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  1. VIP Member
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    #1

    Mark felt ashamed of his laziness

    Have I made any mistakes? Is it natural to say "ashamed of his laziness to learn a foreign language"?

    Mark felt ashamed of his laziness to learn a foreign language. He had been to Spain dozens of times but didn't bother to learn any basic phrases to easier communicate with the natives. He and his wife went to the same town year after year, and people knew them well and probably expected from them after so many years to speak some Spanish, but Mark was hardly able to produce an understandable sentence. His hosts were too polite to say anything, but he felt they must have been thinking of them as another arrogant British couple, who only came there to enjoy the sun and the beaches and never bothered to learn anything about the country, culture and people. How he wished to prove them wrong, but he lacked the patience for sitting and reading a language book, and he was bad at learning a language by just listening to it, especially when he had one too many. Instead, he tried to make amends by bringing with him a lot of presents to the locals, and also by treating them to drinks.
    Last edited by Bassim; 19-Jan-2020 at 21:44.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Mark felt ashamed of his laziness

    Perhaps:

    Mark felt ashamed of his laziness in learning Spanish.

    It's not just any foreign language he's not learning. It's Spanish in particular.

    (Trust me on this one. If he buys them drinks they won't mind that he doesn't speak Spanish. )
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  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Mark felt ashamed of his laziness

    Try:

    He had been to Spain dozens of times, but he hadn't bothered to learn any basic phrases to make it easier to communicate with the natives.

    (I know one he'd better not use if he's with his wife. )

    Delete "from" in the next sentence.
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  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Mark felt ashamed of his laziness

    Some might think of them as an arrogant British couple who only went there to enjoy the sun and the beaches. Most would hardly care. And some might hope they could get temporary work as translators.
    Last edited by Tarheel; 19-Jan-2020 at 22:22. Reason: Delete extra word
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  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Mark felt ashamed of his laziness

    Say:

    ... and he was bad at learning a language just by listening to it, especially when he had had one too many.*

    And;

    Instead, he tried to make amends by bringing with him lots of presents for the locals and also by buying them drinks.

    He might not know much Spanish, but they look forward to seeing him.


    ---------- ----------- ------------ ------------ -------
    *That doesn't work for me either.
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    #6

    Re: Mark felt ashamed of his laziness

    I am only wondering if my first sentence could be written like this.

    Mark felt ashamed of being lazy to learn Spanish.

  7. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Mark felt ashamed of his laziness

    No, I'm afraid that doesn't work. But I do have an improvement over my sentence. Perhaps:

    Mark felt ashamed that he was too lazy to learn Spanish.

    The truth is if it's a tourist town the locals are probably used to foreigners coming there every year. Not only that, but they're happy that they come and spend money there. (They would be unhappy if the tourists stopped coming.)
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  8. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #8

    Re: Mark felt ashamed of his laziness

    You could say that he felt ashamed of being too lazy to learn.

  9. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Mark felt ashamed of his laziness

    For a change, I disagree with Tdol. We are specifically talking about Mark's failure to learn Spanish.

    (Knowing how people are, I would be surprised if some local had not at some point volunteered to translated for him--for cash, of course. )
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