What's new

Please correct my writing

keikei000

後輩
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
This is what I wrote as an answer to a question, "What kind of problem do you think our society will face in the future? Cite an example of the problem and write your ideas about how we should deal with it." and I would like someone to correct this.☟
"I think our society will face the problem of energy. For fossil fuels are being used rapidly and it is said that there will be no fossil fuels remained in the future. Now we largely depend on fossil fuels, so if we use up it, the result would be catastrophic. So I think we should deal with this problem by encouraging people to use renewable energy. Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy can be used many times. So we can use it without worrying that someday it will be gone."
I know the content of this answer is not good, but I want to know whether it contains grammar mistakes or not.
 

Julie.chan

後輩
Joined
Jun 21, 2017
Messages
703
Reaction score
94
I think our society will face the problem of energy.
"The problem of energy" is vague, but this wording suggests that it's specific. Use "a problem with energy" instead.

For fossil fuels are being used rapidly and it is said that there will be no fossil fuels remained in the future.
Starting a sentence with "for" like that is old-fashioned; no one does that in the modern day, especially not in writing. Just start with the word "Fossil".

Remove "remained". It's incorrect. "Remained" is only the past-tense form of the verb, "to remain". If you want to use that word, it would be like this:

"Fossil fuels are being used rapidly and it is said that no more fossil fuels will remain in the future."

Now we largely depend on fossil fuels, so if we use up it, the result would be catastrophic.
"Now" sounds odd here because that word is usually used to contrast with the past, and you haven't referenced the past here. Either start with "We" by itself, or change that to "We currently largely depend...".

So I think we should deal with this problem by encouraging people to use renewable energy.
Using "so" like that is highly informal. For formal writing, use "therefore":

"Therefore, I think we should deal with this problem by encouraging people to use renewable energy."

So we can use it without worrying that someday it will be gone.
The usage of "so" again; see above. I would remove the last two sentences entirely, though, because they're giving a lesson in the definition of "renewable", which is unnecessary.
 

keikei000

後輩
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Remove "remained". It's incorrect. "Remained" is only the past-tense form of the verb, "to remain". If you want to use that word, it would be like this:

"Fossil fuels are being used rapidly and it is said that no more fossil fuels will remain in the future."
Oh, I thought I can use "remained" like "left" in a sentence like "There were no cookies left in the room".


The usage of "so" again; see above. I would remove the last two sentences entirely, though, because they're giving a lesson in the definition of "renewable", which is unnecessary.
Yeah, I know the last two sentences are unnecessary, but I couldn't think of anything else to write,so I wrote it in order to reach the minimum word limit.

Thank you for your help!
 

Julie.chan

後輩
Joined
Jun 21, 2017
Messages
703
Reaction score
94
Yeah, I know the last two sentences are unnecessary, but I couldn't think of anything else to write,so I wrote it in order to reach the minimum word limit.
I assume you've probably learned how to write essays in Japanese, right? In this context, I would apply that knowledge the best you can using English instead (not as far as structuring goes, but as far as what you can say).

Personally, the first thing I would have done is given examples of renewable energy. Maybe explore some areas of research that could give us more options. A brief discussion of nuclear power could be worthwhile, too. The possibilities are numerous.
 

keikei000

後輩
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
I assume you've probably learned how to write essays in Japanese, right? In this context, I would apply that knowledge the best you can using English instead (not as far as structuring goes, but as far as what you can say).

Personally, the first thing I would have done is given examples of renewable energy. Maybe explore some areas of research that could give us more options. A brief discussion of nuclear power could be worthwhile, too. The possibilities are numerous.
No, actually I haven't learned how to write an essay (Japanese education doesn't focus on writing very much, at least when it comes to high school or junior high school), but I think I can write this essay well if I use Japanese instead of English.

So I'll try to write this again, following your advice. Thank you.
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Staff member
Moderator
Donor
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
5,366
Reaction score
566
A few points:

While I would not start a sentence with it, you can start a clause with "for," as an explanation of the conditions that make the previous clause possible. It is more formal (and the rest of the essay would need to reflect this tone), but if you replace that first period with a comma, i wouldn't consider it "old fashioned."

As a stylistic point, I try to avoid repeating the same vocabulary too often. Look to a thesaurus to find alternatives for saying "fossil fuel" too often.

For the "there will be no..." structure, the correct verb tense would be present progressive, so "there will be no... remaining," but you could opt for the more straightforward structure that was offered.

I get the point you're getting at with the sentence that starts with "now." Personally if I were to phrase this, I would probably say: "Today, we are overwhelmingly dependent on fossil fuels; without alternative infrastructures in place, it would be catastrophic (optional: to our... way of life, standard of living, etc) to suddenly stop the use of coal, gas, etc (here you can see two places where you can simply say "fossil fuels," but in either place--probably the first--I would replace the term with list examples to avoid repeating myself too much)

There's nothing wrong with trying to propose a solution, but know that it turns into a persuasive paragraph: is the point of the writing to just explain a problem we face, or is it to convince people to adopt a solution? As such, there are established structures for "persuasive writing. Search for that term to find some resources on it: Tips on Writing a Persuasive Essay | Time4Writing

If you want to talk about renewables as a solution, I'd agree to drop "so;" again, it can be used after a comma more comfortably than a period. Also, you may want to avoid using the first person "I think." It undermines your proposal by phrasing it simply as opinion.
 

