eslHQ Home
User Name Password
Lost Password? | Join eslHQ.com, it's FREE!
View today's posts
Search Extras Help   

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 3rd, 2016, 03:06 pm
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1st, 2016
Posts: 28
alexlearner is on a distinguished road
Default Which sentences sound more natural?

I would like to write down some sentences below.

(1a) I will give him a call later at home.
(1b) I will give him a call at home later.

(2a) Mary watched sadly her favorite team lose.
(2b) Mary watched her favorite team lose sadly at the end.
(2c) Mary watched her favorite team lose at the end sadly.

(3a) There is a book and five pencils on the table.
(3b) There are a book and five pencils on the table.
(3c) There are five pencils and a book on the table.

(4a) There is a red book and a brown pencil on the table.
(4b) There are a red book and a brown pencil on the table.

Which sentences are grammatically correct? Thank you very much for your help.

Last edited by alexlearner : Sep 3rd, 2016 at 10:12 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 7th, 2016, 05:35 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Which sentences sound more natural?

I don't have time to deal with all these today, but here's an answer to the sentences in group 1

1a and 1b are both fine. Both word orders are possible. Neither the adverbial of place nor that of time is dependent on anything else in the sentence, and so they can be given in either order. Here's another example :
  • I saw John at the supermarket this morning
  • I saw John this morning at the supermarket

The only comment I'd make is that the sentences are slightly ambiguous. Do you mean you'll give him a call when you are at home, or when he is at home? It could be interpreted in either way.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 8th, 2016, 09:36 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Which sentences sound more natural?

The second group of sentences all sound strange and ambiguous. First of all I don't understand "at the end" - do you mean they were winning all the way through but then suddenly lost at the end? Or that Mary was sad at the end? Depending on the meaning I'd change it to :


Mary watched sadly as her favourite team lost.
Mary watched sadly as the other team scored in the last minute, and her favourite team lost.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 9th, 2016, 08:05 am
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Sep 9th, 2016
Posts: 2
black_lily is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Which sentences sound more natural?

to me, 1a sounds more natural...as to second group of sentences, none of them sound to me correct...I like susan53's examples...in the third group, the correct answer is a...regarding the fourth group, I'm not quite sure but I'd go with b
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 9th, 2016, 09:39 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,400
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Which sentences sound more natural?

Sorry Lily but I don't agree. in the third group all of them are "correct" but (3a) and (3c) are much more likely to be heard than (3b)

Generally, when using There + Be, the verb agrees with the first item to be mentioned, regardless of what comes later. So, even though 3b is grammatically logical, it would be unlikely to be used. We'd more likely say one of the following :

There's a book on the table.
There's a book and five pencils on the table.
There are five pencils and a book on the table.

(NB notice the contraction which makes the first two sentences sound more natural)

In exactly the same way, this makes 4a much more likely than 4b, which sounds very unnatural.

In really natural speech though, it would be unlikely to be expressed like this - information tends to be "chunked" to make it easier for the speaker to think of what they want to say and the listener to process it. So it would be more likely to be:

A : I need something to write with.
B : There's a pen on the table - oh and some pencils too if you prefer.

A : I need something to write with.
B : There's a pencil on the table - oh and a pen too if you prefer.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads Replies
Elision of Schwa sound. 2
Please check if the sentences are correct and natural 12
Are these sentences natural? April 27 1
C'est Ó Toi: Unit 2, Lešon B: Scrambled Sentences 0
Jumbled Sentences 0

Find the Best TEFL, TESL, TESOL & CELTA Certification Courses - User Submitted Ratings & Reviews for Online, Distance & Abroad TEFL Courses. Over 3,500 reviews of 100+ TEFL schools!

Teach English in Thailand - Onsite and Combined TEFL certification courses in Phuket, Thailand.


Free ESL Flashcards


Similar Threads Replies
Elision of Schwa sound. 2
Please check if the sentences are correct and natural 12
Are these sentences natural? April 27 1
C'est Ó Toi: Unit 2, Lešon B: Scrambled Sentences 0
Jumbled Sentences 0


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:35 pm.

All materials from this website are for classroom-use only. Digital redistribution of materials, in part or in whole, is strictly forbidden!

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2