English as a Second Language/word choice

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Last Monday, Jack went to his favorite noodle restaurant for lunch as he usually did. After arrival, he took a deep breath and checked his watch, realizing that he had only half an hour to eat before going to the regular meeting . Though he was in a hurry, he still ordered a big bowl of noodle soup with two side dishes. He was so starving that he felt like eating two big elephants immediately.

(1.) In the first sentence, does it mean the same if I replace “as he usually did” with “as usual”?

(2.  In the second sentence, may I change “he had only” to “he only had”? What is the difference?

(3.)In the next sentence, may I just say “ordered a big noodle soup”?

(4.)In the next sentence, may I say also, “He was so starving that he felt like he could eat two…”?

After finishing the meal, Jack flashed a smile of satisfaction. All of a sudden, his thoughts drifted and he started daydreaming. He was imagining living in a world free of responsibilities and worries. As his dream continued, he stood up from his seat and walked toward the door. He passed by the counter with nobody around and continued to walk out of the restaurant.

(5.) In the first sentence, what is another way to say “flashed a smile of satisfaction” and “his thought drifted”?

(6.) In the fourth sentence, what is another way to say “as his dream continued”? “While he was dreaming”?

The next thing he knew, he was stopped by the waiter, who asked him to pay the bill. Feeling embarrassed, Jack took out his money and offered a sincere apology. The waiter took the payment although he felt a bit awkward about the situation. “What a bad day dream!” Jack murmured.  At that moment, he didn’t have time to feel guilty because he had to go to the meeting on time or he would be in big trouble.

(7.)Instead of “the next thing he knew”, is there another phrase we can use as a transition?

(8.) What is another way to say “He was stopped by the waiter”?

(9.)In the third sentence, what is another way to say “the waiter took the payment”?

(10.)In the next sentence, may I leave out “bad”and replace “murmured” with “muttered”?

(11.)In the last sentence, “didn’t have time to feel guilty”?

(12.)In the last sentence, may I say also, “..he had to make it to the meeting or he would..”?

Answer
  Last Monday, Jack went to his favorite noodle restaurant for lunch as he usually did. After arrival, he took a deep breath and checked his watch, realizing that he had only half an hour to eat before going to the regular meeting . Though he was in a hurry, he still ordered a big bowl of noodle soup with two side dishes. He was so starving that he felt like eating two big elephants immediately.

(1.) In the first sentence, does it mean the same if I replace “as he usually did” with “as usual”? yes

(2.  In the second sentence, may I change “he had only” to “he only had”? What is the difference? yes you can, no difference

(3.)In the next sentence, may I just say “ordered a big noodle soup”? big bowl sounds much better

(4.)In the next sentence, may I say also, “He was so starving that he felt like he could eat two…”? You need to drop "so" "he was starving" or "he was really starving" "or "he was so hungry" (so starving doesn't sound right)  Back to your question, I'd say "He was so hungry that he felt like he could eat..."

After finishing the meal, Jack flashed a smile of satisfaction. All of a sudden, his thoughts drifted and he started daydreaming. He was imagining living in a world free of responsibilities and worries. As his dream continued, he stood up from his seat and walked toward the door. He passed by the counter with nobody around and continued to walk out of the restaurant.

(5.) In the first sentence, what is another way to say “flashed a smile of satisfaction” and “his thought drifted”? "smiled happily" and "his thoughts/mind wandered"

(6.) In the fourth sentence, what is another way to say “as his dream continued”? “While he was dreaming”? yes, better yet "while still dreaming"

The next thing he knew, he was stopped by the waiter, who asked him to pay the bill. Feeling embarrassed, Jack took out his money and offered a sincere apology. The waiter took the payment although he felt a bit awkward about the situation. “What a bad day dream!” Jack murmured.  At that moment, he didn’t have time to feel guilty because he had to go to the meeting on time or he would be in big trouble.

(7.)Instead of “the next thing he knew”, is there another phrase we can use as a transition? Out of nowhere or all of a sudden

(8.) What is another way to say “He was stopped by the waiter”? the waiter stopped him

(9.)In the third sentence, what is another way to say “the waiter took the payment”? the waiter took the money

(10.)In the next sentence, may I leave out “bad”and replace “murmured” with “muttered”? yes

(11.)In the last sentence, “didn’t have time to feel guilty”? ... what about it?!

(12.)In the last sentence, may I say also, “..he had to make it to the meeting or he would..”? yes

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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