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sarah71
Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2011 2:36:05 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/18/2011
Posts: 553
Neurons: 79,449
Location: Turin, Piedmont, Italy
Hi all, please check the following period:
"Last time I landed at JFK I took a taxi to get to the hotel, but it wasn't a good idea: as soon as we left the taxi driver didn't turn on the taximeter and tried to charge my ride with a $70 bill".
I've been constantly practising English for several months, but I still have so many doubts....
Thanks and have a nice day ahead!
Sarah
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2011 5:37:14 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,131
Neurons: 591,864
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
sarah71 wrote:
Hi all, please check the following period:
"Last time I landed at JFK I took a taxi to get to the hotel, but it wasn't a good idea: as soon as we left the taxi driver didn't turn on the taximeter and tried to charge my ride with a $70 bill".
I've been constantly practising English for several months, but I still have so many doubts....
Thanks and have a nice day ahead!
Sarah


"The last time I landed at JFK I took a taxi to get to the hotel, but it wasn't a good idea; as soon as we left the airport the taxi driver didn't turn on the taximeter and tried to charge my ride with a $70 bill".

I just wonder how is this in Knowledge and Culture and why the title of the topic is "answering to e-mails"?
Romany
Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:12:11 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,562
Neurons: 56,763
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Sarah -

Your English is perfectly understandable - you would have no problems communicating with native speakers if the above is any example. And always keep in mind that many native speakers use absolutely terrible English, so don't be too concerned about errors!

In the first part of your sentence "took a taxi to get to the hotel" isn't incorrect. It's just extraneous. We would tend to phrase it

"Last time I landed at JFK I took a taxi to the hotel..."

I really like the way you have decided to divide the two different parts of the sentence with a colon - many L2 learners are very shy about using punctuation!.

The phrase "As soon as we left..." signals that some action is about to take place. NOT that an action DIDN"T take place. (As soon as we left..I realised we were going the wrong way" "As soon as we left, I ripped the scarf from my head." etc. It marks a place at which something happened or some realisation was made. Your sentence is kind of like saying "At 1 in the afternoon I didn't have a cup of tea." We supply a certain point in time to mark an event - not a non-event.

"..and tried to charge my ride with a $70 bill." is a slight mix-up of different collocations: "My ride cost $70." "He tried to charge me $70 for the ride." "He tried to hit me (colloquial) with a $70 bill." or "He wanted to charge me $70."

One doesn't charge a ride - one charges FOR a ride. "To charge (me) $70" is an alternative way of saying "He gave me a bill for $70."

So, perhaps "Last time I landed at JFK I took a taxi to the hotel, but it wasn't a good idea: the driver didn't turn on the metre and tried to charge me $70 for the ride."
(No need to say "taxi-driver" - we understand that the person who drives a taxi is a taxi-driver. Similarly we don't need "taxi metre" but merely "metre" as everyone understands this is the device which calculates fares.)
sarah71
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011 2:41:47 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/18/2011
Posts: 553
Neurons: 79,449
Location: Turin, Piedmont, Italy
Thank you so muck Jirkka and Romany!
@Jyrkka: I was really answering an e-mail but I did not know If the sentence was correct. By the way, which one is correct: answering an e-mail or answering to an e-mail?
@Romany: I guess that the main problem is to drop Italian language structure and start thinking in English... anyway, I'm pretty persevering! :)
sandraleesmith46
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011 4:06:11 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/20/2009
Posts: 695
Neurons: 2,132
Location: Arizona's high deserts
Answering an e-mail would be the correct English usage. A good way to start thinking in English is to read books in English or speak with other English users; posting here regularly will also help. Thinking in the other language does help and work.
sarah71
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011 7:16:39 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/18/2011
Posts: 553
Neurons: 79,449
Location: Turin, Piedmont, Italy
sandraleesmith46 wrote:
Answering an e-mail would be the correct English usage. A good way to start thinking in English is to read books in English or speak with other English users; posting here regularly will also help. Thinking in the other language does help and work.


