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    #1

    a letter to tell us what to do

    Are these sentences correct:

    1-We were sent a letter to tell us what to do. But it never arrived.

    2-We were expecting a letter to tell us what to do. But it never arrived.

    3-We were expecting a letter from them to tell us what to do. But it never arrived.

    4-The mailman brought us a letter to tell us what to do.


    5-The mailman brought us a letter from them to tell us what to do.


    In each case the letter is going to tell us what to do.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a letter to tell us what to do

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    Are these sentences correct?

    1-We were sent a letter to tell us what to do. But it never arrived.
    Remove the full stop after "do" and de-capitalise "but". Then it's fine.

    2-We were expecting a letter to tell us what to do. But it never arrived.
    Remove the full stop after "do" and de-capitalise "but", then it's fine.

    3-We were expecting a letter from them to tell us what to do. But it never arrived.
    Remove the full stop after "do" and de-capitalise "but". Then it's fine.

    4-The mailman brought us a letter to tell us what to do.
    Ambiguous. "The mailman brought us a letter telling us what to do". That makes it clear that it was the letter which told you what to do. Your sentence could mean, "So that he could tell us what to do, the mailman brought us a letter".

    5-The mailman brought us a letter from them to tell us what to do. Possibly ambiguous for the same reasons given above. However, it is less ambiguous.

    In each case, the letter is going to tell us what to do.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.
    See above.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: a letter to tell us what to do

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    See above.
    Do you object to beginning sentences with "but" and/or "and"?

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a letter to tell us what to do

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Do you object to beginning sentences with "but" and/or "and"?
    I can't answer for ems, but I don't object.

    However, I see two reasons for making the suggestions ems did:

    1. I think that the whole thing flows better as one sentence. Breaking it into two and beginning the second with 'But' makes the contrast more dramatic. Navi may have intended the contrast to be dramatic but, without more context, I'd go with ems's suggestion.

    2. I'd normally recommend that learners do not begin sentences with 'but' and/or 'and'. English teachers in some parts of the world are rather more prescriptive than we. If a learner loses a mark for beginning a sentence in this way, it's little consolation to be told by us that it's acceptable

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: a letter to tell us what to do

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I can't answer for ems, but I don't object.

    However, I see two reasons for making the suggestions ems did:

    1. I think that the whole thing flows better as one sentence. Breaking it into two and beginning the second with 'But' makes the contrast more dramatic. Navi may have intended the contrast to be dramatic but, without more context, I'd go with ems's suggestion.

    2. I'd normally recommend that learners do not begin sentences with 'but' and/or 'and'. English teachers in some parts of the world are rather more prescriptive than we. If a learner loses a mark for beginning a sentence in this way, it's little consolation to be told by us that it's acceptable
    I agree with you. But learners can also be told that the "rule" against starting sentences with coordinating conjunctions is pretty much done.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: a letter to tell us what to do

    I don't have a problem with sentences beginning with "but". I had a problem with those three sentences beginning with "but". There was no need for a separate sentence. If given as two separate sentences, there was no need to use "but" at all. "It never arrived" would be sufficient.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 01-Nov-2013 at 10:35.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: a letter to tell us what to do

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I don't have a problem with sentences beginning with "but". I had a problem with those three sentences beginning with "but". There was no need for a separate sentence. If given as two separate sentences, there was no
    need to use "but" at all. "It never arrived" would be sufficient.
    Just checking.

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