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  1. Johnny's Avatar

    • Join Date: Nov 2006
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    #1

    Do you speak english is this way?

    Here next are some examples I got from a site saying that the following phrases could be acceptable in spoken english, but they should never be used in writing.

    Is this true?

    1: ask a question
    It's impossible to ask anything except a question.
    2. and also
    Use one word or the other; not both.
    3. advance planning
    Planning is done in advance; that's what planning is.
    4. combine together
    If you combine things they have to be together.
    5. completely done
    If you're done you're done; you can't be half done.
    6. each and every
    Those words mean the same thing; delete one.
    7. end result
    Results come at the end; delete one.
    8. raining outside
    If it's raining inside you have a leak. Delete outside.
    9. square in shape
    If something is square then that is its shape.

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    #2

    Re: Do you speak english is this way?

    It's not really the difference between spoken and written English; it's a question of avoiding tautology -- saying the same thing twice. It just so happens that such phrases are usually tolerated in speech more than they are in writing, but there are always people who will interrupt you when you say something like this and correct you -- but you might think twice before inviting people like that to a party.

    Some of the objections here are rather pedantic, I think. For example:

    1. It is possible to ask someone a favour.
    5. It is possible to be half done. For example, a cake that hasn't finished baking is only half done.
    7. You can have intermediate or provisional results; these do not come at the end.
    9. In 1960s slang, "square" also meant "unfashionable". Also, a "square meal" is simply a healthy and filling meal, not (usually) square in shape.

    A careful writer will avoid the phrases you list unless confusion could otherwise occur; thus the phrase "end result" should only be used if intermediate results are also mentioned. Not because it is wrong particularly, but simply because it's good practice to keep your sentences free of unnecessary words.

  3. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Do you speak english is this way?

    Even in spoken English, many of those phrases are redundant, yet they are used regularly.

    Other examples:
    When using a bank machine or automatic teller, people refer to their "PIN number." PIN stands for Personal Identification Number, so to say PIN number is redundant.

    Often companies will offer a "free gift" just for coming in for a brief demonstration. A gift be definition is automatically free, no?

    Such phrases are called pleonasms. It's often a result of people feeling they have to over-clarify their speech.

    For example:
    Down south
    Tuna fish
    Hot water heater
    Safe haven



  4. Johnny's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: Do you speak english is this way?

    so you mean that they are acceptable in spoken English?

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Do you speak english is this way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    so you mean that they are acceptable in spoken English?
    Yes they are. And many are also acceptable in written English. What some people term "tautology" other people call "clarity".

  6. Johnny's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: Do you speak english is this way?

    OK, the point is if things could be explained clearly.

    Alright, I asked a friend what to say hongtao(heart), heitao(spade), meihua(club), fangkuai(diamond) in English tonight. She said red heart. And I asked her if there's black heart? Do you think it's acceptable to say RED HEART?

  7. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Do you speak english is this way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    OK, the point is if things could be explained clearly.

    Alright, I asked a friend what to say hongtao(heart), heitao(spade), meihua(club), fangkuai(diamond) in English tonight. She said red heart. And I asked her if there's black heart? Do you think it's acceptable to say RED HEART?
    In a standard deck of cards, hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds are called suits. There are no black hearts, they are always red, just as diamonds are always red. Spades and clubs are always black.

  8. RonBee's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Do you speak english is this way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    OK, the point is if things could be explained clearly.

    Alright, I asked a friend what to say hongtao(heart), heitao(spade), meihua(club), fangkuai(diamond) in English tonight. She said red heart. And I asked her if there's black heart? Do you think it's acceptable to say RED HEART?
    It's acceptable if it's okay with you, but as far as I know your friend is the only person who calls them red hearts. Everyone else calls them simply hearts. (By the way, do you fancy a game? )


  9. RonBee's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Do you speak english is this way?

    What does your friend suggest I say rather than "ask a question"? (I have often used that phrase.)

    I think some of your friend's ideas are half-baked.


    (I do avoid saying "PIN number" but I am in the minority with that one.)


  10. Johnny's Avatar

    • Join Date: Nov 2006
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    #10

    Re: Do you speak english is this way?

    Definitely it's no need to say RED HEARTS, we all know that hearts are red. She know translate everything from Chinese, because HONG in HONGTAO means RED. That's why I am concerning about the problems they guys have in speaking good english.

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