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Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please. - UniLang

Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

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azhong
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Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby azhong » 2014-11-01, 7:51

linguoboy on 2014-10-30 wrote:The person after me agrees azhong would be better served posting these short compositions to another thread where he could get feedback without disrupting the flow of the game.
To begin with, the most important of all, I do not intend to bring anyone any inconvenience or discomfort. Yet, I decide to accept linguoboy's suggestion to start a thread for my writing practices. And here it is, from a non-native English learner.

(To explain a bit please allow me, if it is helpful for us all to realize how easy it is to have a culture gap. The reason I've put my writing practices in the "Group Discussion" thread or in the "Person After Me" thread is just because I think it is self-centered to own a thread everywhere, occupying the page space, unless one really could not but do it for some reason. I've done that twice in other language forums. However, since most friends here are western, and linguoboy definitely knows western culture, and culture of this forum, much better than I do...)

Finally, I do not have any right to request that I should be served, or would be better served, here or anywhere. The process of fighting with a passage with the help of dictionaries is itself very helpful to me. Yet, in spite of saying so, I do expect grammatical help from anyone, in public or in private, and that's the only reason why I post my awkward passages here.

Your help will be always and sincerely appreciated. I thank you in advance.
Last edited by azhong on 2014-11-09, 7:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practices, Seeking Your Correction please.

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-02, 1:21

azhong wrote:To begin with, the most important of allmost importantly, I do not intend to bringcause anyone any inconvenience or discomfort. Yet, I have decided to accept linguoboy's suggestion to start a thread for my writing practices. And here it is, from a non-native English learner.

(To explain a bit please allow me,Please allow me to explain ifbecause it is helpful for us all to realize how easy it is to have a culture gap. The reason I've put my writing practices in the "Group Discussion" thread or in the "Person After Me" thread is just because I think it is self-centered to own a thread everywherehave your own thread, occupying the page space, unless one really could not but do it for some reason. I've done that twice in other language forums. However, since most friendsposters here are Western, and linguoboy definitely knows Western culture, and the culture of this forum, much better than I do...)

Finally, I do not have any right to request that I should be served, or would be better served, here or anywhere. The process of fighting with a passage with the help of dictionaries is itself very helpful to me. Yet, in spite of saying so, I do expect grammatical help from anyone, in public or in private, and that's the only reason why I post my awkward passages here.

Your help will be always and sincerely appreciated. I thank you in advance.

When I first came to Unilang, I found the practice of having personal threads very odd indeed. Every other language-learning forum I've visited had general threads devoted to discussion or practice of particular languages where everyone could participate and learn from each other's mistakes. That's still possible, of course, but it seems more awkward to have these discussions spread across several threads since, after all, learners often make the same types of mistakes.

But that's the culture of the forum and I've learned to accept it. I don't think you writing exercises would necessarily be out of place in the Group Discussion thread, but they do tend to break the flow of the "Person after me" game, which is why I think people tend not to comment on them there. Since, as you say, clearly the reason you're posting is to get feedback, I wanted to steer you someplace where you would. I can't promise I'll always get around to checking and correcting this thread, but I will do what I can.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practices, Seeking Your Correction please.

Postby azhong » 2014-11-09, 5:53

(In addition to be grammatical, tell me the most natural, idiomatic diction please, even if it's not poetic. I want to learn that. Thank you in advance for your comments.)

The man awoke in darkness of his room. He opened eyes and stared at the naught awhile. He crawled, raising himself to sit at the foot of the bed. A dim, pale light framed the curtain from its back. It was morning, another one.

He got up, stretched his hand forward, poke the curtain a bit aside, and looked out. The sky turned cloudy, not as shiny as last morning, nor as the mornings before. Glancing at this, he was reminded the weather forecast on the air he repeatedly heard in every o'clock news yesterday. A cold wave from Siberia was moving fast southerly, would arrive today, reduce the temperature, and possibly rain. His arm shrank back, at once his profile, black and incomplete, vanished along with the narrow beam of light from the earlier curtain leak. He stood himself still in the darkness of the bedroom for another short while, before starting to dress.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practices, Seeking Your Correction please.

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-09, 15:57

azhong wrote:(In addition to being grammatical, tell me the most natural, idiomatic diction please, even if it's not poetic. I want to learn that. Thank you in advance for your comments.)

