1. ohmyrichard
    Offline

    ohmyrichard Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    9

    Sentence Improvement!Please do me a BIG favour!

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by ohmyrichard, Jan 4, 2009.

    Hi, everyone. This is something very urgent. I would like to you help me with the following sentences. I am told that there is something wrong with each of the sentences. I have placed my revisions and reasoning right after the original sentences and have had the changes underlined and highlighted for your reading convenience. Please comment on my corrections. I come here for better solutions. Thanks for your help!

    1.During the class, teacher should pay attention to every student.
    My revision: During the class, the teacher/a teacher/ teachers should pay attention to every student.

    I think "the teacher", "a teacher" and "teachers" are all correct for this situation to be generic.

    2.In the beginning of 2004,the Bird Flu was very common, but the Chinese people were confident in controlling such kind of disease after the experience of SARS in 2003.
    My Revision: At the beginning of 2004,the Bird Flu was very common, but the Chinese people were confident in controlling such a kind of disease after the experience of SARS in 2003.

    3.The young farmers coming to the city to work are often discriminated and encounter many unexpected difficulties.
    My Revision: The young farmers coming to the city to work are often discriminated against and faced with many unexpected difficulties.

    4.China’s economy has been booming for the last few decades. It has given much confidence to the overseas investors. This has even attracted US and UK universities that would like to enroll more self-paying students from China.
    My Revision: China’s economy has been booming for the last few decades. This has given much confidence to the overseas investors and has even attracted US and UK universities that would like to enroll more self-paying students from China.

    I don't know whether "that" can also be used to refer back to "China's economy having been booming for the last few decades".
    Also, I combined the second and third sentences in the original version, as you can easily notice.

    5.I find the new class too demanding because each time, the professor gives us vast amount of information.
    My Revision: I find the new class too demanding because the professor gives us a vast amount of information each time.
    Question: Can "each other" be placed right after "because"?

    6.A business enterprise should honor its words and keep its promise, otherwise , no one would trust it or have anything to do with it.
    My Revision: A business enterprise should honor its words; otherwise, no one would trust it or do business with it.

    I think "honour its words" and "keep its promise" are repetitious, so I kept one of them in the revision. And I changed the comma before "otherwise" to the semicolon.

    7. Because the city government is going to build a subway line across the city and according to the plan, my neighborhood today will become a station, so we and many other families have to move.
    My Revision: Because the city government is going to build a subway line across the city and according to the plan, my neighborhood today will become a station, we and many other families have to move.
    OR
    The city government is going to build a subway line across the city and according to the plan, my neighborhood today will become a station, so we and many other families have to move.

    Question: Do I need to add "will" between "mnay other families" and "have to move"?

    8.Old tradition dies hard. Until now women are sometimes still discriminated.
    My Revision: Old tradition dies hard. Even today, women are sometimes still discriminated against.

    9.In “the cat Cinderella,” Zezolla chooses her own stepmother, unlike the Cinderella in other versions of the story who passively accept the stepmother.
    My Revision: In “The Cat Cinderella,” Zezolla chooses her own stepmother, unlike the Cinderella in other versions of the story who passively accepts the stepmother.
    Question: Do I need to set off "the story" and "who passively accepts the stepmother" to make the relative clause unrestrictive?

    10.Correcting errors in writing always gives me a big headache.
    I don't think there is anything wrong with this sentence.

    11.… Take my sister for an example: she is a junior high school student and each evening she must sit at the desk from seven to eleven. It is not enough: in daytime she almost always sits reading, writing, or listening to teachers. … It is the heavy homework that deprives their happiness and enjoyment of their childhood. It is very different from the original aim of their teachers and parents.
    My Revision: .… Take my sister for example. She is a junior high school student and each evening she must sit at the desk from seven to eleven. That is not enough: in daytime she almost always sits reading, writing, or listening to teachers. … It is the heavy homework that deprives the students of their happiness and enjoyment of their childhood. That is very different from the original aim of their teachers and parents.

    I beg you to do me this big favour! THANKS!
    Richard
     
  2. Etan Isar
    Offline

    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    32

    I'm pretty sure those are all right, but others may feel the need to correct me.
     
  3. abrandt007
    Offline

    abrandt007 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, Richard. I'm no English professor, but here is my take on your issue.

    1. During class, the teacher should pay attention to every student.

    2. At the beginning of 2004,the Bird Flu was very common, but the Chinese people were confident in controlling such a disease after the experience of SARS in 2003.

    3.The young farmers coming to the city to work are often discriminated against, and encounter many unexpected difficulties.
     
  4. Jonesy
    Offline

    Jonesy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hope it helps.
     
