Michael was heavy drinker

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 are grammatically correct.

Michael was heavy drinker. Once he fell into delirium tremens and set fire to his house. He danced and sang in his garden, to the horror to his neighbours who watched his property consumed quickly by flames.
 

Bassim

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Bosnia Herzegovina
Current Location
Sweden
I will write my sentence again.

Michael was a heavy drinker. He once fell into delirium tremens and set fire to his house. He danced and sang in his garden, to the horror to his neighbours who watched his property being consumed quickly by the flames.
 

teechar

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Iraq
Current Location
Iraq
Try "had an attack of delirium tremens" instead.
 

Bassim

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

I am just wondering is it correct to have adverb "once" at the beginning of my sentence.

1. Once he had an attack of delirium tremens.

Is it grammatically correct to put it behind "he" like this?
He once had an attack of deliriium tremens.
 

teechar

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

I am just wondering if it's [STRIKE]is it[/STRIKE] correct to have the adverb "once" at the beginning of my sentence.

Is it grammatically correct to put it [STRIKE]behind[/STRIKE] before "he" like this?


1. Once he had an attack of delirium tremens.
A little comma would go a long way in making that sentence work. ;-)

He once had an attack of delirium tremens.
That one is okay.
 

Skrej

Key Member
Joined
May 11, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
'Delirium tremens' sounds very clinical, and thus a bit unnatural in this context to me. I'd see about using some lay terms, although off the top of my head I can't think of one term for the hallucinations. The minor tremors are more commonly referred to as 'the shakes', at least in AmE.

Google claims AmE slang for the condition is "D.T's", although that's a new one for me.
 

andrewg927

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Use "alcohol withdrawal syndrome". It may not be the exact same but people will have an easier time reading your passage.
 

Bassim

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Bosnia Herzegovina
Current Location
Sweden
Honestly, I don't think "delirium tremens" sounds clinical, strange or unnatural in my sentence. It is a well-known term. In BrE it is "DTs"; in AmE D.T.'s. Michael sets fire to his house because of the state of his mind.
 

Skrej

Key Member
Joined
May 11, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I actually had to Google the term, so I question how well-known it is. I've never heard the acronym, either.
 

andrewg927

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Known among physicians or addiction therapists perhaps but I'm not sure. Certainly unknown to most people. It's Latin and we don't use a lot of Latin words in English.
 

Bassim

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Bosnia Herzegovina
Current Location
Sweden
I heard about "delirium tremens" when I was in secondary school. I must have been fourteen or fifteen years old. It was in Yugoslavia in the 1980s. We had proper education and the discipline was strong. Our teachers could dedicate their time to teaching us, and not like today when teachers have to struggle to impose discipline. I remember that we had some students who had gone to school in Germany because their parents went there to work. Those students could not compete with us, because their knowledge was lower than ours.
I cannot talk about the US, but I know that "delirium tremens" is a well-known term in Europe. There is nothing strange or special with it. It has been used for decades, not only among specialists but also among other educated people.
 
Last edited:

GoesStation

No Longer With Us
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
The DTs used to be a common term in American English. I think it's gone out of fashion.
 

andrewg927

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I will leave it to our European friends to make a comment. It's not strange at all that there are a lot of words the Europeans know that we don't know.
 

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
Michsel was a fronket
 

Rover_KE

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Michsel was a fronket


images
 

bubbha

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
Taiwan
In American English, we precede "DTs" with "the": "the DTs".

"DTs" is pronounced "dee-teez".
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
"The DTs" is used commonly in BrE to refer to an alcoholic's shaking hands when going through withdrawal (temporary or otherwise) but I would put money on the fact that a lot of the people who use it can't actually tell you what the Latin phrase is.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Google claims AmE slang for the condition is "D.T's", although that's a new one for me.

It's not new in the UK. We also have ducks and drakes as rhyming slang for the shakes.
 

andrewg927

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I would put money on the fact that a lot of the people who use it can't actually tell you what the Latin phrase is.

How many people know what "i.e." stands for? It's not uncommon for people to not know the Latin phrases behind the acronyms.
 
Top