mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
Native speaker-pragmatic test Options
Atatürk
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 9:38:05 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/2018
Posts: 1,862
Neurons: 8,562
Location: İstoç, Istanbul, Turkey
Dear native speakers.

I would like you to rate the following boldface response on a scale between 1-5.

You have just started working in a new company. The first day, you are walking in the hall and
see one of your old friends from university. You come to know that he lives next to you, in the
same neighborhood. He suggests that everyday you get to work together in your car, but you
like to get to work alone, so you refuse his suggestion. What would you say?

Response: Thanks for the suggestion, but I think you’d better find someone else because – you know what? – I don’t like to be responsible for someone else’s time frame.


Atatürk
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 9:55:38 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/2018
Posts: 1,862
Neurons: 8,562
Location: İstoç, Istanbul, Turkey
Atatürk wrote:
Dear native speakers.

I would like you to rate the following boldface response on a scale between 1-5.

You have just started working in a new company. The first day, you are walking in the hall and
see one of your old friends from university. You come to know that he lives next to you, in the
same neighborhood. He suggests that everyday you get to work together in your car, but you
like to get to work alone, so you refuse his suggestion. What would you say?

Response: Thanks for the suggestion, but I think you’d better find someone else because – you know what? – I don’t like to be responsible for someone else’s time frame.




Is this a rude response?
thar
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 9:55:46 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 24,116
Neurons: 97,689
do you mind a couple of incidental corrections?

everyday is not the same as every day.
A common mistake by native speakers!

you go to work, or possibly come to work, but not 'get to work'.

As to the answer - maybe I am being sensitive, but it comes across as very arrogant. Like you are doing him a favour. And you don't care enough about him to even make an effort. B

Thanks for the suggestion

Thanks for the offer/ that's a good suggestion

but I think you'd better find someone else
this isn't really the issue, is it? It is about you at this point, because you live close together.

but I am not sure that would work.

I vary the times I travel to and from work, and it would be too difficult to accommodate the two of us travelling together.

that means it is not you saying I don't care about you. It is saying the situation is not conducive.



the 'I'm not sure' is a very British way of saying 'no'. Other Brits would understand, but other cultures might take it at face value, that you can be persuaded. But for a British English speaker I think that would be a natural thing to say. Polite, not personal, and not actually saying 'no'. Whistle

It's a good idea, though. Maybe someone else will want to ride-share. I will let you know if I find anyone else who lives in our area.
reminding him it is not a bad idea. You are the one with the issue, not him.



FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 10:27:10 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 15,744
Neurons: 75,132
From an American's point of view, it would sound rude, and we're known for being rather blunt from the British perspective.

Were it me, and I couldn't think of a quick way of avoiding the carpool idea, I'd probably say something like, "Well, let me think about it. I don't always like to get to work at the same time every day, and sometimes have things to do on the way".

"Let me think about it" is similar to thar's "I'm not sure". It's a way of saying no at the moment without saying no, or being rude.

Then I might add, "It's a good idea, though, but it might not work for me."

Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 12:31:10 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 5,937
Neurons: 1,307,800
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
Thanks for asking me, but I don't keep a regular-enough schedule to do car-pooling.
Or something similar...
hedy mmm
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 2:45:01 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/2014
Posts: 1,454
Neurons: 701,887
Location: Borough of Bronx, New York, United States
Hey you guys,

Atatürk’s post reminded me how much I missed TFD, the forum, and you guys; thar, FounDit, Wilmar USA...and of course, Atatürk!

thar wrote:
“It's a good idea, though. Maybe someone else will want to ride-share. I will let you know if I find anyone else who lives in our area.”
However, the issue is not you, it’s the guy who’s asking!
All your corrections are merited, however, I wouldn’t be responsible to find someone else that could drive them, just suggest possibilities.
But like FounDit said... we are a little bit more upfront without meaning to be, or sound rude.


FounDit wrote:
“It’s a good idea but it might not work for me”
Although you think it is a good idea, unless of course they say “[b]why not?” I wouldn’t want to ‘open that can of worms’...


So here’s my 2¢
Atatürk, I believe your response just needs a bit of tweaking, to read, “Thanks for the suggestion but I think you’d better find someone else because I don’t like to be responsible for someone else’s time frame” ...definetly not rude!


hedy mmm

thar
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 4:46:43 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 24,116
Neurons: 97,689
yes, I changed my answer around a bit and it ending up 'if I find' may sound to you like I am actively looking. It is more if 'if it ever comes up in conversation with someone else, I will mention your name as someone who once suggested a rideshare. Like you say, finding someone is not my responsibility. But knowing about it, there is no harm in saying that.

