not even one sentence could he utter in French

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GoodTaste

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Is "not even one sentence could he utter in French" proper English?


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Bill told me that William has boasted that he ever lived in Paris for 6 years. Yet when I invited William to discuss some questions in French language, not even one sentence could he utter in French.

Source (English practice)
 

GoesStation

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Both sentences have errors. If you've transcribed them accurately, you should discard the book or use another website.
 

Tarheel

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Two things.

Can you guess what words should not be in the text?

As for your question, the statement is another way of saying the person couldn't say anything in French.
 

GoodTaste

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Both sentences have errors. If you've transcribed them accurately, you should discard the book or use another website.

Thank you.

Would you like to point out or edit the errors?
 

GoodTaste

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Two things.

Can you guess what words should not be in the text?

As for your question, the statement is another way of saying the person couldn't say anything in French.

I guess "boasted" and "utter" are not very properly there. How to correct them then?
 

Tarheel

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No. Delete "utter" in the first sentence. Delete "language" in the second sentence.
 

GoodTaste

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Thank you.

Edited: Bill told me that William has boasted that he ever lived in Paris for 6 years. Yet when I invited William to discuss some questions in French, not even one sentence could he in French.

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Two same words (French) in the end in a row appear to be awkward to me.
 

GoesStation

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Is "not even one sentence could he utter in French" proper English?


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Bill told me that William has boasted that he [STRIKE]ever[/STRIKE] had lived in Paris for 6 years. Yet when I invited William to discuss some questions in French [STRIKE]language[/STRIKE], not even one sentence could he utter in French.

Source: "English Practice" by [author's name]

I've corrected the errors, but the result is still unnatural.
 

Tarheel

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Sorry, GoodTaste. I typed "utter" when I meant to type "ever". The person boasted that he lived in Paris for six years, but he couldn't say anything in French. (Draw your own conclusions about whether he really lived in Paris.)
 
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