Two months ago, I was invited by my uncle Sergio to go to a car race. My uncle took me and some friends to this race in Brasilia where I was on vacation. I was very nervous, I had never driven a cart before, so my friend Francesca, who didn´t want to drive went in the car with me. The race started, I was in the third place next to the second. When I looked to Francesca to say something, a man appeared in the middle of the road, but I saw him too late, I was trying to break while he was looking to the sky and we crashed. As fast as I could, I stopped and asked him if he was OK, but he didn´t say anything. While Francesca was crying, I was thinking I had killed a man when my friend Jason arrived. I told him what happened. When he was looking at the man, he jumped and Jason jumped too, everybody cried, but after that, the man said he was fine, he was just kidding, and he went away.
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Hi Guest - first, I need to ask you, are you driving a car or a cart (?go-cart) as the two are very different.
Hello Mr. Abbie! Thank you very much for your comments. You know I am a student in Brazil and it is not always that I have the opportunity to hear from an English native speaker teacher.
I am very happy because I don´t have the internet at home and I can access the Internet from my school or from my friend´s house. My teacher told me about this forum and I told my friends to look at my composition in this site. I am very proud for that.
Well, I was driving a cart not a car. I made this bad mistake. Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it. Could you please spot other mistakes that I may have made. I know my punctuation was not so good. Did you follow my ideas or they were truncated. Did you understand my ideas? Are my controling ideas related to my topic sentence? Would you say anything in a different way?
I know you are very busy, but thank you for any extra comments you can make about my composition.
I would also appreciate any other comments from other teachers who have enough patience to read my composition and make some comments. Thank you all for t5he opportunity and keep doing the great job in this site helping students to learn your beautifl and important language.
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Thank you very much for your help dear teachers. Do you think my topic sentence is OK? Is the topic of my paragraph narrowed down enough? Is the controlling idea of my paragraph clear and focused? Is my paragraph unified (do all my sentences support my controlling idea?) and are they coherent (are my ideas logically arranged?)? Did I use appropriate details and events? Are there any supporting details that you consider necessary? Is my conclusion interesting? Did I make many mistakes relating to vocabulary, use of English, grammar and punctuation? Thank you so much for your help. It means a lot to me.
My goodness, Josesrf - what a lot of questions all together in one post!

First - abbie is fine - I don't need the "mr" (particularly as abbie is a woman's name! Emotion: wink )
Two months ago, I was invited by my uncle Sergio to go to a car race. My uncle took me and some friends to this race in Brasilia where I was on vacation.


You might want to think about the information in your opening sentences. Perhaps it would be useful to "set the scene" by first telling us where you were and when this happened:

Two months ago, I was in Brasilia on vacation when my uncle invited me and some friends to a go-cart race

I was very nervous, I had never driven a cart before, so my friend Francesca, who didn´t want to drive went in the car with me.


Here again, I think it's just a question of deciding which is the important information. You were nervous because you had never driven a cart before; Francesca came with you because you were nervous.

I had never driven a go-cart before, and I was very nervous, so my friend Francesca went in the go-cart with me, because she didn't want to drive anyway.

The race started, I was in the third place next to the second.

You don't need to say "next to the second" , because that is what "third place means.

The race started. I was in third place.
When I looked to Francesca to say something, a man appeared in the middle of the road, but I saw him too late, I was trying to break while he was looking to the sky and we crashed.


This is a very important part of the story, so you need to make the most of it.

I looked towards Francesca to say something, when suddenly a man appeared in the middle of the road, looking up at the sky. I tried to brake, but I was too late, and I crashed into him.

As fast as I could, I stopped and asked him if he was OK, but he didn´t say anything. While Francesca was crying, I was thinking I had killed a man when my friend Jason arrived. I told him what happened.


Now the story gets more dramatic! There is a nice English phrase "screeched to a halt" - which means exactly what it sounds like - the screeching sound of tyres on the road as you brake hard to stop a car. Make your paragraph exciting by using words that show how fast you moved, how frightened you were, etc. Was Jason driving a cart? If so, say so. That all adds to the drama and the visual image of your story.

I screeched to a halt. I leapt out of the cart and rushed over to the man. Francesca was crying, and I thought I had killed him. My friend Jason arrived, and stopped his cart. I told him what had happened.

