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Paul and Robert had been good friends Options
Boris66
Posted: Monday, May 25, 2020 3:42:18 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/2020
Posts: 271
Neurons: 1,349
Do my sentences sound natural? I wrote this text mostly as an exercise.

Paul and Robert had been good friends at the university, but their paths diverged after their graduated. They didn't meet until ten years later. They ate together at a restaurant and talked about their lives. Paul didn't have much luck. He had been suffering from depression and had two failed marriages. He was mostly on sick leave and didn't know if he would ever be able to work again. He had even contemplated a suicide and was not afraid of talking about it. He knew that his old friend would understand him.

Robert was a successful businessman, highly cultivated and well-travelled. He wore designer clothes, which must have cost fortune. They were a far cry from cheap jeans he used to wear at the university. Paul recalled his beard and long, dishevelled hair, which Robert usually wore in a ponytail. Now he was suntanned, smoothly shaven, and his short hair was bleached. In his presence, Paul felt useless. He laughed for himself thinking that he had often helpt Robert with writing university assignments, and that his friend achieved what Paul could only dream about, despite him being more intelligent and well-read.

This was the first time Paul was eating in a restaurant in years, while Robert was behaving with the confidence of someone who ate in restaurants regularly. He picked up his iPhone and showed Paul the pictures of his wife and his two children. She looked like a doll, and Paul felt a stab of jealousy.

"Where did you meet her?" he asked.

"At a bank," Robert answer. "She is a bank teller."

Paul recalled that Robert easily picked up girls with the help of his guitar. He would sit on a bench, strumming a few cords, and girls would swarm around him like bees. Paul was shy and feared rejection, which made him feel awkward in the company of women. For his friend, flirting and picking up girls was a kind of game--an entertainment, which Robert didn't take seriously.

After a waitress removed their plates, Robert took out his wallet, pulled out a few banknotes, and handed them to his friend.

"Mate, I know you'll need them."

Paul blushed. He didn't expect Robert would ever give him money. This was a present that gave him joy more than anything else, because he was constantly short of money. He also gave him a couple of business cards in case Paul lose one.

"Don't be shy if you need help. Just call me or send a message." Robert said.

Paul put them carefully inside his wallet as if they were precious relics.
Robert got up and said, "Excuse me, Paul. I've got to go. I'd really like to sit with you the whole evening, but you know how control freak women are. If I don't come home in half an hour, she'll ring me like mad."

After Robert paid the bill, they made for the exit. They shook hands outside and Paul watched his friend walk to a parked dark SUV, which looked more like a tank than a car. He beeped the horn twice before pulling into the street and disappearing into the distance.

Paul turned to the direction of his home and walked through the quiet evening. He wondered if he would ever be healthy. What would he give to be able to feel joy in life again, to wake up with the sense of anticipation and satisfaction, to enjoy in everyday things like reading, cooking, listening to the radio and meeting people. He was returning to his empty flat, where another bottle of antidepressants waited for him. He recalled the words his grandfather told him when Paul was six, "Son, life is rubbish, but you have to live it and experience it for yourself."
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 10:59:41 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,432
Neurons: 68,660
Boris66 wrote:
Do my sentences sound natural? I wrote this text mostly as an exercise.
It's written very well, but there are a few small mistakes. The majority of your mistakes concern the tenses. You're telling the story, which is usually done in past tense, but you occasionally switch to present tense. Be careful about that.

Paul and Robert had been good friends at the university, but their paths diverged after their graduated. They didn't meet until ten years later. They ate together at a restaurant and talked about their lives. Paul hadn't had much luck. He had been suffering from depression and had two failed marriages. He was mostly on sick leave and didn't know if he would ever be able to work again. He had even contemplated a suicide and was not afraid of talking about it. He knew that his old friend would understand him.

Robert was a successful businessman, highly cultivated and well-travelled. He wore designer clothes, which must have cost a fortune. They were a far cry from the cheap jeans he used to wear at the university. Paul recalled his friend's beard and long, dishevelled hair, which Robert usually wore in a ponytail. Now he was suntanned, smoothly shaven, and his short hair was bleached. In his presence, Paul felt useless. He laughed at himself thinking that he had often helped Robert with writing university assignments, and that his friend achieved what Paul could only dream about, despite him being more intelligent and well-read.

