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  1. VIP Member
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    #1

    As Bob emerged out of the woods

    I am wondering if my sentence sounds natural.

    As Bob emerged out of the woods, in front of him lay a placid lake lit by the dazzling sun.

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    #2

    Re: As Bob emerged out of the woods

    Are you trying to write a novel? Your sentence is not natural in speech or in regular writing.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: As Bob emerged out of the woods

    I'd use 'from' rather that 'out of', but that's almost certainly a matter of personal choice. 'From' is definitely far more common (Ngram).

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    #4

    Re: As Bob emerged out of the woods

    andrewg927,

    I am not trying to write a novel. I am just trying to use different phrases and words to see if I can use them correctly, and to see if they sound natural in English.

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    #5

    Re: As Bob emerged out of the woods

    It really depends on what you mean by natural. Phrases like "a placid lake, lit by the dazzling sun" would be fine in a novel. If one of my friends said it to me in everyday speech, I'd be very surprised and would wonder why he/she was using such unnecessarily flowery language.

    (I, like Piscean, would use "emerged from".)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: As Bob emerged out of the woods

    This question of naturalness is an important one, Bassim. Almost all of the sentences you post on this forum have a narrative feel, as if they belonged in a novel.

    (I would also normally use emerged from.)

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    #7

    Re: As Bob emerged out of the woods

    jutfrank

    I read different books at the same time, and when a see an interesting word or the one I have not used previously, I usually write it down. Words create associations in my mind, even pictures and scenes. I saw the word "placid" in a book, and my mind associated it with the word "lake", and then I saw a man emerging from the woods and looking at the placid lake under the bright sunshine.
    As for writing a novel, I have a few in my mind, but my English must be better, as well as quality of my writing, if I ever have a chance to get them publish.

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    #8

    Re: As Bob emerged out of the woods

    There is a large lake in New York State called "Lake Placid".
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: As Bob emerged out of the woods

    I see. So you just want to practice using new words you have recently learned. In that case, the better question to ask is "is my sentence grammatically correct?" There will be words you find in books that are not usually used in everyday speech so the question of what is natural is a very tricky one.

  10. Piscean's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: As Bob emerged out of the woods

    From all the sentences Bassim has submitted, I get the impression that s/he is not just interested in grammatical correctness but in the natural use of the words in sentences that might be produced by reasonably educated speakers. The question of what is natural is at times not easy to deal with, but is an understandable and reasonable one to ask.

    I do not respond to many of Bassim's questions (I am very far from being an expert on style), but I admire his/her persistence in working to achieve a mastery of English vocabulary - and the impressive success achieved so far.

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