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    #1

    I'm free

    Which one is correct?

    My time is fee this hour, so I decided to audit your class Sir.

    I'm free this hour, so I decided to audit your class Sir.

    I'm free for one hour, so I decided to audit your class Sir.

    I had a two-hour free time, so I decided to audit your class Sir.

    Thanks.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I'm free

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    Which one is correct?

    My time is fee this hour, so I decided to audit your class Sir.

    I'm free this hour, so I decided to audit your class Sir.

    I'm free for one hour, so I decided to audit your class Sir.

    I had a two-hour free time, so I decided to audit your class Sir.

    Thanks.
    The third one is OK.

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    #3

    Re: I'm free

    Do you dismiss the others completely?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I'm free

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    Do you dismiss the others completely?
    Yes, I do.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I'm free

    Here's why:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    ...
    My time is fee this hour, so I decided to audit your class Sir.
    Your time isn't free. You have free time, or you're free.

    I'm free this hour, so I decided to audit your class Sir.
    'Session' or 'period' would do.
    ...
    I had a two-hour free time, so I decided to audit your class Sir.
    'Time' is not countable when it refers to a measurable extent (even if you could use it here). There are some occasions when 'time' is countable, but it doesn't refer to an extent of time. 'We had a good time' says nothing about the extent of time; nor does 'the time of your life'.
    ...
    Your use of 'Sir' sounds strange to me, but maybe it works in your part of the world: auditors are in a position of authority, and I would be surprised to hear them kowtowing like this. But maybe it's standard in your country - with local auditors and English native-speaker teachers.

    b

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    #6

    Re: I'm free

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I would be surprised to hear them kowtowing like this.
    It's surprising to me. I never thought calling other people "sirs" and "madams" was kowtowing! I thought it was simply a polite way of addressing other people. Some strangers in England called me madam not so long ago (according to my old woman's way of measuring time ). Has it changed since then?

  4. Tullia's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: I'm free

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Your use of 'Sir' sounds strange to me, but maybe it works in your part of the world: auditors are in a position of authority, and I would be surprised to hear them kowtowing like this. But maybe it's standard in your country - with local auditors and English native-speaker teachers.

    I think this is a cultural thing. I know it mostly as an Americanism, but it's perhaps used elsewhere in the world too. In this context "auditing a class" doesn't mean what it sounds to English ears like it should!

    It means attending a lecture series (and possibly doing the course assignments too) but not getting graded for it, and not having it count towards your final degree. As such an auditor in this sense would be just another student, and would in most places use an honorific when talking to a professor or lecturer I think.


    EDIT: @ birdeen's call - I wouldn't have called it kow-towing either, but it is a clear signifier of the relative status of the two people. Using a "Sir" tends to give the idea that you are offering respect to or acknowledging the superiority of the person you are addressing. As such, an auditor in the English sense would be superior to a teacher, if they were auditing (inspecting) their teaching proficiency, and would be unlikely to use "Sir". But in the American sense where an auditor is a student, they are naturally more likely to be showing respect and using "Sir". Kow-tow is perhaps a very negative word for that.
    Last edited by Tullia; 10-Aug-2010 at 15:38.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I'm free

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post
    ...
    It means attending a lecture series (and possibly doing the course assignments too) but not getting graded for it, and not having it count towards your final degree. As such an auditor in this sense would be just another student, and would in most places use an honorific when talking to a professor or lecturer I think.
    ...
    You live and learn

    BC Perhaps 'kowtow' was a bit strong; besides, I had relative statuses all wrong!

    b

  6. Tullia's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: I'm free

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    You live and learn
    b
    It appears most of my learning seems to have come from too much American television lately :(

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    #10

    Re: I'm free

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post
    EDIT: @ birdeen's call - I wouldn't have called it kow-towing either, but it is a clear signifier of the relative status of the two people. Using a "Sir" tends to give the idea that you are offering respect to or acknowledging the superiority of the person you are addressing. As such, an auditor in the English sense would be superior to a teacher, if they were auditing (inspecting) their teaching proficiency, and would be unlikely to use "Sir". But in the American sense where an auditor is a student, they are naturally more likely to be showing respect and using "Sir". Kow-tow is perhaps a very negative word for that.
    I'm getting off-topic, but I have to ask.

    Say, you meet a person on the street. They're apparently of your age and nothing indicates anything special about their social position. Is it unlikely that you'd ask that person, "Excuse me sir/madam, what time is it?"

    Doesn't it happen that native speakers use it this way?

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