Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    2,845

    in the middle of an area

    Let's say you are walking through a field. You want to say you are in the middle is the sense that you have walked half of that area and another half remains. Which one better expresses that?

    1. I walked slowly. Halfway across the empty lot, I saw a cat.

    2. I walked slowly. In the middle of the empty lot, I saw a cat.

    Is there a better way?

  2. #2
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,099

    Re: in the middle of an area

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Let's say you are walking through a field. You want to say you are in the middle in the sense that you have walked halfway across and another half remains. Which one better expresses that?

    1. I walked slowly. Halfway across the empty lot, I saw a cat.

    2. I walked slowly. In the middle of the empty lot, I saw a cat.

    Is there a better way?
    Both are natural, but neither tells us where you are. They both tell us where the cat is.

    Try again!
    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. #3
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    2,845

    Re: in the middle of an area

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Both are natural, but neither tells us where you are. They both tell us where the cat is.

    Try again!
    1. I walked slowly. When I was halfway across the empty lot, I saw a cat.

    2. I walked slowly. When I reached the middle of the empty lot, I saw a cat.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    60,323

    Re: in the middle of an area

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    1. I walked slowly. When I was halfway across the empty lot, I saw a cat.

    2. I walked slowly. When I reached the middle of the empty lot, I saw a cat.
    It's unnatural to use that three-word opening sentence. Try to combine them. I'd say something like "I walked slowly until I was halfway across the lot, at which point I spotted a cat [position of cat]."
    I don't want you to just use my sentence. I want you to use it as inspiration to write a new version yourself.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. #5
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    14,480

    Re: in the middle of an area

    I don't really understand the question. If you want to say you were halfway across, then say 'halfway across'. If you want to say you were in the middle, then say 'in the middle'.

    What's your aim in composing these sentences exactly?

  6. #6
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    2,845

    Re: in the middle of an area

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I don't really understand the question. If you want to say you were halfway across, then say 'halfway across'. If you want to say you were in the middle, then say 'in the middle'.

    What's your aim in composing these sentences exactly?
    I wanted to see which one would be better and how they should be put in a full sentence.

  7. #7
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    14,480

    Re: in the middle of an area

    I don't know what you mean by 'better'. As I've said several times before, which option is better depends primarily on what you mean.

    I should point out that sentence 2 is rather ambiguous because it could be interpreted that it's the cat who is in the middle of the lot, not you.

  8. #8
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,099

    Re: in the middle of an area

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    . . . I should point out that sentence 2 is rather ambiguous because it could be interpreted that it's the cat who is in the middle of the lot, not you.
    To me, they both do. (See post 2.)
    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.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    73,305

    Re: in the middle of an area

    I'd go for the first to focus on the cat. Others may well disagree.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •