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Thread: eats

  1. #1
    blouen's Avatar
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    Default eats

    He only gets quiet when he eats.

    * Is this acceptable?

  2. #2
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: eats

    Quote Originally Posted by blouen View Post
    He only gets quiet when he eats.

    * Is this acceptable?
    Uh-huh, B, it shorely is.

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    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: eats

    Quote Originally Posted by blouen View Post
    He only gets quiet when he eats.

    * Is this acceptable?
    I don't think many native speakers would say that.
    'He only becomes quiet when he eats.' is better, but I think 'He is quiet only when he eats.' is best.

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    Default Re: eats

    He only becomes quiet when he eats.
    He is quiet only when he eats.


    How about :

    He only becomes silent when he eats.
    He is silent only when he eats.

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    Default Re: eats

    "silent" is okay.

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    Default Re: eats

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    "silent" is okay.
    Are quite and silent (always) interchangeable?

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    Default Re: eats

    Quote Originally Posted by blouen View Post
    Are quite and silent (always) interchangeable?
    No, they aren't always interchangeable. One reason is that "silent" is an adjective while "quiet" can be an adjective or a noun.

    A good part of the reason I didn't like your original sentence very much is that it could be interpreted as 'He only gets to enjoy (peace and) quiet when he eats.' That is why I prefer 'becomes' or 'is'. With the latter two verbs, there is no chance of misinterpretation.

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    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: eats

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I don't think many native speakers would say that.
    'He only becomes quiet when he eats.' is better, but I think 'He is quiet only when he eats.' is best.
    2006,

    Could you please explain why using 'becomes' is better and why the other is best? I'm really puzzled.

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    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: eats

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    2006,

    Could you please explain why using 'becomes' is better and why the other is best? I'm really puzzled.
    Well that's my opinion of course, but I think it has merit.

    First, as mentioned, it is better to remove however small a chance of ambiguity. So the simplest way to accomplish that is to substitute 'becomes" for "gets".

    Then, I think "is" is best because of its simplicity and appropriateness. But that is not to say that "becomes" is wrong.
    When we want someone to be quiet, we say 'be quiet', not 'get quiet' or 'become quiet'.

    Finally, the best place for "only" is before "when he eats".

    2006
    Last edited by 2006; 12-Nov-2007 at 23:33.

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    Default Re: eats

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    Well that's my opinion of course, but I think it has merit.

    First, as mentioned, it is better to remove however small a chance of ambiguity. So the simplest way to accomplish that is to substitute 'becomes" for "gets".

    I can't understand how 'become' is any more exact a verb than 'get'. 'get' is not only one of the most commonly used verbs in English [the most commonly used verb ??], it is used much more than 'become' and it's meaning range, determined by context of course, is wider.

    Granted, it's a more informal choice than 'become' but that only affects register use, not meaning. He gets tired/sleepy/angry/upset when ...,


    Then, I think "is" is best because of its a simplicity and appropriateness. But that is not to say that "becomes" is wrong.
    When we want someone to be quiet, we say 'be quiet', not 'get quiet' or 'become quiet'.

    We use 'be' because we describe a state that we want/wish someone to be in. 'get' and 'become' describe a process. When we say "be quiet" we don't want it to be a gradual process, we want an instantaneous condition of "quietitude".

    Finally, the best place for "only" is before "when he eats".

    In English, adverb placement is rather flexible and there really is no best choice for without certain positionings, certain nuancial meanings would be lost to us.

    2006
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