English as a Second Language/word choice

Advertisement


Question
1.If I could change one part of my body, it would be my bottom because it looks too large for my body.  I work out every day and have improved the shape of other body parts, but the rear is the most difficult part to work on. I have worked hard to change its shape, but not much improvement has been made. When I am walking on the streets, I often feel embarrassed when I notice people staring at my butt. They may think I have an ugly butt that looks like a cupcake. Even though I’ve had hard times working on my bottom, I will keep trying it until it looks small enough.


(1.)In the second sentence, may I change “the shape” to “the shapes” and “work on” to “deal with”?

“...and have improved the shapes of other body parts, but the rear is the most difficult part o deal with”?


(2.)In the next sentence, may I say also, “…but not much has (been) improved” or “but nothing seemed to improve”?

(3.) In the last sentence, may I say also, “Even though making my bottom smaller seems very difficult, I will keep trying until I succeed”?


2.   
If two of my best friends started arguing, I would not get involved. Because they're both good friends of mine, I am afraid that it might ruin my friendships with them if I got involved. Since taking sides between two best friends is not wise, I'd stay out of their quarrel and wait for them to calm down.  Then I'd take them out for dinner to reconcile them with each other.

(1.)In the first sentence, does it mean the same if I say, “..I would stay out of it”?

(2.) In the last sentence, may I say also, “I’d take them out for dinner to help them reconcile” or “I’d take them out for dinner to help them make peace”?



3. My favorite actor is Jackie Chan. In the movie "Rush Hour" he plays a cop who is on a mission to pursue important criminals. He is hilarious as he gets into a lot of trouble and then gets away with it by fighting criminals with kung-fu. What's more, his funny expressions and quick actions always keep moviegoers in awe. Jackie Chan is not only a well-known actor in Asia but also a household name in the West. He knows how to incorporate Asian style humor into Western movies. That's why he is so popular and has attracted so many fans around the world.

(1.)In the second sentence, what can be taken in place of “pursue”?  “Track” or “hunt”?

(2.) In the next sentence, may I say also, “..as he gets in a lot of trouble and escape it by fighting criminals with kung-fu”?

(3.)In the next sentence, what is another way to say “keep moviegoers in awe”?


4. Confucius once said that men should not dance. On the surface, his words don't make any sense to people who live in our modern society, but his idea has a profound meaning if we think about it deeply. He opposed dancing because he lived in a war-torn era where people were corrupt and danced the night away.

(1.)In the second, what is another way to say “on the surface”?

(2.)I wonder if there is another way to say “worn-torn era” in the last sentence?

Answer
1.If I could change one part of my body, it would be my bottom because it looks too large for my body.  I work out every day and have improved the shape of other body parts, but the rear is the most difficult part to work on. I have worked hard to change its shape, but not much improvement has been made. When I am walking on the streets, I often feel embarrassed when I notice people staring at my butt. They may think I have an ugly butt that looks like a cupcake. Even though I’ve had hard times working on my bottom, I will keep trying it until it looks small enough.


(1.)In the second sentence, may I change “the shape” to “the shapes” and “work on” to “deal with”?

“...and have improved the shapes of other body parts, but the rear is the most difficult part to deal with”?

yes to "shapes" but no to "deal with"


(2.)In the next sentence, may I say also, “…but not much has (been) improved” or “but nothing seemed to improve”? Either way, that sounds impersonal. I'd say "but I haven't improved much"

(3.) In the last sentence, may I say also, “Even though making my bottom smaller seems very difficult, I will keep trying until I succeed”? yes or better yet "until I will succeed"


2.    
If two of my best friends started arguing, I would not get involved. Because they're both good friends of mine, I am afraid that it might ruin my friendships with them if I got involved. Since taking sides between two best friends is not wise, I'd stay out of their quarrel and wait for them to calm down.  Then I'd take them out for dinner to reconcile them with each other.

(1.)In the first sentence, does it mean the same if I say, “..I would stay out of it”? yes

(2.) In the last sentence, may I say also, “I’d take them out for dinner to help them reconcile” yes, this is actually better than the above
or “I’d take them out for dinner to help them make peace”? this could work too



3. My favorite actor is Jackie Chan. In the movie "Rush Hour" he plays a cop who is on a mission to pursue important criminals. He is hilarious as he gets into a lot of trouble and then gets away with it by fighting criminals with kung-fu. What's more, his funny expressions and quick actions always keep moviegoers in awe. Jackie Chan is not only a well-known actor in Asia but also a household name in the West. He knows how to incorporate Asian style humor into Western movies. That's why he is so popular and has attracted so many fans around the world.

(1.)In the second sentence, what can be taken in place of “pursue”?  “Track” or “hunt”? they're all synonyms, but I'd stick to "pursue" here

(2.) In the next sentence, may I say also, “..as he gets in a lot of trouble and escape it by fighting criminals with kung-fu”? yes, but I'd stop after "criminals"

(3.)In the next sentence, what is another way to say “keep moviegoers in awe”? "keep the audience amazed/entertained"


4. Confucius once said that men should not dance. On the surface, his words don't make any sense to people who live in our modern society, but his idea has a profound meaning if we think about it deeply. He opposed dancing because he lived in a war-torn era where people were corrupt and danced the night away.

(1.)In the second, what is another way to say “on the surface”? At first glance (in fact I wouldn't use "on the surface")

(2.)I wonder if there is another way to say “worn-torn era” in the last sentence? Not really

Wei, correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you sent the exact same question to me some months ago?!?

~Amy

English as a Second Language

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


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.

Experience

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

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

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.