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    #1

    They were very good and brave (Why does 'and brave' seem so awkward?)

    I'm trying to mark an ESL student's paper and came across this sentence "They were very good and brave". Why does 'and brave' sound so 'off' tacked on the end, even though there seems to be nothing grammatically wrong with it (I'm fully aware I could be missing something!).

    Could someone help me understand why this sounds so strange to my ears (and presumably others?!) and what's wrong with it (if anything?)?

    Thanks.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: They were very good and brave (Why does 'and brave' seem so awkward?)

    The only thing that sounds odd to me is that "very" wasn't repeated. If the person was "brave" and "very good", I would have put them in that order.

    They were very good and very brave.
    They were brave and very good.

    Having said that, as you said, there is nothing grammatically wrong with the original. We can assume that "very" refers to both adjectives.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: They were very good and brave (Why does 'and brave' seem so awkward?)

    I agree to an extent, and there's certainly nothing grammatically wrong with the sentence, but I find the mixing of goodness and bravery a little unnatural. The only context I can think of in which it might work is one in which young children have been good (= well-behaved) and brave in a difficult situation.

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