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  1. #1
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
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    Grandad Part Two

    Would you please correct my mistakes in the second part of my text?

    After the war ended, Grandad returned to his village and married. He lived as a farmer, keeping cattle, and cultivating the land. Life in the village was uneventful and filled with the work in the field, childbirths, funerals, and weddings. His wife unfortunately died prematurely, leaving him four children to take care of. There was an old tradition in the village to organize races to nearby villages. Grandad enjoyed running and liked to compete. He had worked out a tactic that paid off on many occasions. At the beginning of a race, he kept at the rear and gradually made his way forward. As his rivals started to tire, Grandad would shoot forward and, as he was increasing his lead, he would turn around and shout, “How’s it going?” Which had a devastating effect on his rivals. They felt as if something had stopped them in their tracks. Their feet turned into lead in an instant. Their will to catch him vanished. The main prize was symbolic - a white shirt. During years, Grandad collected dozens of them.

    Father was a keen amateur photographer and took many black-and-white photographs of Grandad. The first that caught my eye was his strong, bronzed body, as if chiselled out of stone. Tall, broad-shouldered, he was cutting grass with a scythe under a bright sun in an endless field. In another photograph, he was making haystack with a pitchfork. Sweat glistened on his bare chest; veins bulged on his arms - not a gram of fat on his muscular body. The pitchfork looked like a toy in his large hands. In the third, he wore a three-piece suit and a fez and held a cigarette holder, radiating authority. His dark eyes stared at the camera with determination, telling you he was a man not to be trifled with.

    He never went to a dentist, and as soon as a tooth started to bother him, Grandad picked up a pair of pliers and pulled it out as if that were the most natural thing in the world. If he needed to drive a nail into the wood, and a hammer was not at hand, he would hammer it with his palm, not even blinking. With the same palm he beat Father many times to teach him a lesson if he behaved badly.

    Then his stomach started to trouble him. He, who had never been sick, now woke up every morning with the pain. Grandad didn’t give it much thought, believing it was temporary and it would disappear, but the pain persisted and impeded his work. He couldn’t swing his scythe in smooth rhythmic movements as before, he couldn’t lift any heavy load without cringing. He tried to cure it with different herbal concoctions, but without effect. As his health worsened, Father took him to a doctor in the nearby town, but his equipment was limited and he was unable to make an accurate diagnosis. Maybe it was an ulcer, but it also could be a tumour, he told him. He prescribed Grandad some medicine and advised him to go to Sarajevo where there were proper hospitals and specialists. But for a simple farmer, like Grandad was, Sarajevo was a distant place where he knew nobody and where he had never been. He was probably too proud to search for help.

    He became weaker and was losing appetite as the illness progressed. He struggled for two years without giving hope until one day he summoned his children and told them he was dying. A week later, he was dead, his once strong body now a ruin.
    TO BE CONTINUED

  2. #2
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Grandad Part Two

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Would you please correct my mistakes in the second part of my text?

    After the war ended, Grandad returned to his village and married. He lived as a farmer, keeping cattle, and cultivating the land. Life in the village was uneventful and filled with the work in the field, childbirths, funerals, and weddings. His wife unfortunately died young, leaving him four children to take care of. There was an old tradition in the village or organizing races to nearby villages. Grandad enjoyed running and liked to compete. He had worked out a tactic that paid off on many occasions. At the beginning of a race, he kept at the rear and gradually made his way forward. As his rivals started to tire, Grandad would shoot forward and, as he was increasing his lead, he would turn around and shout, “How’s it going?” Which had a devastating effect on his rivals. They felt as if something had stopped them in their tracks. Their feet turned into lead in an instant. Their will to catch him vanished. The main prize was symbolic: a white shirt. Over the years, Grandad collected dozens of them.

    Father was a keen amateur photographer and took many black-and-white photographs of Grandad. The first that caught my eye was how strong and bronzed his body was, as if chiselled out of stone. Tall and broad-shouldered, he was cutting grass with a scythe under a bright sun in an endless field. In another photograph, he was making a haystack [or: he was stacking hay] with a pitchfork. Sweat glistened on his bare chest, veins bulged on his arms, not a gram of fat on his muscular body. The pitchfork looked like a toy in his large hands. In the third, he wore a three-piece suit and a fez and held a cigarette holder, radiating authority. His dark eyes stared at the camera with determination, telling you he was a man not to be trifled with.

    He never went to a dentist, and as soon as a tooth started to bother him, Grandad picked up a pair of pliers and pulled it out as if that were the most natural thing in the world. If he needed to drive a nail into the wood, and a hammer was not at hand, he would hammer it with his palm, not even blinking. With the same palm he beat Father many times to teach him a lesson if he behaved badly.

    Then his stomach started to trouble him. He, who had never been sick, now woke up every morning in pain. Grandad didn’t give it much thought, believing it was temporary and it would disappear, but the pain persisted and impeded his work. He couldn’t swing his scythe in smooth rhythmic movements as before, he couldn’t lift any heavy load without cringing. He tried to cure it with different herbal concoctions, but without effect. As his health worsened, Father took him to a doctor in the nearby town, but his equipment was limited and he was unable to make an accurate diagnosis. Maybe it was an ulcer, but it also could be a tumour, he told him. He prescribed Grandad some medicine and advised him to go to Sarajevo, where there were proper hospitals and specialists. But for a simple farmer, like Grandad was, Sarajevo was a distant place where he knew nobody and where he had never been. He was probably too proud to search for help.

    He became weaker and lost his appetite as the illness progressed. He struggled for two years without giving hope, until one day he summoned his children and told them he was dying. A week later, he was dead, his once strong body now a ruin.

    TO BE CONTINUED.
    Your written English is good!
    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
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Grandad Part Two

    Charlie,

    I think "died young" in your version is wrong. "Died prematurely" is better in this context, because she could be thirty, forty or older.

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Grandad Part Two

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Charlie,

    I think "died young" in your version is wrong. "Died prematurely" is better in this context, because she could be thirty, forty or older.
    If it doesn't work, maybe you can phrase it another way. Prematurely isn't very natural or informative in that context.
    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.

  5. #5
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Grandad Part Two

    Bassim, I'm not sure what you mean by "without giving hope". Perhaps " without hope of getting better" would work better there.
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  6. #6
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Grandad Part Two

    Tarheel,
    I believe the correct word is "losing".

    He struggled for two years, without losing hope, until one day he summoned....

  7. #7
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Grandad Part Two

    Yes!
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  8. #8
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: Grandad Part Two

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Tarheel,
    I believe the correct word is "losing".

    He struggled for two years, without losing hope, until one day he summoned....
    Oh! Without giving up hope!
    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
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    Re: Grandad Part Two

    There was an old tradition in the village or organizing
    Shouldn't this be of?

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