1. AJ Winters
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    AJ Winters Member

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    Is this sentence grammatically correct?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by AJ Winters, Oct 14, 2012.

    In my novel, a character says to another:

    "Do not mistake my indifference towards you for compassion."

    Is this grammatically correct, or should it be:

    "Do not mistake my indifference towards you for that of compassion." ...?

    I'm inclined to think the former, but I know my grammar ain't no good (hehe).

    All comments welcome.
    Thanks,
    AJ
     
  2. Thromnambular
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    Thromnambular Member

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    The original one is fine, the second one is way wrong.
     
  3. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    Besides, in dialogue I think you can get away with more if it's not 100% grammatically correct. Most people don't talk like your second example.
     
  4. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    I would say:"Do you mistake my indifference towards you, as compassion?"
     
  5. northernpsyche
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    northernpsyche Member

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    Either work for me. I think characters can be flawed like the rest of us.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    only the first makes good sense... but, as one noted above, people do not always speak grammtically... so, if your character is clueless re grammar, he could say anything...
     
  7. AJ Winters
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    AJ Winters Member

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    Thanks everyone; I'll take all of this on board. :)
     
  8. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the speaker of the second couldn't really be a native English speaker, but in that case it would be an effective way of showing it.
     
  9. captken
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    captken Member

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    My take.

    "Do not mistake my indifference towards you for compassion."

    Depending on the rest of the dialogue I'd consider omitting "Toward you" because it would be understood who the person talking was indifferent to.
    Wouldn't "Do not mistake my indifference for compassion" work?

    I agree with Digitig about the speaker being non American or at least someone for whom "American English" was not his first language.
    We Americans are lazy when it comes to speech. In south Alabama it would be "Don't mistake my indifference for compassion" 99 out of 100 times.
     

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