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Check my sentences, please.

hirashin

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Hello, native English speakers.

I made some sentences to teach how to use conjunctions.
Would someone proofread them?

1 Yesterday I came/got home after my father came/got home.
ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ 
2a I left Tokyo before Bob came.
2b Before Bob came/arrived, I left Tokyo.
ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ 
3a I always wash my hands before I eat.
3b Before I eat, I always wash my hands.
ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ 
4a When I opened the window, I found it was raining.
4b I found it was raining when I opened the window.
ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ 
5a I always ask him for help when I am busy.
5b When I am busy, I always ask him for help.
ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ 
6a What are you going to do after you graduate from high school?
6b After you graduate from high school, what are you going to do?
ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ 
7a I'll give you this watch if you tell me about it.
7b If you tell me about it, I'll give you this watch.
ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ 
8a If you are not busy, please help me.
8b Please help me if you are not busy.

9a You must/have to wash your hands before you eat.
9b Before you eat, you must/have to wash your hands.

10a I'll leave after you come/arrive here.
10b After you come/arrive here, I'll leave.

11a I left there before Tom came/arrived.
11b Before Tom came/arrived, I left there.

12a I went to bed before my father came/got home.
12b Before my father came/got home, I went to bed.

13a If/When you go to the town, you can eat the food.
13b You can eat the food if/when you go to the town.

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 

letianchen

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9a You must/have to wash your hands before you eat.
9b Before you eat, you must/have to wash your hands.

you must to does not make sense, eliminate "to" and it does
Before you eat, you must wash your hands. This is ok, you have to wash your hands is fine as well


10a I'll leave after you come/arrive here.
10b After you come/arrive here, I'll leave.

Sounds really awkward. Drop the "here" and it sounds more natural but it does lose a little meaning. It is better to simply say "After you come here~~".

13a If/When you go to the town, you can eat the food.
13b You can eat the food if/when you go to the town.

Using "if" here sounds really awkward. Not wrong, just I don't think anyone would ever say it.


Rest are OK, from what I see.

Agree with Yzlot 11b is weird indeed.
 

Yzlot

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Just a note about 1) , usually the action is not repeated twice. So while 1) may be the full correct structure, colloquially, "I came home after my father." or "I got home after my father did." is more preferred.

Commas are not necessary in 3b, 4a, 5b, There are pauses in them when spoken, but those pauses are usually not expressed in the form of commas when written(confusing, I know). Strangely, this does not apply to 9b.

11b is rarely, if ever expressed. However, it can be written "Before Tom could come, I left there."

13a/b
"If/When you go to town, you can eat the food". or "You can eat the food if'when you go to town."
'The' is unnecessary, because 'town' is usually implied as the closest town. Otherwise, the name would be given in its place.

And another note: English is mostly spoken in assertive voice, so I find most of the examples listed that use contain passively used conjunctions awkward. The exceptions are in sentences 6-9, when a condition is attached.
 
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eeky

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9a You must/have to wash your hands before you eat.
9b Before you eat, you must/have to wash your hands.
A small comment...

No doubt here you meant the alternatives to be "must wash your hands" and "have to wash your hands", but the formatting makes it look as if they are "must to wash your hands" and "have to wash your hands". A convention which I use, and which seems sensible (though I'm not sure whether it is actually "official") is to put spaces around the slash when more than just an alternation of a single word is intended (e.g. in your case "Before you eat, you must / have to wash your hands"). Of course, some intelligence still needs to be applied by the reader as to what the alternatives are.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for your help, letianchen. I have some further questions.

9a You must/have to wash your hands before you eat.
9b Before you eat, you must/have to wash your hands.

you must to does not make sense, eliminate "to" and it does
Before you eat, you must wash your hands. This is ok, you have to wash your hands is fine as well

Oh, I should have written them separately. How about this?

9a You must (/have to) wash your hands before you eat.
9b Before you eat, you must (/have to) wash your hands.

Does it still look strange?

10a I'll leave after you come/arrive here.
10b After you come/arrive here, I'll leave.

Sounds really awkward. Drop the "here" and it sounds more natural but it does lose a little meaning. It is better to simply say "After you come here~~".

Sorry. I don't understand. Do you mean "After you come here, I'll leave" would be all right?

13a If/When you go to the town, you can eat the food.
13b You can eat the food if/when you go to the town.

Using "if" here sounds really awkward. Not wrong, just I don't think anyone would ever say it.

How about "when"? Would using "when" be all right?

Rest are OK, from what I see.

Agree with Yzlot 11b is weird indeed.

How about 11a?

Hirashin
 

hirashin

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Thank you for your help, Yzlot.
Just a note about 1) , usually the action is not repeated twice. So while 1) may be the full correct structure, colloquially, "I came home after my father." or "I got home after my father did." is more preferred.

Oh, that's great. Thank you for giving me better ones.

Commas are not necessary in 3b, 4a, 5b, There are pauses in them when spoken, but those pauses are usually not expressed in the form of commas when written(confusing, I know). Strangely, this does not apply to 9b.

