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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    I could not understand the following formal sentence.

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I've come across this formal sentence "May I refer you to my letter of 14 May". Could you please explain what it says about to me?

    Thank you so much.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I could not understand the following formal sentence.

    It's a stilted and unnatural way to say "Please take a look at an earlier letter I sent you that was dated May 14."
    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.

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: I could not understand the following formal sentence.

    Thank you a lot, Barb_D. Your explanation is helpful. The sentence is much easier to understand now.

  4. sumon.'s Avatar
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    #4

    Post Re: I could not understand the following formal sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    It's a stilted and unnatural way to say "Please take a look at an earlier letter I sent you that was dated May 14."
    Hi dear Barb.
    I have an objection to this sentence using like that.
    I think That should not be there as the antecedent needs before it(that).

    May be it is my mistake.
    Last edited by sumon.; 19-Dec-2011 at 13:13.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I could not understand the following formal sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by sumon. View Post
    I think That should not be there as the antecedent needs before it(that)..
    I don't understand what you mean by that, but Barb's sentence is fine.

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    #6

    Re: I could not understand the following formal sentence.

    [QUOTE=sumon.;834175]


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) As one moderator said, the other moderator's sentence is fine.

    (2) I know that you are a very serious student, so I congratulate you on wanting

    to learn "perfect" English.

    (3) If you look carefully at the moderator's sentence, we see two sentences:

    (a) Take a look at an earlier letter that I sent you.

    (i) The moderator did not use the relative pronoun "that" (whose antecedent is "letter").

    Native speakers often do not use the relative pronoun in such sentences.

    (b) Take a look at an earlier letter that was dated May 14.

    (i) This time we cannot forget the relative pronoun, for it is the subject. As you know,

    it would be bad English to say: Take a look at an earlier letter was dated May 14.

    (The first "that" can be "forgotten" because it is "only" the object of "sent.")

    (ii) But we could say: Take a look at an earlier letter dated May 14.

    (4) Thus we have a wonderful choice:

    (a) Look at an earlier letter that I sent you that was dated May 14.
    (b) Look at an earlier letter I sent you that was dated May 14.
    (c) Look at an earlier letter that I sent you dated May 14,
    (d) Look at an earlier letter I sent you dated May 14,

    (5) I am sure that your first language also allows speakers to use a variety of ways to express the same idea. Am I right?

  6. sumon.'s Avatar
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    #7

    Smile Re: I could not understand the following formal sentence.


    Hi
    You are too kind!
    .............
    I am not as serious as you said but trying my best to make my English better.
    Yes, You are obviously right , in my mother tongue I can express myself(every sentence) in various ways. And to be sure if I am right or wrong, I rarely check grammar books and dictionaries ..

    By the way , You have encouraged me a lot . Hope it helps me to go too far........
    .
    Last edited by sumon.; 19-Dec-2011 at 15:46. Reason: added 'every sentence'

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