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

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

    When I was seven, Father and I went on holiday to the Adriatic Sea. As we were returning home, he asked me if I wanted to see the village where he was born. I couldn’t hide my excitement. We took a detour and, after driving along winding roads, we found ourself in front of an enormous field. Far away in the distance stood a bluish mountain shimmering in the sun. We stepped outside the car, and I breathed in the scents of flowers and juniper.

    “Look how large it is,” Father said. “Can you imagine how I felt when I was a kid and went to school in winter and heard a pack of hungry wolves howling not far away. If they wanted to tear me to pieces, nobody could save me.”

    I was dumbstruck with the occasion. I had come to the source of all those stories I had heard since I could understand the spoken language. I had returned to my roots. Children around the world usually listen to fairy tales told by their parents, while I listened to true stories from life. In this place, you had to be strong if you wanted to survive, otherwise you had no chance against nature. I knew that a couple of Grandad’s children lay buried somewhere in this field because they couldn’t fight off their illnesses. Those who survived, like my Father, grew early to be independent and self-confident, stronger than my generation would ever be.

    “Do you want to drive?” Father asked, after we returned from our stroll.

    I sat in his lap, held firmly the steering wheel with my child’s hands, and stared at the immense green sea in front of me. Father started the car, put the gear into first, and as he released the clutch, and the car started to roll forward, he told me to drive whenever I wanted. I drove first straight, tense, and insecure, but after a few minutes, I grew more confident and changed direction and made wide loops and circles while Father shifted the gear and the car gained speed. I had never before had so much fun, and I enjoyed every moment of it. “Not bad for the first time.” Father ruffled my hair when we stopped.

    In the afternoon, we arrived in his village. Most of the inhabitants had left, since the young were not interested in farming, and the village couldn’t offer them much. Houses stood abandoned, their gardens and orchards overgrown with weeds, fences knocked down. Few cows grazed peacefully in the field. A large white shepherd dog came and sniffed at me. Once rich land was now left to waste. A few families who still lived there immediately recognised Father and came to meet us. A Serb, called Mihajlo, hugged and kissed Father as if they were brothers, telling him how glad he was to see him again after so many years. “This must be the son,” he said and patted me on my head. His wife went to the kitchen to make coffee. Mihajlo insisted we eat dinner before we resume our journey.

    As we sat in his garden, he said to me, “If it had not been for your Grandad, I wouldn’t have been alive today.” Then he went on to tell me the story from the World War Two I had already heard many times from Father. One day, a company of the Nazi-backed Croatian Ustashe arrived in the village with an order to round up all the Serbs and transport them to a prison camp, where they would be slaughtered like cattle. As Grandad and his two brothers saw what was going on, they immediately went to see the commandant. They told him the prisoners were their neighbours and innocent just as they were. If the Serbs were going to a prison camp, their Muslim neighbours would go too. They would die together just as they had lived together. The three brothers had taken an incredible risk. The commandant was just a soldier who carried out the order from the headquarters.

    I see him in his black uniform, sitting behind the table, his pistol in front of him, scrutinizing the tall brazen men who have come to demand something unheard of. It has been decided months before that all the Serbs will be annihilated. He is only doing his duty. On the other side of the border, the Chetniks slaughter Muslims in their thousands, and if they tomorrow arrive in this village, no Muslim and Croat will come out alive. I imagine him struggling with his consciousness. The simplest solution will be to shoot them all three on the spot, drive off the prisoners to their destination, and not to bother with stupid farmers. But something in their bearing must have affected him in such a profound way that he orders all the prisoners to be released. It was because of his decision that Father and I were welcome by Mihajlo like his family members. It was because of Grandad and his two brothers that I could proudly walk in his village and tell people who I was.

    When I came of age, Father told me I was like Grandad. “You have a terrible temper. You’re blunt. You’ll get problems in your life and plenty of enemies. If you want to succeed, you must be a diplomat.”

