since I smoked".
    Is it anywhere close to any of the above three?
    Last edited by LeTyan; 29-Dec-2012 at 12:36.

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