Hmm...That's confusing. In my knowledge, when there is a conjunction at the top of the sentence, you need to put a comma at the end of the first clause. All the following sentences are from a grammar book (Practical English Usage by Michael Swan).

If you are passing, come in and see us.
Although the bicycle was expensive, she decided to buy it.
Because I liked him, I tried to help him.
As you know, I work very hard.

Each of them has a comma after the first clause. What do you think?

11b is rarely, if ever expressed. However, it can be written "Before Tom could come, I left there."

How about 11a? Would 11a be all right?

13a/b
"If/When you go to town, you can eat the food". or "You can eat the food if'when you go to town."
'The' is unnecessary, because 'town' is usually implied as the closest town. Otherwise, the name would be given in its place.

I didn't mean the nearest town by "the town". Should I say "that town" instead?
How about these?
13a If/When you go to that town, you can eat the food.
13b You can eat the food if/when you go to that town.

And another note: English is mostly spoken in assertive voice, so I find most of the examples listed that use contain passively used conjunctions awkward. The exceptions are in sentences 6-9, when a condition is attached.

Sorry. I don't understand. I didn't use passive voice at all.

Hirashin
 
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1 Yesterday I came/got home after my father came/got home.
Yesterday I came/got home after my father.
(the extra words are unnatural, not wrong.)

2a, 2b, 3a, good
3b slightly unnatural but usable.
    
                                             
4a When I opened the window, I found it was raining.
4b I found it was raining when I opened the window.
Not wrong, but we don't usually use that grammar outside of books. If you're not writing a first-person novel, then other ways are better.
4a' When I opened the window, I saw that it was raining.
4b' I saw that it was raining when I opened the window.
4a'' When I opened the window, it was raining.
4b'' It was raining when I opened the window.

5a ok. Can also be used with 'to' instead of 'for'.
                                             
5b When I am busy, I always ask him for help.
Slightly off. Better would be,
5b' When I am busy, I always ask him to help.

                                            
6a What are you going to do after you graduate from high school?
6b After you graduate from high school, what are you going to do?
Just like a textbook. But in real life, usually,
6a' What are you going to do after you graduate?
6b' After you graduate, what are you going to do?

7a,7b good                   

8a,8b more natural if 'are not' is replaced with 'aren't'  

9a,9b fine ; 9a is the more natural, 9b is used in contexts where it's important to say 'Before you eat' quickly, like just before a hungry child puts his dirty hands on the food.

10a I'll leave after you come/arrive here.
10b After you come/arrive here, I'll leave.
10a' I'll leave after you arrive.

10b is awkward.


11a I left there before Tom came/arrived.
11b Before Tom came/arrived, I left there.
'came' isn't very natural compared to 'arrived' or 'got there'.
Otherwise ... mostly okay but slightly unnatural.

11a' I left before Tom arrived.
11a'' I left before Tom got there.
11b' Before Tom arrived, I had already left.
11b'' Before Tom got there, I had already left.

12a fine
12b Before my father came/got home, I went to bed.
More generally natural,
12b' Before my father came/got home, I had already gone to bed.
The original 12b can be used but sounds like going to bed was timed purposely to be before the father got home. (Which can happen, e.g., if the child is avoiding a conversation or was up past bedtime but made sure to be in bed before the father got home, etc. etc.)
13a If/When you go to the town, you can eat the food.
13b You can eat the food if/when you go to the town.
13a' When you get into town, you can eat.
13b' You can eat when you get into town.
13a'' If you came/went into town, you could eat.
13b'' You could eat if you came/went into town.

13' and 13'' have very different meanings, though. 13' says 'Wait until you get into town to eat.'
13'' suggests there's nothing to eat where the listener is at, but there's somewhere to eat in town. Use 'came' if the speaker is in town, and 'went' if the speaker is not in town.
 

Yzlot

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Hmm...That's confusing. In my knowledge, when there is a conjunction at the top of the sentence, you need to put a comma at the end of the first clause. All the following sentences are from a grammar book (Practical English Usage by Michael Swan).

If you are passing, come in and see us.
Although the bicycle was expensive, she decided to buy it.
Because I liked him, I tried to help him.
As you know, I work very hard.

Each of them has a comma after the first clause. What do you think?

The first three are fine, but I more often see sentences like the the 4th example without the comma. That doesn't mean having the comma there is wrong. A comma is usually used to connect and relate two separate ideas. In the 4th example, "As you know" and "I work very hard" aren't really two separate ideas but simply a pause in speech. That pause is for emphasis, and not because a comma is written in text. So while a comma can be transliterated into a pause in speech, the opposite does not always hold true. But this is just a confusing detail that I wouldn't worry about until you're teaching really advanced english courses.


As for the 'passive voice', I used the term and apologize. I meant the uses of these conjunctions are roundabout and their usage seems unnecessary in the way they are worded. Chris offers some extremely good alternatives that correct this 'roundabout' writing style, so I would take a good look at it. 11a) is fine, but I'd also go with the way Chris worded it.

For 13), if you are going to a town that isn't the closest, I recommend using a town's name rather than "the town/" especially if it isn't the closest one. This is to avoid confusion.
 
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