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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    shafts of light burst through

    Hello.

    Can I say shafts of light burst through a window?

    Do these work?

    1. Shafts of early sunlight burst through the window as I drew back the curtain and opened the window. The dark, musty room sprang to life with the dancing light.

    2. Shafts of early sunlight burst through the room as I drew back the curtain and opened the window. The dark, musty room sprang to life with the dancing light.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: shafts of light burst through

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Hello.

    Can I say shafts of light burst through a window?

    Do these work?

    1. Shafts of early sunlight burst through the window as I drew back the curtain and opened the window. The dark, musty room sprang to life with the dancing light.

    2. Shafts of early sunlight burst through the room as I drew back the curtain and opened the window. The dark, musty room sprang to life with the dancing light.
    First you drew back the curtain (or, more likely, curtains). That's when the light burst in.

    Then you opened the window. So the light burst into the room before you opened the window, not as you opened the window.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. Key Member
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    #3

    Re: shafts of light burst through

    I also want to mention he opens the window. Where should I put that then?

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: shafts of light burst through

    Perhaps:

    He pulled aside the curtains, allowing sunlight in. Then he opened the window.
    Not a professional teacher

  5. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: shafts of light burst through

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    I also want to mention he opens the window. Where should I put that then?
    In general, it doesn't hurt to say what happened in the order things happened. For instance:

    Shafts of early sunlight burst through the window as I drew back the curtain. The dark, must room sprang to life with the dancing light. I opened the window.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 31-Oct-2020 at 14:08.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  6. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: shafts of light burst through

    PS -

    Which reminds me: I read this last night in an essay by George Orwell, no slouch with written English:

    To write or even to speak in English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable rules: there is only the general principle that concrete words are better than abstract ones, and that the shortest way of saying anything is always the best. Mere correctness is no guarantee whatever of good writing. . . . Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is all cluttered up. In speaking, these dangers are more easily avoided, but spoken English differs from written English more sharply than is the case in most languages. . . .

    Pin that to your wall!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  7. Key Member
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    #7

    Re: shafts of light burst through

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    PS -

    Which reminds me: I read this last night in an essay by George Orwell, no slouch with written English:
    To write or even to speak in English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable rules: there is only the general principle that concrete words are better than abstract ones, and that the shortest way of saying anything is always the best. Mere correctness is no guarantee whatever of good writing. . . . Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is all cluttered up. In speaking, these dangers are more easily avoided, but spoken English differs from written English more sharply than is the case in most languages. . . .

    Pin that to your wall!
    Thanks Charlie. Does this sentence fall in the category of the red part?

    1. Shafts of early sunlight burst through the window as I drew back the curtain. The dark, musty room sprang to life with the dancing light.

  8. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: shafts of light burst through

    I like that one.(I would never have thought of early sunlight )
    Not a professional teacher

  9. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: shafts of light burst through

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Thanks Charlie. Does this sentence fall in the category of the red part?

    1. Shafts of early sunlight burst through the window as I drew back the curtain. The dark, musty room sprang to life with the dancing light.
    I say you're on a roll. Go with it!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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