English: Would someone please help me with my English?

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Le Baron
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby Le Baron » Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:14 pm

Deinonysus wrote:"And I don't feel that like a constraint": I don't know what this is supposed to mean.

The word "ameliorate" is a word in English, but it is very rare and a lot of people will not know it. It's the kind of word you might see in a scientific paper. "I need to improve my English" is more natural.


Yes it does just look like transliterated English with the me/moi. However I'd disagree that the word ameliorate can't be used, perhaps it would be better if more people knew the word. It's fairly common in educated writing.

"And I don't feel that like a constraint". This made perfect sense to me. I don't even think it needs to be recast as a sentence, though if it was it could be: 'I don't feel constrained/hampered by that'.

"On the contrary" is very common in the UK in ordinary speech.
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby allf100 » Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:01 pm

Hello,

Would someone please correct my following piece? I wrote it quite a few days ago. I didn't post it at once because I'd like to sleep on it and then checked my words and grammar. Thank you!


Listening Exercise

Today I woke up at 5 am. Still closing my eyes, I fumbled to get my electronic player near my pillow and turned it on in which a lady was narrating Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland in English. A few minutes later, it pulled me out completely from my dreamland…

For many moments I play it so loudly that I can hear in almost every corner of my tiny 'kingdom' when I have my meals, take a shower, or do my housework and so on. Though I don't listen to it seriously, it has been throwing more and more glimmers of light on my listening since I started it a few days ago. I am like the cat that ate the canary each time when some words and sentences with which I got stuck previously become comprehensible finally.
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby DaveAgain » Tue Jan 18, 2022 2:32 pm

allf100 wrote:Hello,

Would someone please correct my following piece? I wrote it quite a few days ago. I didn't post it at once because I'd like to sleep on it and then checked my words and grammar. Thank you!


Listening Exercise

Today I woke up at 5 am. Still closing [With] my eyes [still closed], I fumbled to get my electronic player [MP3 player? radio? stereo? CD player?] near my pillow and turned it on in [,on] which a lady was narrating Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland in English. A few minutes later, it [had] pulled me out completely from my dreamland…

For many moments I play it so loudly that I can hear in almost every corner of my tiny 'kingdom' when I have my meals, take a shower, or do my housework and so on. Though I don't listen to it seriously [attentively], it has been throwing more and more glimmers of light on my listening [comprehension] since I started it a few days ago. I am like the cat that ate the canary [delighted/thrilled] each time when some words and sentences with which I got stuck previously [finally] become comprehensible finally.
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby Le Baron » Tue Jan 18, 2022 6:12 pm

Nice one Dave. So that I don't have to go through doing all the corrections you already made (they'd be the same anyway) I'm taking the liberty of using your correction and adding a few.

DaveAgain wrote:
allf100 wrote:Hello,

Would someone please correct my following piece? I wrote it quite a few days ago. I didn't post it at once because I'd like to sleep on it and then checked my words and grammar. Thank you!


Listening Exercise

Today I woke up at 5 am. Still closing [With] my eyes [still closed], I fumbled to get my electronic player [MP3 player? radio? stereo? CD player?] near my pillow and turned it on in [,on] which a lady was narrating Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland in English. A few minutes later, it [had] pulled me out completely from my dreamland…

For many At moments I play it so loudly that I can hear it in almost every corner of my tiny 'kingdom': when I have my meals; take a shower, or do my housework and so on. Though I don't listen to it seriously [attentively], it has been throwing more and more glimmers of light onto my listening [comprehension] since I started it a few days ago. I am like the cat that ate the canary [delighted/thrilled] each time when some words and sentences, with which where previously I got stuck previously [finally] become comprehensible finally.
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby allf100 » Tue Jan 18, 2022 11:40 pm

Hello DaveAgain and Le Baron,

Thank you very much for help!

I have some questions on the your corrections that I am unable to figure out. Would either of you please help me again?

1. re: tense - had pulled

A few minutes later, it [had] pulled me out completely from my dreamland…


I learnt that if something happened in the past, for example, ten minutes ago, I should use past tense; and if it happened earlier than the certain time in the past, i.e. twenty minutes ago, I should use past participle. Am I correct?

In this case, the story pulled me out from my dream, and I totally woke up. It happened AFTER I got my MP3 player. Why did you use 'had pulled' - past participle here?

2. re: like a cat that ate canary

Why did you remove 'like a cat that ate canary'? I looked it up on online Cambridge Dictionary which defines the idiom as 'extremely happy or satisfied, or in a very happy or satisfied way'. This was what I was trying to say. The words of 'thrilled' and 'delighted' you suggested are good for me.

3. re: usage of adverbs -finally, previously

Do you mean that it will be much better that adverbs closely follow the verbs instead of putting them at the end of a clause or sentence?

I am like the cat that ate the canary [delighted/thrilled] each time when some words and sentences, with which where previously I got stuck previously [finally] become comprehensible finally.
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby Le Baron » Wed Jan 19, 2022 1:04 am

allf100 wrote:I learnt that if something happened in the past, for example, ten minutes ago, I should use past tense; and if it happened earlier than the certain time in the past, i.e. twenty minutes ago, I should use past participle. Am I correct?

In this case, the story pulled me out from my dream, and I totally woke up. It happened AFTER I got my MP3 player. Why did you use 'had pulled' - past participle here?

That's true, but the story you are telling now is about something that happened more than a few minutes ago. The 'a few minutes' is what tells us the time scale. The tense in the story itself is considered to be a bit further in the past. Otherwise I would have expected the story to start with: 'Just earlier..' or 'earlier on when I awoke...'.

allf100 wrote:2. re: like a cat that ate canary

Why did you remove 'like a cat that ate canary'? I looked it up on online Cambridge Dictionary which defines the idiom as 'extremely happy or satisfied, or in a very happy or satisfied way'. This was what I was trying to say. The words of 'thrilled' and 'delighted' you suggested are good for me.

