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An English grammar book
Adverbs of manner most often occupy the end position of a clause, where they follow an intransitive verb, or the direct object of a transitive verb.
e.g. We waited patiently for the play to begin.
I sold the strawberries quickly.
Cambridge dictionary
understand (KNOW) verb (understood, understood)
to know the meaning of something that someone says
Hello again everybody, Emotion: smile

A university teaching website wrote “Edouard understands poorly American culinary habits.”
I would like to have your opinion on this sentence. Is it a comprehensible sentence? I have been told
that that's not understandable American English. Also, can I move the adverb "poorly" to the end of the sentence (Edouard understands American culinary habits poorly)?

A thousand thanks,

SFB
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Comments  
If I had to put the word 'poorly' somewhere in this sentence , it would be in front of the word 'understands', which, in this sentence, is not an intransitive verb.

Edouard poorly understands American culinary habits.
Davkett If I had to put the word 'poorly' somewhere in this sentence , it would be in front of the word 'understands', which, in this sentence, is not an intransitive verb.
Edouard poorly understands American culinary habits.

Hello Davkett and everybody,Emotion: smile

I remember now people in this forum telling me that the object is usually not separated from the verb.
Please, tell me if this sentence is English.
Edouard poorly understands American culinary habits.
I don’t understand why people won’t understand me if I use it. The sentence contains a verb which is modified by an adverb (poorly), and we have the object of the verb. To me, the sentence is complete.

Many thanks,

SFB
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Dear SpoonFedBaby,

It is grammatical to say «Edouard poorly understands American culinary habits». You may also place «poorly» at the end of the sentence.

It is unusual, however. People will understand you poorly, because it is unusual. Emotion: smile

You may prefer to say «Edouard has a poor understanding of American culinary habits».

Kind regards, Emotion: smile

Goldmund
Hello Goldmund and everybody, Emotion: smile

Here I am again Emotion: stick out tongue.

This is a very favourable moment to ask a question I have in mind for a very long time. In English, do we have to avoid using the verb “have” if we can? I would have thought «Edouard poorly understands American culinary habits» or «Edouard understands American culinary habits poorly » better English sentence than «Edouard has a poor understanding of American culinary habits» because we avoid the verb “have” for it is so often used in speech. If I had to write a paper, which sentence should I use? I know now which sentence I should use for situation requiring informal English.

Thank you so so so much,

SFB

To me, the only satisfactory solution with "poorly" is to place it at the end.
"E understands A culinary habits poorly."
Even so, this is not a very idiomatic sentence.
Another solution is "E does not understand A culinary habits well".
This is more idiomatic.
Another good solution has already been suggested.
"E has a poor understanding of A culinary habits".
I prefer this one above all the others proposed so far, and I would ignore any "rules" about avoiding the verb "have" in this case.

CJ
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Hi CJ,

You write, 'To me, the only satisfactory solution with "poorly" is to place it at the end.'
I'd be interested in why you think that. (Is that a classical Latin thing?)

Suppose the sentence were a little more elaborate: 'Eduoard understands the culinary habits of the middle-class eastern-seaboard Americans of Italian descent poorly.'
There is something about the word poorly that will not let it stand comfortably with the verb understand. Even the short sentence He understands poorly does not sound quite right. I think that is the problem, rather than the position. For example Edouard eats the food of the middle-class eastern-seaboard Americans of Italian descent quickly does not sound too bad.

In Classical Latin the general rule (there were exceptions) was that you could put any word anywhere. You would put the word you wanted to emphasis at the beginning of the sentence.


In Classical Latin the general rule (there were exceptions) was that you could put any word anywhere.


Dear Forbes,

You may not put conjunctions, prepositions, or relative pronouns anywhere in Latin. There are conventions also for the placing of verbs, nouns and adjectives.

Kind regards, Emotion: smile

Goldmund
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