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#1
Silverobama is offline Key Member
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What distinguish you from others...

I was at an English club meeting at a local university with a group of students. And we talked about many things and it was mainly about how to learn and speak English. During our meeting, I told them to pay attention to using idiomatic English because most of the English learners here in China are speaking Chinglish. I said to them "What will distinguish you from others is that you speak natural and idiomatic English". I think if they start to leanr and use this language from reliable sources and professional teachers, they will be more competitive than their peers in the future".

Since this is not in a dialog but something I said during the gathering. I can't provide a dialog. Is my italic sentence natural?

#2
GoesStation is offline Moderator
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Re: What distinguish you from others...

Put the second clause in the future and the sentence will be fine.
I am not a teacher.

#3
Silverobama is offline Key Member
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Re: What distinguish you from others...

Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
Put the second clause in the future and the sentence will be fine.
Do you mean this, GS?

You speak natural and idiomatic English is what will distinguish you from others is that.

#4
GoesStation is offline Moderator
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Re: What distinguish you from others...

Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
"What will distinguish you from others is that you speak natural and idiomatic English".
The tenses don't agree.

Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
Do you mean this, GS?

You speak natural and idiomatic English is what will distinguish you from others is that.
I'm afraid that is incomprehensibly garbled.
I am not a teacher.

#5
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Re: What distinguish you from others...

Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
Do you mean this, GS?

You speak natural and idiomatic English is what will distinguish you from others is that.
Silver, do you actually think your revised "sentence" is what GS meant? Does your revised "sentence" make sense?

Try again! Keep the same word order but introduce a new word to make the sentence correct.

OP: "What will distinguish you from others is that you speak natural and idiomatic English"
Last edited by Amigos4; 17-Apr-2021 at 01:43. Reason: Cross-posted with GS

#6
Silverobama is offline Key Member
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Re: What distinguish you from others...

Quote Originally Posted by Amigos4 View Post
Silver, do you actually think your revised "sentence" is what GS meant? Does your revised "sentence" make sense?

Try again! Keep the same word order but introduce a new word to make the sentence correct.

OP: "What will distinguish you from others is that you speak natural and idiomatic English"
I think you meant "What distinguishes you from others is that you speak natural and idiomatic English". Am I right? But I used "will" because they're not speaking natural English right now but will speak if they want to learn from professional teachers.

Much appreciated!

#7
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Re: What distinguish you from others...

What will distinguish you from others is that you will speak natural and idiomatic English.

That's the sentence you are looking for.
Not a professional teacher

#8
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Re: What distinguish you from others...

With all respect to my colleagues I think we are being a little pedantic here. While it is probably better style to make the tenses agree, people (including me) often don't, particularly when speaking as opposed to writing. I would say something like "What will distinguish you is that you speak ..." without blushing. Mea culpa.
Last edited by probus; 17-Apr-2021 at 03:59. Reason: Typo

#9
Silverobama is offline Key Member
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Re: What distinguish you from others...

Much appreciated, everyone.

I think both of the following are good:

a) What will distinguish you is that you will speak natural and idiomatic English.
b) What distinguishes you is that you speak natural and idiomatic English.


On a second thought, I think "b" is better for my context because I was actually talking about things regularly happen and that was what I wanted to express. May I have your opinion again?



#10
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Re: What distinguish you from others...

I think the sentence as it is in post #1 is fine. I don't see how the modal will is needed in the second clause.

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