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Thread: check sentence.

  1. #1
    needenglishhelp is offline Newbie
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    Default check sentence.

    Are there any errors in this sentence?

    In response to Syria's recent chemical weapon attack killing thousands of innocent civilians, the president of the United States affirmed his determination to put an end to Syria's deadly chemical weapons by taking military action if necessary.

    would it sound better if I replace "if" with "when" in the sentence above.

  2. #2
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
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    Easy question first: when is not better than if.

    Are there any errors in this sentence? It depends on the context.

    There are no grammatical errors, and it is a good sentence in the sense that it is similar to countless rapidly composed and unedited or lightly edited sentences that we hear every day in the news.

    But is the meaning accurate and the style excellent? In my opinion, the answer to both of those questions is no. So in that sense, there are errors. Encountering this sentence in a piece of serious writing, I would be inclined to analyze, criticize and attempt to improve it. But if I heard it on the news it would just go in one ear and out the other. Maybe that means it is excellent journalese.
    Last edited by probus; 11-Sep-2013 at 05:49.

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: check sentence.

    needenglishhelp, please note that a better title would have been 'if' or 'when'.

    Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'

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