Is the following paragraph, in particular the usage of "at all" in the last sentence, correct English?
"My friend uses to leave his computer switched on day and night. .. When he was visiting me, he expressed
his surprise that I had switched off the PC at all before leaving the room".
The reason why I am using "at all" here is that - being German - I have remembered that "at all" is used in the sense of our "=FCberhaupt", and in German, the sentence would work well ("Er war =FCberrascht, da=DF ich den PC *=FCberhaupt* ausgeschaltet hatte"), but I'm well aware that such literal translations often don't work.
The sentence should express that my friend not only would have expected me to be "online" more often, but that he would have thought that the computer, even if I decided to not using it so much as he does, still would stay switched on permanently.
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Ronald Otto Valentin schrieb:
Is the following paragraph, in particular the usage of "at all" in the last sentence, correct English? "My friend uses ... was visiting me, he expressed his surprise that I had switched off the PC at all before leaving the room".

That does sound like a translation done too literally. überhaupt nicht = not at all
but
for "überhaupt" the way you are using it, I'd opt for "actually" (tatsächlich) or maybe even "completely" (ganz, vollständig).

so:
he expressed his surprise that I had actually/completely switched off the PC... etc.
If you wanted to stress "completely", which would fit your purpose, you might also add it at the end of the sentence, to show how absurd an idea it is to switch off a PC during the day:
he expressed his surprise that I had switched off the PC completely... etc.

Luca, methinks

"Paying taxes is like going to the zoo. Admission is 20 bucks. You can't walk in and say 'Here's 18.50. I don't like zebras.'" - Jon Stewart
And one more thing:
Ronald Otto Valentin schrieb:
Is the following paragraph, in particular the usage of "at all" in the last sentence, correct English? "My friend uses to leave his computer

"uses to" in present tense is odd, if not even ungrammatical. In past tense, "he used to" it's fine and appropriate, but in present tense, you should go for something like "usually leaves..."

Luca

"Paying taxes is like going to the zoo. Admission is 20 bucks. You can't walk in and say 'Here's 18.50. I don't like zebras.'" - Jon Stewart
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Ronald Otto Valentin schrieb:

Is the following paragraph, in particular the usage of "at ... switched off the PC at all before leaving the room".

That does sound like a translation done too literally. überhaupt nicht = not at all but for "überhaupt" the way ... switch off a PC during the day: he expressed his surprise that I had switched off the PC completely... etc.

"Ever", "at any time" "at all times" and "always" are often suitable alternatives for "at all".
"Did he ever go there?" = "Did he go there at all?". ("Did he never go there?" "No, not at all" (= "No, never").) "I don't switch it off at all" = "I don't switch it off, ever" = "I never switch it off ".

Ian
Ian Jackson schrieb:
"Ever", "at any time" "at all times" and "always" are often suitable alternatives for "at all". "Did he ever go ... don't switch it off at all" = "I don't switch it off, ever" = "I never switch it off ".

Yes, but in Ronald's case, he was going for a different, positive notion, not the usual context of a negation or a question. In German, the word just happens to be the same because it has a very broad range of meanings, going from "in general" to "ever" to "entirely" or even "by the way".
Luca

"Paying taxes is like going to the zoo. Admission is 20 bucks. You can't walk in and say 'Here's 18.50. I don't like zebras.'" - Jon Stewart
Is the following paragraph, in particular the usage of "at all" in the last sentence, correct English? "My friend uses ... was visiting me, he expressed his surprise that I had switched off the PC at all before leaving the room".

It's grammatically correct but not at all necessary.

I used to work with someone who would say things like 'Such and such doesn't work at all, at all'. It always amused me and then one day he came out with 'It doesn't work at all, at all - at all, at all'. After the first time he said 'at all, at all' he paused and looked upwards as though in thought before following up with the remainder. It was very bizarre.
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Is the following paragraph, in particular the usage of "at all" in the last sentence, correct English?
"My friend uses to leave his computer switched on day and night. .... When he was visiting me, he expressed
his surprise that I had switched off the PC at all before leaving the room".
The reason why I am using "at all" here is that - being German - I have remembered that "at all" is used in the sense of our "überhaupt", and in German, the sentence would work well ("Er war überrascht, daß ich den PC überhaupt ausgeschaltet hatte"), but I'm well aware that such literal translations often don't work.
You germans should go back to cremating jews.
Is the following paragraph, in particular the usage of "at ... switched off the PC at all before leaving the room".

It's grammatically correct but not at all necessary. I used to work with someone who would say things like 'Such ... all' he paused and looked upwards as though in thought before following up with the remainder. It was very bizarre.

You used to work with an Irish stereotype?
The old joke goes that in Dublin a yellow line on the road means no parking at all and a double yellow means no parking at all at all.
John Dean
Oxford
I used to work with someone who would say things ... before following up with the remainder. It was very bizarre.

You used to work with an Irish stereotype? The old joke goes that in Dublin a yellow line on the road means no parking at all and a double yellow means no parking at all at all.

Heheh. The fellow in question was English and seemed to have constructed a new meaning for his reduplication that was known only to him.
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