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Would you check the sentences for my small exam?

hirashin

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Would you help me? Are all the sentences all right?
<1>
1 Is your car new?
2 Those old people were so tired.
3 Tom is a tall man.
4 I like this beautiful lake.
5 Is this boy Tom or Mike?
6 Who painted that picture?
7 I noticed I had met him before.
8a By 2010 I had visited this museum.
8b I had visited this museum by 2010.
9a When I was young, I liked to visit temples.
9b I liked to visit temples when I was young.

<2>
1 Have you finished [ (a) to read (b) reading ] this book yet?
2 I hope [ (a) to visit (b) visiting ] Japan some day.
3 "Would you mind [ (a) to help (b) helping ] me?"
4 I wanted [ (a) to see (b) seeing ] your father.
5 He's decided [ (a) to buy (b) buying ] this bike.
6 I often enjoy [ (a) to play (b) playing ] the guitar in my room.
7 Lucy practices [ (a) to play (b) playing ] the piano for eight hours a day.

<3>
1 私の父は、その国に滞在することに決めた。[8語]
My father decided to stay in the country.

2 私達は、先週ここでテニスをして楽しんだ。[7語]
We enjoyed playing tennis here last week.

3 私がそのホテルに到着したとき、もう彼らは出発した後だった。[10語]
a) When I arrived at the hotel, they had already left.
b) When I got to the hotel, they had already left.
c) They had already left when I arrived at the hotel.
d) They had already left when I got to the hotel.

4 私が昨日帰宅したとき、私の父は、彼の車を洗い終わっていた。[12語]
When I got/came/arrive home yesterday, my father had finished washing his car.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 
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OoTmaster

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All look fine to me. The only thing I see is a slight typo or grammar error, "When I arrived home yesterday, my father had finished washing his car." since the action is past tense you need the past tense of the verb.
 

hirashin

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The only thing I see is a slight typo or grammar error, "When I arrived home yesterday, my father had finished washing his car." since the action is past tense you need the past tense of the verb.
Sorry, I don't get it.
Do you mean the sentence should be "When I arrived home yesterday, my father finished washing his car."?

How about "When I arrived home yesterday, my father had already finished washing his car"?

.
 

OoTmaster

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No I simply meant that in your original post you had "arrive" instead of "arrived".
 

hirashin

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Oh, I got it. I hadn't noticed it. Thank you.
 

joadbres

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<1> 7 and 8a and 8b may be grammatically OK, but sound unnatural. They are OK for an English test, though.

In the English sentence you wrote for <3>, it sounds like the man is already in the country, and has decided to extend his time there, which is different from the Japanese version. In natural English, we would translate the Japanese version differently. What you have is OK for an English test, though.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the careful check, joadbres. I appreciate it.
I would be happy if you would translate<1>-7 and 8 into natural English.
Should <3>-1 be "My father decided to visit and stay in the country"?

How about this, then?
Fredは、プロのサッカー選手になることに決めた。(decide, professional, be を使う)[8語]
Fred decided to be a professional soccer player.

Hirashin
 
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PaulTB

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Fredは、プロのサッカー選手になることに決めた。(decide, professional, be を使う)[8語]
Fred decided to be a professional soccer player.
I think that is just fine.

It's one of those sentences that make me second guess the English language, though. Logically you can't decide to 'be' something that you have to work hard, be talented and lucky to become. But, yeah, it is used in exactly that way in reality.

Alternatively:
Fred decided he was going to be a professional soccer player.
But I think that is actually less common than the version you have.
 
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hirashin

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Thank you for the comment, PaulTB. Nice to meet you. Are you British?
 

joadbres

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Here is how I would write those sentences more naturally. Of course, I am aware that some of the expressions I use here may be too difficult for your students. As I already wrote, what you have is fine for a test.

<1> 7. "I (realized / discovered / found out) that I had met him (before / previously)."

<1> 8. This is not the kind of thought we would typically express, so it is hard to express it in a natural way. Exactly what we would say depends on the specific context of the situation, and what information we are emphasizing. A couple of my attempts at saying this are:
"I first came to this museum before 2010." "I had already been to this museum by 2010."

<3> 1. Again, how we would express this depends on the context. If the decision has already been made, but the father has not yet gone to the country, we might say: "My father has decided to go to that country." or "My father has decided to live in that country." If all of the events are in the past (for example, the father has already been there and come back), you can remove "has" or change it to "had" in the previous sentences.

