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My coffee that you moved on the desk

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers
Would you help me?

A Japanese student wrote:
My coffee that you move it on the desk was delicious.

I don't think this sentence is good. I suppose there are a lot of mistakes in it.
How would you correct it?

Would this sound OK?
My coffee that you moved onto the desk was delicious.


Hirashin
 

PaulTB

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A Japanese student wrote:
My coffee that you move it on the desk was delicious.

I don't think this sentence is good. I suppose there are a lot of mistakes in it.

Unrelated to your question, and purely for your edification*. but "I suppose there are a lot of mistakes in it." sounds rather impolite (towards the student). If it was about a sentence you wrote yourself then it would be fine, as being disparaging against your own work is considered normal. When talking about someone else it is a lot trickier and I would suggest aiming for a more neutral phrasing. "I think it has several mistakes (in it)." 'Suppose' also implies you have little direct knowledge of it, but are basing your assumptions on past performance / similar situations.

* I also just wanted to use 'edification'. It probably sounds a little pompous in that sentence, but I'm just having fun. :p

Would this sound OK?
My coffee that you moved onto the desk was delicious.

> My coffee, which you moved onto the desk, was delicious.
This is grammatical, and understandable. I don't think it is natural, though. I presume that the coffee was brought to the speaker by the person being spoken to? 'Moved onto the desk' doesn't sound right for that to me. I would suggest something like ...

> My coffee, which you brought to my desk (for me), was delicious.
Usage of 'that' vs 'which' is tricky, and controversial. I think which is better in the sentence above.

> The coffee that you brought to me was delicious.
Here 'the coffee' is being further defined as 'the coffee that was brought by the person spoken to'. It could be in comparison to other coffees.

> My coffee that you brought to me was delicious.
This sounds unnatural, IMO. 'My coffee' already defines the coffee in question fully. Further defining it as the one brought to you by the person spoken to just confuses things.

> The coffee, which you brought to me, was delicious.
> My coffee, which you brought to me, was delicious.
These sound OK to me. 'which you brought to me' isn't being used to identify the coffee in question, the speaker is just mentioning some additional information as an aside - for example to imply thanks to the person spoken to.
 
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hirashin

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Thank you for your ongoing help, PaulTB. I appreciate it.

Politeness in using English is a difficult problem to me (for me?). It may be almost impossible for a person who has never lived in any English-speaking countries to use English properly.


> The coffee, which you brought to me, was delicious.
> My coffee, which you brought to me, was delicious.

Do you ever use these sentences in your casual conversations?

Hirashin
 

PaulTB

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Thank you for your ongoing help, PaulTB. I appreciate it.

Politeness in using English is a difficult problem to me (for me?). It may be almost impossible for a person who has never lived in any English-speaking countries to use English properly.
"for me" is better. Yeah, and at least as hard if you replace 'English' with 'Japanese' in your sentence above. :)
Don't take it too seriously, I just thought you might find it interesting.

> The coffee, which you brought to me, was delicious.
> My coffee, which you brought to me, was delicious.

Do you ever use these sentences in your casual conversations?

No.

I don't drink coffee. :p

Seriously, though, in that context I would probably say one of ...
> Thanks for the coffee. It was delicious.
> Thanks for the coffee. I really needed that.
 

hirashin

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Thanks, PaulTB. You're really helpful. (Does this sound impolite?)
 
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