Julie.chan

後輩
Joined
Jun 21, 2017
Messages
703
Reaction score
94
Look to a thesaurus
Thesauruses are useful tools, but be careful. Many words have multiple meanings, and just because two words share one meaning doesn't mean they also share another. Relying on a thesaurus and then screwing up because you used a word you don't know is a surefire way to signal that your English is bad. Whether that would prompt laughter or confusion depends on exactly how bad the mistake is.

Rather than searching for synonyms, if you don't know any synonyms yourself, I would rely on use of pronouns and other generic descriptors.

On a side note, I noticed another error:

if we use up it
Change that to "if we use them up". "To use up" is always split in this way when used with a pronoun. Also, since "fossil fuels" is plural, you have to use "them", not "it".
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Staff member
Moderator
Donor
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
5,366
Reaction score
566
good point on the thesaurus, same goes for using a dictionary blindly, as it will often lead you to use a word incorrectly or at least in an awkward way, but I find that it's through those mistakes that I learn vocabulary the best. Definitely good to run it by a native speaker the first time you use a new word to see if you got it right (or terribly wrong!)
 

keikei000

後輩
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
I'm sorry for my not being able to reply quickly.
A few points:

While I would not start a sentence with it, you can start a clause with "for," as an explanation of the conditions that make the previous clause possible. It is more formal (and the rest of the essay would need to reflect this tone), but if you replace that first period with a comma, i wouldn't consider it "old fashioned."
Oh, I didn't know that. I was taught in school that since "for" is a coordinate conjunction, when you want to use it to explain previous sentences, you must put it between two sentences. But I guess it was a wrong theory that I was taught, wasn't it?

As a stylistic point, I try to avoid repeating the same vocabulary too often. Look to a thesaurus to find alternatives for saying "fossil fuel" too often.
Yeah,I know it sounds odd to repeat the same phrase, but I couldn't avoid it because of my lack of vocabulary. I'll consult a thesaurus, thank you.


There's nothing wrong with trying to propose a solution, but know that it turns into a persuasive paragraph: is the point of the writing to just explain a problem we face, or is it to convince people to adopt a solution? As such, there are established structures for "persuasive writing. Search for that term to find some resources on it: Tips on Writing a Persuasive Essay | Time4Writing
I didn't know the term but I think I wrote it as a "persuasive writing", so I'll see the site you mentioned.

If you want to talk about renewables as a solution, I'd agree to drop "so;" again, it can be used after a comma more comfortably than a period. Also, you may want to avoid using the first person "I think." It undermines your proposal by phrasing it simply as opinion.
I'm often told by teachers not to use "I think" in an essay, but I can't get out if the habit

thank you!
 

Julie.chan

後輩
Joined
Jun 21, 2017
Messages
703
Reaction score
94
Oh, I didn't know that. I was taught in school that since "for" is a coordinate conjunction, when you want to use it to explain previous sentences, you must put it between two sentences. But I guess it was a wrong theory that I was taught, wasn't it?
Yeah, that's definitely wrong. "For" is one of the basic coordinating conjunctions taught to everyone (the "FANBOYS"): for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. All of these conjunctions serve to join two items that share the same syntactical importance. Most basically, all coordinating conjunctions function like this:

I brush my teeth twice a day, for I don't want to get cavities.
I like apples, and Jessica likes oranges.
I don't like cake, nor do I like pie.*
I like tea, but I don't like coffee.
You can stay, or you can go.
I usually don't eat sugar, yet I occasionally eat Thai food.
She doesn't have teeth, so she can't eat apples.

All of these* are two independent clauses joined together by a comma and a coordinating conjunction (the comma is important; it signals that these are independent clauses). My guess is you misunderstood someone's explanation of this because a sentence is an independent clause, and an independent clause can be made into a sentence; so they're functionally almost identical, and you can think of this as joining two sentences together. However, because these are coordinating conjunctions, the two sentences become a single sentence, as shown above.

* Note: "Nor" is somewhat exceptional because the second clause has to be rephrased in a way that I don't know how to explain. Luckily, it's not a very common word.
 

keikei000

後輩
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Thesauruses are useful tools, but be careful. Many words have multiple meanings, and just because two words share one meaning doesn't mean they also share another. Relying on a thesaurus and then screwing up because you used a word you don't know is a surefire way to signal that your English is bad. Whether that would prompt laughter or confusion depends on exactly how bad the mistake is.

Rather than searching for synonyms, if you don't know any synonyms yourself, I would rely on use of pronouns and other generic descriptors.
I understand what you mean. I consulted a dictionary a lot when I wrote an essay for the first time, but I found that dictionaries told me the meaning of words but didn't tell me how to use them in a way that makes sense in a context , so now I use them as few times as possible.

On a side note, I noticed another error:


Change that to "if we use them up". "To use up" is always split in this way when used with a pronoun. Also, since "fossil fuels" is plural, you have to use "them", not "it".
I didn't notice it.... thank you.

good point on the thesaurus, same goes for using a dictionary blindly, as it will often lead you to use a word incorrectly or at least in an awkward way, but I find that it's through those mistakes that I learn vocabulary the best. Definitely good to run it by a native speaker the first time you use a new word to see if you got it right (or terribly wrong!)
Yes, that's why I'm posting here what I write in English!
 
Last edited:

Julie.chan

後輩
Joined
Jun 21, 2017
Messages
703
Reaction score
94
Since this made me chuckle a bit, one more note: the exclamation point is fine for the meaning you meant, but it can also represent shouting, anger, or exasperation, so be careful with it. ;) When in doubt, assuming you're on the Internet and in casual conversation of course, our good friends the emojis (or our older good friends the emoticons) can help. Or you can just use a regular old period; that's always fine. Expressing emotion in text is really difficult anyway.
 
Top