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  1. VIP Member
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    #1

    While Nick was buying a bottle of wine

    I am wondering if my sentences sound natural. Would you please correct my mistakes? I am not sure about the word order in my second sentence.

    While Nick was buying a bottle of wine at off-licence, he was approached by a homeless man who asked him for money. It took him a while to recognise his former schoolmate, David, behind an ugly, smelly mask.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: While Nick was buying a bottle of wine

    You need an article before 'off-licence'. 'behind an ugly, smelly mask' is not natural.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #3

    Re: While Nick was buying a bottle of wine

    bhai,

    I used "behind an ugly, smelly mask" to create the contrast between a David Nick remembered from his schooldays and the present when he had become neglected. But I do not know what other phrase I could use instead of "behind an ugly, smelly mask" to convey that meaning.

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    #4

    Re: While Nick was buying a bottle of wine

    I think the problem is the combination of smelly mask. Masks hide how things look, visually.

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    #5

    Re: While Nick was buying a bottle of wine

    Would my sentence be OK like this?

    While Nick was buying a bottle of wine at an off-licence, he was approached by a homeless man who asked him for money. It took him a while to recognise his former schoolmate, David behind an ugly mask.

  6. VIP Member
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    #6

    Re: While Nick was buying a bottle of wine

    That gets around the problem, yes, but the comma is in the wrong place.

  7. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #7

    Re: While Nick was buying a bottle of wine

    How about something like beneath the grime instead of the mask idea?

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