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  1. Dameldut

    Dameldut New Member

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    Grammar Up and left... Not exactly

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Dameldut, Mar 27, 2020.

    Hi guys... Sorry about the weird title. I just didn't know what to write as this is such an odd question.

    I'm writing an argument between two sisters and one of the sisters is accusing the other of ignoring her.
    Their parents had died a while ago and they've become estranged.
    The more timid sister says this to the other,
    “I agree to that, for the first year. Then you up and just ignored me.”

    I'm having trouble with that for some reason and I really want this line in the book (I have no basis for why, I just like the frustration in it). But the problem I'm having is that in English there's a way to phrase someone saying that someone left suddenly, "...just up and left."
    Would this make more grammatical sense if I said, "just up and ignored me." or can I keep it the way I have it now?
     
    jannert likes this.
  2. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    The sentences themselves don't make sense as written.

    Did this ignoring happen in the past or the present? Because the first part suggests the present, but the second suggests the past.
     
  3. Dameldut

    Dameldut New Member

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    The argument is happening in the present, but it's about the past. Tanya is arguing that, for a time, Melanie did help her but when push came to shove Melanie ignored her pleas for help.
     
  4. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    No, because "ignore" isn't a verb of motion. "Up and left," "up and ran," "up and went," etc. all involve motion, while "ignore" does not.
     
  5. Dameldut

    Dameldut New Member

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    Do you have a replacement? One that conveys the same amount of frustration? I'm wracking my brain trying to think of one that suits the situation.

    Edit: Wait, would "left me in the lurch" work?
     
  6. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    Try it out and see :-D
     
  7. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I think its a tense issue

    shouldnt it be

    "I agreed to that, for the first year, but then you just ignored me"

    or

    I agreed to that for the first year but then you up and left me"
     
  8. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    "to that" is where the tense problem is created.

    Perhaps "I agree you did for the first year, after that you just ignored me".
     
  9. Dameldut

    Dameldut New Member

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    “I looked after you. I did for you what he never did!” she started flailing her arms about.

    “I agree to that, for the first year after he started acting weird, then you just left me in the lurch.”


    The "to that" part was referring to what Melanie had just said. I'm thinking of changing it to what Naomasa suggests. Or just "You did, but only for the first year after he started acting weird, then you just left me in the lurch."
     
  10. Hammer

    Hammer Contributor Contributor

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    I have always used up and leave or upped and left

    vanished? disappeared? buggered off? sodded off? pissed off? ghosted? evaporated? there are many ways of saying it...
     
  11. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    One of the problems people are having is with 'agree' which is in the present tense, while the 'up and ignored' bit is in the past. This might not matter, depending on what bits of dialogue came before ...we've just got this one line to go on. But if your character is agreeing with what the other person just said, you might try:

    "I agree to that—about the first year, anyway. But then you just up and ignored me."

    You don't have to be grammatically correct in dialogue, if you're reproducing what the person actually said. But the passage should make sense to the reader, overall.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
    Xoic, Hammer and Seven Crowns like this.
  12. Thorn Cylenchar

    Thorn Cylenchar Active Member

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    English is a funny language. They both work but 'just up and ignored me' is more common and I have both used and heard that used in conversation.
     

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