English as a Second Language/word choice

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Question
1.
Some people tell white lies because they don’t want to hurt others’ feelings. This seemingly thoughtful gesture, however, often leads to a worse result because those who tell a lie often have to tell other lies to cover up the first one. When people tell too many lies, they are more likely to be caught in a lie. Eventually, they will ruin their reputations and friendships with others.


(1.) What is another way to say “seemingly thought gesture” or “gesture” in the second sentence ?

(2.) In the second to the last sentence, what is another way to say “more likely to be caught in a lie”?

2. Taiwan used to be called “Formosa”, which means the beautiful island in Portuguese.  The Portuguese name really says it all about Taiwan---a stunning island with different kinds of landscapes and ecosystems. Foreigners here are often amazed by a variety of terrains that the island has to offer: sandbars, mountains, valleys, rivers and beaches. Taiwan is also a great place to experience traditional Chinese culture and to sample authentic Chinese food. Many westerners come here to learn Chinese because traditional Chinese customs and practices have been well preserved here. The island is well-known for its hospitable locals. The islanders here are super nice and friendly. For these reasons, Taiwan keeps tourists coming back for more.


(1.)In the first sentence, may I say,”…”Formosa”, namely, the beautiful island in Portuguese”?

(2.) In the last sentence, may I replace “for these reasons” with “in view of these reasons”?


3. To help protect the environment, we should stop cutting trees, avoid eating beef products, save endangered species and take public transportation. In addition, we can use recycled bags instead of plastic bags, and turn off lights or air conditioners when they are not in use.

(1.) In the sentence, may I say “stop deforestation ” or “stop clear-cutting”?

(2.) May I replace “in addition” with “alternatively”?

(3.)In the last sentence, does it mean the same if I say, “when they are not used” or “when we don’t use them”?

4. If my car broke down on the road, I would push it over to the side of the road and set up a red warning triangle in front. Then I’d call roadside assistance to tow my car to the nearest garage.

May I replace “set up” with “erect” and “garage” with “repair shop”?


5. If my car broke down on the road, I’d turn the hazards on and get out quickly as long as it was safe. Then I’d call or flag someone down for help. If it was nighttime, I’d stay in my car with the hazards on and then call someone to get my car towed. The big key is how safe I feel.

In the second sentence, what is another way to say “call or flag someone down for help”?


6. I failed to remind my boss of going to the meeting.

Does it mean the same if I say, “I failed to remind my boss that he should go to the meeting”?



7. I often feel horrified and worried when an earthquake happens. I then try to calm myself and start looking for a safe place. If the shaking is getting stronger and stronger, I sometimes get so freaked out that I forget to take any protection.

(1.) In the first sentence, does it mean the same if I replace “horrified” with “terrified” and “worried” with “anxious”?

(2.)  In the last sentence, may I say also, " I am sometimes so freaking out that I forget to take any protection" or “I sometimes get too freaked out to take any protection”?

Answer
1.
Some people tell white lies because they don’t want to hurt others’ feelings. This seemingly thoughtful gesture, however, often leads to a worse result because those who tell a lie often have to tell other lies to cover up the first one. When people tell too many lies, they are more likely to be caught in a lie. Eventually, they will ruin their reputations and friendships with others.


(1.) What is another way to say “seemingly thought gesture” or “gesture” in the second sentence ?
"rather thoughtful idea" ... I'd stick to "seemingly thoughtful gesture"

(2.) In the second to the last sentence, what is another way to say “more likely to be caught in a lie”? none, really

2. Taiwan used to be called “Formosa”, which means the beautiful island in Portuguese.  The Portuguese name really says it all about Taiwan---a stunning island with different kinds of landscapes and ecosystems. Foreigners here are often amazed by a variety of terrains that the island has to offer: sandbars, mountains, valleys, rivers and beaches. Taiwan is also a great place to experience traditional Chinese culture and to sample authentic Chinese food. Many westerners come here to learn Chinese because traditional Chinese customs and practices have been well preserved here. The island is well-known for its hospitable locals. The islanders here are super nice and friendly. For these reasons, Taiwan keeps tourists coming back for more.


(1.)In the first sentence, may I say,”…”Formosa”, namely, the beautiful island in Portuguese”? I guess

(2.) In the last sentence, may I replace “for these reasons” with “in view of these reasons”? yes


3. To help protect the environment, we should stop cutting trees, avoid eating beef products, save endangered species and take public transportation. In addition, we can use recycled bags instead of plastic bags, and turn off lights or air conditioners when they are not in use.

(1.) In the sentence, may I say “stop deforestation ” or “stop clear-cutting”?  yes

(2.) May I replace “in addition” with “alternatively”? yes

(3.)In the last sentence, does it mean the same if I say, “when they are not used” or “when we don’t use them”? I'd avoid impersonal expressions like "when they are not used" but "when we don't use them" is ok

4. If my car broke down on the road, I would push it over to the side of the road and set up a red warning triangle in front. Then I’d call roadside assistance to tow my car to the nearest garage.

May I replace “set up” with “erect” and “garage” with “repair shop”? I wouldn't use "erect" as it has a sexual connotation; repair shop is fine


5. If my car broke down on the road, I’d turn the hazards on and get out quickly as long as it was safe. Then I’d call or flag someone down for help. If it was nighttime, I’d stay in my car with the hazards on and then call someone to get my car towed. The big key is how safe I feel.

In the second sentence, what is another way to say “call or flag someone down for help”? "call for help"
Not sure where the text is from but I'd lose "big" in the last sentence. Also the verb tenses have to change "The key would be how safe I'd feel." or "The most important thing would be how safe I'd feel."


6. I failed to remind my boss of going to the meeting.

Does it mean the same if I say, “I failed to remind my boss that he should go to the meeting”? yes



7. I often feel horrified and worried when an earthquake happens. I then try to calm myself and start looking for a safe place. If the shaking is getting stronger and stronger, I sometimes get so freaked out that I forget to take any protection.

(1.) In the first sentence, does it mean the same if I replace “horrified” with “terrified” and “worried” with “anxious”? To some extent, yes. Horrified and terrified are probably more appropriate as they're stronger words.

(2.)  In the last sentence, may I say also, " I am sometimes so freaking out that I forget to take any protection" this doesn't sound right
or “I sometimes get too freaked out to take any protection”? yes

Also instead of "any protection", perhaps "cover" is a better word.  

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker

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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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