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  1. VIP Member
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    #1

    The woman I was supposed to be having

    I am wondering if my sentences sound natural. Would you please correct my mistakes?

    The woman I was supposed to be having a date didn't turn up, so I treated myself with an expensive meal instead. The waiter told me better luck next time and brought me a glass of wine on the house.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The woman I was supposed to be having

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I am wondering if my sentences sound natural. Would you please correct my mistakes?

    The woman I was supposed to be having a date ​with didn't turn up, so I treated myself with to an expensive meal instead. The waiter told wished me better luck next time and brought me a glass of wine on the house.
    See above. If you want to use "The waiter told me", you need to follow it with with a direct quote or a longer indirect quote:

    The waiter told me "Better luck next time" and brought me ...
    The waiter told me that he hoped I would have better luck next time and brought me ...

    Note that in the first of those two, "The waiter said to me" would be better.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: The woman I was supposed to be having

    emsr2d2,

    I am wondering if I could write my second sentence like this without using "to me":

    The waiter said, "Better luck next time," and brought me a glass of wine on the house.

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The woman I was supposed to be having

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I am wondering if my sentences sound natural. Would you please correct my mistakes?

    The woman I had a date didn't show up, so I treated myself to an expensive meal instead. The waiter wished me better luck next time and brought me a glass of wine on the house.
    This is another where you could be more economical. "Date" can be used in two ways. As you wrote it, it described an actual event, but it can also describe a something that is planned. So the "supposed to" isn't needed. That is, you weren't just supposed to have a date, you DID have a date. She just didn't show up for it.

    "Turn up" has a slightly different meaning than "Show up," which signals she was expected.
    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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    #5

    Re: The woman I was supposed to be having

    Charlie,
    I am really grateful for your useful explanations.
    I am only wondering if you have missed "with" in your version of my sentence.
    You wrote:
    "The woman I had a date didn't show up..."
    Do I need "with" like this:
    The woman I had a date with didn't show up..."

  6. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The woman I was supposed to be having

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    emsr2d2,

    I am wondering if I could write my second sentence like this without using "to me":

    The waiter said, "Better luck next time," and brought me a glass of wine on the house.
    Yes, although it's not quite as concise or sharp. The trick of writing in English is to move things along. That makes readers like you.

    One of the masters of swift prose in an American, Elmore Leonard. Read a couple of his crime novels to see how he does it. (He wrote westerns, too, but they're a little slower.)
    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.

  7. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The woman I was supposed to be having

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Charlie,
    I am really grateful for your useful explanations.
    I am only wondering if you have missed "with" in your version of my sentence.
    You wrote:
    "The woman I had a date didn't show up..."
    Do I need "with" like this:
    The woman I had a date with didn't show up..."
    Yes, thank you! Absolutely.
    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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