1. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Seats cannot be reserved before you leave.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by ohmyrichard, Mar 5, 2011.

    Hi, everyone.
    Please help me with the underlined sentence in the following paragraph:
    [Train]Ticket prices are low, and there are usually two classes of travel. Chile and Argentina have sleeping and dining cars, the others have few facilities at all. Plan to buy tickets three days ahead (two weeks in summer), and arrive at the station well before departure time. Seats cannot be reserved before you leave. There are no rail passes except in Argentina.

    My question is, does the underlined sentence repeat the meaning expressed in the first half of the previous sentence that passengers have to buy train tickets three days ahead(two weeks ahead in summer)? In China we have a different practice: If there are still tickets left for a bus or train, you can buy them at any time before it depart; so few of us Chinese pasengers would like to telephone to reserve a train or bus ticket.

    Please give me a hand. Thanks.
    Richard
     
  2. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mamamaia will be along soon and be able to help you best, I imagine, but just my 2 cents here:

    "Tickets can be purchased at any time."

    I wouldn't say it can't be purchased after the train departs because that's obvious.

    Also, "the others have few facilities at all" is awkward.
     
  3. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I would clarify this.

    Perhaps combine the seat allocation issue with the arrival at the station?

    "As seats cannot be reserved upon booking, please arrive at the station well before departure time to secure your preferred seats."
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've traveled by train all over the world and it's common practice for some, that you must buy tickets in advance, but cannot reserve a specific seat ahead of time...
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    What Mammamaia said was what i got out of it too. and even for me that '...at all' sounded a little ... wrong?
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, to me, they refer to two different things.

    "Plan to buy tickets three days ahead..." means to me that if you want to get any ticket at all, you need to buy it at least three days ahead, rather than planning to buy your ticket on the day of travel.

    "Seats cannot be reserved..." means to me that while you have a ticket, and are therefore entitled to ride, you cannot reserve a specific preferred seat - window, aisle, front-facing, back-facing, etc. I suppose it could also mean that you can't count on having a seat at all and that if you show up late you might have to ride standing?

    So if you want to ride on the train, and you want a specific seat or type of seat, you need to buy your tickets three days ahead, _and_ show up early on the day of travel so that you can have your pick of seats.

    ChickenFreak
     
  7. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Thank you all for your timely help.
     
  8. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's exactly how I read it.
     

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