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  1. #1
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    John kept driving on the main highway

    Is this correct and natural?

    John kept driving on the main highway until he turned to a side road flanked by a narrow water canal on the right and a neck-high concrete wall on the left. Heat waves rippled and shimmered on the battered asphalt. In a futile attempt to escape the sun beams shining into his eyes, he put down the visor but the rays of the merciless July sun bounced off the water, creeping inside his car from all directions. He felt he was inside a furnace. If only I could have a car with a decent air conditioner. He fished out a piece of tissue from inside the glove compartment and wiped sweat off his forehead. The world outside the car appeared as if I was melting.

  2. #2
    Tarheel's Avatar
    Tarheel is offline VIP Member
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    Re: John kept driving on the main highway

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Is this correct and natural?

    John kept driving on the main highway until he turned onto a side road flanked by a narrow water canal on the right and a neck-high concrete wall on the left. Heat waves rippled and shimmered on the battered asphalt. In a futile attempt to escape the sun beams shining into his eyes, he put down the visor, but the rays of the merciless July sun bounced off the water, creeping inside his car from all directions. He felt as if he was inside a furnace. If only I could have a car with a decent air conditioner. He fished out a piece of tissue from inside the glove compartment and wiped sweat off his forehead. The world outside the car appeared as if it was melting.
    You don't need (and probably shouldn't have) water before canal.
    Last edited by Tarheel; 07-May-2021 at 12:53. Reason: Made additional changes to the text
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  3. #3
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: John kept driving on the main highway

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    If only I could have a car with a decent air conditioner.
    That sounds as if he is wishing for a car and a separate air conditioner. I would say "If only I had a car with decent air conditioning".

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    He fished out a piece of tissue from inside the glove compartment and wiped the sweat off his forehead.
    That's more natural.

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    The world outside the car appeared as if I was melting.
    That's not very natural. Try something like "It was sweltering outside".

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: John kept driving on the main highway

    How about turned off into a side road?

  5. #5
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: John kept driving on the main highway

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    That sounds as if he is wishing for a car and a separate air conditioner. I would say "If only I had a car with decent air conditioning".

    The original sentence is something an American would naturally say.


    That's more natural.

    I would make that change too.


    That's not very natural. Try something like "It was sweltering outside".

    Your suggestion is good but not creative.
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  6. #6
    teechar's Avatar
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    Re: John kept driving on the main highway

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Your suggestion is good but not creative.
    Noted but not appreciated.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Re: John kept driving on the main highway

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    The world outside the car appeared as if I was melting.
    Did you mean "it" instead of "I"?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: John kept driving on the main highway

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Did you mean "it" instead of "I"?
    Yes.

  9. #9
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: John kept driving on the main highway

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Yes.
    Use "as if he were inside a furnace" and "as if he were melting." Don't use was for impossibilities. When in doubt, think of the phrase "if I were you."
    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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