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Could the synonym express the meaning? Options
DavidLearn
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 2:07:38 PM

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Joined: 1/27/2014
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Location: Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Hi teachers,
I wonder if "started to be" could be a synonym for "become" in this context?

At the beginning of World War II she moved into the Ritz Hotel in Paris, which became her home for 30 years.

Thanks.
NKM
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 3:35:00 PM

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Joined: 2/14/2015
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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
DavidLearn wrote:
Hi teachers,
I wonder if "started to be" could be a synonym for "become" in this context?

At the beginning of World War II she moved into the Ritz Hotel in Paris, which became her home for 30 years.

Thanks.

══════════════════════════════════════════════

Actually, "started to be" is essentially a literal definition of "became", but it wouldn't feel right in this sentence, because the "starting" wouldn't have lasted for 30 years. "Became" doesn't so strongly partake of the momentary aspect of "beginning".

That said, I don't really like "became" here either, even though it is often used that way despite its (softened) connotation of something that happens quickly at the onset. I'd prefer "came to be" instead.

 "… she moved into the Ritz Hotel in Paris, which came to be her home for 30 years."

DavidLearn
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 3:44:43 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/27/2014
Posts: 3,231
Neurons: 22,585
Location: Girona, Catalonia, Spain
NKM wrote:
Actually, "started to be" is essentially a literal definition of "became", but it wouldn't feel right in this sentence, because the "starting" wouldn't have lasted for 30 years. "Became" doesn't so strongly partake of the momentary aspect of "beginning".

That said, I don't really like "became" here either, even though it is often used that way despite its (softened) connotation of something that happens quickly at the onset. I'd prefer "came to be" instead.

 "… she moved into the Ritz Hotel in Paris, which came to be her home for 30 years."



Hi NKM,
A very interesting explanation. I appreciate that.

David.
ChrisKC
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 2:30:56 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/27/2014
Posts: 274
Neurons: 128,536
Location: Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand
NKM wrote:
DavidLearn wrote:
Hi teachers,
I wonder if "started to be" could be a synonym for "become" in this context?

At the beginning of World War II she moved into the Ritz Hotel in Paris, which became her home for 30 years.

Thanks.

══════════════════════════════════════════════

Actually, "started to be" is essentially a literal definition of "became", but it wouldn't feel right in this sentence, because the "starting" wouldn't have lasted for 30 years. "Became" doesn't so strongly partake of the momentary aspect of "beginning".

That said, I don't really like "became" here either, even though it is often used that way despite its (softened) connotation of something that happens quickly at the onset. I'd prefer "came to be" instead.

 "… she moved into the Ritz Hotel in Paris, which came to be her home for 30 years."



In my opinion, "became" is equally as appropriate as "came to be". grammatically and in usage, both written and spoken. It seems that how it 'slips off the tongue' for some, is the issue here.
NKM
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 2:42:53 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 4,913
Neurons: 269,757
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
ChrisKC wrote:
In my opinion, "became" is equally as appropriate as "came to be". grammatically and in usage, both written and spoken. It seems that how it 'slips off the tongue' for some, is the issue here.

══════════════════════════════════════════════

Indeed, "how it slips off the tongue" is exactly what determines the stress pattern — and thus the perceived "weights" of particular parts — of the sentence.

In "became", the accent is on the second syllable, and that leads to a subtle feeling of emphasis on the "coming". The first syllable ("be-") is pronounced so lightly and quickly that it seems only tenuously connected to the rest of the sentence.

In "came to be", both "came" and "be" are are stressed more or less equally. Thus it's the "be" that feels more closely associated with the words that follow it, merely because it's closer to them in the sentence itself.

Obviously, I can't expect everyone to share my personal feelings about such subtle and idiosyncratic impressions.  À chacun son goût!

Romany
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 3:18:01 PM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,390
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Au contraire, NK

How often on this forum have we told a learner that, even though grammatically correct, there are things a native speaker would never say? It's because of the rhythm of the language and our own idiosyncratic speech patterns; contribute to the "sound" of a language. Each language.

Unfortunately, a lot of those learners who haven't been taught by native English-speakers, never hear the "authentic" sound of English. So, while they may speak perfectly correctly and understand completely, they are never taken for native speakers because what they say just doesn't "sound" right.

Mind you, I think the very worst to listen to is native-English speakers who learn French from non-French speakers. Once again, everything they say might be correct...but the "sound" or "rhythm" is so cock-eyed that no French person understands them!

I think your contribution was very valuable actually, NK - it emphasises this point which is often overlooked by learners.
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