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    #1

    He keeps his diary before he goes to bed.

    Is the following expression wrong?"He keeps his diary before he goes to bed."


    A Japanese English teacher explains that the expression "keep a diary" is used to refer a long-term habit of writing a diary. Therefore, it is unnatural if the expression is used with "he goes to bed," which refers to a specific time. He suggests the following alternative.
    "He keeps a diary and he always writes it before going to bed."


    I do not see any mistakes in "He keeps his diary before he goes to bed."
    If this sentence is wrong, "I brush my teeth before/after I eat breakfast" is wrong, too.


    I would like to hear native speakers' opinion.
    Thank you in advance.

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He keeps his diary before he goes to bed.

    Hello Snappy

    I agree with the teacher. The verb keep used in that way means to maintain, not to write in. <Wakarimashita?>

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    #3

    Re: He keeps his diary before he goes to bed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Hello Snappy

    I agree with the teacher. The verb keep used in that way means to maintain, not to write in. <Wakarimashita?>
    Thank you for your advice.
    I understood.

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    #4

    Re: He keeps his diary before he goes to bed.

    Let me clarify one thing.

    1. I write my diary before I go to bed.
    2. I write in my diary before I go to bed.

    Are these both acceptable? Is there any difference in meaning between them?

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    #5

    Re: He keeps his diary before he goes to bed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    Let me clarify one thing.

    1. I write my diary before I go to bed.
    2. I write in my diary before I go to bed.

    Are these both acceptable? Is there any difference in meaning between them?
    The first one is awkward as the verb should be write in(side), not write.

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    #6

    Exclamation Re: He keeps his diary before he goes to bed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    The first one is awkward as the verb should be write in(side), not write. I agree
    However "write in" has certain specific uses.
    A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote by writing in the person's name on the ballot paper..

    Besides write in also used as a phrasal verb meaning: to include in or add to a text by writing: : Do not write in anything on this approved document.


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    #7

    Re: He keeps his diary before he goes to bed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Hello Snappy

    I agree with the teacher. The verb keep used in that way means to maintain, not to write in. <Wakarimashita?>
    How about this:

    "He keeps his diary before he goes to bed every day."

    Is it alright?

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    #8

    Re: He keeps his diary before he goes to bed.

    Quote Originally Posted by filmmaker View Post
    How about this:

    "He keeps his diary before he goes to bed every day."

    Is it alright?
    It's the same as the poster's sentence. Note the teacher's explanation:


    ... the expression "keep a diary" is used to refer a long-term habit of writing a diary. Therefore, it is unnatural if the expression is used with "he goes to bed," which refers to a specific time. He suggests the following alternative.

    "He keeps a diary and he always writes it before going to bed."

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