We don't seem to have a simple word in English which conveys the idea of living somewhere for an extended but non-permanent period of time. The word "sojourn" fits, but is not so commonly used. "Stay" is OK, but also has a different meaning ("not move from one's current position"), which can cause confusion.

I recommend that you keep the sentence that you already have, rather than change to the one about becoming a soccer player. It's fine for an English test.

I am sorry I cannot be more helpful...
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the detailed explanations, joadbres. You're always great. Unfortunately, I had changed the question to the one about becoming a soccer player. I made it from the sentence I found in a dictionary : He decided to be a cartoonist. Does my sentence sound off to your ear? (Am I saying it right? If not, please correct it.)
Thank you.
 

PaulTB

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Thank you for the detailed explanations, joadbres. You're always great. Unfortunately, I had changed the question to the one about becoming a soccer player. I made it from the sentence I found in a dictionary : He decided to be a cartoonist. Does my sentence sound off to your ear? (Am I saying it right? If not, please correct it.).
I haven't seen any earlier threads from you, so I may have misunderstood slightly. Is this an English exam you are making for other Japanese students of English to use? I don't think there is anything wrong with the dictionary example "He decided to be a cartoonist." or the soccer example "Fred decided to be a professional soccer player." Perhaps they are more difficult than the other questions, though.

Would the Japanese
"になること決めた"
be OK by the way?
 

joadbres

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Your professional soccer player sentence has no grammatical problems at all.

The only problem with it was pointed out by /u/PaulTB: being a professional athlete is not something you can simply decide to do; you have to be accepted by others. For a test, though, it is fine.
 

PaulTB

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The only problem with it was pointed out by /u/PaulTB: being a professional athlete is not something you can simply decide to do; you have to be accepted by others.
It's my opinion that the problem is "English (the language) is weird" not "The English in that sentence is weird".
 

hirashin

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Thank you very much for your comments, PaulTB and joadbres. Your argument (or debate, which word should I use?) is really interesting and enligjhtening to me.

I haven't seen any earlier threads from you, so I may have misunderstood slightly. Is this an English exam you are making for other Japanese students of English to use?
Yes. I'm a miserable teacher who has to teach the language I'm fluent in. Native English speakers in this group have helped me a lot. I'm really grateful to them.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the dictionary example "He decided to be a cartoonist." or the soccer example "Fred decided to be a professional soccer player." Perhaps they are more difficult than the other questions, though.
I was just trying to teach the pattern "decide to + verb".

Would the Japanese
"になること決めた"
be OK by the way?
Hmm...that may be grammatically correct, but I guess most native speakers would use "なることに" instead of "なることを", which would sound too stiff. How long have you been learning Japanese? Have you been to Japan?

If my English iis wierd, would you point it out?

Hirashin
 

PaulTB

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Thank you very much for your comments, PaulTB and joadbres. Your argument (or debate, which word should I use?) is really interesting and enligjhtening to me.
I think debate. I don't think I've actually disagreed with her, I was just clarifying points. At least that's how it felt to me. :)

I was just trying to teach the pattern "decide to + verb".
I would agree with joadbres that "Fred decided to be a professional soccer player." may not be the best English sentence to use. Not because it's wrong or weird, but because it may confuse things to introduce 'quirks' of English that your students are not ready for.

1 私の父は、その国に滞在することに決めた。[8語]
My father decided to stay in the country.
その国 / the country
is a bit problematic because 'the country' is often used as a synonym for 'the countryside'. You don't have the context to specify what 'その国' refers to so it might be best to use an actual country. As joadbres points out 'stay' is potentially confusing as it would be taken to mean 'not leave' in that sentence. I think adding a time period would clear that up well. Reside might work well here as well. (Reside would sound more formal)

私の父は、しばらくフランスに滞在することに決めた。[10語]
My father decided to reside in France for a while.

Hmm...that may be grammatically correct, but I guess most native speakers would use "なることに" instead of "なることを", which would sound too stiff.
Thanks. :)

How long have you been learning Japanese? Have you been to Japan?
I haven't been to Japan. It's been a long time since I started learning Japanese, but I can't say I've been learning it for all that time. For the last ... seven or eight years ... I've had health problems that have led me to give up working on improving my Japanese. I still read Japanese stuff and play Japanese games though.

If my English iis wierd, would you point it out?
I will, but it seems fine. Much better than my Japanese, I'm sure.
 
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