David opened the window

Bassim

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Bosnia Herzegovina
Current Location
Sweden
I am wondering if my sentences sound natural. Would you please correct my mistakes?

David opened the window and inhaled deeply the cold morning air. The city down below was waking up, and the columns of cars glided in the streets like enormous snakes.
 

Bassim

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Bosnia Herzegovina
Current Location
Sweden
Longman Dictonary: Column: a long moving line of people or things. Example: a column of marching men.

I think it could be used for cars also.
 

teechar

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Iraq
Current Location
Iraq
It's okay.
 

jutfrank

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Although I like the use of columns of cars, columns are always straight, and this conflicts with the movement of snakes, which is not.
 

teechar

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Iraq
Current Location
Iraq

Bassim

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Bosnia Herzegovina
Current Location
Sweden
jutfrank,

With all respect, I think that columns are not always straight. They can wind also. For example like this: The column of soldiers wound its way over the mountain pass.
 

jutfrank

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Straightish. I can visualize, e.g., a column of smoke not being completely straight.
With all respect, I think that columns are not always straight. They can wind also. For example like this: The column of soldiers wound its way over the mountain pass.

Fair enough. With the smoke, I feel that that word is used when the smoke is unusually straight. Smoke normally disperses into plumes and cloudlike structures, so although it is still only straightish, the emphasis is on its straightness.

Bassim - with respect, the imagery in your example is a bit incoherent, in my opinion. With soldiers, columns evokes ranks and files, i.e. straight lines, which is how soldiers try to move when in formation, (when the topography of the terrain allows, of course.)
 

Bassim

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Bosnia Herzegovina
Current Location
Sweden
jutfrank,

I can only say that the first time I heard the word "column" it was in primary school when I read stories about Tito's partisans walking in columns over the mountains and through the woods. So I automatically associate that word with people or things winding through the landscape. But you as a native speaker certainly are right. I can only describe what I see in my mind's eye when I heard the word "column".
 
Top