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    #1

    what's wrong with these sentences.

    What's wrong with these three sentences? They sound correct to me!

    1. The families were told to evacuate their houses immediately at the time when the water began to go up.
    2. It was not until she had arrived home when she remembered her appointment with the doctor.
    3. George would certainly have attended the proceedings had the tire not flattened itself.

    Thanks!

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: what's wrong with these sentences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freeguy View Post
    What's wrong with these three sentences? They sound correct to me!

    1. The families were told to evacuate their houses immediately at the time when the water began to go up.
    2. It was not until she had arrived home when she remembered her appointment with the doctor.
    3. George would certainly have attended the proceedings had the tire not flattened itself.

    Thanks!
    I assume, from your past history here, that this is not homework.

    1. I would change "go up" to "rise".
    2. I would change "when" to "that".
    3. I would change the end to "had he not had a flat tire". Tires do not flatten themselves.

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    #3

    Re: what's wrong with these sentences.

    I'm now convinced Mike. Apart from understanding your coherent explanations, only one more question left. Why did you change "when " to"that" in the second question?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: what's wrong with these sentences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freeguy View Post
    I'm now convinced Mike. Apart from understanding your coherent explanations, only one more question left. Why did you change "when " to"that" in the second question.?
    The standard phrasing is "It was not until ... that ...". If you want to use "when", it would be "It was when she arrived home that she remembered her appointment". Without "when" or "that", it's "She didn't remember her appointment with the doctor until she arrived home".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: what's wrong with these sentences.

    I don't believe that changing "go up" to "rise" changes 1 from an incorrect sentence to a correct one. It does change the sentence for the better though.
    Last edited by Raymott; 16-Dec-2013 at 12:36.

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    #6

    Re: what's wrong with these sentences.

    So you mean it's not incorrect? Or maybe it's just an awkward sentence from your viewpoint?

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    #7

    Re: what's wrong with these sentences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freeguy View Post
    So you mean it's not incorrect? Or maybe it's just an awkward sentence from your viewpoint?

    1. The families were told to evacuate their houses immediately at the time when the water began to go up.

    It's an awkward sentence from my viewpoint. There are several problems. Water in a flood does not go up/rise 'immediately', so it's awkward saying the families were notified immediately the water started to rise. It's also ambiguous. Were they notified when the water began to rise, or were they meant to evacuate when the water began to rise. "At the time when" doesn't sound like natural English. What's wrong with just "when"? Or even less: "The families were told to evacuate their houses immediately the water began to rise." This is correct, but maybe not the most common way of expressing it, and it's still ambiguous. Sometimes we have to do with less than perfect sentences. I would not call the original 'incorrect'.

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    #8

    Re: what's wrong with these sentences.

    A possible disambiguation might be:
    1. Immediately the waters began to rise, they were told to evacuate.
    2. They were told that immediately the waters began to rise they should evacuate.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: what's wrong with these sentences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    A possible disambiguation might be:
    1. Immediately the waters began to rise, they were told to evacuate.
    2. They were told that immediately the waters began to rise they should evacuate.
    Your second sentence doesn't work for me. They were told that if the waters began to rise they should evacuate immediately.

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    #10

    Re: what's wrong with these sentences.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Your second sentence doesn't work for me. They were told that if the waters began to rise they should evacuate immediately.
    I guess it depends on what they were told.

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