    “Did Grandad care about what people thought of him?” I asked.
    “Never,” he replied.
    “Neither do I. I can’t lie to myself just to please the others.”

    Like Father and Grandad, I enjoy running too. No matter the weather conditions, I am often in the countryside, away from traffic and people and their pursuit of money and wealth. I give myself an imaginary finish line, forget all worries and troubles and let my legs carry me away. As I am nearing the finish, I see Grandad running with his long legs in front me. He turns around and shouts, “How it’s going, son?” “I’ll catch you!” I shout back, but I know that I can’t compete with him.
    THE END

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

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

    When I was seven, Father and I went on holiday to the Adriatic Sea. As we were returning home, he asked me if I wanted to see the village where he was born. I couldn’t hide my excitement. We took a detour and, after driving along winding roads, we found ourself in front of an enormous field. Far away in the distance stood a bluish mountain shimmering in the sun. We stepped outside the car, and I breathed in the scents of flowers and juniper.

    “Look how large it is,” Father said. “Can you imagine how I felt when I was a kid and went to school in winter and heard a pack of hungry wolves howling not far away? If they wanted to tear me to pieces, nobody could save me.”

    I was dumbstruck with the occasion. I had come to the source of all those stories I had heard since I could understand the spoken language.

    Weren't the stories told in your native language?


    I had returned to my roots. Children around the world usually listen to fairy tales told by their parents, while I listened to true stories from life. In this place, you had to be strong if you wanted to survive, otherwise you had no chance against nature. I knew that a couple of Grandad’s children lay buried somewhere in this field because they couldn’t fight off their illnesses. Those who survived, like my father, grew early to be independent and self-confident, stronger than my generation would ever be.

    Only capitalize Father and Grandfather when you use them as proper nouns.


    “Do you want to drive?” Father asked, after we returned from our stroll.

    I sat in his lap, held firmly the steering wheel with my small hands, and stared at the immense green sea in front of me. Father started the car, put the gear into first, and as he released the clutch, and the car started to roll forward. He told me to drive whenever I wanted. I drove first straight, tense, and insecure, but after a few minutes, I grew more confident and changed direction and made wide loops and circles while Father shifted the gear and the car gained speed. I had never before had so much fun. I enjoyed every moment of it. “Not bad for the first time.” Father ruffled my hair when we stopped.

    In the afternoon, we arrived in his village. Most of the inhabitants had left, since the young were not interested in farming, and the village couldn’t offer them much. Houses stood abandoned, their gardens and orchards overgrown with weeds, fences knocked down. A few cows grazed peacefully in the field. A large white shepherd dog came and sniffed at me. Once-rich land was now left to waste. A few families who still lived there immediately recognised Father and came to meet us. A Serb, called Mihajlo, hugged and kissed Father as if they were brothers, telling him how glad he was to see him again after so many years. “This must be the son,” he said and patted me on my head. His wife went to the kitchen to make coffee. Mihajlo insisted we eat dinner before we resume our journey.

    As we sat in his garden, he said to me, “If it had not been for your grandad, I wouldn’t be alive today.” Then he went on to tell me the story from the World War Two I had already heard many times from Father. One day, a company of the Nazi-backed Croatian Ustashe arrived in the village with an order to round up all the Serbs and transport them to a prison camp, where they would be slaughtered like cattle. As Grandad and his two brothers saw what was going on, they immediately went to see the commandant. They told him the prisoners were their neighbours and innocent just as they were. If the Serbs were going to a prison camp, their Muslim neighbours would go, too. They would die together just as they had lived together. The three brothers had taken an incredible risk. The commandant was just a soldier who carried out the order from the headquarters.

    I see him in his black uniform, sitting behind the table, his pistol in front of him, scrutinizing the tall brazen men who have come to demand something unheard of. It has been decided months before that all the Serbs would be annihilated. He is only doing his duty. On the other side of the border, the Chetniks slaughter Muslims by the thousands, and if they tomorrow arrive in this village, no Muslim and Croat will come out alive. I imagine him struggling with his conscience. The simplest solution will be to shoot all three of them on the spot, drive off the prisoners to their destination, and not to bother with stupid farmers. But something in their bearing must have affected him in such a profound way that he orders all the prisoners to be released. It was because of his decision that Father and I were welcome by Mihajlo like his family members. It was because of Grandad and his two brothers that I could proudly walk in his village and tell people who I was.

