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Dear Teacher,

Would you please tell me if the alternatives I propose can be acceptable in the following exercises ?

I/ Mr Jeffries, I have decided against a prison sentence in your case. You may walk free from this court 1) ONLY IF you report to Chesham police every Friday for the next six months. 2) a) SHOULD / b) IF you fail to do so, you will be given one warning; and if you persist in failing to meet this obligation, you will return to this court for a harsher sentence. Unless you present good reason why you 3) a) WERE / b) ARE (?) unable to report to the station, you will find yourself in severe trouble. 4) a) IF / b) IN CASE / c) WHEN you are unable to attend because of illness, please note that a medical certificate must be produced, signed by your doctor, proving your state of health. You 5) a) SHOULD REALISE / b) MUST REALISE / c) HAVE TO REALISE (?) that but for your previous good conduct, I would have no hesitation in imposing a prison sentence.

II/ Sentence transformations:

1) Tom to his mother: ‘Please let me go to Sheila’s party next Saturday.’
a) Tom asked his mother if she would let him go to Sheila’s party the following week.
b) Tom asked his mother to let him go to Sheila’s party… (CORRECT ? Same meaning ?)

2) Andrew: “I suggest you cancel all your engagements for today.”
a) Andrew suggested that I / he (should) cancel all my / his arrangements for that day.
b) Andrew suggested that I / he CANCELLED all his arrangements for that day. (WRONG ?)

Many thanks,
Hela
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Comments  
Hello Hela!

All fine, except:

4) a) IF ] best
b) IN CASE ] no; but you could say 'in the event that'
c) WHEN ] ok, but IF better

c) HAVE TO REALISE] This has an air of putting the magistrate in the 'weaker' position, and so wouldn't be used here.

II/ Sentence transformations:

1) - fine!

2) - only A is right, in this context. But 2b could exist in other contexts, with a different meaning for 'suggest':

"So why do you think the suspect cancelled all his arrangements, Phil?"
"Actually, I don't think that."
"I'm sorry, I thought you said – "
"No, Andrew suggested that he cancelled all his arrangements for Saturday. I said I didn't think he had even made any arrangements for Saturday, and was trusting to blind luck..."

Or some such burble...

MrP
Thank you Mr Pedantic,

And what do you think of these other choices ?

I/ Mr Jeffries, I have decided against a prison sentence in your case. You 1) a) MAY / b) CAN walk free from this court 2) a) only if b) IN CASE (?) c) ON THE CONDITION THAT you report to Chesham police every Friday for the next six months. 3) a) if / should b) IN CASE (?) c) SUPPOSING THAT (?) you fail to do so, you will be given one warning; and if you persist in failing to meet this obligation, you will return to this court for a harsher sentence. Unless you present good reason why you 4) a) were / b) ARE (both are possible ?) unable to report to the station, you 5) a) will find / b) ARE GOING TO FIND (?) yourself in severe trouble. 6) a) If / b) when / c) SUPPOSING THAT (?) you are unable to attend because of illness, please note that a medical certificate must be produced, signed by your doctor, proving your state of health. You 7) should / must realise that but for your previous good conduct, I would have no hesitation in imposing a prison sentence.

Would you please tell me why "IN CASE" doesn't work in 6) ?

II/ Sentence Transformation

1)
Tom to his mother: ‘Please let me go to Sheila’s party next Saturday.’
b) Tom asked his mother to let him go to ... = ok
c) Tom asked his mother if he could go to Sheila's party the following Saturday. (CORRECT ? or not quite the same as the original ?)

3) I doubt very much that you saw Carla at the party as she’s in Scotland.
You a) can’t / b) couldn’t have seen Carla at the party, she’s in Scotland.

Best regards,
Hela
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Hello Hela, how are you?

Sorry, I've only just seen your post:



I/ Mr Jeffries, I have decided against a prison sentence in your case. You

1) a) MAY / b) CAN ] b) ok, but a) more likely.

walk free from this court

2) a) only if b) IN CASE (?) c) ON THE CONDITION THAT ] not b); a) ok; but c) much more likely.

you report to Chesham police every Friday for the next six months.

3) a) if / should b) IN CASE (?) c) SUPPOSING THAT (?) ] not b), c) ok but unlikely, a) fine ('should' more likely).

you fail to do so, you will be given one warning; and if you persist in failing to meet this obligation, you will return to this court for a harsher sentence. Unless you present good reason why you

4) a) were / b) ARE (both are possible ?) ] a) ok, but b) better, because of following 'will'.

unable to report to the station, you

5) a) will find / b) ARE GOING TO FIND (?) ] a) better, but b) ok.

yourself in severe trouble.

6) a) If / b) when / c) SUPPOSING THAT (?) ] a) best, b) ok-ish, c) ok-ish

you are unable to attend because of illness, please note that a medical certificate must be produced, signed by your doctor, proving your state of health. You

7) should / must realise] both fine

that but for your previous good conduct, I would have no hesitation in imposing a prison sentence.

Would you please tell me why "IN CASE" doesn't work in 6) ? ] 'in case' tends to have a 'precautionary' context: 'in case of fire, break glass'; 'in case he doesn't come back, here is my phone number' etc.

