Home TEFL forum Grammar & Vocabulary where is the error? if there is one

where is the error? if there is one

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  • letsglow
    Participant
    14 November, 2010 at 13:23
    • Total posts: 7

    1. "Mary spread butter all over her piece of toast with her knife"

    2. "When the baloon burst everyone was startled by the sudden noise"

    e2e4
    Participant
    29 November, 2010 at 17:09
    • Total posts: 20

    Reply To: where is the error? if there is any:

    /A learner/

    I wonder could this below be an option?

    1. Mary spread the butter all over her piece of toast using (a) knife. (Before that, she had put some butter on the piece of toast.)

    2. When the balloon burst, everyone was startled with/by the sudden noise.

    Now we both are waiting for a teacher to call in and explain variants

    1. knife
    2.a knife
    3. the knife (With which she had put some butter on the piece of toast.)

    I, maybe, shouldn’t have called into the sentence, should I?

    dan
    Moderator
    4 December, 2010 at 10:33
    • Total posts: 770

    Reply To: where is the error? if there is any:

    Both original sentences are correct (apart from the spelling of balloon). However, depending on the context, the first one might sound more natural like this:

    "Mary spread butter on her toast with her knife".

    all over vs. on
    – When we spread butter on toast, it is normal to spread it all over the toast, so we don’t need to emphasise this, unless from the context there is some reason to emphasise it. For example, there may be something to make us think that she would only spread it on a part of the piece of toast.

    her toast vs. her piece of toast
    – Again, this depends on the context. Is it necessary in the context to specify that there is only one piece of toast? If not, then "toast" is enough.

    Finally, you could remove "with her knife". If we say "Mary spread butter on her toast", we assume from our general knowledge that she is using a knife. Again, there may be a reason to emphasise the fact that she is using a knife – perhaps it is a story and it is important to focus on the knife for other reasons.

    Dan

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