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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 12th, 2013, 11:14 pm
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Default Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

Hi teacher,
Do the sentences sound natural?
"My room has ants. "
"My room has a chair."
"My bathroom doesn't have a bathtub."

Thank you very much.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 13th, 2013, 02:33 am
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

They're certainly grammatically correct - but how "natural" they are depends entirely on the context. It's impossible to evaluate sentences in isolation. We'd need to see the surrounding text to decide.
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Unread Mar 13th, 2013, 11:08 am
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

Hi susan,
Many thanks for your answer.
I'm afraid I don't have any the surrounding text. So, could you please give me examples of those to make them sound natural?
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Unread Mar 14th, 2013, 03:17 am
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

For example , the last one would be natural in the following situation :
You're in a hotel, and when you booked you specifically asked for a bathtub. So you go to reception to complain :
Excuse me - I've just checked in and I'm in room 213. But my room doesn't have a bathtub. When I booked I specifically asked for one, and you said it wasn't a problem. Can you change the room please?

It's very difficult to think of a context where you would want to say something like My room has a chair. Possibly if you were comparing hotel rooms with a friend who hasn't seen your room you might say something like: Oh this is a nice room. Much nicer than mine. You've got an armchair! My room has a chair, but it's not as nice as yours!

On the other hand, if you found ants in the room and went to complain, then your sentence My room has ants doesn't sound particularly natural. have tends either to be used to describe possession (I have a dog and a cat) or when X is an integral, and unsurprising component of Y - as in My room has a bathtub. The bathtub is an integral and unsurprising component of a bathroom. Ants, however, clearly aren't an "integral component" of a room. I'd use something like ...
Excuse me. I've just checked in. But the room is full of ants / There are ants all over the room.

But change the context and it might work. Imagine a hotel called "The Entomologist's Retreat" which specialises in holidays for bug hunters. The hotel is decorated with pictures of various insects. This time, when you see your friend's room, you say : Oh - you've got butterflies and scarab beetles. That's much nicer than my room. My room has ants and cockroaches.

This time, the pictures of the insects are an integral part of the room. So the sentence sounds fine.

While we're on the subject of "sounding natural" - regional variations play a part too. Keep in mind that what sounds "natural" to someone from one area may sound unnatural to someone from another. As a British speaker I would be unlikely to say bathtub, replacing it with just bath. And has would often become 's got. I'm presuming you're using American English though, so those issues wouldn't affect the naturalness of the sentence.
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Last edited by susan53 : Mar 14th, 2013 at 07:16 am.
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Unread Mar 14th, 2013, 04:54 pm
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

Hi susan,
Thank you so much for your detailed explanation.
[quote=susan53;78352]
Excuse me - I've just checked in and I'm in room 213. But my room doesn't have a bathtub. When I booked I specifically asked for one, and you said it wasn't a problem. Can you change the room please?

Can I use "there isn't a bathtub in my room" instead of "my room doesn't have a bathtub" here without changing the meaning?

It's very difficult to think of a context where you would want to say something like My room has a chair. Possibly if you were comparing hotel rooms with a friend who hasn't seen your room you might say something like: Oh this is a nice room. Much nicer than mine. You've got an armchair! My room has a chair, but it's not as nice as yours!

Can I use "There is a chair in my room" instead of "My room has a chair" here without changing the meaning?

But change the context and it might work. Imagine a hotel called "The Entomologist's Retreat" which specialises in holidays for bug hunters. The hotel is decorated with pictures of various insects. This time, when you see your friend's room, you say : Oh - you've got butterflies and scarab beetles. That's much nicer than my room. My room has ants and cockroaches.

Can I use "There are ants and cockroaches in my room" instead of "My room has ants and cockroaches" here without changing the meaning?
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Unread Mar 15th, 2013, 01:34 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

Yes, yes, and yes
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Unread Mar 15th, 2013, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

Hi susan,

Many thanks for your answer. Could you help me check if these contexts sound natural?

1.The table has a bottle of milk on it. Can I have some?
(Can I omit 'on it' here if the sentence is fine)

2.The forest has many wolves. So be careful when you travel there.

3.Does this area have any hotels?

4.How many rooms does your flat have?

5.My neighborhood has a park. The park has a pond and the pond has many fish in it.

6.The zoo has many kind of animals such as lions, tigers, elephants etc.

7.The picture has three cats in it.

8.My room has a chair, you can sit in it and rest if you want.

9.My living room has a TV and that is the only one in the house.
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Unread Mar 17th, 2013, 02:22 pm
Sue
 
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

1. No a) because if the bottle was on the table it would presumably be in plain view and you wouldn't "preannounce" it - you'd just sayCan I have some of that milk on the table?; b) because again, a bottle of milk is not an "integral and unsurprising" component of a table. Presuming that the table wasn't in sight, you'd say something like : I saw there's a bottle of milk on the table in the other room. Can I have some of it?