If he comes back with
"But I don't want anyone else. It is you I want to ride with. You I want to spend time with... do you remember when we were thirteen and.....I have never stopped thinking about what might have happened if I had been braver..."
well, that is a whole different conversation! Whistle
hedy mmm
Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2021 8:54:29 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/2014
Posts: 1,454
Neurons: 701,887
Location: Borough of Bronx, New York, United States
thar wrote:
yes, I changed my answer around a bit and it ending up 'if I find' may sound to you like I am actively looking. It is more if 'if it ever comes up in conversation with someone else, I will mention your name as someone who once suggested a rideshare. Like you say, finding someone is not my responsibility. But knowing about it, there is no harm in saying that.

If he comes back with
"But I don't want anyone else. It is you I want to ride with. You I want to spend time with... do you remember when we were thirteen and.....I have never stopped thinking about what might have happened if I had been braver..."
well, that is a whole different conversation! Whistle

————
Hey thar... I love your response, you’re too funny Dancing ... I knew you wouldn’t be actively looking, I wouldn’t eitherd'oh! ...ha ha ha
Of course, ‘if he comes back with, “but I don’t want anyone else, or ride with or spend time with... blah blah blah”’
It would be a whole different conversation ...

It brings me to a funny story...when I was 14 and in JHS 17 in lower Manhattan... my dad (a Merchant Marine) was so overprotective he would spy from the rooftops of the brownstones across the street to make sure that I didn’t meander from the schoolyard at lunchtime...there were too many ‘wolves’ around!
Of course I knew he was up there... my friends were “on the lookout for hedy’s dad”...I loved it...

If he hadn’t
well, that is a whole different conversation! Hahaha

hedy mmm
Whistle
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2021 7:20:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,085
Neurons: 238,741
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Atatürk wrote:
I would like you to rate the following boldface response on a scale between 1-5.
Response: Thanks for the suggestion, but I think you’d better find someone else because – you know what? – I don’t like to be responsible for someone else’s time frame.

I think that's a "1".

If it sounds a bit rude to an American, it's definitely not fitting for Britain!

Some points on it.
1. It's not likely that someone would suggest sharing YOUR car - they might suggest sharing theirs, or alternating days. The question is already rude if they suggest sharing your car.

2. You are accusing him of trying to make you responsible. It's just not British to blame the other person (politicians do it, but no-one else). Why do you think we say "sorry" when someone bumps into us? It shows you are not blaming them.

"It could be a good idea, but I don't think it would work. I leave home at random times in the morning and wouldn't be reliable, as I don't go directly to work."


"It could be a good idea" is just an acknowledgement, a bit like thar's "Thanks for the offer".
"I don't think it would work" = "definitely NOT a good idea. NO."
The rest is just a reasonable excuse so you don't have to tell him you don't want to be in the same car as him. And it is all about how YOU wouldn't be able to do it - no mention of any fault of his.
Atatürk
Posted: Saturday, May 1, 2021 8:15:27 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/2018
Posts: 1,862
Neurons: 8,562
Location: İstoç, Istanbul, Turkey
Thank you very much all for your time and attention to this thread.

We can then say that 'refusal' is not a universal issue as different people from different cultures approach it differently. I'm still not sure the given response is rude in American English as one of the respondents said 'definitely not rude', one said 'rude' and another (Wilmar (USA) 1M) didn't make a clear statement on it. But his was not significantly different from the original one and he didn't make such 'compensations' as did thar, a British speaker.

Can we assume that a good knowledge of pragmatic aspects of language is not less important as the formal structures features of a language? What would be considered as a 'proper response' to the given scenario in Global English?
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, May 1, 2021 10:55:27 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 15,744
Neurons: 75,132
Atatürk wrote:
Thank you very much all for your time and attention to this thread.

We can then say that 'refusal' is not a universal issue as different people from different cultures approach it differently. I'm still not sure the given response is rude in American English as one of the respondents said 'definitely not rude', one said 'rude' and another (Wilmar (USA) 1M) didn't make a clear statement on it. But his was not significantly different from the original one and he didn't make such 'compensations' as did thar, a British speaker.

Can we assume that a good knowledge of pragmatic aspects of language is not less important as the formal structures features of a language? What would be considered as a 'proper response' to the given scenario in Global English?


I don't think there can be one "proper response". What is the definition of that?

Much depends on the culture of the two people, what their relationship might be, how freely they feel they can communicate feelings and desires, is it thought acceptable to ask another for daily transportation, how blunt/rude or diplomatic each may be, etc.


Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.