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Forum anglais: Questions sur l'anglais
Tout ce qui a un rapport avec l'apprentissage de l'anglais: grammaire, orthographe, aides aux devoirs, phrases etc.

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Two weird sentences?
Message de biglo posté le 01-11-2005 à 10:40:52 (S | E | F | I)

Hello there

I'm reading an interesting book about black Americans' problems in the USA during the 50's. Its title as you may know is "Black like me". I believe it is quite difficult to read for non-native speakers. But moreover there are many sentences which really look weird !

Here are two examples :

- It was better to walk then to freeze ==> "then" ?? According to the context it should have been "than". But perhaps it's a pun that he will freeze anyway. What do you think?

- If I could have foreseen ten years ago how things would happen, I've have cleared out too. ==> "I've have cleared" ?? What tense is it? This sentence is said by a black man. Do black Americans use to speak this way?

Thanks for your answers and have a nice day.





Réponse: Two weird sentences? de joy813, postée le 01-11-2005 à 11:16:59 (S | E)
Hello Biglo,

1. better than
2. I've cleared or I have cleared ==> present perfect

That must be typing mistakes


Réponse: Two weird sentences? de biglo, postée le 01-11-2005 à 11:27:19 (S | E)
Hello joy813,

Thanks for your answer but don't you think it doesn't seem very plausible for a (small) book written in 1959 and still edited in 2004 (mine was edited in 1996 I think). I guess 36 years are enough to correct these kinds of mistakes


Réponse: Two weird sentences? de lucile83, postée le 01-11-2005 à 14:46:34 (S | E)
Hello,
1) better then.........better than
2) I've have cleared ......I would have cleared..

Maybe the writer wants to show that black people speak bad English or American, that's why there are mistakes in the text.
See you soon



Réponse: Two weird sentences? de ourimba, postée le 01-11-2005 à 16:54:56 (S | E)
Two comments:

1. biglo, your English is excellent, and better than the English written in that book.

2. I agree with lucile83 if this is actual dialog, the grammar mistakes are often preserved to convey authenticity to the reader. If this is not spoken dialog, then it's a mistake, and shame on the editor for not catching it.


Réponse: Two weird sentences? de biglo, postée le 01-11-2005 à 19:57:14 (S | E)
Hello lucile83 and ourimba. Thank you both for your answer.

The first sentence is not from a spoken dialog! I was very surprised to see that. It's really the kind of mistake students often make when they have just begun learning English

Maybe for the second sentence, as you suggested, the author wanted to show that this black guy was not good at grammar (he didn't know this website ). But it's the only "deliberate" mistake I noticed. That's why it might be a real mistake from the author

Well... I am reading this book in order to improve my English. I hope it will not make it worse

Thanks again


Réponse: Two weird sentences? de shamrock, postée le 01-11-2005 à 21:28:53 (S | E)
Hi there !

I quite agree with lucile83, joy813 and ourimba. The author probably wanted to show that black people spoke bad English. At least, that's what I should think of the second sentence.
As for the first one, you said that it wasn't taken from a dialogue, so I think it's probably a typing mistake unless the author resorted to free indirect speech, but then why would there be just one mistake ? It is definitely weird. The editor should have noticed that...

-------------------
Edité par lucile83 le 02-11-2005 08:43


Réponse: Two weird sentences? de ourimba, postée le 01-11-2005 à 21:59:30 (S | E)
It's certainly not uncommon to find grammatical errors or spelling mistakes in books published in the USA. You should take encouragement from the fact that your English is at a level where you can spot them -

-------------------
Edité par traviskidd le 01-11-2005 22:02
But if the book is published in Australia, it's guaranteed to contain perfect English, n'est-ce pas?
-------------------
Edité par lucile83 le 02-11-2005 08:45
oops !! diplomatic incident ??




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