The man awoke in the darkness of his room. He opened his eyes and stared at the naughtnothingness for a while. He crawled, raising himself to sit at the foot of the bed. A dim, pale light framed the curtain from its backbehind. It was morning. Another one.

He got up, stretched his hand forward, poked the curtain a bit aside, and looked out. The sky had turned cloudy. It was not as shinybright as last morning, nor as the mornings before. Glancing out at thisit, he was reminded of the weather forecast on the air he had repeatedly heard in every o'clockevery hour on the news yesterday. A cold wave from Siberia was moving fast southerlysouth quickly, would arrive today, reducelower the temperature, and possibly bring rain. His arm shrank back. At once his profile, black and incomplete, vanished along with the narrow beam of light from the earlier curtain leakgap in the curtains. He stood himself still in the darkness of the bedroom for another short while before starting to dress.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby azhong » 2014-11-11, 7:52

Q1: How to say in English respectively
(1) 床頭(literally, "bed head"), the usual position where pillows are;
(2) 床尾("bed tail"), the usual position where one's feet are when sleeping; and
(3) 床腳("bed foot"), the four sticks under that support a bed?

Q2: Does the sentence 2-2 below have the same meaning as 2-1? I happened to read the similar usage from a novel (of Issac Singer) yesterday. Is 2-2 more natural to you?
(2-1) He stretched his hand forward, and poked the curtain aside.
(2-2) He extended his hand out, and turned the curtain aside.

Q3: How about adding radio, refering to that the news was got from the radio broadcasting but not TV?
He was reminded of the weather forecast he had repeatedly heard every hour on the radio news yesterday.

Thank you.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby ling » 2014-11-11, 8:21

azhong wrote:Q1: How to say in English respectively
(1) 床頭(literally, "bed head"), the usual position where pillows are;

the head of the bed
(2) 床尾("bed tail"), the usual position where one's feet are when sleeping; and

the foot of the bed
(3) 床腳("bed foot"), the four sticks under that support a bed?

legs

Q2: Does the sentence 2-2 below have the same meaning as 2-1? I happened to read the similar usage from a novel (of Issac Singer) yesterday. Is 2-2 more natural to you?
(2-1) He stretched his hand forward, and poked the curtain aside.
(2-2) He extended his hand out, and turned the curtain aside.

"out" is more general than "forward". "out" can be pretty much any direction.
"stretch" sounds a little more natural than "extend", but either one is OK.
"poke" is a little odd in this context, but hey: literary license.

Q3: How about adding radio, refering to that the news was got from the radio broadcasting but not TV?
He was reminded of the weather forecast he had repeatedly heard every hour on the radio news yesterday.

I would delete "news". "on the radio" is very normal.

It seems to me that the meaning of the Chinese word 廣播, without additional qualification, defaults to "radio broadcast", rather than simply "broadcast" as stated in pretty much every dictionary.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-11, 15:20

ling wrote:
Q2: Does the sentence 2-2 below have the same meaning as 2-1? I happened to read the similar usage from a novel (of Issac Singer) yesterday. Is 2-2 more natural to you?
(2-1) He stretched his hand forward, and poked the curtain aside.
(2-2) He extended his hand out, and turned the curtain aside.

"out" is more general than "forward". "out" can be pretty much any direction.
"stretch" sounds a little more natural than "extend", but either one is OK.
"poke" is a little odd in this context, but hey: literary license.

"Extend" is higher register (more formal, more literary) than "stretch".

"Poke" implies to me that he used his forefinger to push the curtain aside (as opposed to, say, his whole hand).
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby azhong » 2014-11-12, 14:19

ling wrote:It seems to me that the meaning of the Chinese word 廣播, without additional qualification, defaults to "radio broadcast", rather than simply "broadcast" as stated in pretty much every dictionary.
(1)To say strictly, no, if you use the term "default to". 廣播 does still follow the dictionary's default, with the meaning "to broadcast". For example, if you do not hear clearly what was broadcasted through a megaphone or a broadcasting system like what are used in school) , you can ask:
剛才廣播說什麼?(What did the broadcasting say just now?)

(2)Perhaps I'd say this way: the term 廣播, when used independently, seems only refer to something audio, but not vedio. And as you know, the radio broadcast is the audio broadcast most frequently touched. Thus, basing on this, yes, the term 廣播 usually refers to "radio broadcasting".
我每天(都)聽廣播。(I listen to the radio everyday.)