That's a fair point, though the phrase is a bit hackneyed by now. You do hear it, but not all that often. I say use it if you want to use it.

allf100 wrote:3. re: usage of adverbs -finally, previously

Do you mean that it will be much better that adverbs closely follow the verbs instead of putting them at the end of a clause or sentence?

I am like the cat that ate the canary [delighted/thrilled] each time when some words and sentences, with which where previously I got stuck previously [finally] become comprehensible finally.

Let's consider this basically according to : time, place and manner. (Adverbs in green)

If the adverb refers to a specific time, e.g: 'are you going there today?' Then the position is often at the end of the sentence/clause. It can also go at the start for style/stress: Today I'm going to listen to Beethoven.

With something like 'finally' it sticks to and usually precedes the verb: 'I finally understood it! or Finally I understood it!' In general people don't stick to that rule religiously.

When 'to be' is in the sentence the adverb usually follows it: 'They are always late.'

With 'place' adverbs, they follow the verb and often come at the end of short sentences: 'They saw you here. 'They threw paint around'. Again when 'to be' is in the sentence the adverb often starts the sentence: 'here he is!'.

Manner adverbs are more elastic and turn up a lot, which is what makes people think adverbs are always flexible. 'She read the book carefully' But also: 'she carefully read the book'. Also: Carefully, she read the book'. They express little nuances of meaning. 'It was played very well'. Also: It was very well played.'
However some also follow a pattern, like 'They are happily married'. You'd never say: 'They are married happily'.

I'll just point out one more thing which is of interest. The position can often convey meaning difference. Compare:

- she answered naturally when he asked her the question.
- Naturally she answered when he asked her the question.

They mean different things.

There is quite a lot to say about adverb usage, so I'll not fill the page.
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby allf100 » Wed Jan 19, 2022 10:56 am

Hi Le Baron,

I greatly appreciate that you took your precious time to answer my questions in details. I'm clear about question 2 and question 3 now. I will follow the advice of yours and DaveAgain's - not to use that idiom.

But I am still in the dark about question 1.

That's true, but the story you are telling now is about something that happened more than a few minutes ago. The 'a few minutes' is what tells us the time scale. The tense in the story itself is considered to be a bit further in the past. Otherwise I would have expected the story to start with: 'Just earlier..' or 'earlier on when I awoke...'.


Today I woke up at 5 am. Still closing my eyes, I fumbled to get my electronic player near my pillow and turned it on in which a lady was narrating Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland in English. A few minutes later, it pulled me out completely from my dreamland…


Then, can I say ' A few minutes later after that, it pulled me out...' or ' A few minutes after listening to the story, it pulled me out..' With 'after..', can I still use past tense of 'pull'? Does this make sense?

With 'earlier on when I awoke', would this indicate that 'it pulled me out from my dreamland' happened after that?
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby Le Baron » Wed Jan 19, 2022 3:58 pm

allf100 wrote:Hi Le Baron,

..I am still in the dark about question 1.

Today I woke up at 5 am. Still closing my eyes, I fumbled to get my electronic player near my pillow and turned it on in which a lady was narrating Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland in English. A few minutes later, it pulled me out completely from my dreamland…


Then, can I say ' A few minutes later after that, it pulled me out...' or ' A few minutes after listening to the story, it pulled me out..' With 'after..', can I still use past tense of 'pull'? Does this make sense?

With 'earlier on when I awoke', would this indicate that 'it pulled me out from my dreamland' happened after that?


It's fairly difficult to explain, I'm not really a grammarian. However, the reason DaveAgain chose to add 'had' (and correctly I think) is because the entire sequence is in a past perfect tense. The start of the sentence 'a few minutes later' is confusing the sentence. Look at it this way:

"Within a few minutes it had completely pulled me from my dreamland...' This sentence fits in with the narrative as an event. That 'in the space of a few minutes this had happened'. I wouldn't say your construction is wrong or impossible (except for the word 'out' and the placement of 'completely'). It looks to me that what you want to say is that you switched on the voice and within a few minutes it caused you to fully awaken. Here are some similar examples:

1. I switched on the lamp. Minutes later the room completely filled with light/light completely filled the room. (closest to yours)
2. I switched on the lamp. Minutes later the room was completely filled with light.
3. I switched on the lamp. Minutes later the room had completely filled with light.

In general I find simplicity better, though perhaps you are aiming for a literary effect? So I imagine myself choosing something more like: 'Minutes later I was fully awake'. If I'd chosen something closer to yours, for poetic effect, then maybe: 'within minutes her voice had drawn me completely out of my slumber...'
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby tungemål » Wed Jan 19, 2022 4:36 pm

1: A few minutes later, it pulled me out from my dreamland
2: A few minutes later, it had pulled me out from my dreamland

I'm thinking that both are grammatically possible. In the first sentence, "a few minutes later" points to the moment when you're waking up. While the second points to the moment when you're awake, right after having been woken up. So the "had pulled" is already in the past.

In effect they mean the same, but could be that 2 is more idiomatical and feels more natural.
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby smallwhite » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:43 pm

Version 1
5 am, I heard Alice in Wonderland. A few minutes later, it pulled me out completely from my dreamland.

Version 1 equivalent
5:00 I heard Alice.
5:03 Alice pulled me out from sleep.
5:08 Something else happened.

Version 2
5 am, I heard Alice in Wonderland. A few minutes later, it had pulled me out completely from my dreamland.

Version 2 equivalent
5:00 I heard Alice.
Then at barely 5:03, Alice had already managed to pull me out completely from sleep, which says something!
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