This was the first time Paul had eaten in a restaurant in years, while Robert was behaving with the confidence of someone who ate in restaurants regularly. He picked up his iPhone and showed Paul the pictures of his wife and his two children. She looked like a doll, and Paul felt a stab of jealousy.

"Where did you meet her?" he asked.

"At a bank," Robert answered. "She is a bank teller."

Paul recalled that Robert easily picked up girls with the help of his guitar. He would sit on a bench, strumming a few cords, and girls would swarm around him like bees. Paul was shy and feared rejection, which made him feel awkward in the company of women. For his friend, flirting and picking up girls was a kind of game--an entertainment, which Robert didn't take seriously.

After a waitress removed their plates, Robert took out his wallet, pulled out a few banknotes, and handed them to his friend.

"Mate, I know you'll need them."

Paul blushed. He never expected Robert would ever give him money. This was a present that gave him joy more than anything else, because he was constantly short of money. He also gave him a couple of business cards in case Paul lost one.

"Don't be shy if you need help. Just call me, or send a message," Robert said.

Paul put them carefully inside his wallet as if they were precious relics.
Robert got up and said, "Excuse me, Paul. I've got to go. I'd really like to sit with you the whole evening, but you know what control freaks women are. If I don't come home in half an hour, she'll ring me like mad."

After Robert paid the bill, they made for the exit. They shook hands outside and Paul watched his friend walk to a parked, dark SUV, which looked more like a tank than a car. He beeped the horn twice before pulling into the street and disappearing into the distance.

Paul turned in the direction of his home and walked through the quiet evening. He wondered if he would ever be healthy. What he wouldn't give to be able to feel joy in life again, to wake up with the sense of anticipation and satisfaction, to enjoy in everyday things like reading, cooking, listening to the radio and meeting people. He was returning to his empty flat, where another bottle of antidepressants waited for him. He recalled the words his grandfather said to him when Paul was six, "Son, life is rubbish, but you have to live it, and experience it for yourself."
Boris66
Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 11:14:49 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/2020
Posts: 271
Neurons: 1,349
FounDit,

Thank you very much for your suggestions and corrections.
Reiko07
Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 6:05:25 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/30/2018
Posts: 1,170
Neurons: 5,920
Boris66 wrote:

but their paths diverged after their graduated.


Hi, Boris.

I think you meant to write "after they graduated" or "after their graduation."


Boris66
Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 6:17:11 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/2020
Posts: 271
Neurons: 1,349
Reiko07,

You are right. I made a mistake. I should have written "after they graduated."
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 6:52:58 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,685
Neurons: 57,280
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Good going, Boris - I only have three comments to make:

We say "They were friends at University." NOT "the University."

Designer-clothes DO cost a fortune - so saying that they must have cost a fortune is unnecessary- and a wee bit gauche.

Finally, - pay attention to the tone: they're having a friendly conversation speaking naturally:"Mate, I know you'll need them." is very good and natural. But elsewhere: "She IS a bank teller." which kind of breaks the flow. "She's a bank teller" is how it would be said.
Boris66
Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 7:22:11 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/2020
Posts: 271
Neurons: 1,349
Romany,

Thank you for your suggestions.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 7:30:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 22,772
Neurons: 92,489
They met at university.
Then they went their different ways.
They didn't meet again till ten years later.


He as mostly on sick leave

That sounded odd to me.
At that time, he was either in sick leave it he wasn't. Not "mostly".
He had been on sick leave several times/much of the time
(Although too many times and they fire you - you go on to sickness benefits instead!)


Suicide is an uncountable concept. You attempt suicide.
It is only countable when talking about actual cases - homicides, suicides, attempted suicides etc.

Check cords and chords - you strum strings and you strum chords, but you don't strum cords.

Edited to correct the autocorrections!
Boris66
Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 7:35:49 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/2020
Posts: 271
Neurons: 1,349
thar,

Thank you for your reply.
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