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Thread: A few notes

  1. #1
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    A few notes

    Dear teachers,
    Please, would you look at these sentences and correct my mistakes. I am wondering if they are written in a proper English:

    1. A few notes of an old tune were enough to summon up the memories of his childhood.
    2. After remaining silent and contemplating for a while, he told her that their relationship was finished.
    3. Running and shouting after the thieves, he did not notice that he was barefoot.

  2. #2
    shur2gal's Avatar
    shur2gal is offline Newbie
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    Re: A few notes

    Advice from a fellow student! :)

    1. A few notes of an old
    tune were enough to summon up the memories of his childhood.

    Nitpicks: "An old" tune? if it's enough to summon up memories, it should be a bit more specific, or if it was already specified in the last sentence, you should use "the old tune."

    2. After remaining silent and contemplating for a while, he told her that their relationship was finished.

    Nitpicks: If he remained silent and then tells her he was breaking up with her, then saying he or she was contemplating would be redundant. The reader is smart enough to know that they where either contemplating or thinking about a way to break the news.

    "After a moment of silence, he told her the relationship was over." Or even, "After a moment of silence, he whispered, "It's over."

    3. Running and shouting after the thieves, he did not notice that he was barefoot.

    Nitpicks: It works, but it's a bit weird. Especially if this is all happening in the present tense. Try, "He abandoned his shoes and ran in pursuit of the thieves, screaming and shouting for attention." I guess it takes the whole oblivious part of it, but it gets the job done and ultimately accomplishes the mood you were trying to set when he said he was barefoot: he was so adamant and fast to try and capture them that he even forgot his shoes.
    Last edited by Tdol; 23-Apr-2013 at 15:12. Reason: Broken links removed

  3. #3
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    probus is offline Key Member
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    Re: A few notes

    I would omit the from your first sentence. Without the, the implication is that the musical notes would summon up some memories, possibly not always the same memories. Using the makes the memories recalled specific. It creates a suggestion that the memories recalled are always the same ones and are especially significant.

  4. #4
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    Re: A few notes

    Quote Originally Posted by shur2gal View Post
    Nitpicks
    They are indeed. Apart from the 'the' mentioned by probus, all three sentences are acceptable English,
    "An old" tune? if it's enough to summon up memories, it should be a bit more specific, or if it was already specified in the last sentence, you should use "the old tune."
    I don't agree. More context might change the situation, but the sentence is fine as it stands.
    If he remained silent and then tells her he was breaking up with her, then saying he or she was contemplating would be redundant. The reader is smart enough to know that they where either contemplating or thinking about a way to break the news.
    Possibly, but the sentence is something many native speakers would produce.
    3. Running and shouting after the thieves, he did not notice that he was barefoot.

    Nitpicks: It works, but it's a bit weird.
    It sounds natural enough to this native speaker.
    Especially if this is all happening in the present tense.
    It isn't.
    Try, "He abandoned his shoes and ran in pursuit of the thieves, screaming and shouting for attention."
    That changes what the writer is saying.

    @ Bassim. With the amendment suggested by probus, your sentences are acceptable English.

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