Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Default A question about colloquial English

    SCENE: A guard sees a man sitting in a seat exclusively reserved for people with disability. He may say the following to the man:

    1-- Sir, you oughtn't to be sitting here. It is for people with disabilities only.

    2--Sir, you oughtn't to sit here. It is for people with disabilities only.

    3--Sir, you can't sit here. It is for people with disabilities only.

    4--Sir, you are not supposed to be sitting here. It is for people with disabilities only.

    5--Sir, you are not supposed to sit here. It is for people with disabilities only.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Please tell me what is the best used sentence for that scene colloquially. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,892
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: A question about colloquial English

    3--Sir, you can't sit here. It is for people with disabilities only.

  3. #3
    joham is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,450
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: A question about colloquial English

    Hi, Soup. Do you mean 'You can't sit here...' is the best answer? Then how about the others?

    And how do the following two sentence with the 'oughtn't to be doing' structure sound to native speakers?
    You ought not to be doing that, ...
    " Curt, honey, you ought not to be talking like this, " Aunt Martha scolded. (Both from the COCA corpus)

    Thank you again.
    Last edited by joham; 25-Jun-2009 at 11:21.

  4. #4
    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
    21,673
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: A question about colloquial English

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Hi, Soup. Do you mean 'You can't sit here...' is the best answer? Then how about the others?

    And how do the following two sentence with the 'oughtn't to be doing' structure sound to native speakers?
    You ought not to be doing that, ...
    " Curt, honey, you ought not to be talking like this, " Aunt Martha scolded. (Both from the COCA corpus)

    Thank you again.
    The other options are not wrong, it's just that Soup's choice is the most likely and natural in modern English.

Similar Threads

  1. English sound question
    By Sarahliu in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 26-Mar-2009, 21:23
  2. Using English to learn English vs. Using your own language to learn English
    By IMPSX-UE in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 22-Jan-2009, 17:41
  3. Help
    By zhangjin in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 29-Mar-2008, 19:47
  4. Seminar
    By mallikatweety in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 30-Jun-2006, 11:07

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