Thanks Sandra! Actually, I've been watching movies and reading books in English for more than a year and I feel that my English has slightly improved... on the other hand, most of times movies have no subtitles and books are written in a pretty formal style, that means I understand the general sense of what I'm watching/reading, but I couldn't repeat or re-write it exactly. On top of that, whenever I have a chance to talk with anglophones I suddenly feel anxious about being misunderstood and that makes me do more mistakes! Brick wall Anyway, FARLEX has been very helpful to me so far, thank you again!
Romany
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011 11:34:41 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,562
Neurons: 56,763
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Hey, Sarah,

Do you know how many people who write in to this forum feel exactly as you do?

Don't worry about things like that here - because we are all electronically connected:- so we can't see if you blush!

I would think, perhaps, even if you felt a little less than self-confident about joining in at first, even simply reading through many of the threads on this site would give you a greater insight into English.

Well, that's my two cents worth.
sarah71
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011 1:12:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/18/2011
Posts: 553
Neurons: 79,449
Location: Turin, Piedmont, Italy
Romany wrote:
Hey, Sarah,

Do you know how many people who write in to this forum feel exactly as you do?

Don't worry about things like that here - because we are all electronically connected:- so we can't see if you blush!

I would think, perhaps, even if you felt a little less than self-confident about joining in at first, even simply reading through many of the threads on this site would give you a greater insight into English.

Well, that's my two cents worth.


That's what I've been doing for months before posting a topic... and surely I'll do it again! Even though I know that conversation is the best and fastest way to learn any language, I won't give up simple reading. As far movies are concerned, some of you know that in Italy EVERY movie is dubbed, either at cinema or on TV; since I've been starting watching movies in English (even if I understand 30% of what is said, especially with old b/w classics), whenever I watch some American movie on Italian TV I feel it as strange and unnatural.
Romany, you do write as a native speaker! Are you really from China or do you live/work over there?
ok, stop bothering you all, thanks a lot for your patience and support!
Ciao!
Romany
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011 1:21:22 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,562
Neurons: 56,763
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Sarah,

Thanks for your comments. I am not Chinese but I both live and work in China.
almostfreebird
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011 2:48:24 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/22/2011
Posts: 2,812
Neurons: 7,024
Location: Japan
I think this thread should be in 'Business and Finance' or 'Medicine' forum,
70 dollars from JFK to the hotel is criminal.

Last time I visited New York and drank a lot at a bar near 42nd street, and when I got out of the bar it was way past midnight and I was walking down the street trying to take a taxi and got one, the driver was Italian I guess, he said "Are you crazy walking around here way past midnight?" and I said "I want to go to Fort Lee(where I stayed)."
He said "I can't, it's outside of Manhattan", and I said "I have to go there", then he said "Well, 40 dollars." I said "OK" because I had no choice.
But 70 dollars? That's crazy!

Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011 5:42:55 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,131
Neurons: 591,864
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
sarah71 wrote:
Thank you so muck Jirkka and Romany!
@Jyrkka: I was really answering an e-mail but I did not know If the sentence was correct. By the way, which one is correct: answering an e-mail or answering to an e-mail?


I'm answering to your post right now.
sarah71
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011 7:06:59 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/18/2011
Posts: 553
Neurons: 79,449
Location: Turin, Piedmont, Italy
almostfreebird wrote:
I think this thread should be in 'Business and Finance' or 'Medicine' forum,
70 dollars from JFK to the hotel is criminal.

Last time I visited New York and drank a lot at a bar near 42nd street, and when I got out of the bar it was way past midnight and I was walking down the street trying to take a taxi and got one, the driver was Italian I guess, he said "Are you crazy walking around here way past midnight?" and I said "I want to go to Fort Lee(where I stayed)."
He said "I can't, it's outside of Manhattan", and I said "I have to go there", then he said "Well, 40 dollars." I said "OK" because I had no choice.
But 70 dollars? That's crazy!



I didn't give the driver more than 55$ and NO tip at all, because I was told that the ride from JFK to Brooklyn Prospect Park was about 45$; I strongly suspect that he wished me all the worst (he was speaking hindi or kind of).
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