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    #1

    large quantities of water have been

    --Why does the lake smell terrible?
    --Because large quantities of water have been polluted.

    Does the dialogue sound natural to native speakers? Would 'Because a lot of the water has been polluted' be better for spoken English?

    Thank you in advance.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
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    #2

    Re: large quantities of water have been

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    --Why does the lake smell terrible?
    --Because large quantities of water have been polluted.

    Does the dialogue sound natural to native speakers? Would 'Because a lot of the water has been polluted' be better for spoken English?

    Thank you in advance.

    It's not really a grammar issue. It's just that the second phrase is a more logical way to describe the situation.

    "Because a lot of the lake's water has been polluted" is a more logical answer than a reference to some abstract water somewhere.

    But even so, "Because it is polluted" makes more logical sense than either one. It's hard to picture how "a lot" (but not all) of the water could be polluted. Water wouldn't stay separated out in neat zones -- some of it polluted and some of it not.

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    #3

    Re: large quantities of water have been

    Thank you so much, Ann. I didn't notice the logic of the sentence. Then, if we answered 'Because large quantities of poisonous chemical stuff have been poured in it,' would it sound natural to native ears? I mean, do native speakers use 'large quantities of' in spoken English? I imagine native people would more likely use 'a lot of' in such a dialogue.

    Thank you again.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #4

    Re: large quantities of water have been

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Thank you so much, Ann. I didn't notice the logic of the sentence. Then, if we answered 'Because large quantities of poisonous chemical stuff have been poured in it,' would it sound natural to native ears? I mean, do native speakers use 'large quantities of' in spoken English? I imagine native people would more likely use 'a lot of' in such a dialogue.

    Thank you again.
    Native speakers would use either expression almost interchangeably.

    "A lot of" or "lots of" is more conversational and colloquial, but educated speakers would say "large quantities" without hesitation.

    Especially in a grave or scientific conversation the expression "large quantities" would come to mind first:
    "I read in the newspaper that the odor is due to the large quantities of toxic chemicals that have seeped into the lake."

    In a lighter conversation, the same person might use "a lot of" instead:
    "Phew! What a stink. It's because they've dumped a lot of toxic stuff into the lake."

    Unless you're a Conehead, of course. Then you use "mass quantities of consumables."
    Saturday Night Live: Coneheads Family Feud - Family Feud video - Fanpop

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