(3)Yet, it's nothing odd or wrong to say 電視廣播 (TV broadcast)or 電視廣播節目(TV broadcast programs); people use to say 電視 or 電視節目, though.
我每天看電視。(I watch TV everyday.)
我不喜歡 這(個) (電視)節目。(I don't like this TV program.)

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-12, 15:27

azhong wrote:(1)Strictly speaking, no, if you use the term "default to". 廣播 does still follow the dictionary definition, with the meaning "to broadcast". For example, if you do not hear clearly what was broadcasted through a megaphone or a broadcasting system like what are those used in school) , you can ask:
剛才廣播說什麼?(What did the broadcasting say just now?)

(2)Perhaps I'd say it this way: the term 廣播, when used independently, seems only refer to something audio, but not video. And as you know, a radio broadcast is the most common type of audio broadcast most frequently touched. Thus, based on this, yes, the term 廣播 usually refers to "radio broadcasting".
我每天(都)聽廣播。(I listen to the radio everyday.)

(3)Even so, it's nothing odd or wrong to say 電視廣播 (TV broadcast) or 電視廣播節目(TV broadcast programs); people used to say 電視 or 電視節目, though.
我每天看電視。(I watch TV everyday.)
我不喜歡 這(個) (電視)節目。(I don't like this TV program.)
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby azhong » 2014-11-16, 4:51

Drowsily, the man moved (from his bedroom) to the top of the ladder. He stepped out the right leg down upon a stair and, directly, the right knee was slightly twinged. He paused, reached out to the ladder arm and clasped (grip?) it.
"Ouch!" he lightly shouted."Damn it!"

Whom are you blaming for, sir? An inner voice arose. You have paddled the bicycle too much, with your right leg harder. On that, are you forced? And, who prevent you from being cautious? The pain has been happening for mornings. If you decide (have decided?) the pain is just a moderate nothing and to keep being absent-minded, don't yell please. Or just scream as loudly as an ambulance, since you live alone and nobody will be disturbed.

This inner talk sounded strict; and exactly by reason of it, his characteristic of playfulness was also roused. His left leg came after onto the same stair. He stood straight, with a puzzling smile on his face. He cleaned his throat.

"Oh! Morning Twinge, holy pain," he mused, hard he mused, seeking words for his improvising monologue. "Thou art sacred. Thou art a blessing of Heaven. Thou art my Lord."

He yelled loudly. His tone was dramatically sarcastic. In the semi-enclosed small space of stairs, the voice wafted and vibrated.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby azhong » 2014-11-23, 6:40

(Thank you in advance for your emendations.)

The man mused again, freezing himself on the stairs and racking his brain. He seemed little by little inspired.
"I, a rabble and pauper, need Thee glorify me, praise me, enthrone me. Let there be twinge every morning, Ambassador of Death. Let a day begins only with Thee, Cure of Indulgence." He raised his arms high and looked upward," I beg Thee for Thy mercy, for Thy forever company, for never dropping me alone."

That was all he could squeezed out; he had finished his limited lines. He again went off descending, his pretentious acting still on. Now he was moving as if with poliomyelitis, or with a right knee fast bandaged by the plaster cast. Yet, even during the process of being playful, he did not forget paying attention and noticed in the following steps the physical discomfort, as the mornings before, got into less and less painful. It reassured him his knee not harmed seriously, thus he might be still allowed to remain his being incautious. The twinge was fully insensible when he arrived the last stair. That's good, he thought. He hopped down to the ground.

"My Lord, my Lord, why did Thou abadon me?"
With a loud cry he switched the ladder lamp off, turned off-stage too and behaved normally. Although without audience, he was satisfied with his improvisation and was stirred up all the way to the kitchen. Passing by the living room, he habitually switched the radio on.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-11-25, 22:58

Tbh, this story is pretty hard to understand; in fact, it might even help if you wrote it out in Chinese, since that might help me understand better what you meant. I'd even suggest that maybe you should start out by trying to write less complicated things. But I'll try to suggest some corrections anyway. I'm sorry if the corrections are often rather drastic, but honestly, I'm just trying to understand what you meant here and rephrase it in a way that seems to make sense without changing your writing style too much (it sounds rather formal, just so you know). Thanks. :)
azhong wrote:Drowsily, the man moved climbed up (from his bedroom) to the top of the ladder. He stepped out the right leg down upon a stair His right leg stepped down onto a staircase, and, directly, the right knee was slightly twinged as a direct result, he slightly twisted his right knee. He paused, reached out to the ladder arm edge of the ladder, and clasped (grip?) gripped it.
"Ouch!" he lightly shouted softly. "Damn it!"

