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That small piece of cake is expensive for $10. Options
onsen
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 1:35:08 AM
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Hello,

1. That small piece of cake is expensive for $10.
2. That small piece of cake is of poor quality for $10.
(self-made sentence)

The speaker thinks the cake is not worth $10. Then he won’t buy it.
Is the preposition 'for' correct in the two sentences?

Thank you.
pjharvey
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 3:04:27 AM
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The usual preposition to define the cost of something is "at".
If you want to use "for" you must change the word order:
"$10 for that small piece of cake is expensive!"
However, this does not work if you want to use "poor quality": poor quality defines only the quality, not the ratio quality to price.
How about "That small piece of por quality cake at $10?!"
onsen
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 5:10:06 AM
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pjharvey wrote:
The usual preposition to define the cost of something is "at".
If you want to use "for" you must change the word order:
"$10 for that small piece of cake is expensive!"
However, this does not work if you want to use "poor quality": poor quality defines only the quality, not the ratio quality to price.
How about "That small piece of por quality cake at $10?!" [underlining added]


Thank you very much, pjharvey, for your reply.

The two sentences 1 and 2 were written in imitation of the sentence below.
Quote:
He was tall for his age (= taller than you would expect, considering his age).
age


I would be grateful if the underlined part would be explained in more detail.
pjharvey
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 6:19:04 AM
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The expression "poor quality" indicates that the quality is not good, but it doesn't say anything about the price.
So your sentence "That small piece of cake is of poor quality for $10", apart from being not correctly worded, makes no sense, because it defines the price as poor quality; but the price can be low, high, correct, etc., but not "poor quality".
onsen
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 7:13:20 AM
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pjharvey wrote:
The expression "poor quality" indicates that the quality is not good, but it doesn't say anything about the price.
So your sentence "That small piece of cake is of poor quality for $10", apart from being not correctly worded, makes no sense, because it defines the price as poor quality; but the price can be low, high, correct, etc., but not "poor quality". [underlining added]


1. I can’t quite understand the underlined part.
The idea that 'it defines the price as poor quality', if applied to the example sentence from the dictionary, leads to:
it defines 'his age' as 'tall'.

2. I applied to the sentence 2 what the dictionary says.
That small piece of cake is of poor quality for $10 (= of poorer quality than you would expect, considering its cost (=$10)).
The sentence above seems to be consistent with the speaker’s idea that the cake is not worth $10.

3. (apart from what has been discussed)
Though the following sentence below is not one I intended at first, is it correct?
I suppose it describes the cake simply, that is, it is of poor quality, and its price is $10.

That small piece of cake is of poor quality at $10.
pjharvey
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 7:59:38 AM
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Now I understand what you mean.
But I don't think you can use "for $10" as you intend (using "for" to mean "as you would expect given...").
You could if you substituted "$10" with "its price".

That small piece of cake is poor quality for its price.

This works.

If you compare your sentences with the one you used as a standard ("He was tall for his age"), you'll see that the age is not quantified.
The example is not "He was tall for 5 years".

Have I made myself understood?
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 9:35:12 AM

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This is what you will hear... "This cake isn't worth $10."
ozok
Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2018 6:32:07 AM
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Quote:
This is what you will hear... "This cake isn't worth $10."


spot on...


just sayin'
CamNewton
Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2018 10:27:51 PM
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Joined: 11/25/2018
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Location: Asheville, North Carolina, United States
Some more examples of sentences and how a native speaker would see them:

"This cake is terrible for ten bucks."

This sentence makes sense, but you'd probably see it spoken, not written. When spoken, you'd put an emphasis on "terrible".

"For ten bucks, this cake is terrible."

Like the above, but a more natural phrasing - a little more clear.

"This cake is terrible at ten bucks."

A weird sentence, basically not correct.

"This cake is a good deal at ten bucks."

This makes perfect sense. (But so does "This cake is a good deal for ten bucks".)

"This cake is expensive for ten bucks."

This makes no sense whatsoever.

"This cake is expensive at ten bucks."

Makes perfect sense.


