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some english grammar questions

7 Antworten   
Kommentar
Hi, I'm trying to help a friend with some English homework, and whilst I'm a native speaker I'm still not too sure! She has to spot the errors in the following paragraphs (the errors are to do with tense, aspect or modality).

"I was 27 when I met him, and without his influence I would probably have drifted away from the club over the next few years. At 27, I got close to the age at which drifting often begins; but with Pete the reverse happened. Our desire for all things football sharpened, and Arsenal began to creep back deep into both of us."

Hmm, the "and Arsenal began to creep back deep into both of us" sounds odd to me, but otherwise I see no obvious mistake. Perhaps "I would probably have" should be "I would have probably" but as far as I'm concerned both are correct. Suggestions welcome!!!

"So I had to explain to a group of young Italians that English hooligans had caused the deaths of 38 people. I don't know how I had felt watching the game at home. I would have felt the same range, and the same terrible shame; I doubt if I would have had the urge to apologise, again and again and again."

The mistake here is most likely "how I had felt" i.e. whilst not wrong from the context it seems as though it should be "how I would have felt". What do others think, it's mainly the first paragraph that's causing the trouble anyway.

Thanks in advance!
Verfassercp17 Jun 04, 15:01
Kommentar
"at 27 I was getting" !!!

Definitely "how I would have felt"
"Range"?? --> "rage"
#1VerfasserGhol ‹GB›17 Jun 04, 16:23
Kommentar
oh yes! otherwise I suppose it would mean she actually did something to approach this age. Tut tut, was looking at that for ages! I think "range" is probably just a typo, I thought it was weird too. Thanks!
#2Verfassercp17 Jun 04, 16:33
Kommentar
At 27, I had gotten close to the age .....

The paragraph starts: I was 27 when .... that's past tense. Looking now back from the point in future where the discussion takes place I feel that the correct phrase for the next sentence would be: At 27, I had gotten close to the age .....

Abuse me if I'm wrong.
#3VerfasserWerner17 Jun 04, 17:33
Kommentar
@Werner: Of course we'll ex-squeeze you.

From point of view of the actual meaning it makes little difference. But I'd find it rather strange to say "I had got *close to* the age...." -- It would make better sense to say "I had got to the age...."

So I dare to maintain that the past continuous is the only option.
#4VerfasserGhol ‹GB›17 Jun 04, 17:41
Kommentar
What about the 'probably' in the first paragraph? I would say: 'I probably would have drifted away ... Is that wrong?
#5VerfasserFragezeichen17 Jun 04, 20:51
Kommentar
No that's not wrong, the possibilites are:

"I probably would have drifted away"
"I would probably have drifted away"
"I would have probably drifted away"

Anyway, thanks for all your help!
#6Verfassercp17 Jun 04, 20:55
Kommentar
In the first paragraph, I had to re-read "over the next few years".

I think of "the next few years" as a period of future time starting *now*. For a period of future time beginning in either the past or future, I would normally say "the following few years".

This is just "hunch become habit", however - is there a grammatical justification for it?
#7VerfasserBob (GB)18 Jun 04, 09:01
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