English as a Second Language/word choice

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Question
1.I get along with my mom better than my dad because she did everything she could to spend as much time with me while I was growing up. Although I don’t live with her anymore, we still have heart-to-heart talks very often. She is always there when I need her and has guided me through many difficulties in life. My father, on the other hand, was always busy at work when I was younger, so we rarely had time to talk and play together. I don’t share my feelings or problems with him very often because he likes to preach rather than to offer real help.

(1.) In the first sentence, may I just say, “…because she spent as much time as could with me while I was growing up”?

(2.) In the third sentence, does it mean the same if I say, “…and has helped me get through many difficulties in life”?

(3.)In the last sentence, may I say “feelings and problems” and leave out “to” before “offer real help”?

2. I think PE classes are necessary in high school because most students are overweight these days. They eat too much junk food and hardly exercise, which often leads to poor health. Therefore, taking PE classes helps them get more exercise and stay in shape. Besides, students can learn leadership and teamwork when they play team sports. They can also learn how to warm up their bodies and avoid injuries before and during a game. By making them involved in different sports, schools help students develop their mental and physical abilities.

(1.)In the second sentence, what is the difference if I replace “hardly” with “rarely”?

(2.)In the second sentence, may I say also, “They eat too much junk food and hardly exercise, often ending up in poor health”?

(3.)In the second to the last sentence, should I leave out “their bodies”?

(4.) In the last sentence, may I say also, “By involving them in different sports, schools helps students….”?



3. When exercising on a hot summer day, I’d always like a strawberry smoothie to refresh myself. This drink is better than other kinds such as Coke or Snapple because it is made with natural fruit without other chemical additives. It has a tasty flavor and contains various vitamins and minerals. Sometimes, I enjoy having a strawberry smoothie with my friends during a break after a basketball game. We have fun chatting and relaxing while drinking refreshing smoothies. Afterwards, we all feel energized to play another round.

(1.) In the first sentence, what is another way to say “to refresh myself”?
“To cool myself” or “to get refreshed”?

(2.) In the second, may I say also“…because it is made of/from natural fruit without other chemical additives”?

(3.)In the next sentence, should I say , “It has a tasty flavor with various vitamins and minerals”?

(4.)In the next sentence, should I say “…during a break in a basketball game” because the last sentence mentions “play another round”?

Answer
1.I get along with my mom better than my dad because she did everything she could to spend as much time with me while I was growing up. Although I don’t live with her anymore, we still have heart-to-heart talks very often. She is always there when I need her and has guided me through many difficulties in life. My father, on the other hand, was always busy at work when I was younger, so we rarely had time to talk and play together. I don’t share my feelings or problems with him very often because he likes to preach rather than to offer real help.

(1.) In the first sentence, may I just say, “…because she spent as much time as SHE could with me while I was growing up”? yes

(2.) In the third sentence, does it mean the same if I say, “…and has helped me get through many difficulties in life”? yes, but I'd say "many difficult times in life"

(3.)In the last sentence, may I say “feelings and problems” and leave out “to” before “offer real help”? Yes and yes

2. I think PE classes are necessary in high school because most students are overweight these days. They eat too much junk food and hardly exercise, which often leads to poor health. Therefore, taking PE classes helps them get more exercise and stay in shape. Besides, students can learn leadership and teamwork SKILLS when they play team sports. They can also learn how to warm up their bodies and avoid injuries before and during a game. By making them involved in different sports, schools help students develop their mental and physical abilities.

(1.)In the second sentence, what is the difference if I replace “hardly” with “rarely”? none, they're synonyms here

(2.)In the second sentence, may I say also, “They eat too much junk food and hardly exercise, often ending up in poor health”? it doesn't sound correct to me

(3.)In the second to the last sentence, should I leave out “their bodies”? yes

(4.) In the last sentence, may I say also, “By involving them in different sports, schools helps students….”? I'd rather say "By getting them involved..."

* I added "skills" to one of your sentences - see above


3. When exercising on a hot summer day, I’d always like a strawberry smoothie to refresh myself. This drink is better than other kinds such as Coke or Snapple because it is made with natural fruit without other chemical additives. It has a tasty flavor and contains various vitamins and minerals. Sometimes, I enjoy having a strawberry smoothie with my friends during a break after a basketball game. We have fun chatting and relaxing while drinking refreshing smoothies. Afterwards, we all feel energized to play another round.

(1.) In the first sentence, what is another way to say “to refresh myself”?
“To cool myself” or “to get refreshed”? either one.
You don't need to say "I'd always" but "I always"

(2.) In the second, may I say also“…because it is made of/from natural fruit without other chemical additives”?  yes

(3.)In the next sentence, should I say , “It has a tasty flavor with various vitamins and minerals”? no

(4.)In the next sentence, should I say “…during a break in a basketball game” because the last sentence mentions “play another round”?
I'd just say " Sometimes, I enjoy having a strawberry smoothie with my friends after a basketball game."

I hope the above helps

~Amy

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker

Expertise

I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.

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I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

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BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

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