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Thread: correct writing

  1. #1
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default correct writing

    Dear teachers,

    Would you please answer my queries hereafter?

    I find the way children spend hours just watching TV quite depressing. It can't be good for their imagination. I'm not very keen on 1. watching myself. I'd rather read a good book. I wish children would switch off the TV and 2. learn to enjoy the pleasures of reading. I have always been very fond of reading - this comes from 3. my mother who was a marvellous storyteller. When it was time for us to go to bed she would 4. say “It's time we had another story.” If she'd 5. said “Get into bed and switch the light 6. off” it would have been very different. 7. As it was, we began to look forward to bedtime because we 8. were expecting 9. yet another unforgettable tale. If only I had had more time to tell my children more stories when they 10. were growing up. 11. But alas, I did not. If they had got into the habit of listening to stories at bedtime, they'd have grown to love literature more. They can't stand reading books now because they'd sooner play 12. some computer games instead.

    1. Is “it” necessary after “watching” = "watching IT myself" ?
    2. It would be wrong to say “learn enjoying”, wouldn’t it ?
    3. Do we need a comma before “who” here or should the relative clause be restrictive ?

    4. Is a comma needed after “said” ?
    5. same question as above
    6. Is a comma needed after “off” too? If yes, should I put it inside or outside the quotation marks?

    7. Does “as it was” mean something like “as things were”, or “given the way she behaved with us” ?

    8 & 10. How would you justify the use the progressive form here ?

    9. Does “yet another tale” mean “one more tale” here? And in such a construction should it always come the past progressive?

    11. Can I say that?
    12. Is “some” necessary/acceptable here or should it be omitted because we’re not talking about specific computer games?

    Thank you very much for your help.
    Hela
    Last edited by hela; 03-May-2006 at 17:25.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: correct writing

    Just lovely, Hela!

    I've submitted my suggestions below each of your questions. Look for this symbol =>.

    1. Is “it” necessary after “watching” = "watching IT myself" ?
    => No. The ellipsis works.

    2. It would be wrong to say “learn enjoying”, wouldn’t it ?
    => That's right. It would be incorrect.

    3. Do we need a comma before “who” here or should the relative clause be restrictive ?
    => It's restrictive, or defining. Non-restrictive, non-defining would come across like this, "Oh, and by the way, she was a storyteller."


    4. Is a comma needed after “said” ?
    => I believe the verb in 4. is "say", and although some writers don't take advantage of a comma in that context, it wouldn't hurt to add one, to signal to the reader that a new sentence is approaching.

    5. same question as above
    => Same holds true for me, too.

    6. Is a comma needed after “off” too? If yes, should I put it inside or outside the quotation marks?

    => A comma is not necessary there.
    => I think ... inside for BrE and outside for AmE. You should double check, though.

    7. Does “as it was” mean something like “as things were”, or “given the way she behaved with us”?
    => Both. As it was [the case that she didn't tell us to get in to bed and switch the light off], we began to look forward to ...


    8 & 10. How would you justify the use the progressive form here ?
    => We were expecting [at the time]

    9. Does “yet another tale” mean “one more tale” here? And in such a construction should it always come the past progressive?
    => It's synonymous with still, even. (Where's your dictionary, Hela?)
    => No. For example, He's going to show us yet another book of photos!


    11. Can I say that?
    => Yes. "Alas" is in my current Oxford, so apparently we're still using it these days.

    12. Is “some” necessary/acceptable here or should it be omitted because we’re not talking about specific computer games?
    => It's fine, but if I were you -and I'm not - I'd change it to, "some computer game (or other)", no -s on 'game'.

  3. #3
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: correct writing

    Dear teachers,

    I know that if I put a comma before "instead" in the following sentence, it would be a mistake; but would you please tell me why ? Is there a rule about the use of adverbs at the end of a sentence?

    They can't stand reading books now because they'd sooner play computer games, instead.

    Many thanks,
    Hela

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