You really only use "at" when very explicitly discussing how good a deal or price is. "The house was a steal at the price" and that sort of thing. But if you wanted to bring the quality of the house into it, you'd say "For a million bucks, the house was a real dump" rather than "At a million bucks, the house was a real dump".

The only time you can't use "for" is when you are bringing up a specific price point and declaring it to be "cheap" or "expensive".
Romany
Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2018 6:32:02 AM
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Dunno what happened to the post I originally wrote - another disapearance!

One of the things I said in that,however, was that "poor quality" is just not something any native speaker would say about a piece of cake. We'd use that phrase almost exclusively about manufactured items: computers, cars, - or even jewellery. But not a lump of fat, eggs, and flour!

Wilmar and Cam's suggestions are far more natural - but there's no "standard" way of expressing it: there's probably as many idiosyncratic ways of saying you aren't going to pay 10 bucks for a piece of cake, as there are people....

"Ten bucks? You've got to be kidding me?"
"Geez, I'd sooner go without!"
"Looks a bit dodgy/manky for 10 bucks." etc.

Never would you hear anyone saying "This cake is of poor quality"!
onsen
Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2018 7:52:28 AM
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Romany wrote:
Dunno what happened to the post I originally wrote - another disapearance!

One of the things I said in that,however, was that "poor quality" is just not something any native speaker would say about a piece of cake. We'd use that phrase almost exclusively about manufactured items: computers, cars, - or even jewellery. But not a lump of fat, eggs, and flour!

Wilmar and Cam's suggestions are far more natural - but there's no "standard" way of expressing it: there's probably as many idiosyncratic ways of saying you aren't going to pay 10 bucks for a piece of cake, as there are people....

"Ten bucks? You've got to be kidding me?"
"Geez, I'd sooner go without!"
"Looks a bit dodgy/manky for 10 bucks." etc.

Never would you hear anyone saying "This cake is of poor quality"!


Thank you very much, Romany.

My try is as follows.

"Is the shop’s owner a fraud to sell such a hollow thing for 10 bucks? I am speechless."
Romany
Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2018 9:12:31 PM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,380
Neurons: 48,295
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

It is well-constructed grammatically, but it still doesn't sound like anything a native/fluent English speaker would say.

a)To complain that - in your opinion - the goods aren't worth the price is every customer's right. To refuse to buy something because you think it too pricey is also the right of everyone. But to accuse a person of fraud is a whole other ball game! Now - if you cannot prove in a court of law that what YOU say (that the shopkeeper may be a fraudster) is in fact true, you will be guilty of the crime of slander or libel (depending whether you have made this accusation in person or in writing.)

b)Because of the ingredients and the way they are mixed, there is no way such a thing as a "hollow" cake can exist.

c) It would not occur to any native/fluent English-speaker to say "I am" here. I don't think there is a native English-speaking regular poster who has not advised that we use contracted forms in English. Not "he is", not "I am", not "we are". "He's", "I'm", "we're" and so on.

d) You don't find it a little untruthfull to say "I'm speechless" straight after you've just said something? Just kiddin there but, really, it's not very logical, is it?

I've a feeling that, because all our suggested sentences use slang, and loose syntax and grammar, many learners feel they aren't "good" English. That's they just a little bit inferior, and don't sound like educated speech?

The difference between written English and spoken English is vast. They are two different things. The way that people actually use English is in almost a kind of verbal "shorthand"? e.g. You're standing at the front door, keys in hand, and you want to ask your partner if they would like to come with you. Well, you don't say "Chris, would you like to come with me?" You say "Coming?" on a rising tone. Educated or not educated. Just that one word.

Can you see that I am not criticising you in any way, but am earnestly trying to help with your understanding of English? Not enough learners are ever told this - especially those taught by non-native speakers.

I've known hundreds of students who got top marks in English (grammar, vocabulary,) arrive in English-speaking countries and not understand a single word! While they found that no-one understood a word of their grammatically-perfectly constructed sentences. And vice versa.

THAT'S the reason I bang on about this. It's heartbreaking.



Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, December 24, 2018 3:23:48 AM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
What Romany says is true - in Brighton in the far south and in Edinburgh in the north.

What I'd say is probably something like:
"Five pound? You're kidding.
I'm not paying that."


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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