Their movements were clumsy/inept/awkward/sloppy.

99bottles

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Greek
Home Country
Greece
Current Location
Greece
In the sentence below, I describe two people grappling with neither of them knowing martial arts. What adjective should I use for their movements? Below are the words I have in mind so far.

Their movements were clumsy/inept/awkward/sloppy.
 

jutfrank

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Are you writing a new book? We still haven't received our share of the royalties from the last one.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

99bottles

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Greek
Home Country
Greece
Current Location
Greece
Are you writing a new book? We still haven't received our share of the royalties from the last one.


I'll PM you to answer this question. For the time being, answer to what I asked in the OP.

Edit: I'm just asking which synonym has the correct meaning here.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
For the time being, answer [strike]to[/strike] what I asked in the OP.

There's an important word missing from that sentence. Here's a clue - it has six letters and starts with "p".
 

99bottles

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Greek
Home Country
Greece
Current Location
Greece
There's an important word missing from that sentence. Here's a clue - it has six letters and starts with "p".

Is it please?

I just want to know whether which word I use in that sentence changes the meaning.

Edit: By the way, I knew it was answer what and not answer to what. It's just that when I'm anxious, I make such mistakes -- sometimes I want to punch myself in the face when I realize how careless I am when typing on forums.
 

Rollercoaster1

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2015
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Urdu
Home Country
Pakistan
Current Location
Pakistan
Last edited by a moderator:

99bottles

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Greek
Home Country
Greece
Current Location
Greece
What's the difference between those synonyms? I searched on online dictionaries, but I can't find out what the difference is.
 

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I don't know that I would use any of them, but "inept" might come closest to what you have in mind. Having said that, you don't need martial arts training to know how to hit somebody.
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
I don't understand what relevance their lack of knowledge of martial arts has. Aren't they just fighting/scrapping?
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
If they are trying to use martial arts they don't know, then inept could work. If they're just without much skill, clumsy works.
 

99bottles

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Greek
Home Country
Greece
Current Location
Greece
If they are trying to use martial arts they don't know, then inept could work. If they're just without much skill, clumsy works.


What if they are just grappling without trying to use any martial art?
 

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Then they are fighting. Or wrestling.

Are you hoping "martial art" will catch on?
 

99bottles

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Greek
Home Country
Greece
Current Location
Greece
Then they are fighting. Or wrestling.

Are you hoping "martial art" will catch on?


Don't martial arts include moves for grappling situations as well?
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Don't martial arts include moves for grappling situations as well?

I don't know the technical terminology of any martial arts. It's possible that to the untrained eye, a lot of martial arts moves might just look like two people scrapping with each other.

We can't help without knowing the context. Were the two people pretending to know martial arts but when they started fighting it was clear neither of them knew anything about them? Were they just fighting? Why did you bring the idea of martial arts into that sentence in the first place? What were you thinking?
 

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
You said in post 11 that no martial art was involved in their grappling, so perhaps it's best to forget martial arts.
 

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Don't martial arts include moves for grappling situations as well?

Judo comes to mind. But in your own words they don't know judo.
 

99bottles

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Greek
Home Country
Greece
Current Location
Greece
I don't know the technical terminology of any martial arts. It's possible that to the untrained eye, a lot of martial arts moves might just look like two people scrapping with each other.

We can't help without knowing the context. Were the two people pretending to know martial arts but when they started fighting it was clear neither of them knew anything about them? Were they just fighting? Why did you bring the idea of martial arts into that sentence in the first place? What were you thinking?


They were grappling over possession of something. I want to show that they do so in a sloppy way, because they don't know martial arts.
 
Last edited:

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
They were grappling over possession of something. I want to show that they do so in a sloppy way, because they don't know martial arts.

Just say they were fighting over something.

The "sloppy way" thing doesn't make sense here, and It's hard to see how martial arts comes in at all.
:-?
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
That makes no sense, I'm afraid. We don't think that people fighting looks any particular way just because they don't know martial arts. You seem to be suggesting that using martial arts is the only way for two people to fight effectively. It's not.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Maybe 99b should visit a few pubs on Friday night to see alternative forms of fighting.
 
Top