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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • Taiwan
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      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 205
    #1

    the position of " sometimes"

    Hi!
    Could you help me figure out the problem?
    I am not clear about the position of the word" sometimes".
    I need to understand it because I will take an exam.Could you tell me if all the positions of the word" sometimes" below is right or not?
    Thanks a lot!
    1.Sometimes he goes to work by bike.
    =He goes to work by bike sometimes.
    =He sometimes goes to work by bike.

    2.(negative sentences)
    He sometimes doesn't go to work by bike.---?
    =Sometimes he doesn't go to work by bike.
    =He doesn't go to work by bike sometimes.
    =He doesn't sometimes go to work by bike.--
    Thansk for your verification.


    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 5
    #2

    Re: the position of " sometimes"

    Caveat: Not a teacher, but...

    This one is subtle! Your first five examples are all grammatically correct but imply different things:

    1: This construction I, for one, would use in reply to a question expressing doubt about a friend's EVER going to work on a bike, e.g. "Wow! He doesn't REALLY go to work on a bike, does he?"

    2: This construction I would use in reply to a plain question regarding mode of transportation., e.g. "How does he get to work?" There would be an implication that I don't really know what he does when he isn't using the bike.

    3: This construction is a direct substitute for 2: above, but there is an implication that an explanation about when, exactly, he uses the bike will follow, e.g "he sometimes goes to work by bike when the weather is good"

    4: This construction implies that he always goes to work by bike except in particular circumstances, e.g. "Sometimes he doesn't go to work by bike because it's raining."

    5: This one is a direct substitute for 4: above

    So that leaves number six. To the ear attuned to English, it sounds distinctly odd, but it would nevertheless be understood. You will hear native speakers of Hindi use this word order. It's what I call "Indian Henglish". Because you are a student, and because you are faced with an exam, I would, if I were you, answer that it is "wrong". If your exam is a multiple choice exam, all you need to know is that the first five are "true" (or "correct"), the sixth is "false" (or "incorrect")

    Sam

    Sam

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