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    #1

    When Maria told Peter she wanted a divorce

    I am wondering if my sentence makes sense in English. I have used " the ground opened up" and "pit" as symbols for how Peter felt. Would you please correct my mistakes?

    When Maria told Peter she wanted a divorce, the ground under his feet opened up, and he tumbled into the bottomless pit.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: When Maria told Peter she wanted a divorce

    That's OK.
    “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: When Maria told Peter she wanted a divorce

    I'd probably say "... he felt as though the ground under his feet had opened up, and he tumbled into a bottomless pit".

    Although your original would probably be clear to most readers, it is worded as if the ground really did open up under his feet. Of course, it didn't.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: When Maria told Peter she wanted a divorce

    emsr 2d2,

    With all respect, I think that your version is more wordy than mine. Your version has, "he felt as though the ground..." and mine, "the ground under his feet opened up". I go straight to the feeling without adding additional words. Everyone knows that the ground did not opened up, but the readers know what Peter feels and that the ground under his feet is actually how he feels. I am not sure, but I believe that an editor would tell you to cut out "he felt as though..."

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    #5

    Re: When Maria told Peter she wanted a divorce

    An editor would definitely tell you to change "the" to "a" as ems did.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: When Maria told Peter she wanted a divorce

    I'd accept 'the bottomless pit'. Just as the sentence works (in my opinion) without 'He felt as though', so it also works without explictly saying that a pit appeared when the ground opened up.
    Last edited by Piscean; 31-May-2017 at 09:29. Reason: typo

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