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the text:

A member of Newcastle United's staff phoned me about four years ago when I was living in Paris to ask my opinion of Laurent Robert.

my book's translation is:four years ago,a member of newcastle united's staff phoned me,asked my opinions of Laurent Robert when i was living in Paris.

but i dont think so,i think it's:a member of newcastle united's staff phoned me and asked me something about Laurent Robert ,when i was living in Paris(i was living in Paris four years ago,but he phoned me now)

which one is right?why?
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Hi,

the text:

A member of Newcastle United's staff phoned me about four years ago when I was living in Paris to ask my opinion of Laurent Robert. This is fine. Are you simply trying to paraphrase in other English words, or are you trying to translate into Chinese, and then back to English? I don't understand.

my book's translation is:four years ago,a member of newcastle united's staff phoned me,asked my opinions of Laurent Robert when i was living in Paris. This has problems. 'About' is missing. Capitals are missing. It needs 'and' between 'me' and 'asked'. It loses the idea that I was living in Paris when the phone rang. Instead, it suggests the person wanted to know my opinion that I had in Paris, and raises the possibility that I may have another opinion at the time the phone rang.

but i dont think so,i think it's:a member of newcastle united's staff phoned me and asked me something about Laurent Robert ,when i was living in Paris(i was living in Paris four years ago,but he phoned me now) The original has the idea that I was living in Paris when the phone rang. It's because of the position of the 'when' clause.

Best wishes, Clive
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Break Away
the text:

A member of Newcastle United's staff phoned me about four years (The call came four years ago) ago when I was living in Paris (I was living in Paris at the time) to ask my opinion of Laurent Robert. (My opinion at that time)

my book's translation is:four years ago,a member of newcastle united's staff phoned me,asked my opinions of Laurent Robert when i was living in Paris.

but i dont think so,i think it's:a member of newcastle united's staff phoned me and asked me something about Laurent Robert ,when i was living in Paris(i was living in Paris four years ago,but he phoned me now)

which one is right?why?
The key, I think, is in the placement of the modifying phrase. 'about four years ago' clearly places the phone call in the past.
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Comments  
hi break away!

I am not an expert in english language but I have had some studies in grammar. as far as I know, "about four years ago when I was living in Paris" is an adverb clause of time. adverb and adjective clauses of time should be as close as possible to the word or phrase that is explained by them. if not, it will make confusion. so it seems that "about four years ago when I was living in Paris" refers to the verb "phoned". therefore the first interpretion seems more logical (your ook's translation). however if we take a look at the sentences before and after it, we may get a better answer (of course if it is a complete paragraph).

bye
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