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  1. vectra's Avatar
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    #1

    his misunderstanding of the situation

    Hello,

    Writing his comments about the article Man dressed as Batman told not to wear costume | tweentribune.com, a student turned in the following:
    'Why was he arrested? I think he is a harmless, strange man. He can`t do harm to other people, his appearance is funny, people can only smile but not be afraid of him. His intentions were friendly, he only wanted to prevent crime and reach out to the homeless. Police were very strict. The only reason to attempt resisting the officers was his misunderstanding of the situation. It is a free country. Do you want to wear costumes of super heroes? Why not?'
    I am not sure about the 'his misunderstanding of the situation' part. Does it sound OK?

    Thank you for the time and help.
    Last edited by vectra; 06-Dec-2011 at 19:49. Reason: wrong preposition

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: his misunderstanding of the situation

    Quote Originally Posted by vectra View Post
    Hello,

    Writing his comments about the article Man dressed as Batman told not to wear costume | tweentribune.com, a student turned in the following:

    'Why was he arrested? I think he is a harmless, strange man. He can`t do harm to other people, his appearance is funny, people can only smile but not be afraid of him. His intentions were friendly, he only wanted to prevent crime and reach out to the homeless. Police were very strict. The only reason to attempt resisting the officers was his misunderstanding of the situation. It is a free country. Do you want to wear costumes of super heroes? Why not?'
    I am not sure about the 'his misunderstanding of the situation' part. Does it sound OK?

    Thank you for the time and help.
    In my opinion, "His misunderstanding of the situation" can be viewed as a noun and therefore can be given as the "reason for attempting to resist the officers" (if the parts I have italicised are amended in the original).

    However, I think a slightly more natural construction would be something like:

    "The only reason he attempted to resist the officers was that he had misunderstood the situation."

    or

    "His misunderstanding of the situation is what led him to resist the officers."

    There are other parts of the student's work that I would be more concerned with.

  3. vectra's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: his misunderstanding of the situation

    Could you enlighten me please. I am planning to alert the whole group to their mistakes tomorrow.
    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    In my opinion, "His misunderstanding of the situation" can be viewed as a noun and therefore can be given as the "reason for attempting to resist the officers" (if the parts I have italicised are amended in the original).

    However, I think a slightly more natural construction would be something like:

    "The only reason he attempted to resist the officers was that he had misunderstood the situation."

    or

    "His misunderstanding of the situation is what led him to resist the officers."

    There are other parts of the student's work that I would be more concerned with.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: his misunderstanding of the situation

    Quote Originally Posted by vectra View Post
    Hello,

    Writing his comments about the article Man dressed as Batman told not to wear costume | tweentribune.com, a student turned in the following:
    'Why was he arrested? I think he is a harmless, strange man. He can`t do harm to other people, his appearance is funny, people can only smile but not be afraid of him. His intentions were friendly, he only wanted to prevent crime and reach out to the homeless. Police were very strict. The only reason to attempt resisting the officers was his misunderstanding of the situation. It is a free country. Do you want to wear costumes of super heroes? Why not?'
    I am not sure about the 'his misunderstanding of the situation' part. Does it sound OK?

    Thank you for the time and help.
    OK, there are a few things I would improve (although to be fair, some of them won't be classed as actual errors). My version of the piece would be:

    Why was he arrested? I think he's harmless, albeit (or "even if he is") rather strange. He's not doing any harm to anyone - his appearance is funny, people will probably smile but they shouldn't be afraid of him. His intentions were good - he only wanted to prevent crime and reach out to the homeless. The police were very harsh. The only reason he resisted the officers was because he had misunderstood the situation. It's a free country. If people want to wear superhero costumes, why shouldn't they?

    My observations with the original are:

    I have a slight problem with the mixture of tenses (although I have left them as they were in the original for now): "Why was he arrested?" but "He is a harmless man", "He can't do harm...", "his appearance is funny", "His intentions were good". If the rest of the piece makes it clear that he dresses like this regularly for the same reason, then it's less of a problem, but the piece we have in front of us only deals with one specific episode so I would stick with the past tense.
    We don't usually use "strict" when talking about the police.
    It definitely needs the article before "police".
    At the end, where it says "Do you want to wear ...", was the writer literally asking a question of the reader? If so, then "you" is fine. If it's more of a general question, then "people" would be better.

  5. vectra's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: his misunderstanding of the situation

    Thank you very much indeed. The tense hopping, as you rightly pointed out, is a big problem. I think it is the influence of the Russian language. It allows such 'hopping'.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: his misunderstanding of the situation

    Quote Originally Posted by vectra View Post
    Thank you very much indeed. The tense hopping, as you rightly pointed out, is a big problem. I think it is the influence of the Russian language. It allows such 'hopping'.
    Tense mixing is entirely acceptable in English, even though we frequently encounter learners here who believe otherwise. However, it's only appropriate in some situations. For example, there's nothing wrong with:

    I have heard that he was arrested. He is a lovely man!
    I hear that he has been arrested. I am surprised because he was always a law-abiding citizen.

    There is a problem with:

    I heard he has been arrested which was strange because he is just trying to help.

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