II/ Sentence Transformation

1) Tom to his mother: ‘Please let me go to Sheila’s party next Saturday.’
b) Tom asked his mother to let him go to ... = ok
c) Tom asked his mother if he could go to Sheila's party the following Saturday. (CORRECT ? or not quite the same as the original ?) ] Not quite the same; this would be a version of 'can I go to S's party?' or 'could I go to S's party?'.

3) I doubt very much that you saw Carla at the party as she’s in Scotland.
You a) can’t / b) couldn’t have seen Carla at the party, she’s in Scotland.

I wouldn't say that a) and b) were exactly the same as the original. The original is 'strong doubt'; whereas the others are 'disbelief'. In 'I doubt...', the speaker is convinced of his own rightness, and makes a near-definitive statement; in a) and b), the speaker thinks he has good reason to doubt, but is in effect asking for confirmation.

'I doubt very much...' suggests the slightly hostile reply: 'well, I did!'.
'You can't/couldn't have...' suggests the more amiable reply: 'no, it's true, I did see her!'

See you later,
MrP

PS: The options I've called most likely in the passage are the 'most forceful' ones, since that's most appropriate for the context.
Thank you MrP,

What would you answer to exercise "sentence transformation" sentence #3 then ?

Would you please have a look at my post "alternative answers 2"?

Have a nice day,
Hela
Uh oh. I'm hopeless at these questions. How about:

"How could you have seen Carla at the party? She's in Scotland!"

But I don't expect very many marks for it...

MrP
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PS: I've only just seen your AA2 post – will read it over and come back to it.

MrP
Good morning MrP,

It's a real pleasure having you as a teacher. I presume that in July many of you, teachers an moderators, will take some holidays so you won't be online as often as you are now.
I'll have a break too, and the thing is that I don't have "le téléphone fixe" not the mobile (what do you call that in English?) to get access to the internet. So I will only be able to connect whenever I come back to Tunis. As I told you a few weeks ago, I might do some translation exercises during the summer.
I really hope, though, we will carry on our fruitful and regular correspondance "à la rentrée"!

In the meantime, I have other questions for you:

1) Concerning the last sentence in the above exercise which answer(s) can't be accepted and why?

If you are unable to attend because of illness, please note that a medical certificate 10) a) MUST BE / b) HAS TO BE produced, signed by your doctor, proving your state of health. You 11 should / must realise that
12 a) BUT FOR your previous good conduct, I 13) a) WOULD HAVE no hesitation in imposing a prison sentence /
12 b) BUT FOR your previous good conduct, I 13 b) WOULD HAVE HAD no hesitation in imposing a prison sentence /
12 c) DESPITE / IN SPITE OF your previous good conduct, I 13 c) WILL HAVE no hesitation in imposing a prison sentence /

2) Is there a difference between:
a) "You CAN’t HAVE seen Carla at the party, she’s in Scotland." and
b) "You COULD’T HAVE have seen Carla at the party, she’s in Scotland."

3) If ever you read MY translation into English of the article from "Le Monde", which Calif Jim has kindly corrected, which mark would you give me? (out of 20, please). Emotion: rolleyes

I look forward to your comments on post AA2.Emotion: smile

Have a nice day,
Hela

Hello Hela,

Thank you! And it's a pleasure to answer your questions!

Yes, I expect there'll be a few absences over the summer. But no doubt there'll also be fewer posts to answer, so we'll probably have to invent some for our own amusement...

Pity about the internet connection. On the other hand, it's quite pleasant to have a break from the pixels. Do you have an interesting book to read during the holidays?

Back to your questions:

10) a) MUST BE / b) HAS TO BE produced, ] 'must' has more sense of 'must-ness' than 'have to'. 'Have to' sometimes has overtones of 'need to', with less sense of external compulsion.

11 should / must realise that ] 'you must realise' is ok; but it also exists as a phrase in its own right, meaning 'surely you realise...!' 'should' however is unambiguously stern.

12 a) BUT FOR your previous good conduct, I 13) a) WOULD HAVE no hesitation in imposing a prison sentence / ] this puts the 'imposing' of a lesser sentence than prison in the present

12 b) BUT FOR your previous good conduct, I 13 b) WOULD HAVE HAD no hesitation in imposing a prison sentence / ] this puts the imposing of a lesser sentence in the past

12 c) DESPITE / IN SPITE OF your previous good conduct, I 13 c) WILL HAVE no hesitation in imposing a prison sentence / ] this is possible, but unlikely; 'I have no hesitation' is more probable.

2) Is there a difference between:

a) "You CAN’t HAVE seen Carla at the party, she’s in Scotland." ] This expresses excited disbelief in the possibility of seeing Carla.

b) "You COULD’T HAVE have seen Carla at the party, she’s in Scotland." ] this expresses either i) puzzled querying of the sighting of Carla or ii) adamant conviction that Carla wasn't sighted. Impossible to tell, without hearing the tone of voice! Though you might convey it through punctuation:

i) You COULDN'T have seen Carla at the party! She's in Scotland!
ii) You couldn't have seen Carla at the party. She's in Scotland.

3) If ever you read MY translation into English of the article from "Le Monde", which Calif Jim has kindly corrected, which mark would you give me? (out of 20, please). ] I'll read it through next time I'm on line, and let you know!

Bye for now,
MrP
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