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    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #1

    Sentence trouble!

    Hi all

    im having real trouble in having to explain to a student , that why the correct sentence is the correct answer, and not the above one.

    Please help, with any ideas. thank you




    1.A: Morning, what can I get you?
    B: I wonder if you would mind giving me a packet of Benson & Hedges.

    B. Can I have a packet of Benson & Hedges.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Sentence trouble!

    Quote Originally Posted by arabica View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm having real trouble explaining to a student xxx why the correct sentence is the correct answer, and not the above one.

    Please help, with any ideas. Thank you.

    1.A: Morning. What can I get you?

    This is good conversational English. We understand that the speaker means "[Good] morning."


    B: I wonder if you would mind giving me a packet of Benson and Hedges.

    This is correct English, but too wordy for the situation. And if it's a direct quote, you should spell out the "and." An ampersands and abbreviations can't be spoken, only written.

    B. Can I have a packet of Benson and Hedges?

    This is better because it's more direct, which fits the situation. Because it's a question, use a question mark. And again, if it's dialog, spell out the "and."
    I edit copy and have tutored college writing.

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    #3

    Re: Sentence trouble!

    Quote Originally Posted by arabica View Post
    hi all

    im having real trouble in having to explain to a student , that why the correct sentence is the correct answer, and not the above one.

    Please help, with any ideas. Thank you




    1.a: Morning, what can i get you?
    B: I wonder if you would mind giving me a pack of benson & hedges.
    this sentence is too wordy and indirect for buying cigarettes. It's not natural.
    b. Can i have a pack of benson & hedges.
    2006

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Sentence trouble!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    2006
    I think the British say "packet."


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #5

    Re: Sentence trouble!

    Arabica:
    In effect:
    Why is C the correct answer, and not B

    1.A: Morning, what can I get you?
    B: I wonder if you would mind giving me a packet of Benson & Hedges.

    C. Can I have a packet of Benson & Hedges.B. Can I have a packet of Benson & Hedges.

    What A says suggests he is a shopkeeper, and B is there to buy. For him to say, "I wonder if you would mind..." is more appropriate for making a polite request that is, to some degree, an imposition on A.
    This is a business transaction; and these days, most people, Like C, make a request for some item of shopping with "Can I have..."

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    #6

    Re: Sentence trouble!

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    I think the British say "packet."
    We do, though you'll hear pack too.


    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #7

    Re: Sentence trouble!

    hi all

    everyones has given me alot of thought on the question.

    however

    how would you explain this to a student. tht what is incorrect in the sentence and wht is the correct sentence

    thnxs!!!!


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    #8

    Re: Sentence trouble!

    What is wrong in the sentence is the phrase, "I wonder if you would mind giving..."
    (i) The man is not asking for a big favour from the shopkeeper. He is a customer, and it is a business transaction
    (ii) the shopkeeper is not there to 'give' his stock away. He would very much mind customers coming into the shop and being asked to 'give' them what they want, rather than 'sell' them what they want.

    Sentence C is how a customer would usually phrase asking for an item on sale in a shop.


    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #9

    Re: Sentence trouble!

    hi, thnxs for tht.

    but..

    how would you explain that to a beginner in english

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    #10

    Re: Sentence trouble!

    We talk differently in different situations- buying cigarettes from the local shop is not the same as meeting royalty.

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