Whom are you blaming for, sir? Aan inner voice arose and asked him. You have paddled the been pedaling on your bicycle too much, with your right leg pedaling harder than your left. On that, are you forced? Did anyone force you to do that? And, who prevented ("stopped" may be better) you from being cautious? The pain has been happening for mornings reoccurring repeatedly in the morning. If you decide (have decided?) the pain is just a moderate nothing and to keep being absent-minded, don't yell please. O Please, either don't yell if you've/you have decided the pain is trivial and not worth thinking about, or just scream as loudly as an ambulance, since you live alone and nobody will be disturbed.

This inner talk sounded strict;, and exactly by reason of it, his characteristic of playfulness was also roused for that exact reason, he chose to respond with satire. His left leg came after He eventually managed to bring his left leg onto the same stair. He stood straight, with a puzzlinged smile on his face. He cleaned cleared his throat.

"Oh! Morning Twinge, holy pain," he mused, hard he mused. He mused hard, seeking words for his improvisinged monologue. "Thou art sacred. Thou art a blessing of Heaven. Thou art my Lord."

He yelled loudly. His tone was dramatically sarcastic. In On the semi-enclosed small space of stairs staircase, the his voice wafted and vibrated.

Might be better to say: "His voice wafted and vibrated on the semi-enclosed small staircase."
(Thank you in advance for your emendations.)

FYI, I've never heard anyone use the word "emendations" before. :) Usually, we say "revisions."
The man mused again, freezing himself on the stairs and racking his brain. He seemed little by little to gradually feel more and more inspired.
"I, a rabble (a rabble is a crowd (大众). Are you sure that's what you meant here? Or did you mean "robber" or something?) and pauper, need Thee to glorify me, praise me, enthrone me. Let there be a twinge every morning, Ambassador of Death. Let a day begins only with Thee, Cure of Indulgence." He raised his arms high and looked upward," saying, "I beg Thee for Thy mercy, for Thy forever company, for never dropping me alone to have mercy on me, to forever accompany me, to never abandon me."

That was all he could squeezed out; he had finished exhausted his limited lines creativity. He again went off descending, went back downstairs, continuing his pretentious acting still on. Now he was moving as if with poliomyelitis, or with a right knee fast recently bandaged by the in a plaster cast. Yet, even during the process of being playful as playful as he was, he did not forget to paying attention and noticed in the following as he climbed down (or "as he descended") the steps that the physical discomfort, as compared to the mornings before, got into was becoming less and less painful. It reassured him that his knee was not harmed seriously hurt, thus so he might be still allowed still be able to remain his continue being incautious. The twinge was fully insensible when gone by the time he arrived reached the last stair step. That's good, he thought. He hopped down to the ground.

"My Lord, my Lord, why didst Thou abandon me?"
With a loud cry he switched he cried aloud, switching the ladder lamp off, turneding off-stage, too and behaveding normally. Although without an audience, he was satisfied with his improvisation and was stirred up "remained fired up" might be better all the way to the kitchen. Passing by the living room, he habitually switched the radio on as usual.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby azhong » 2014-11-26, 13:55

天啊,我還真沒想到這兩段有這麼多需要修改之處,我已經很認真地翻查字典了。一定花了你不少時間,非常感謝。
Thank you very much. I do not suppose there are so many revisions. It must have spent you a lot of time.

我想先問一小段,主要是你理解的情節和我想說的情節兩者有點出入。
I want to explain a small paragraph for now. The plot that I wanted to say might be a little different from that you have underatood.
vijayjohn wrote:Drowsily, the man moved climbed up (from his bedroom) to the top of the ladder.
Well, the plot I had set up was that the man was moving from his badroom, which was on the second floor of a house, down to the first floor. Thus he moved to the top of the ladder first, then started going downward. That is, he was moving horizontally so far.
他從二樓的房間走到二樓的樓梯口。
vijayjohn wrote:He stepped out the right leg down upon a stair His right leg stepped down onto a staircase, and, directly, the right knee was slightly twinged as a direct result, he slightly twisted his right knee.
Here, he was going downstairs for his first step.
他開始下樓。
vijayjohn wrote: He paused, reached out to the ladder arm edge of the ladder, and clasped (grip?) gripped it.
The ladder arm,(樓梯的)扶手,does it not work here?[/img]

So, after my explanation, how would you change your revision?