Now you reach your conclusion. Keep up the drama a little bit, because that gives a nice contrast to the happy ending.
When he was looking at the man, he jumped and Jason jumped too, everybody cried, but after that, the man said he was fine, he was just kidding, and he went away.


Jason went over to look at the man lying in the road. As he bent over to look at him, the man leapt up, making Jason jump. Everyone was so relieved that we all cried. The man said that he was fine, and had just been joking, and with that, he walked away!

Two months ago, I was in Brasilia on vacation when my uncle invited me and some friends to a go-cart race. I had never driven a go-cart before, and I was very nervous, so my friend Francesca went in the go-cart with me, because she didn't want to drive anyway.

The race started. I was in third place. I looked towards Francesca to say something, when suddenly a man appeared in the middle of the road, looking up at the sky. I tried to brake, but I was too late, and I crashed into him.

I screeched to a halt. I leapt out of the cart and rushed over to the man. Francesca was crying, and I thought I had killed him. My friend Jason arrived, and stopped his cart. I told him what had happened.

Jason went over to look at the man lying in the road. As he bent over to look at him, the man leapt up, making Jason jump. Everyone was so relieved that we all cried. The man said that he was fine, and had just been joking, and with that, he walked away!
Hello abbie!
First of all, I am so sorry about my messing with your name. I feel so embarassed that I don´t know what to say. Forgive me, please. You know, in a sexist country such as Brazil when you see firm and intelligent answers and comments like yours people usually associate them with men. Perhaps that is in the subconscious of people but women like you prove that these sexist habits are very silly. Thus, thanks God, they have been proved wrong.
Sorry a million, If I could say that.
I am very grateful for your answer and the special attention and patience you have given to my composition. Thanks a lot. Keep doing the excellent work. Professionals like you make this forum the best on the internet.
Ciao and thanks.
ps. my teacher said that you made top notch comments and you must be a top notch teacher.
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Hello Josesrf,

Please don't worry about the name - it's a very easy mistake, and anyone could make it! I'm glad to have been of help.
My teacher told me I have a problem with comma splices. He explained them to me but I did not understand very well. My question would be: " Do I really have a problem with comma splices?"(Can you show me some in my composition?- if there are more than one.) 2- "What are comma splices?"
Hi Josesrf

This page explains all about comma splices, and how to correct them.

http://www.ucfv.bc.ca/writing_centre/res9.htm

I have highlighted the commas in your first post which could be removed or replaced. The page above suggests using a semi-colon, but these can be as difficult as commas, so I suggest you master the comma first before trying the semi-colon! A very simple way of dealing with the problem of comma splices is to think - "can I make this into 2 sentences?" If the answer is "yes" - then make 2 sentences.

A second question to ask is "can I put one short word in here instead of the punctuation mark?"

When you are learning a language, it is probably better to use shorter sentences until you get used to all the punctuation marks.

Two months ago, I was invited by my uncle Sergio to go to a car race. My uncle took me and some friends to this race in Brasilia where I was on vacation. I was very nervous, I had never driven a cart before, so my friend Francesca, who didn´t want to drive went in the car with me. The race started, I was in the third place next to the second. When I looked to Francesca to say something , a man appeared in the middle of the road, but I saw him too late, I was trying to break while he was looking to the sky and we crashed. As fast as I could, I stopped and asked him if he was OK, but he didn´t say anything. While Francesca was crying, I was thinking I had killed a man when my friend Jason arrived. I told him what happened. When he was looking at the man, he jumped and Jason jumped too, everybody cried, but after that, the man said he was fine, he was just kidding, and he went away.


Now I'll just alter some of the punctuation in your first piece:

Two months ago I was invited by my uncle Sergio to go to a car race. My uncle took me and some friends to this race in Brasilia where I was on vacation. I was very nervous as I had never driven a cart before. My friend Francesca didn´t want to drive and went in the car with me. The race started. I was in the third place next to the second. I looked to Francesca to say something when a man appeared in the middle of the road. I saw him too late. I was trying to break but he was looking to the sky and we crashed. As fast as I could I stopped. I asked him if he was OK but he didn´t say anything. Francesca was crying and I was thinking I had killed a man. Then my friend Jason arrived and I told him what happened. He was looking at the man when he jumped up and Jason jumped too. Everybody cried. The man said he was fine, he was just kidding. Then he went away.


Essentially, I have put in a few short words and made the sentences shorter.
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