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take good seats

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
I have a little question.
Do you say "to take good seat" instead of "to get good seats"?

Which would be used?
(a) We got up so early as to get good seats.
(b) We got up so early as to take good seats.
(c) We got up so early as to attain good seats.
(d) We got up so early as to obtain good seats.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

hirashin

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Would you please help me? Doesn't this usage of "as to" sound natural?
 

joadbres

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Which would be used?
(a) We got up so early as to get good seats.
(b) We got up so early as to take good seats.
(c) We got up so early as to attain good seats.
(d) We got up so early as to obtain good seats.

(c) is wrong, and (b) is rather unnatural, so should be treated as wrong.

"get good seats" is completely natural; "obtain good seats" is acceptable, but not as commonly used.

"got up so early as to" is not natural. If you switch the order of the third and fourth words ("got up early so as to") it is much more natural. You could also say "got up early in order to". And there are undoubtedly several other ways to say this naturally.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, joadbres. Our texbooks and exercise books sometimes have unnatural English. Unfortunately, I am not allowed not to use them.
 

joadbres

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You are welcome. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the author of that exercise book got confused and wrote "got up so early as to" by mistake, unintentionally reversing the order of the third and fourth words from a natural English expression he had seen or heard elsewhere.

And here is a bonus, free, unsolicited English lesson:

Doesn't this usage of "as to" sound natural?

What you wrote here struck me as a little odd when I first read it. A question of this form (Doesn't ...?) is usually used to convey that the speaker thinks (or suspects, or is under the impression) that the situation being asked about is TRUE, and wants confirmation.
Here are a couple of similar examples:
- Doesn't Janice look nice today? (The speaker thinks Janice looks nice.)
- Doesn't Tom currently work for Apple? (The speaker thinks or suspects or is under the impression that Tom currently works for Apple.)

In your case, though, I think that it is likely that you think / suspect that the usage of "as to" might sound unnatural. If that is the case, then you need to word your question like this:

(e) "Doesn't this usage of "as to" sound unnatural?"

Alternately, you could use the "Does" form, like this:

(f) "Does this usage of "as to" sound natural?"

Questions (e) and (f) are similar in meaning to each other, but (e) includes more of an implication of how the speaker feels, while (f) does not necessarily contain such an implication.

I believe that this way of forming questions is similar in Japanese -- in particular, questions which end in じゃない?
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the free English lesson. It is hard for me to use negative questions properly.
I should have written
Does this usage of "so ___ as to (verb)" unnatural?
Am I right?

And one more question. Do you ever use the pattern "so [adjective] as to [verb]"?
What do you think of the following sentences? They are from dictionaries.
(1) He was so kind as to tell me the way.
(2) He so arranged matters as to please everyone.
(3) The driver was so fortunate as to escape death.
(4) I spoke so loudly as to be heard by everyone.
(5) The coat is so made as to be buttoned all the way to the neck.
(6) He's not so naive as to fall for that trick.
(7) Would you be so kind as to pass the salt?
(8) Many of these ecological changes came on so slowly as to be unnoticeable.
(9) How could you be so stupid as to believe him?
(10) The weather wasn't so bad as to stop us traveling.
(11) The sentence is so vague as to be meaningless.
 

joadbres

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Does this usage of "so ___ as to (verb)" unnatural?
Am I right?
Close. You left off the word "sound".

Do you ever use the pattern "so [adjective] as to [verb]"?
Apparently we do, as some of the example sentences you listed which fit that pattern sound quite natural.

What do you think of the following sentences? They are from dictionaries.
(1) He was so kind as to tell me the way.
(2) He so arranged matters as to please everyone.
(3) The driver was so fortunate as to escape death.
(4) I spoke so loudly as to be heard by everyone.
(5) The coat is so made as to be buttoned all the way to the neck.
(6) He's not so naive as to fall for that trick.
(7) Would you be so kind as to pass the salt?
(8) Many of these ecological changes came on so slowly as to be unnoticeable.
(9) How could you be so stupid as to believe him?
(10) The weather wasn't so bad as to stop us traveling.
(11) The sentence is so vague as to be meaningless.

Of these, the ones in which an adjective or adverb follows "so" sound natural to me.

The other two, (2) and (5), sound awkward to me. For me, if the "so" is relocated to just before the "as to", these two sentences sound much more natural.
 

Stavecrow

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(2) Sounds wrong in British English too.
He arranged matters to please everyone
Or
He arranged matters so as to please everyone
would both be correct.

But for emphasis you could also say:
“He arranged matters just so, to please everyone”

To arrange things ‘Just so’ implies he spent great amount of effort arranging matters with impeccable detail for everyone, and paying attention to the smallest item for their comfort. It’s shorthand for ‘Just perfectly’

With (5) “The coat is made so as to..... “
would be correct but equally you could say
“The coat is made to....”
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, Stavecrow.
Do you think the other sentences sound right?
 
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