And, one more question: the sentences below as two examples, what's wrong with my original sentneces comparing to your revised ones? Ungrammatical, or unnatural, or what? I find there is something I can seem never to pass so far. What's the main problem of my writing? I have checked all the dictions with dictionaries and analyze each sentence with grammers. But it still seems not to work.
vijayjohn wrote:He stepped out the right leg down upon a stair His right leg stepped down onto a staircase, and, directly, the right knee was slightly twinged as a direct result, he slightly twisted his right knee.

vijayjohn wrote:"Ouch!" he lightly shouted softly. "Damn it!"

Thank you, John.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-26, 17:55

azhong wrote:Thank you very much. I do not supposedid not expect there arewould be so many revisions. It must have spentcost you a lot of time. [Or: You must have spent a lot of time on them.]

我想先問一小段,主要是你理解的情節和我想說的情節兩者有點出入。
I want to explain a small (short) paragraph for now. The plot that I wanted to saytell might be a little different from that you have understood.

Well, the plot I had set up was that the man was moving from his bedroom, which was on the second floor of a house, down to the first floor. Thus he moved to the top of the ladder first, then started going downward.

Typically, ladders are described as having rungs rather than "steps". (At least ladders which go from room to room like that. "Stepladders" are typically only a metre or two in height.)

azhong wrote:And, one more question: taking the sentences below as two examples, what's wrong with my original sentences comparingcompared to your revised ones? Ungrammatical, or unnatural, or what? I find there is something I can seem never to passovercome so far. What's the main problem of my writing? I have checked all the dictionswords within dictionaries and analyzed each sentence with grammars. But it still seems not to work.

Dictionaries can only tell you so much. Many lack grammatical information (such as rules on proper complementation). Most importantly, the entries are too brief to give much explanation about usage, collocations in particular. Some of what you write is perfectly grammatical, but you combine words in such a way that no native speaker would purposefully do. At its best, this sounds jarring; at its worst, it is incomprehensible.

azhong wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:He stepped out the right leg down upon a stair His right leg stepped down onto a staircase, and, directly, the right knee was slightly twinged as a direct result, he slightly twisted his right knee.

"Step out" connotes exiting. You "step out of a car" or "step out(side) into the darkness and cold". But, if I understand the architecture of the room, the ladder extends into it. Since the first rung is below the level of the floor, you could say he stepped down onto it, but "stepped out" is jarring here.

Furthermore, step (and its collocations) are intransitive in contemporary usage. The most recent example I can find for transitive "step" ("the first man who stepped foot on the enemy's soil") is from 1880--and, as this example shows, it doesn't take "leg" as its object. The "foot" is the only part of your body which actually makes the sort of contact described as a "step".

In summary, you can set or place a foot on a rung or step ("stair" in the singular means "staircase", not a single step in one), but you can't "step out a leg...upon" one.

azhong wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:"Ouch!" he lightly shouted softly. "Damn it!"

This is collocation problem. The adjective "light" originally had two meanings: "brightly lit" and "not heavy". From these, it has been extended to mean "pale" on the one hand and "gentle" on the other. In both cases, you are dealing with physical properties of concrete objects. But a voice isn't a concrete object; it's an impression produced by the movement of sound waves in the air. So it's odd to qualify it with "light". "Soft", however, refers to the impression made on the senses by something, so it works better here.

But I have a problem with this sentence from a denotational point of view. The definition of "shout" is "to utter a loud call, to make a loud outcry expressive of joy, exultation, etc." How can a sound be both "loud" and "soft" at the same time? If he spoke "softly", he was--by definition--not "shouting".
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-11-26, 21:50

azhong wrote:天啊,我還真沒想到這兩段有這麼多需要修改之處,我已經很認真地翻查字典了。

Well, now you have an idea of what it's like when I write in Chinese. ;)
一定花了你不少時間,非常感謝。
Thank you very much.

