Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default As isn`t often the case

    My students have a writing exercise where they have to find different ways of saying the same sentence. One of these sentences was:

    I'm rarely late for school, but when I got to school today, the first lesson had already started.

    One of my students want to say:

    As isn't often the case, class had already started when I arrived at school.

    Is this sentence correct?

  2. #2
    2006 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    4,022
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: As isn`t often the case

    Quote Originally Posted by raes112 View Post
    My students have a writing exercise where they have to find different ways of saying the same sentence. One of these sentences was:

    I'm rarely late for school, but when I got to school today, the first lesson had already started.

    One of my students want to say:

    As isn't often the case, class had already started when I arrived at school.

    Is this sentence correct?
    I don't like the student's sentence.
    1...I think that the first rule for rewriting sentences is that you cannot change the meaning, or even the emphasis. So my first objection to the student's sentence is that it violates that rule. The original sentence at least strongly suggests that the first lesson had started because the student was late. The student's sentence says nothing about 'being late', and we can only guess that that might be the reason the class had already started.

    2...I don't like the negative form of 'As is often the case...'; it's awkward, at the least.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    242
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: As isn`t often the case

    I agree fully with 2006.
    "As isn't often the case" reads very poorly.
    And the student's sentence almost infers that the blame lies upon the school's starting time.

  4. #4
    riverkid is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,064
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: As isn`t often the case

    Quote Originally Posted by raes112 View Post
    My students have a writing exercise where they have to find different ways of saying the same sentence. One of these sentences was:

    I'm rarely late for school, but when I got to school today, the first lesson had already started.

    One of my students want to say:

    As isn't often the case, class had already started when I arrived at school.

    Is this sentence correct?
    [Please don't take the following personally.]

    I notice that 2006 didn't declare it to be incorrect. I have to state once again that words like "correct"; "I don't like", in my humble opinion, are not all that helpful to students.

    [See the discussion in the thread,



    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...ed-london.html

    I agree with 2006 that paraphrasing sentences means that we keep the original meaning. I taught in Japan for many a year I think that the problem COULD be that the student has directly translated from Japanese, which they are, sadly, taught to do, and this is how the same thing could be said in the Japanese language.

    As to the sentence,

    As isn't often the case, class had already started when I arrived at school.

    it's certainly possible. The negative "isn't often the case", can be used to deny a previous positive statement.


    A: As is often the case, class had already started when I arrived at school.

    B: As isn't often the case; [heavy sarcasm] "class had already started when I arrived at school". Horsepucky! That damn teacher never starts on time.

  5. #5
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,045
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: As isn`t often the case

    I would tell the student to try this: "As is rarely the case, class had already started when I arrived late to school."

    This mild correction will let the student know that he is on the right track, but just needs a little nudge toward more idiomatic English usage.

  6. #6
    2006 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    4,022
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: As isn`t often the case

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    I would tell the student to try this: "As is rarely the case, class had already started when I arrived late to school."

    This mild correction will let the student know that he is on the right track, but just needs a little nudge toward more idiomatic English usage.
    But the meaning is not the same! Your sentence suggests that usually when I am late, the teacher waits for my arrival before starting class.

  7. #7
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,045
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: As isn`t often the case

    You're right, 2006, the new sentence does have an ambiguity that wasn't present in the original. I was trying to use as much of your student's own words as possible.

Similar Threads

  1. Punctuation...My Biggest nightmare.
    By Di7bash in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-Oct-2007, 05:25
  2. as it is the case with
    By nyggus in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 15-Aug-2007, 17:54
  3. in case
    By hela in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 23-Mar-2007, 07:45
  4. the odd 'in any case'
    By peteryoung in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 28-Jul-2005, 08:52
  5. case
    By Mit in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 19-May-2005, 12:59

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk