Student or Learner
Thanks to advanced transportation, we can easily pay a visit to our friends who move to new cities. My friend, Michael, lives in Beijing，which is 3000 miles away from my apartment. Last month, I paid a visit to him by plane and it just took me 4 hours.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
May I add my two cents' worth?
As Bhaisahab said, you have done a great job.
(1) I just feel uncomfortable with "My friend, Michael, lives in Beijing, which is 3,000 miles away from my apartment." I think that it
sounds rather strange to measure distances between a city and your apartment. It might be better to say something like: My friend, Michael, lives in New York City, which is 3,000 miles away from Los Angeles/ from where I'm living/ from my town.
(2) The other thing is NOT important, and probably most native speakers could not care less: It just took me four hours. I think that
a few writing "experts" say that you should really put words like "just" or "only" directly in front of the words that you wish to
emphasize: It took me just/only four hours. Many native speakers do NOT follow this rule because they feel that it sounds better
to place it in the "wrong" place: I have only two friends; I only have two friends. Many native speakers prefer the rhythm of the second sentence.
(3) And one other little, little thing that bothers some people, but probably most native speakers don't care. (Yes, it does bother me.)
My friend, Michael, lives in Beijing. = You have one friend.
My friend Michael lives in Beijing. = You have at least two friends. You are referring to Michael, not to Mona (who lives in
I agree that "it took just four hours" is a better option than "it just took four hours."
I disagree that "my friend, Michael, lives in Beijing" sounds as though you have one friend. I read it as "My friend -- oh, and by the way, his name is Michael --" without inferring Michael is your one and only friend.
"Pay a visit" is actually pretty normal American English. Its use didn't seem odd to me, except for the repetition. You could have used the phrase only once.
(Your flight was pretty fast! I don't think we can fly from New York to Los Angeles in only four hours!)
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.