No problem. :)
vijayjohn wrote:Drowsily, the man moved climbed up (from his bedroom) to the top of the ladder.
Well, the plot I had set up was that the man was moving from his badroom, which was on the second floor of a house, down to the first floor. Thus he moved to the top of the ladder first, then started going downward. That is, he was moving horizontally so far.
他從二樓的房間走到二樓的樓梯口。

Ahh, now I think I see what the problem is. 楼梯 in English isn't "ladder"; it's "stairs." 一场楼梯 in English is called "a flight of stairs." "Ladder" means 梯子.

So it should be:
"Drowsily, the man moved (from his bedroom) to the top of the stairs."
vijayjohn wrote:He stepped out the right leg down upon a stair His right leg stepped down onto a staircase, and, directly, the right knee was slightly twinged as a direct result, he slightly twisted his right knee.
Here, he was going downstairs for his first step.
他開始下樓。

See linguoboy's note on "step out." I think you meant "he stepped on his right leg on one of the steps" (or "...on the first step").
The ladder arm,(樓梯的)扶手,does it not work here?

I don't think I've ever heard of a "ladder arm" before. I tried searching for "ladder arm" online, and none of the search results have anything to do with that. I would translate (楼梯的)扶手 into English as bannister. So I would say: "He paused, reached for the bannister, and gripped it."
And, one more question: the sentences below as two examples, what's wrong with my original sentnences comparinged to your revised ones? Ungrammatical, or unnatural, or what?

Both, although now I think the main problem was just that you wrote "ladder" (梯子) when you meant "stairs" (楼梯). I think that's the main thing that made it so hard for me to understand what was going on in your story. I was trying to understand how he moved from a ladder to a staircase, so I thought maybe his room had a window and he climbed out of it on a ladder and then stuck his leg through another window, and there was a staircase there, so he stepped on one of the steps of that staircase. :lol:
I find there is something I can seem never to pass so far. What's the main problem of my writing? I have checked all the dictions with dictionaries and analyze each sentence with grammears. But it still seems not to work.

Well, again, that's the problem that I have in various languages, too! So don't worry, you're not alone. :)

I'm not sure how to explain what the main problem is, to be honest. For the most part, it just doesn't sound like what a native speaker would say and can be difficult to understand.
Thank you, John.

No problem again. It's actually "Vijay," though. :)
linguoboy wrote:
azhong wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:"Ouch!" he lightly shouted softly. "Damn it!"

This is collocation problem. The adjective "light" originally had two meanings: "brightly lit" and "not heavy". From these, it has been extended to mean "pale" on the one hand and "gentle" on the other. In both cases, you are dealing with physical properties of concrete objects. But a voice isn't a concrete object; it's an impression produced by the movement of sound waves in the air. So it's odd to qualify it with "light". "Soft", however, refers to the impression made on the senses by something, so it works better here.

But I have a problem with this sentence from a denotational point of view. The definition of "shout" is "to utter a loud call, to make a loud outcry expressive of joy, exultation, etc." How can a sound be both "loud" and "soft" at the same time? If he spoke "softly", he was--by definition--not "shouting".

Yeah, I'll admit, "shouted softly" is odd there, too. Maybe something like "wailed (号哭) softly," "griped (抱怨) softly," "whimpered (also means 小声抱怨)," or "moaned (also means 抱怨) softly" would work better there.

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-26, 22:05

vijayjohn wrote:I don't think I've ever heard of a "ladder arm" before. I tried searching for "ladder arm" online, and none of the search results have anything to do with that. I would translate (楼梯的)扶手 into English as bannister. So I would say: "He paused, reached for the bannister, and gripped it."

I don't think I've heard "ladder arm" before either, but if you said "arm of a ladder", I think I would guess what you meant. The usual name is "(ladder) rail". "Rail" (or "handrail") is also another word for "bannister".
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby azhong » 2014-11-27, 13:06

After reading your detailed(詳盡的) explanations, on which you must have spent a lot of time, and for which I am fully grateful, I rewrite my four sentences of the short passage as below, with some questions. Thank you in advance for your coming responses, which I am highly looking forward to.
(To ask by the way, is the style of the passage above natural or odd?)

(1) Drowsily, the man stepped out of his bedroom and moved to the top of the stairs.
Q1: can I say the stairs top instead of the top of the stairs?

