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    #1

    Bob crossed the street at a red light

    I am wondering if my sentences sound natural.

    Bob crossed the street at a red light and drew an admonitory stare from a professorial-looking man. "Mind your own business," Bob growled and the man startled, taking a step back.

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Bob crossed the street at a red light

    It's okay, but I don't think I've ever used the word "admonitory" before.

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    #3

    Re: Bob crossed the street at a red light

    I've never heard anyone use it!

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    #4

    Re: Bob crossed the street at a red light

    The man started.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Bob crossed the street at a red light

    GoesStation,

    My sentence is, "The man startled," not "started." He was afraid of Bob

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    #6

    Re: Bob crossed the street at a red light

    The intransitive verbs 'start' and 'startle', with similar meanings - jump or recoil in surprise/fear, are very rarely used and are best avoided.

    I'd say '...the man was startled and stepped back in alarm'.

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    #7

    Re: Bob crossed the street at a red light

    Thank you to all of you.
    I have to apologize to GoesStatation.
    I have forgotten that "start" could also mean jump in fear.
    Last edited by teechar; 06-Apr-2017 at 14:01. Reason: changed "apology" to "apologize"

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    #8

    Re: Bob crossed the street at a red light

    No need to apologize, Bassim. I think started would be OK there. I don't think it's terribly rare in the sense of "was startled".
    I am not a teacher.

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