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    #1

    doubts about word usage

    Hello,

    I have some doubts as to the usage of a few words. I'd be grateful if anyone had a look at the sentences below and told me whether they are fine or not.

    1. Every morning she ties her daughter's hair in two plaits.
    2. Yesterday I nearly broke my back weeding the beds in the garden.
    3. The whole house is decorated in a fairytale style, with pictures and tiny sculptures of fairies and other imaginary creatures all around the house.
    4. -I'm having three job interviews tomorrow.
    - Wow. Will you handle it? (it = the situation)
    5. We can vacuum / hoover / do the hoovering, but can we do the vacuuming?


    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: doubts about word usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I have some doubts as to the usage of a few words. I'd be grateful if anyone had a look at the sentences below and told me whether they are fine or not.

    1. Every morning she ties her daughter's hair in two plaits. I would use "braids".
    2. Yesterday I nearly broke my back weeding the beds in the garden. I don't see anything wrong about it, but I was only able to find one example in literature: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15895/15895-h/15895-h.htm#XIII
    I'm too uncertain about others to comment.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: doubts about word usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I have some doubts as to the usage of a few words. I'd be grateful if anyone had a look at the sentences below and told me whether they are fine or not.

    1. Every morning she ties her daughter's hair in two plaits.
    OR: Every morning she puts her daughter's hair in two plaits (plaits is more common than braids in BrE)

    2. Yesterday I nearly broke my back weeding the beds in the garden.
    OR: Yesterday I nearly broke my back weeding the garden.

    3. The whole house is decorated in a fairytale style, with pictures and tiny sculptures of fairies and other imaginary creatures all around the house.
    That sounds OK.

    4. -I'm having three job interviews tomorrow.
    - Wow. Will you handle it? (it = the situation)
    It's OK, though I might have said "How will you handle it/that?" or "Can you handle it/them?" or "Are you going to be able to handle it?"

    5. We can vacuum / hoover / do the hoovering, but can we do the vacuuming?
    Yes, some people say that.


    Thank you.
    See above.

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    #4

    Re: doubts about word usage

    Hi, emsr2d2. When I said that I would use "braids", I meant instead of "ties".

    Every morning she braids her daughter's hair in two plaits.

    Would it be unnatural for you?
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 18-Jun-2011 at 17:08. Reason: typo

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: doubts about word usage

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    He, emsr2d2. When I said that I would use "braids", I meant instead of "ties".

    Every morning she braids her daughter's hair in two plaits.

    Would it be unnatural for you?
    Oh, I see. That would sound unnatural to me but again maybe that's just the BrE side of things. I used to wear my hair in 2 plaits at school when I was young and I'd never heard the word "braid" until I watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie, which is of course American.

    If using "braid" as a verb, then I'd probably just say "Every morning, she braids her daughter's hair". I realise, however, that that doesn't tell the reader how many plaits she has!

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    #6

    Re: doubts about word usage

    Or: Yesterday, I nearly broke my back weeding the flower beds. (Note the comma.)

    We can vacuum / hoover / do the hoovering, but can we do the vacuuming?
    Yes, and do the vaccing, though it looks odd written.

    I'd use commas here:

    The whole house is decorated in a fairytale style, with pictures and tiny sculptures of fairies and other imaginary creatures all around the house.
    The whole house is decorated in a fairytale style, with pictures and tiny sculptures of fairies, and other imaginary creatures, all around the house.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: doubts about word usage

    Would you Brits say "I'm having three interviews"?
    I'd say "I have" not "I'm having."

    Just curious about whether this is another cross-Atlantic thing.

    She puts her daugthers hairs into two braids/plaits. "Ties" doesn't work for me for this action.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 18-Jun-2011 at 18:07.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: doubts about word usage

    Would you Brits say "I'm having three interviews"?
    We could use either. The progressive can be used for the future in most varieties of English.

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    #9

    Re: doubts about word usage

    The whole house is decorated in a fairytale style, with pictures and tiny sculptures of fairies, and other imaginary creatures, all around the house.
    It's my opinion that only the first comma is needed - the others being superfluous.

    Rover

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    #10

    Re: doubts about word usage

    Would you Brits say "I'm having three interviews"?
    Yes, I would.

    Rover

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