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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    Which parts of my sentences are awkwardly constructed?

    I would like to write down my sentences below.

    (1) John felt embarrassed about swearing with his friends in front of his girlfriend. They told him a lot of jokes to help reduce his embarrassment.


    (2) Mary asks Tom, "Where is Andrew? I haven't seen him for a long time." He replies, "He is now in France for a holiday (or for a vacation)."

    I showed the sentences to my native-English speaking neighbor. He said that both examples read awkwardly, but he didn't explain what went wrong.

    Could someone please explain my mistakes? Thank you very much.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Which parts of my sentences are awkwardly constructed?

    Quote Originally Posted by brianbrian View Post
    I would like to write down my sentences below. Where would you like to write them?

    (1) John felt embarrassed about swearing with his friends in front of his girlfriend. The English usage is fine, but the sentence is confusing. If he was embarrassed, why did he do it? Didn't he know she was listening? We need more information to understand the situation.

    They told him a lot of jokes to help reduce his embarrassment. This is also confusing. Why would jokes stop his embarrassment? Do you mean they kidded him about his embarrassment?


    (2) Mary asks Tom, "Where is Andrew? I haven't seen him for a long time." He replies, "He is now in France for a holiday (or for a vacation).

    "He is" is stiff. "Now" should be understood.

    - In American English: "He's on vacation in France" or "He's in France on vacation."

    - In British English (I think): "He's on holiday in France" or "He's in France on holiday."


    I showed the sentences to my native-English speaking neighbor. He said that both examples read awkwardly, but he didn't explain what went wrong.

    Could someone please explain my mistakes? Thank you very much.
    Does that help at all?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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