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Hi,

1) When a dog walks in a cute way (takes tiny steps), can I use one of these?

- scuttle/trot

2) I know that I can say 'it's only now that I realize', but I was wondering if I can also say 'it's only here that I realize'.

3) I was told by a native speaker that I can't say 'the students have thinned out since the last lecture' to describe a situation where less students attended a certain lecture than the week before. I can only use it when talking about a crowd or an audience. Is there a way I could use 'thin out' and 'students'? It'd sound weird if I was referring to them as audience or crowd.

Thank you.

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Ann225) When a dog walks in a cute way (takes tiny steps), can I use one of these?- scuttle/trot

Yes

Ann2252) I know that I can say 'it's only now that I realize', but I was wondering if I can also say 'it's only here that I realize'.

I don't see why not if the context is right.

Ann2253) I was told by a native speaker that I can't say 'the students have thinned out since the last lecture' to describe a situation where less students attended a certain lecture than the week before. I can only use it when talking about a crowd or an audience. Is there a way I could use 'thin out' and 'students'? It'd sound weird if I was referring to them as audience or crowd

I'm sure people say that.


BTW, while less students is common, it's better to use fewer students.

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Thank you.

In that case, does this sentence sound good to your ear?

"The students always begin to thin out after the fifth or sixth lecture."

Thank you.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear that. I personally would not use thin out or thin down in this context but rather something like "The number of students always begins to drop after the fifth or sixth lecture."

The sentence, "The students always begin to thin out after the fifth or sixth lecture.", is ungrammatical. "Students" cannot "thin out." The sentence, "The number of students begins to thin out after the 5th or 6th lecture.", is also ungrammatical. "The number of students" cannot "thin out." The following is okay:


"It's hard to keep students interested in this series. Their numbers always begin to thin out after the 5th or 6th lecture."


"Numbers" can "thin out."


Here's another example:


"This is a college town, and students inundate it every term. But the number of students here has declined by 5% in the last 10 years." (This is okay. But you cannot say, "The number of students has thinned out in the last 10 years.")


"This is a college town that depends on students for a lot of its business. But their numbers have thinned out significantly in the last 10 years and businesses are hurting." (This is okay. "Numbers" can "thin out.")

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1. You would never use the word "scuttle" like this. This is a word that has very negative connotations.


2. The phrase, "It's only here that I realize...", would be very unusual. I cannot think of a situation offhand where it could be used.

anonymousThe sentence, "The students always begin to thin out after the fifth or sixth lecture.", is ungrammatical.

Hmm. The usual definition of 'grammatical' is that the sentence follows all the rules of grammar, not all the rules of logic.

The students always want to explode after the fifth comma is perfectly grammatical.

I think you're saying that you object to the usage, not to the grammar.

CJ

Ann225the students have thinned out since the last lecture

At every lesson the number of students lessens. That's why they're called lessons. Emotion: smile

CJ

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