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    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #1

    If anyone comes to see me while I am out, you tell him that I will come back in ...

    Hello.

    If anyone comes to see me while I am out, you tell him that I will come back in thirty minutes.

    1. Could you proofread the sentence above?
    2. Can I say: Can I say: If anyone visits me during my absence, please tell him that I'll be back in thirty minutes?

    Thank you.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #2

    Re: If anyone comes to see me while I am out, you tell him that I will come back in .

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    If anyone comes to see me while I am out, will you tell him that I will be back in thirty minutes please.

    1. Could you proofread the sentence above?
    2. Can I say: Can I say: If anyone visits me during my absence, please tell him that I'll be back in thirty minutes?

    Thank you.
    2. If you are not there it is impossible to visit you. You could say: "If anyone comes to visit me during my absence..."


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #3

    Re: If anyone comes to see me while I am out, you tell him that I will come back in .

    If anyone comes to see me while I am out, will you tell him that I will be back in thirty minutes please.

    1. Would it be better to put a comma between minutes and please?

    2. Which is better, "... please." or "... please?"?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #4

    Smile Re: If anyone comes to see me while I am out, you tell him that I will come back in .

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    If anyone comes to see me while I am out, will you tell him that I will be back in thirty minutes please.

    1. Would it be better to put a comma between minutes and please?
    2. Which is better, "... please." or "... please?"?
    I would use a comma before "please". However, not everyone does, and this is the sort of thing that would only get attention from language critics, editors, composition and writing teachers, and, of course, ESL-EFL teachers. My advice is use the comma because "please" is something additional in this sentence. We usually set off additional items or added information, which are not necessary to forming a complete and correct grammatical sentence, with commas. You would not, however, come in for some really sharp criticism if you did not use the comma in an email, for example, especially a non-business, non-professional, or non-academic email message - in other words, a friendly informal email.

    Do you see how I used a comma before and after "however"? Just as I used commas before and after "however", I would use commas before and after "please". With "please", however, some people don't use commas.

    Last edited by PROESL; 15-Aug-2009 at 18:23. Reason: typo again


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #5

    Re: If anyone comes to see me while I am out, you tell him that I will come back in .

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    If anyone comes to see me while I am out, you tell him that I will come back in thirty minutes.

    1. Could you proofread the sentence above?
    2. Can I say: Can I say: If anyone visits me during my absence, please tell him that I'll be back in thirty minutes?

    Thank you.
    It's correct to use "absence" in your example sentence. However, it sounds a bit too "heavy" to communicate such an ordinary idea. I would say it this way, "If anyone comes to see me while I'm gone, please, tell them that I'll be back in thirty minutes.

    I would use absence for longer periods of time.

    If I receive any inquiries during my absence, please, send a text message to my cellphone. I want to reply to all inquiries immediately, even during my vacation.

    Well, I know what could be coming next, so I'll post the usage note now.

    USAGE NOTE The use of the third-person plural pronoun they to refer to a singular noun or pronoun is attested as early as 1300, and many admired writers have used they, them, themselves, and their to refer to singular nouns such as one, a person, an individual, and each.

    Read the rest of the usage note here: they: Definition from Answers.com
    Last edited by PROESL; 15-Aug-2009 at 19:47.

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