As Bob emerged out of the woods

Bassim

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I am wondering if my sentence sounds natural.

As Bob emerged out of the woods, in front of him lay a placid lake lit by the dazzling sun.
 

andrewg927

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Are you trying to write a novel? Your sentence is not natural in speech or in regular writing.
 

Bassim

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andrewg927,

I am not trying to write a novel. I am just trying to use different phrases and words to see if I can use them correctly, and to see if they sound natural in English.
 

emsr2d2

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It really depends on what you mean by natural. Phrases like "a placid lake, lit by the dazzling sun" would be fine in a novel. If one of my friends said it to me in everyday speech, I'd be very surprised and would wonder why he/she was using such unnecessarily flowery language.

(I, like Piscean, would use "emerged from".)
 

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This question of naturalness is an important one, Bassim. Almost all of the sentences you post on this forum have a narrative feel, as if they belonged in a novel.

(I would also normally use emerged from.)
 

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jutfrank

I read different books at the same time, and when a see an interesting word or the one I have not used previously, I usually write it down. Words create associations in my mind, even pictures and scenes. I saw the word "placid" in a book, and my mind associated it with the word "lake", and then I saw a man emerging from the woods and looking at the placid lake under the bright sunshine.
As for writing a novel, I have a few in my mind, but my English must be better, as well as quality of my writing, if I ever have a chance to get them publish.
 

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There is a large lake in New York State called "Lake Placid".
 

andrewg927

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I see. So you just want to practice using new words you have recently learned. In that case, the better question to ask is "is my sentence grammatically correct?" There will be words you find in books that are not usually used in everyday speech so the question of what is natural is a very tricky one.
 

emsr2d2

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jutfrank

I read different books at the same time, and when ​I see an interesting word or [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] one I have not used previously, I usually write it down. Words create associations in my mind, even pictures and scenes. I saw the word "placid" in a book, and my mind associated it with the word "lake", [STRIKE]and[/STRIKE] then I saw a man emerging from the woods and looking at the placid lake under the bright sunshine.
As for writing a novel, I have a few in my mind, but my English [STRIKE]must[/STRIKE] needs to be better, as well as the quality of my writing, if I am ever to have a chance to get them published.

Thanks for explaining how you come up with the ideas you post. As the others have said, most of your sentences have a narrative feel but asking us if they're natural generally makes us think of everyday speech. Those two don't really go together. As Piscean suggested, asking if they're grammatically correct will get you better answers.

It's interesting how different people's brains work. If someone asked me to come up with a quick scenario using the word "placid", I'd probably say:

John: Does your dog bite?
Tom: No, he's really placid.

I'm sure you'll agree mine is much less imaginative and flowery than yours. However, mine is far more likely to be heard in everyday speech.
 

emsr2d2

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No, that was andrew. I feel that Bassim is asking the right question with 'Does it sound natural'?

:oops:
Sorry, you're right. There's nothing wrong with the question "Does it sound natural?" but Bassim does need to be aware that that will lead to varying opinions and, quite possibly, repeatedly being asked "Natural in what context/situation?"
 
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