Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    outofdejavu's Avatar
    outofdejavu is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    107
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default "Your writing is pretty good"

    Dear All:

    I am curious about the semantics of the following sentence.

    Your writing is pretty good.


    I have merely one sentence. (Someone asked this sentence on another forum.)
    Without the surrounding sentences, would this sentence be ambiguous?
    I think that writing might refer to two things: first, the skill of writing; second, a piece of writing, namely, an essay or a composition.

    Do I hit the nail on the head? Or am I totally wrong?

    I would like to have native English speakers' comments.


    Best Regards

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,515
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Your writing is pretty good"

    Quote Originally Posted by outofdejavu View Post
    Dear All:

    I am curious about the semantics of the following sentence.

    Your writing is pretty good.


    I have merely one sentence. (Someone asked this sentence on another forum.)
    Without the surrounding sentences, would this sentence be ambiguous?
    I think that writing might refer to two things: first, the skill of writing; second, a piece of writing, namely, an essay or a composition.

    Do I hit the nail on the head? Or am I totally wrong?

    I would like to have native English speakers' comments.


    Best Regards
    It really depends on context, but 'Your writing is pretty good' could refer to your style of writing, whereas 'what you have written here is pretty good' refers to a specific piece of writing.

  3. #3
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,228
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Your writing is pretty good"

    Quote Originally Posted by outofdejavu View Post
    Dear All:

    I am curious about the semantics of the following sentence.

    Your writing is pretty good.


    I have merely one sentence. (Someone asked this sentence on another forum.)
    Without the surrounding sentences, would this sentence be ambiguous?

    No. There's nothing ambiguous about it. It's a clear statement. It can only mean one thing.

    I think that writing might refer to two things: first, the skill of writing; second, a piece of writing, namely, an essay or a composition.

    Do I hit the nail on the head? Or am I totally wrong?

    You're totally wrong.

    I would like to have native English speakers' comments.

    "Your writing is pretty good" refers to the skill of the writer. "Your essay is pretty good" refers to the quality of the essay.


    Best Regards


    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing. My writing is pretty bad.]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    54
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Your writing is pretty good"

    The only exception I can think of is if the person really means, "Your handwriting is pretty good". But in that case they should actually use "handwriting."

Similar Threads

  1. Where to start improving my English writing
    By Callisto in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-Feb-2010, 06:32
  2. [Essay] Check my Essay pls
    By YumzxA1 in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-Dec-2008, 06:12
  3. How the Creative Writing Process Works
    By huda23 in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 17-May-2008, 02:37
  4. editing
    By hashem in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 15-Jan-2008, 00:52
  5. The climate of writing
    By nyggus in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-Sep-2007, 20:09

Posting Permissions

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