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 » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:57 pm

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


Yes, although the sentence is still ungrammatical. It doesn't need 'out' and 'completely' has to precede the verb.
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby Le Baron » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:59 pm

tungemål wrote: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.

They're both possible, but one is describing something happening (as if reliving it); the second is describing what happened at the time in a perfect tense.
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby smallwhite » Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:56 pm

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


Yes, although the sentence is still ungrammatical. It doesn't need 'out' and 'completely' has to precede the verb.

I copied from OP’s version so I didn’t have to take sides on the corrections ;)
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby allf100 » Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:52 am

Hello Le Baron, tungemål and smallwhite,

Thank you very much for your help!

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...'


Le Baron, I am not aiming for a literary or poetic effect. The expression is affected by my Chinese expression, in other words, it's Chinglish.

I appreciated and took advice from you, DaveAgain, tungemål and smallwhite. I'll write down the mistakes and corrections on my notebook and go over them now and then, so that I won't forget them. I know my English is bad. You don't have to encourage me about this. This doesn't throw a wet blanket on me, but keeps me learning.

Previously when I asked these questions i.e. the idiom, the tense, I don't mean to stubbornly insist the expressions or tense I used, but I'd like to figure out why it's unnatural or wrong, so I won't make the similar mistakes again in the future and possibly upset you guys as all of you on this thread have spent so much precious time on correcting my writing, but I would just turn a deaf ear to your corrections.

Now I have learnt to put 'stubbornly' before the verb. You're very helpful.

I'd like to sleep on the question about the tense, and read your inputs again, so far it's still past my understanding.

Again, heartfelt thanks to all of you including DaveAgain. :)
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby smallwhite » Thu Jan 20, 2022 2:17 pm

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 [you mean Past Perfect Tense]. Am I correct?

1. "Can" instead of "should". There are other possibilities.
2. Especially with Past Perfect Tense - it is often used only when there is actual reason or need to emphasize that X happened before Y. That means, "I opened my book and started reading" is more common than "I had opened my book and started reading".

allf100 wrote: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?

> 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…

By changing "pulled" to "had pulled", DaveAgain actually changed your story. Your version and his version mean different things. Both are correct.

Assume "A few minutes later" = 5:03

allf100's version:
5:00 woke
5:01 turned radio on
5:02 nothing happened
5:03 pulled out

DaveAgain's version:
5:00 woke
5:01 turned radio on
5:02 pulled out
5:03 had pulled out, already pulled out by 5:03

Your version kind of means "a few minutes later, the story suddenly pulled me out" (maybe due to a sudden loud bang).
DaveAgain's version kind of means "in only a few minutes time, the story had already managed to wake me" (maybe because it kept making you laugh).

DaveAgain's version is just more common and expected. Your version could be correct, too.
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Re: English: Would someone please help me with my English?

Postby Le Baron » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:13 pm

allf100 wrote:I know my English is bad. You don't have to encourage me about this. This doesn't throw a wet blanket on me, but keeps me learning.

I don't think your English is bad. You seem to be following the discussion perfectly well.
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