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mesmark Jan 23rd, 2006 12:29 am

time-place or place-time
I have another good question for you.

Is there a proper order for forming a sentence in regards to place and time?

One of my students asked me this question because evidently there is a proper order for what is concidered a good Japanese sentence. (In Japanese subject-time-place-verb.)

Here are the two sentences:
1. I worked in Japan for 6 years.
2. I worked for 6 years in Japan.

I told her that whichever is more important goes first or closest to the modified word.

If in an interview, the fact that I was in Japan (my Japanese proficiency) is important I would use structure 1.

If I was applying for a teaching position (my work experience is important) I would use sentence 2.

So, my answer was there is no set order that is concidered correct.

What do you think?

Eric Jan 23rd, 2006 05:43 am

Re: time-place or place-time
i think the answer you gave is right on. important thing comes first.

don't forget to mention them that the order is not as important as intonation.


mesmark Jan 26th, 2006 07:13 am

Re: time-place or place-time
The original sentence was:

He suffered austerities for attaining awakening in the mountains for 6 years.

It's about Buddha working to attain enlightenment.

I changed it to:

He underwent severe conditioning for 6 years in the mountains in attemps to attain enlightment.

Manuela Feb 4th, 2006 03:21 pm

Re: time-place or place-time
I learnt that because English is not an inflected language word order is quite inflexible, i.e. (when)/ subject/verb/direct object/ indirect object/ How/where/ (when) '
so Time should be either in the beginning or in the end
Can I have a try at your sentence even though I'm not a native speaker, just an English teacher?:)
How about:
For six years he bore hardships in the mountains in order to attain enlightment.
Just a thought:o

mesmark Feb 4th, 2006 08:30 pm

Re: time-place or place-time
That sounds good to me. I asked my student what was more important him spending 6 years or the fact that he was in the mountains. She said his harships and the length of time were more important than the place so I think mine or your correction draw attention to that fact.:D

Buddha didn't attain enlightenment at that time. That's why I wrote in "attempts to attain enlightenment."

On a funny note, that student signed up last week for an ESL site to get flashcards/clipart. :jaw:

She knows about my site and eslhq and then had the nerve to tell me.

Both of our sites are free and have more and better content individually than the site she signed up with.:doh: :frusty: :der:

I couldn't get over it.

Manuela Feb 7th, 2006 08:34 am

Re: time-place or place-time
Well, this student of yours seems to have problems either with herself or with you.
1. She feels inferior to you, so by telling you that she preferred a different sight she tries to look important.(problems with herself)
2. She felt rejected somehow by you and tries to reject you back.(problems with you)
Why else would she tell you about it?
Or maybe she is just plain stupid? !
Anyway,none of these explanations have anything to do with the quality of your site or Eric's.

Your site is exceptionally good. My students are in love with your flashcards and your gamecards! I also find it good that you have started forums too.
Eric's site is fine too. I can't see any problem with your sites that would make her choose something else.

If she has such problems it must be hard to live with herself. You needn't be angry with her, says me.:) :o

little sage Apr 25th, 2006 09:08 am

Re: time-place or place-time
I know this is an old thread, but I have to say one thing... And I know that the original question was a grammar one... I swear I'll check my Elements of Style when I get to school tomorrow, but....

I laughed so hard when I read that Buddha "underwent severe conditioning" :lol: I totally pictured him training for the Olympic bobsled team or something!!! I vote for Manuela's sentence, sorry.

Also, the original sentence's "suffered" and "awakening" are key terms in Buddhism so I think you could have kept them and just rearranged to make the sentence less awkward:

"He suffered in the mountains for six years in order to attain awakening."

Austerities has a good sound to it, but I don't know if austerities can be suffered. Endured, maybe?

OMG, I can't stop picturing Buddha in sweats!


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