(2-1, Vijay’s revision) His right leg stepped down onto a staircase/rung, and as a direct result, he slightly twisted his right knee.

A bit of explanation at first. The hurt of his knee has been there before he goes downstairs. It’s because he used to ride bikes, and is just evoked by the impulse of going descending. After my explanation, here is my question:
Q2: Is it still better to say as a direct result than immediately or at once if I just want to say that the pain comes very soon?
Q3: And, is directly a synonym of immediately here?
Q4: In the sentences below, I’ve just collected your suggestions for my convenience. I need your looking them over, please.
(2-2)He stepped down onto a staircase/rung/step, and immediately (or directly?) his felt a slight twinge (or pain?) in the right knee.
(2-3) His right leg stepped down onto a rung, and immediately the knee felt a slight twinge.
(2-4) He set/placed his right foot on a rung, and immediately the knee was slightly twinged.
(2-5) He stepped on his right leg on the first step, ……


(3) He paused, reached for the bannister/(ladder) rail/handrail, and gripped it.

(4) "Ouch!" he wailed號哭/griped抱怨/whimpered小聲抱怨/moaned抱怨 softly. "Damn it!"

(Q5: Is it possible to explain briefly why grip[i] is a better candidate than [i]grasp here? And how about clasp?)

P.S.: The usual expression of a flight of stairs in Chinese should be 一道樓梯. (For your easy memory, 道means “road”, “path”, or “way”, and that’s exactly the function of a stairs, leading your way to another space. But a ladder would be said as 一架梯子. 架 means to set up (架射, for example), and you need to set a ladder up before you mount it.)
And, I think most Chinese say 樓梯 too when they actually refer to a ladder (and that’s why I was confused.) But, Vijay, your seperation is more precise and thus better.

P.S. 2: I know dictionaries are not enough. That's why I have been reading novels. I try to sense the dictions and the sentence structures through reading works. I need your help…

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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-11-27, 14:35

azhong wrote:After reading your detailed(詳盡的) explanations, on which you must have spent a lot of time, and for which I am fully truly grateful, I rewrite have rewritten my four sentences of the short passage as below, with some questions. Thank you in advance for your coming responses, which I am highly looking forward to greatly.
(To ask by the way, is the style of the passage above natural or odd?)


It sounds very formal. There's nothing wrong with that if that's how you wanted it to seem though.

azhong wrote:(1) Drowsily, the man stepped out of his bedroom and moved to the top of the stairs.
Q1: can I say the stairs top instead of the top of the stairs?


I assume you mean "the stairs' top" - no, that wouldn't be correct. The 's-genitive in English is normally used for people or living things, "Azhong's Writing Practice" for example, we tend to use the of-genitive for things, "top of the stairs", "bowls of the ship", "hilt of the sword" etc. This isn't a hard and fast rule and you will find instances where either is acceptable, but "top of the stairs" isn't one of them.

azhong wrote:(2-1, Vijay’s revision) His right leg stepped down onto a staircase/rung, and as a direct result, he slightly twisted his right knee.

A bit of explanation at first. The hurt of pain in his knee has been there since/from before he goes went downstairs. It’s because he used to ride bikes, and is just evoked by the impulse action of going descending down the stairs. After my explanation, here is my question:
Q2: Is it still better to say as a direct result than immediately or at once if I just want to say that the pain comes very soon?


No. "as a direct result" implies causation, not temporal proximity. I would rewrite the whole sentence as "His right foot reached* down onto a step of the staircase** and at once a twinge shot*** through his right**** knee."

* I prefer "reached" or some synonym thereof as, for me, a person steps, a leg doesn't step of it's own accord.
** "Staircase" implies (to me, at least) the entire set of stairs, "step" or "stair" is a single step on a staircase, and "rung" is only on a ladder. If I was writing this, I would have said "onto the first step", and thus avoided having to add "of the staircase", but that changes the meaning of what you wrote slightly.
*** We describe sudden, intense pains as "shooting" up or through a body part, so it fit well here.
**** It's almost a little redundant to specify that it's the right knee when we have already said it's the right leg, but it doesn't sound too jarring to leave it in if you like.

azhong wrote:Q3: And, is directly a synonym of immediately here?