If you apply the "Is it an integral and unsurprising component?" criterion, you get a definite "OK" for the use of "have" in 4, and all the examples in 5, 6,7,8 and 9.

2 and 3 sound odd - wolves and hotels are a possible, but not "integral and unsurprising", component of forests and neighbourhoods. Both of these sentences really focus on the existence of X in Y - there's no suggestion of X being possessed by or an "unsurprising" component of Y. So I'd prefer There are a lot of wolves ... and Are there any hotels...

Notice incidentally that there are problems with the grammaticality/naturalness of other elements in the sentences :

1. It's unusual to use many in an assertive context (such as the affirmative sentences here) when it's in object/complement position. Use a lot of instead.

2. Remember that kind of must become kinds of when the context is plural, and it's usually modified with an adjective like different or various.

So, without any further context, I'd rewrite(where necessary) your list as :

1. I saw there's a bottle of milk on the table in the other room. Can I have some?

2. There are a lot of wolves in the forest. So be careful when you travel there.

3. Are there any hotels in this area?

4. How many rooms does your flat have?

5.My neighborhood has a park. The park has a pond and the pond has a lot of fish in it.

6.The zoo has a lot of different kinds of animals such as lions, tigers, and elephants

7.The picture has three cats in it.

8. You look tired. My room has a chair - you can sit in it and rest if you want.

9.My living room has a TV, butthat's the only one in the house.

Again though, depending on the context (which means more than a single sentence - the context is the whole situation surrounding the sentence) some of your uses of have might well sound more natural than when taken in isolation as here. So, for your number 5 :

A and B have both just started work in a new city. They've both moved there, but are living in different areas.

A : I can't believe the number of hotels in this city! Where I live, there seems to be one on every block! What about where you are? Does your area have a lot of hotels?
Because of what A says first, it's clear that she does see hotels as an "integral" part of this particular city and the area where she lives. And so the use of have becomes natural. Similarly, imagine a naturalist talking about forests in country X :

Of course, the forests here are famous for their bears - there are more here than anywhere else in the world. And wolves too. Forests X, Y and Z have a lot of wolves - so many that you have to be careful when you're travelling there.

He's saying that, in this case, wolves are an "integral and unsurprising" component of these forests - whether they are elsewhere is unimportant because the context specifies that the general situation is unimportant. you could have achieved much the same effect in your sentence just by changing The to This...
This forest has a lot of wolves - so be careful when you travel there.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 18th, 2013, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

Hi Susan,
Thank you very very much for your great help. Your answers always help me a lot.
Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
Similarly, imagine a naturalist talking about forests in country X :

Of course, the forests here are famous for their bears - there are more here than anywhere else in the world. And wolves too. Forests X, Y and Z have a lot of wolves - so many that you have to be careful when you're travelling there.

He's saying that, in this case, wolves are an "integral and unsurprising" component of these forests - whether they are elsewhere is unimportant because the context specifies that the general situation is unimportant. you could have achieved much the same effect in your sentence just by changing The to This...
This forest has a lot of wolves - so be careful when you travel there.
What do you mean by the general situation is unimportant.

I don't understand why [you could have achieved much the same effect in your sentence just by changing The to This...
This forest has a lot of wolves - so be careful when you travel there]. So could you please explain it?

Is it possible that we can use these sentences in the right context?

1."The fridge/box has some apples in it.
2."My soup has a fly in it. Can you give me another one?"
3."How many people does your class have?"
4.My desk has a computer on it. You can use it if you want."
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 19th, 2013, 09:34 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

Re "this" and why the general situation is unimportant: This is more emphatic than "the". So using it here emphasises that we really are talking about this forest rather than forests in general. The speaker is saying "It's only this one that's important. Although I know that, in general wolves aren't an "unsurprising" component of forests, you can forget about that. because in this one they are "integral and unsurprising" The meaning is the same with "the" of course, - it's just emphasis.

As for the other sentences you propose, as we've seen above, if you think of a specific context, almost any sentence can be possible. But with all of the sentences you suggest, there is/are would be more likely in any ordinary context.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 19th, 2013, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

Hi susan,
Many thanks for your reply.

"There are wolves in the forest."

What does "in the forest" refer to here?
Does it refer to forests in general or some forest the listener knows what the speaker is referring to?
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  #12 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 20th, 2013, 02:41 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

A specific forest, known to both the speaker and the listener. As I said, the meaning is exactly the same whether you use "the forest" or "this forest". Only the degree of emphasis changes.
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Unread Mar 22nd, 2013, 12:13 am
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Default Re: Please check if the sentences are correct and natural

Hi Susan,
I appreciate all your kind helpful help!
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