  5. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i'm a nit-picky editor, so will go a bit farther than the helpful folks above:

    ...your corrections are correct...

    should be:
    better would be:
    i'd advise:
    however, the last part is confused/confusing... it seems to be saying that the boom has caused us/uk unis to open new campuses there, but the 'more' implies they are there already...


    no, it would make no sense... here's what i'd suggest:

    still not quite right... this would be better:

    yes... but you need to delete 'today'... and other minor changes will improve this:

    minor correction:

    it needs a comma to make sense:

    you're right... it's ok...

    bits needing a fix:

    hope this helps... love and hugs, maia
     
  6. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    'China’s economy has been booming for the last few decades.'

    This seems very odd to me--American usage, I wonder? 'booming' is like a 'state' verb, it's odd to use it in continuous present perfect tense. Surely:

    China's economy has boomed over the last few decades.
     
  7. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    Thought a bit more--no, you can't have something in a constant state of 'boom' i.e explosion for decades. 'Has BEEN BOOMING' = no!
     
  8. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    sorry, but it IS often used in that way, even by 'legitimate' writing sources, whether you find it proper, or not... see for yourself:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22economy+has+been+booming%22&aq=f&oq=

    and it's used more often than the alternative you propose:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22economy+has+boomed%22&btnG=Search

    your complaint seems to stem from seeing the word more as 'explosion' rather than 'rapid growth'... and rapid growth could continue over time, while a 'burst' wouldn't...
     
  9. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    Thanks--I've checked out these sources, and as I suspected, they seem to be ESL foreign or American usage mostly. I think, as I said, it is not very appropriate in British English, where the meaning is (just at random I checked Collins and Micheal Swan) a SUDDEN inrease, or a period of RAPID expansion--so we don't normally use the word for something that has gone on for DECADES. So, a cultural thing here.
     
  10. ohmyrichard
    Offline

    ohmyrichard Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thank you all for answering my questions. My gratitude is beyond words.
    Richard
     
  11. ArckAngel
    Offline

    ArckAngel Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry to only pick this one out, however nobody seemed to mention the coma's. Surrounding a section of text with coma's like "In the beginning of 2004,the Bird Flu was very common, but" Implies that that section of text can be removed and still have the sentence make sense. "In the beginning of 2004 but the Chinese people were confident in controlling such kind of disease after the experience of SARS in 2003." Does not make sense.
    Thus my revision would be:
    "At the beginning of 2004 the Bird Flu was very common, but the Chinese were confident in controlling the disease after the experience of SARS in 2003."
     
  12. SarahN
    Offline

    SarahN Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I hope I didn't just do someone's homework for them. LOL!
     
  13. Etan Isar
    Offline

    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    32
    No, he teaches ESL, if I remember right.
     
  14. SarahN
    Offline

    SarahN Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Oh, ok... :)
     
  15. ohmyrichard
    Offline

    ohmyrichard Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thank you, SarahN. And Thank you all for giving me a hand. Three weeks ago, my student, who is going to take the postgraduate test of Nanjing University, better known than mine, this weekend, asked me about how to correct these sentences. As you can see, I tried my best to improve them. I even spared time to read the whole of the book Discourse Analysis by Ding Yanren, a professor of that university, but still I was not so sure of my answers to those questions. As this test is so important to my student, I came here for your kind help. I never ask anyone to do my homework; now I do not need to do any homework, or rather, only when my students ask me questions about grammar or writing and when I feel at a loss as to how to express a certain idea in my emails to my foreign friends, will I do research or come here for your help. Thanks again for your help!
    If you like, please tell me whether we can use "This is still not enough." and "This is very different from the original aim of their teachers and parents." instead of "That is still not enough" and "That is very different from the original aim of their teachers and parents."
    Personnally I think "that" is correct, but I cannot explain why. I got in Collins CoBuild English Usage on p.715 the following two rules concerning the difference between "this" and "that":
    This, these, that, and those are all used to refer to people, things, events, etc that have already been mentioned. It is more common to use this and these than that and those.
    You usually use that, rather than this, to refer to a statement that someone has just made.

    Actually these two rules do not help me, but confuse me.

    Would you please tell me which one to use in this situation and why?
    Many thanks!
    Richard
     
  16. ohmyrichard
    Offline

    ohmyrichard Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thank you all for helping me with these sentences!!!
    Richard
     
  17. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ...it's correct grammar, but i need to see the context to tell you if it's the best wording...

    ...ditto above...

    ...'this' is better, if referring to something you have just mentioned...if it was mentioned by someone else, it would be 'that'...

    ...it depends on the context in which it is used... see explanation above...

    ...i just did... it's that simple, really... go back and see who made the statements you are referring to... if you did, use 'this'... if someone else did, use 'that'...

    ...ok, i just went back to your original post and here's the section in question:

    ...since the first 'that' refers to something someone else does, 'that' works best... with the second, however, it's referring to a comparison you are making immediately prior, so you could use 'this'...

    ...it's really a styling choice for the writer, more than a hard and fast rule of grammar... use the one you feel 'sounds' best, but keep in mind the things i noted above...
     
  18. ohmyrichard
    Offline

    ohmyrichard Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thanks, mammamaia! These demonstratives are so tricky!
     

Share This Page