English as a Second Language/word choice

Advertisement


Question
I have several questions about the paragraphs below:
1.
Dear Kate,

My manger, Chris, has asked me to apply for reimbursement for some stationery expenses. He wants to receive this reimbursement before he leaves the office this afternoon. I know you are unavailable at the moment, however, I hope you can respond as soon as possible.


(1.)In the first sentence, should I say “apply for the reimbursement of some stationery expenses”?

(2.) In the first sentence, what can be taken in place “apply for”?  “Request” or “ask for”?

(3.) I wonder if I can use the plural “reimbursements”? For example,  “Apply for reimbursements for some stationery”?

(4.) In the second sentence, may I replace “this reimbursement” with “the money” or “the amount”?

(5.) In the last sentence, should I use a semicolon after “moment”?


2. (continued)
Here is an itemized list of our expenses that includes the total:

Envelopes  $120
Glue       $30
Notebooks  $75


Please reimburse us today if possible. Feel free to call me if necessary—my extension is 605. Thank you for your help.

(6.) In the first sentence, what is another way to say “an itemized list of…”?

(7.) In the first sentence, may I say also, “Here I’ve itemized/made/provided a list of our expenses….”?

(8.) In the second, what can be taken in place of “reimburse us” and “if necessary”?

“Refund us”, “return the money to us”, “give us back the money ” and “if needed”?


3.
When it comes to winter, many people think of snow, but in Taiwan, it almost never snows in the cities. Instead, it usually rains during the winter. Once the weather gets cold, many people keep warm by bundling up in sweaters, gloves and boots.


(9.) In the first sentence, it is correct to use a comma before “but”? May I say, “…many people think of snow. But in Taiwan, it….”?

(10.)In the first sentence, may I say also, “Although many people associate the winter with snow, it rarely snows in the cities in Taiwan”?



4. (Continued) During the season, students have a vacation up to three weeks long, during which they celebrate the most important holiday in Taiwan—Chinese New Year. During the holiday, families get together, bringing a sense of warmth to the cold days of winter.


(11.)In the last sentence, may I say also, “…families get together, bringing themselves a sense of warmth during the cold winter.”?

(12.)Or may I divide the sentence into two: During the holiday, families get together. Being with one another brings them a sense of warmth during the cold winter.”?

Answer
1.
Dear Kate,

My manger, Chris, has asked me to apply for reimbursement for some stationery expenses. He wants to receive this reimbursement before he leaves the office this afternoon. I know you are unavailable at the moment, however, I hope you can respond as soon as possible.


(1.)In the first sentence, should I say “apply for the reimbursement of some stationery expenses”? no

(2.) In the first sentence, what can be taken in place “apply for”?  “Request” or “ask for”? either of the two

(3.) I wonder if I can use the plural “reimbursements”? For example,  “Apply for reimbursements for some stationery”? I see no reason to use the plural here

(4.) In the second sentence, may I replace “this reimbursement” with “the money” or “the amount”? yes

(5.) In the last sentence, should I use a semicolon after “moment”? no


2. (continued)
Here is an itemized list of our expenses that includes the total:

Envelopes  $120
Glue      $30
Notebooks  $75


Please reimburse us today if possible. Feel free to call me if necessary—my extension is 605. Thank you for your help.

(6.) In the first sentence, what is another way to say “an itemized list of…”? a list of, but I'd stick to the original

(7.) In the first sentence, may I say also, “Here I’ve itemized/made/provided a list of our expenses….”? you could but the original sounds better.

(8.) In the second, what can be taken in place of “reimburse us” and “if necessary”?

“Refund us”, “return the money to us”, “give us back the money ” and “if needed”? Refund us would be the only synonym I'd use. If needed is OK.


3.
When it comes to winter, many people think of snow, but in Taiwan, it almost never snows in the cities. Instead, it usually rains during the winter. Once the weather gets cold, many people keep warm by bundling up in sweaters, gloves and boots.


(9.) In the first sentence, it is correct to use a comma before “but”? yes
May I say, “…many people think of snow. But in Taiwan, it….”? starting a sentence with "but" is not common practice in English. If you want to split that in two. then you have to get rid of "but": When it comes to winter, many people think of snow. In Taiwan, it almost never snows in the cities.

(10.)In the first sentence, may I say also, “Although many people associate the winter with snow, it rarely snows in the cities in Taiwan”? yes. There is no need for an article in front of "winter".

In the original text, it would probably sound more natural if the second sentence would read: "Instead, it usually rains (in winter)."



4. (Continued) During the season, students have a vacation up to three weeks long, during which they celebrate the most important holiday in Taiwan—Chinese New Year. During the holiday, families get together, bringing a sense of warmth to the cold days of winter.

I'd rewrite the first sentence" During the season students have up to three weeks of vacation. During that time they celebrate..."


(11.)In the last sentence, may I say also, “…families get together, bringing themselves a sense of warmth during the cold winter.”? I don't see the point in adding "themselves" here.

(12.)Or may I divide the sentence into two: During the holiday, families get together. Being with one another brings them a sense of warmth during the cold winter.”? This sounds OK.  

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.