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Hi people!

I have corrected these sentences, but would like to know if there are either any mistakes left or if I have corrected something which was, in fact, right.

Guidelines on using the telephone at work:

  • Answering trying to sound attentive.

  • Don't you pass the person who is calling throw many extensions.

  • Try to solve the problem as soon as possible.

  • Always say "hello" and "how are you?" and sound like you car the answers.
OK, here are my corrections:

  • Answer (the phone) trying to sound attentive. (Reason for the correction: two -ing endings together) Are the words between brackets necessary? I think we could get rid of those.)

  • Don't put the caller through many extensions or Don't transfer the call from extension to extension or simply Don't leave the caller waiting for more than a minute / for long periods. (Reason for the corrections: you: elided, sounds threatening and rather rude, besides we're writing guidelines, not speaking to a particular person; the person who is calling: unnecessarily long phrase, easily replaced by "the caller"; pass throw: obvious spelling mistake, the intended meaning must have been "pass through", which still is not convincing to me and sounds like a literal translation from Spanish. Anyway, I'm not sure about my versions, either.)

  • Try to solve problems / any problem that may arise as soon as possible. (Reason for the correction: again, the problem sounds too specific and I'd rather generalize here (problems). Besides, it looks as if we were taking for granted that the reason for the call is always a problem while it could, in fact, be anything at all. Here, I'd stick to: Try to answer the caller's needs as soon as possible.)

  • Always greet the caller with "hello" and "how are you?" and (try to) sound as if you cared about the answer. (Reasons for the corrections: In my opinion, "greet the caller with" sounds betten than "say", but maybe I shouldn't correct this, since it's not as much a mistake as a question of style; I included "try to" because the verb "sound" in the imperative seemed to me a little harsh (not to mention ridiculous), but as far as grammar is concerned, I guess we could omit this too. Like: again, a question of preference and a bit of intuition. I can't explain why, but it doesn't sound fine. I think that "as if" is a far better option; care: obvious typo and the preposition "about" is missing; answer: singular, whichever answer to the question "how are you?". I don't think it should be expressed in the plural.
I would appreciate any comments and help on this, for I'm just beginning and would like to gain some training in correcting.

Thanks a lot!

Mara.
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Hi Riglos,

I have corrected these sentences, but would like to know if there are either any mistakes left or if I have corrected something which was, in fact, right.

Guidelines on using the telephone at work:

  • Answering trying to sound attentive.
  • Don't you pass the person who is calling throw many extensions.
  • Try to solve the problem as soon as possible.
  • Always say "hello" and "how are you?" and sound like you car the answers.


  • OK, here are my corrections:

    • Answer (the phone) trying to sound attentive. (Reason for the correction: two -ing endings together) Are the words between brackets necessary? I think we could get rid of those. (Explanations are the tricky part. Sometimes the best answer is just that it doesn't sound natural.) I'd say 'When answering the phone, ...'
    • Don't put the caller through many extensions or Don't transfer the call from extension to extension Sounds good to me or simply Don't leave the caller waiting for more than a minute / for long periods. (Reason for the corrections: you: elided, sounds threatening and rather rude, besides we're writing guidelines, not speaking to a particular person; the person who is calling: unnecessarily long phrase, easily replaced by "the caller"; pass throw: obvious spelling mistake, the intended meaning must have been "pass through", which still is not convincing to me and sounds like a literal translation from Spanish. Anyway, I'm not sure about my versions, either.) Pretty good explanation)
    • Try to solve problems / any problem that may arise as soon as possible. (Reason for the correction: again, the problem sounds too specific and I'd rather generalize here (problems). Besides, it looks as if we were taking for granted that the reason for the call is always a problem while it could, in fact, be anything at all. Here, I'd stick to: Try to answer the caller's needs Sounds good as soon as possible.)
    • Always greet the caller with "hello" and "how are you?" 'Hello' sounds enough to me, 'how are you' is not common, too personal and (try to) sound as if you cared about the answer. (Reasons for the corrections: In my opinion, "greet the caller with" sounds betten than "say", but maybe I shouldn't correct this, since it's not as much a mistake as a question of style True ; I included "try to" because the verb "sound" in the imperative seemed to me a little harsh (not to mention ridiculous), but as far as grammar is concerned, I guess we could omit this too. Like: again, a question of preference and a bit of intuition. I can't explain why, but it doesn't sound fine. I think that "as if" is a far better option true ; care: obvious typo and the preposition "about" is missing; answer: singular, whichever answer to the question "how are you?". I don't think it should be expressed in the plural.


    • I would appreciate any comments and help on this, for I'm just beginning and would like to gain some training in correcting. Overall, this seems very thorough and conscientious to me. I think you will be a good editor.

      Some small pieces of advice:

      Explanations are tricky. You have to make them suitable and helpful to your reader. That can be difficult.

      Grammar is grammar, but don't forget to think about what people normally say.

      If you need any more help, please write again. Clive
Comments  
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Thanks a lot, Clive!

It does take me lot of time to revise homeworks in this way, that's why I appreciate your comments so much!Emotion: smile I think I get too much into detalis, and would love to hear some advice from you as regards my attitude towards correcting.

Your remark "Grammar is grammar, but don't forget to think about what people normally say." is vey interesting and rather soothing. I felt completely encouraged by it! The thing is that I'm not always sure about that very aspect "what people normally say", since I'm not usually in contact with native speakers.

My problem seems to be that sometimes I take things too far, even as far as the moral field, and start asking myself questions of the type: Is it right to correct this? What if I have corrected something that was already OK? What if I have missed some mistakes and misled my students about the correct uses of English? That's quite hard for me, and again, I'm really grateful for your comments!!

Thanks a million!!

Mara.
Hi Mara,

All teachers have doubts. You are only human, like everyone else. Just do your best, and your students will understand and appreciate it. And be honest, never pretend to know when you don't.

Good luck again,

Clive