    You do some interesting tense changes in that paragraph. I'd like to see the comments of some of the teachers here.


    When I came of age, Father told me I was like Grandad. “You have a terrible temper. You’re blunt. You’ll get problems in your life and plenty of enemies. If you want to succeed, you must be a diplomat.”

    “Did Grandad care about what people thought of him?” I asked.

    “Never,” he replied.

    “Neither do I. I can’t lie to myself just to please the others.”

    Like Father and Grandad, I enjoy running, too. No matter the weather conditions, I am often in the countryside, away from traffic and people and their pursuit of money and wealth. I give myself an imaginary finish line, forget all worries and troubles, and let my legs carry me away. As I near the finish line, I see Grandad running with his long legs in front me. He turns around and shouts, “How it’s going, son?” “I’ll catch you!” I shout back, but I know that I can’t compete with him.
    THE END
    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 Three

    Thank you very much for your help.

    I used the present intentionally in the paragraph that begins with "I see him in his black, sitting behind the table..." because I imagined it as a part of my memory that comes back at the moment of writing. The episode is vivid and important. I don't now if it is grammatically correct, but I believe that it works in this paragraph.

    Regarding this sentence, I am not sure if I expressed myself correctly. The stories were told in my native language. I wanted to say that I heard them since I could understand them. Should I delete "spoken" and have only "the language"?
    "I was dumbstruck with the occasion. I had come to the source of all those stories I had heard since I could understand the spoken language."
    Last edited by Bassim; 02-May-2021 at 22:00.

  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: Grandad Part Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Thank you very much for your help.

    I used the present intentionally in the paragraph that begins with "I see him in his black, sitting behind the table..." because I imagined it as a part of my memory that comes back at the moment of writing. The episode is vivid and important. I don't now if it is grammatically correct, but I believe that it works in this paragraph.

    I think it's fine, but I'm not a teacher or grammarian. I'm sure that one of them will speak up if it needs work.


    Regarding this sentence, I am not sure if I expressed myself correctly. The stories were told in my native language. I wanted to say that I heard them since I could understand them. Should I delete "spoken" and have only "the language"?
    "I was dumbstruck with the occasion. I had come to the source of all those stories I had heard since I could understand the spoken language."

    I see. Thanks! Since it's your own language, it would be clearer and more natural to say something like "I had been hearing all my life" or or "I had heard as far back as I can remember."
    On we go!
    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 Three

    Two things.

    I can't lie to myself just to please the others.

    The phrase "the others" refers to a specific group of people. Normally the phrase is: "I can't lie to myself just to please others."

    I was out of class the day they taught people to put a comma before "too". Apparently, Charlie was taught to do that. Frankly, I don't see the reason for it. Your choice.

    Charlie is smarter than I am. I'm sure he does a better job than I do.
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  6. #6
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: Grandad Part Three

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Two things.

    I can't lie to myself just to please the others.

    The phrase "the others" refers to a specific group of people. Normally the phrase is: "I can't lie to myself just to please others."

    I was out of class the day they taught people to put a comma before "too". Apparently, Charlie was taught to do that. Frankly, I don't see the reason for it. Your choice.

    Charlie is smarter than I am. I'm sure he does a better job than I do.
    I agree about too. (Notice that I didn't put a comma there!)

    Yes, I was taught to use a comma, but English is about tendencies, not rules. I see it both ways in print. The important thing is to be consistent.

    In general, I see fewer commas in British writing than in American. Their approach seems to be: If the meaning is clear without it, leave it out.
    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. #7
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Grandad Part Three

    I have a limited number of commas, and I have to be economical.
    Not a professional teacher

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