1. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Please revise this

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lameri, Jun 2, 2011.

    (Context: a painting that a girl painted of her boyfriend's grandma)
    (Problem: not sure if I like "you would tell" or it's better "it makes you feel you are..." or something else)

    When he returned, he couldn’t believe what he found before his eyes. I can say there was no love bias: I have seen the portrait and it is simply amazing, you would tell you are in front of a photograph. That painting was the first of a prolific and ongoing collection.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    When he returned, he couldn’t believe what he found before his eyes. I can say there was no love bias: I have seen the portrait and it is simply amazing, it was like staring at a photograph. That painting was the first of a prolific and ongoing collection.

    That's how I would rework that segment, but the passage as a whole has multiple problems. You jump tenses and POV's and a few other things.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'you would tell you' makes no sense there...

    you seem to have meant 'you could tell' but that wouldn't work, since it's not a photo...

    so you really should be saying, 'you might think you were'...

    and yes, the whole thing is a mess for a slew of reasons... for instance, 'prolific and ongoing collection' which also makes no sense... here's one way to unmess it:

     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I won't rewrite it for you. That is your job. I'll simply point you in what I believe is the the right direction:

    Write more simply, and with clarity.
     
  5. conifer
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    conifer New Member

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    Who is 'he'? Replace the first 'he' with the name of the person, so that afterward the other pronouns have a concrete antecedent to refer to.

    Keep your tenses consistent: "it was" instead of "it is".
    Also, use "saw" instead of "have seen". The present perfect tense implies that seeing the portrait is still important in the present, but the love bias problem existed in the past, so just use the simple past tense.

    You should use 'one' instead of 'you' because 'you' sounds like you are referring to the reader, but here you mean anyone in general, not the reader, since he/she cannot actually be in that situation.

    Beautiful.
     
  6. Jimfoxx
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    Jimfoxx Member

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    "It makes you feel you are" doesn't really make much sense to me maybe if it was "It makes you feel as if you are" it would be better.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree almost entirely with this, except that a semicolon would probably fit better than a comma where I marked in red. Also see below.

    QFT if necessary.
     
  8. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    He couldn’t believe his eyes. There was no love bias; the portrait was simply amazing. It was as though standing in front of a photograph. And this was only the first in a prolific and ongoing collection.

    Okay, so rules say don't start a sentence with And, but Roald Dahl does it so it's okay in my book when working on dialogue and inner monologues. Speech is often a little choppier.

    Whilst some posters will tell you to re-write it yourself - surely the reason you posted it was to get a different opinion on how to say it? So I did just that. What you need to remember is that each sentences must have only one theme. You have several in that sentence alone - so you must split it in to a few. Hopefully that's un-knotted a few tangles. Just take your time with the rest of it, and take one sentence at a time. Remember even individual sentences must have a beginning, middle and end.
     
  9. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, that's incorrect. Any sentence, properly punctuated, will naturally have a beginning and end. A middle is contested ground.

    What a sentence MUST have is a subject (usually a noun) and a predicate (usually a verb).

    The sentence "I lied." has a subject (I) which is at the beginning, and a predicate (lied) which is at the end. There is no actual middle unless you want to count a space.
     
  10. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    Okay - I'll rephrase pedantically.

    It must has a single subject, and an action.

    I lied. The subject is 'I'. lied means - to have told a lie.

    Another way of writing this sentence is.. I have told a lie.

    I= subject
    lied= to tell a lie in the past.

    The subject does not appear to have a middle, but the conjegation of the word puts the lying into context. A 'middle' or 'follow through of the action' I will argue also takes place naturally.

    Perhaps I should have stated 1, Beginning 1, Middle and 1,End.

    Don't make a sentence that has multiple of any of these.

    Of course; they are guide lines for when you are stuck on a sentence. Other decisions will be left for the author to decide when artistically to break with the tradition. I was trying to give someone who has written badly some easy advice to follow - not technical jargon.
     
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  11. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the red: that's usually what a predicate is. It's a verb, which is, to be simple, a "doing word".

    Lied is the past tense form of "lie" and therefore has the exact same meaning as "lie".

    It's not about technical jargon. It's about the advice you gave being incorrect. Of course, it wasn't particularly wrong, but it wasn't right. As I said, a sentence will naturally have a beginning and an end, but so does a word. So do most things.
    What you said is that it HAS to have those things. That's bad advice. A sentence will have those things regardless.
    I was informing you that the only thing that a sentence HAS to have is a subject and a predicate. There is literally NOTHING else that a sentence HAS to have.
     
  12. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    Oh so your narked about the word has? I didn't even use that word. You did.

    I'm not saying they're rules. I'm saying that if you think about your sentences like that then it will help you write them. I'm not giving you that advice I'm giving the poster.

    Whilst I know what a predicate is, the poster may not. You did not explain you reasoning enough to be of any use. You've got to start somewhere! Being 100% logical in your approach to writing, is not always a good form of advice - even if it is good knowledge that you can apply to your own work. Now, I don't know about the rest of this posters work - but from what I've seen of the above sentence, there are a couple of things that are going wrong. I'm trying to help that poster fix these things for the future. You're trying to prove you knowledge of nous and verbs. Yey!

    Try helping next time, not posturing. The things you pointed out in your original post were technically correct, but from a learners point of view - useless. You need suggest rules to prevent that happening ever again.

    I would also suggest you are not very good at gaging tone. There is nothing that says what I wrote was rule in my original post. Perhaps look over it, because you are misinterpreting. Language, my friend is not always rules.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Keep the discusion civil, and leave out the ad hominem remarks.
     
  14. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Thank you very much for your suggestions!
     

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