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General Writing and Grammar Help/Put me down - put me in a very bad mood

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Question
Dear Ted:

Are the following sentences correct and natural?

1) The sight of my sister always puts me in a very bad mood.

2) The sight of my sister always puts me down.

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

Also, are there any other ways to express the concept I have tried to outline in the two sentences above?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Are the following sentences correct and natural?

1) The sight of my sister always puts me in a very bad mood.

2) The sight of my sister always puts me down.

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

*** #1 is a good sentence.  I would NOT use #2.  When you add the adverb "down," you get a colloquial phrase that suggests a diminishing or an abasement of someone or something.  In other words, "My brother always PUTS ME DOWN in front of my friends" means that your my brother tries to make me look bad in some way.

These "abasing" comments are called "put downs."

Also, are there any other ways to express the concept I have tried to outline in the two sentences above?

EXAMPLES:

The sight of my sister always DEPRESSES me.

When my sister appears, I immediately have negative feelings.

The sight of my sister always has a negative effect on me.

SLANG EXPRESSION:

My sister's appearance is always a DOWNER for me.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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