No, it clarifies the cause and effect of the pain, not the amount of time between them.

azhong wrote:Q4: In the sentences below, I’ve just collected your suggestions for my convenience. I need your to looking them over, please.
(2-2)He stepped down onto a staircase/rung/step, and immediately (or directly?) his felt a slight twinge (or pain?) in the his right knee.


I would say "step", "immediately" and either twinge or pain is find (twinge sounds less painful to me)

azhong wrote:(2-3) His right leg stepped down onto a rung, and immediately the knee felt a slight twinge.


Again, I don't think legs step, people do. See above about "rung", and knees don't feel things, people do.

azhong wrote:(2-4) He set/placed his right foot on a rung, and immediately the knee was slightly twinged.


"twinge" is more often used as a noun than a verb, and when it is a verb it can't be transitive, so something can't "be twinged".

azhong wrote:(2-5) He stepped on his right leg on the first step, ……


It's possible to use the phrase "on his right leg" to mean "using his right leg" as you have done here, but when I read this is just think he is putting his left foot on his right leg as "to step on" has its own meaning and is more common than the independent use of "to step" with the preposition "on" meaning "using".

azhong wrote:(3) He paused, reached for the bannister/(ladder) rail/handrail, and gripped it.


Is it a ladder or a staircase? "bannister" for a staircase, "rail/handrail" for a ladder.

azhong wrote:(Q5: Is it possible to explain briefly why grip[i] is a better candidate than [i]grasp here? And how about clasp?)


I'm not sure that it necessarily is. "grip" has a connotation of firmness, so he didn't just take hold of the rail, he did so firmly. "grasp" loses that connotation, but has (to me) the connotation that it was a kind of desperate attempt to grab the rail, as if he were falling and needed to grab it quickly. That could just be me though. "clasp" doesn't sound right - I wouldn't say people normally "clasp" something in their hands, it sounds to me more like how you would describe something being gripped between two inanimate objects, like "he clasped the searing hot coal with the tongs".

azhong wrote:(4) "Ouch!" he wailed號哭/griped抱怨/whimpered小聲抱怨/moaned抱怨 softly. "Damn it!"


Well, you can't wail softly, it's a very loud act, "Gripe" is not part of my active vocabulary, I think it might be an Americanism, so I'll let someone else talk about it. "whimper" makes the subject seem somewhat pathetic, like a small, wounded animal or something. "moan" sounds like the subject was not really that bothered by the pain, but is probably the best choice with the word "softly".
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby linguoboy » 2014-11-27, 17:18

azhong wrote:(1) Drowsily, the man stepped out of his bedroom and moved to the top of the stairs.

Having not been in a lot of Chinese homes, I'm still vague on the architecture here. In American dwellings, stairways typically terminate in a landing (def. 4) or a corridor. If you stepped out of a bedroom onto a landing, you would already be at the head of the stairs.

Ladders, however, tend to terminate within the room itself. It's not unusual to find them in US homes, generally leading either to an attic (finished or unfinished) or to a sleeping loft. (See illustrations at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attic_ladder.)

azhong wrote:P.S.: The usual expression of a flight of stairs in Chinese should be 一道樓梯. (For your easy memory, 道means “road”, “path”, or “way”, and that’s exactly the function of a stairs, leading your way to another space. But a ladder would be said as 一架梯子. 架 means to set up (架射, for example), and you need to set a ladder up before you mount it.)

What separates "ladders" from "stairs" in English is more the steepness than anything. If you don't need to put your hands in the same places you put your feet in order to climb up it, it's "stairs". Ladders can be fixed in position (as they are on boats, for instance), they can be attached but collapsible (as in the case of the attic stairs picture at the link above), or they can be completely detached. So you may not actually need to "set up" a ladder in order to use it.
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Re: Azhong's Writing Practice, Seeking your Correction Please.

Postby Youngfun » 2014-11-28, 9:43

I want to say something for "他從二樓的房間走到二樓的樓梯口。".
Literally this sentence means: "He walked from the bedroom (on the 2nd floor) to the beginning of the stairs (also on the 2nd floor)."

I don't know how to translate 楼梯口. It means the "entrance" to the stairs, the point where stairs begin.

So this means that he walked to the point where the stairs begin, but he hasn't climbed the stairs (yet). It's not specified if the stairs go up or down. So:

- either the top of the stairs going down ↘ from 2nd floor to 1st floor;
- or the bottom of the stairs going up ↗ from 2nd floor to 3rd floor.


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