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Hello.

I'm Marta, come from Poland.
I'm working on a text in English and have encountered a few problems. These are mostly of a rather subtle nature but for several reasons it's important for me that the whole text sounds as stylistically and grammatically good as possible. If ANYONE feels like answering ANY of the questions - I'd be more than grateful. So here we go:

- My first question is about excluding certain elements. When there are only two of them - ok, it will be neither. nor... But what if there's more I want to exclude? For example (a stupid example, indeed), let's say it's spring - and I say: it's neither summer, nor autumn, ____ winter?

- Question number two: when the scent of soil reaches my nostrils, is "I can smell the soil" the only possible version or is "I can feel the smell of the soil" natural as well?

Q3: Is the phrase: "The serenity of breath while sleeping" correct and understandable? I mean, doesn't it indicate that it's the breath that's
asleep? I was thinking about "The serenity of the breath of the sleeping one", just the problem is I don't mean any particular person and there's
this stylistic problem of the double "of". What do you think?

Q4: I want to describe an experienced and wise kind of love with one adjective. My dictionaries aren't really unanimous about the adjectival potential of the word "sage". Does "sage love" sound ok to you?

Q5: Does "treading on sth" indicate rather unpleasant act of putting one's feet on sth/sb (like when a male tries to dance Emotion: wink) or can it be also used
in a neutral sense, like: to be treading on the soil?

Q6: Articles. God, I'll never learn how to use them. The problem is, I have in my text a few places when I need to use nouns in most general sense - and I'm not sure what should be standing before them. My hesitations refer to: "Awaiting the footsteps of the most beautiful creature. _ touch and __
voice." (it is just about human, no one in particular.); "Right over the ground, _ quiet anxiety and __ trembling." (It's about the "mood" of the
weather in the spring, so to say); "__ woods, ___ seas. ___placenta, __ hand palm." (It's about various associations evoked by certain stimuli, but
again - not a particular hand palm).

[Since not all of the questions refer to vocabulary, I'm posting my request in the Grammar section as well.]

Best regards,

Marta
Comments  
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Hello, Marta. Please do not double-post. Please break the questions into two posts if you wish (but a few vocabulary questions in the grammar forum will probably pass unnoticed).

- 'it's not summer, autumn, or winter'. Some editors will let 'neither/neither/nor' pass, but it is suspect/

- Question number two: when the scent of soil reaches my nostrils, is "I can smell the soil" the only possible version or is "I can feel the smell of the soil" natural as well?-- Not the latter; only the former. We cannot feel smells or smell sounds or taste feelings, etc.

Q3: Is the phrase: "The serenity of breath while sleeping" correct and understandable?-- Yes
I mean, doesn't it indicate that it's the breath that's asleep?-- Common sense tells the reader that it is the person sleeping.
I was thinking about "The serenity of the breath of the sleeping one", just the problem is I don't mean any particular person and there's this stylistic problem of the double "of". What do you think?-- The original is fine. Using 'the sleeping one' is awful. If you are still unsure: 'The serenity of breath while one sleeps'.

Q4: I want to describe an experienced and wise kind of love with one adjective. My dictionaries aren't really unanimous about the adjectival potential of the word "sage". Does "sage love" sound ok to you?-- No. No single adjective exists, I think, that will collocate that idea with love-- at least, none comes to mind, but I suggest 'mature love'.

Q5: Does "treading on sth" indicate rather unpleasant act of putting one's feet on sth/sb (like when a male tries to dance Emotion: wink) or can it be also used in a neutral sense, like: to be treading on the soil?--Yes, it can be neutral, but it still emphasizes the weight of the footstep as compared to the unmarked 'walking' or 'stepping'.

Q6: Articles. God, I'll never learn how to use them. The problem is, I have in my text a few places when I need to use nouns in most general sense - and I'm not sure what should be standing before them. My hesitations refer to:
"Awaiting the footsteps of the most beautiful creature. _ touch and __ voice." (it is just about human, no one in particular.)-- a touch and a voice
"Right over the ground, _ quiet anxiety and __ trembling." (It's about the "mood" of the weather in the spring, so to say)-- (a) quiet anxiety and (a) trembling. I think you can play these either way, but I rather like the articles.
"__ woods, ___ seas. ___placenta, __ hand palm." (It's about various associations evoked by certain stimuli, but again - not a particular hand palm).-- the woods ('forests' is probably better), the seas, the placenta, the palm of the hand.

These are my opinions out of further context; context, however, is a big influence on article choice when the options are open.
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Thank You so much -- this is exactly what I needed.

Meanwhile, I've found one more thing I forgot to ask about previously: when I have a walk on a winter day barefoot, my feet get cold as a result of touching the concrete. To put it in one short phrase, is "my feet are cold with the concrete" ok?

Thanks again.

Marta
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No, I think it sounds odd. Cold from...
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Thank You!
Hi- I think I can contribute , but I need time.

Masoud

A Teacher
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materinaduszka - My first question is about excluding certain elements. When there are only two of them - ok, it will be neither. nor... But what if there's more I want to exclude? For example (a stupid example, indeed), let's say it's spring - and I say: it's neither summer, nor autumn, __ winter?
I'm not sure how the grammarians will react to this but I find it entirely natural and idiomatic to say "It's neither summer, nor autumn, nor winter."