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  1. #11
    flowerseed is offline Junior Member
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      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
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      • Chinese
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      • China
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    Default Re: Please comment on my writing!

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    I have long dreamed of being rich enough to

    ensure : your writing style in this paragraph is conversational; and 'ensure' is just a bit too formal, cold, business-contract like. The sentence could be altered slightly -(loved ones had a carefree..) but this changes the rhythm. It may seem odd, but to my ear, 'guarantee' is less cold a word, and has a whimsical sense when referring to the human condition. This is purely a judgment call to do with personal taste and style.

    guarantee all my loved ones a carefree life. My father died many years ago and my mother is growing older and older. My two brothers can only just/barely keep their families fed and warm.

    All their life, they have never been rich enough to get the things they want .
    You have just told us how poor they are. It is odd then to be told 'they have never been rich enough to... it is too far to the other extreme.

    In all their lives, they have never had enough to get the things they want.

    want: my first thought was to change this to 'need', but in view of the next sentence, I think you mean, what they might want for themselves, just for themselves - instead, they have to put all their money aside to provide for their dependents.

    Instead, they are always saving any money they can to provide for their children and their partners.


    Now, suddenly rich, I can give each of them 100 million yuan.
    NOTE: You have now changed from the Conditional mood and so verbs will differ. Whether in your original wording, or my rewording, you write "I can.." This is fine. It means you are inviting the reader to accept the 'dream' as a new reality which makes a bigger impact - we really enter into it as if it is a dream come true. Otherwise, to keep it Conditional (If I were rich..) you would have to write, " I could give each of them..."

    As a result,: again, this jolts as it is not in the style of the rest of the paragraph. This is a little 'logical, scientific'

    As well, my mother would feel relaxed when playing majiang with her friends because she no longer has to worry about losing any money.

    My older brother would happily deposit the 100 million in his bank account and begin to sleep well, not having to worry about getting too old to work.

    And my second brother could go to the best hospital to have his diabetes treated and be a healthy man again. I won't give my sister any money: she already earns big money running a successful business.

    Oh oh! One senses family drama here. If she's so well off, why isn't she helping out the rest of the family? I thought that was what happened in Chinese families. Some falling out perhaps, or some husband interfering?? Leave the reader intrigued by the brusqueness with which you dismiss her.
    Very helpful suggestions indeed. Thank you very much for all the pains you have taken to correct my mistakes!

  2. #12
    Amma is offline Newbie
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    Wink Re: Please comment on my writing!

    I have gone over your writing and changed it the way I would if I had written this piece myself. If you have specific questions about anything, I would answer them if I can, but I'm having difficulty posting on this site. I don't know why.

    First of all, your thoughts are interesting, and your use of English is very good. I would suggest only these things. 1. Study English verb tenses. 2. Cut every unnecessary word in your writing. 3. Learn to rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite, both for accuracy and for emphasis and power.

    Look what I have dropped, changed, moved, and added here. Each time, I had a reason. This is still your writing, with just a few changes, what someone would call rewriting or editing.



    I'd be willing to trade ten years of life for 500 million yuan. As a middle aged woman, I have already lived long enough to gain full knowledge of a human life. So, the traded ten years wouldn't make much difference to my remaining lifetime, and what interests me is the use I can make of 500 million yuan.

    I have always thought about getting rich enough to ensure that all my loved ones lead a carefree life. My father died many years ago, and my mother is growing older. My two brothers can do no more than keep their families warm and fed. All their lives, my brothers have never been rich enough to get the things they want. Instead, they are always saving to provide for their partners and children. If I suddenly became rich, I could give them each 100 million yuan. As a result, my mother would no longer have to worry about losing money at mah-jong (spelling? Look this up.), and she could play with her friends all the time. My older brother would happily deposit his 100 million in his bank account and begin to sleep well without having to worry about getting too old to work. My second brother could go to the best hospital to have his diabetes treated and, hopefully, become a healthier man. My sister needs no money from me, because she earns good money with a successful business.

    After giving away this money, I would have 200 million yuan left. I would keep 100 million and give the other 100 million to my husband, who has always wanted to start his own business and has often said that he feels his life will have been wasted if he never has a business of his own. With this money from me, he can make his dream come true.

    Finally, I will deposit the 100 million yuan I have left in the bank and leave it there until the time comes for my daughter to study abroad. I just hope that when she needs the money, it will still be valuable enough to pay for her to attend one of the best universities in the world. Because the money will be only enough to pay for her schooling, she will still have to take a part-time job to support herself.

    If I had 500 million yuan and gave it to these people, my own life will not change, except that I will be happy knowing that I have given all of my loved ones a better life. That is a big enough reward for me.

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