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I have tried repeatedly to correct this sentence, but everything I have tried is wrong. Please tell me what I am doing wrong.

See example:

Openly he parades his girlfriend in the house that Delia has painstakingly built, so they would have somewhere to grow old.
asked Sep 13 '13 at 06:37 mary dotson New member

3 answers


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I think that Aaron has entirely missed a finer point about this sentence.  My guess is that his girlfriend and Delia are not the same person, and he is a jerk.

 

Openly parading someone has a different meaning than proudly parading someone.  Before you worry about alliteration, you have to make sure you say what you mean.  You usually parade around, not in

 

Did Delia painstakingly build the house, or did she take great pains to make it into a home they could grow old together in?  Either way, you need to separate what Delia did from what he is doing. 

 

Using the pronoun they is where confusion can remain.  Aaron seems to have assumed that they means he and his girlfriend.  When put into context with the words openly and painstakingly, I have guessed that they means he and Delia.  If you want to put this all into one sentence, then you need to make sure there is good clarity in the surrounding sentences.  Even if you use she at the end of the sentence to mean Delia, it can be a bit fuzzy since there are two women in the sentence.  This example doesn't use they or she, and it can still be a little unclear who was supposed to grow old together. 

 

He openly parades his girlfriend around the house, the place Delia painstakingly built into a home to grow old in with him. 

link edited Sep 13 '13 at 15:20 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

I would say my point was that the meaning is unclear from how it is presented, so my defense is not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of clarity. In the way I interpreted, openly was an adverb that didn't fit the context (which is why I suggested proudly--not because of the alliteration). That being said, I think your interpretation may make more sense. ;)

Aaron PrejeanSep 13 '13 at 23:41

By the way, just using sheer logistics, do you think "around the house" is a better phrase than "through the house"? I guess the homes I were in as a child weren't that appealing on the outside, and I instinctively just think about all the times I paraded through my house.

Aaron PrejeanSep 14 '13 at 01:14

I was- in ... want to buy edit for comments..

Aaron PrejeanSep 14 '13 at 01:14

Yeah, the lack of editing in the comments stinks. Where I come from, we say "around the house" to mean anywhere inside or outside. The phrase "putter around the house" comes to mind.

Patty TSep 14 '13 at 03:36

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Please refer to Patty's answer.

 

Ok, your ideas are clustered in a way the obfuscates your meaning:

 

Central ideas:

He is showing off his house

Delia painstakingly (good adverb!) built the house

           (sub-idea) so that they could have somewhere to grow old

 

The way you have the sentence it looks like:

He is showing off the house so that they have somewhere to grow old, which makes NO sense.

 

Rephrase as:

"He openly (proudly = better adverb?) parades his girlfriend through the house that Delia painstakingly so that they could have somewhere to grow old."

or "for them to grow old", etc.

 

Personally, I would find a better way to say "for them to grow old", or I would just omit it altogether, but I usually try to keep the sentence as close to the original as possible.

 

Final note: "proudly parades... painstakingly built" as a nice alliterative ring to it--consider it!

link comment edited Sep 14 '13 at 01:51 Aaron Prejean Expert
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Actually, I adore your sentence. It's perfectly fine the way that it is written. I'd move the comma and that's about it. The way that it is written projects something important that can't be described in a same way when the sentence is changed. Look below:

 

Your original sentence--Openly he parades his girlfriend in the house that Delia has painstakingly built, so they would have somewhere to grow old.

 

My version of it--Openly, he parades his girlfriend in the house that Delia has painstakingly built so that they would have somewhere to grow old.

 

To change the comma changes the subject. And while an adverb may not be a subject, it defines the entire sentence through this one expression. Openly meaning there's no shame, no respect, no remorse, no regret for what he is doing. And what he's doing is parading his girlfriend in a house that once belonged to him and another woman, Delia, who built the house for the two of them to grow old together.

 

Go with your own flow of thoughts. Not everything is meant to sound the same. Your words flow with the rest of your story. The sentence below is helpful, but they take away from you as a writer.

 

He openly parades his girlfriend around the house, the place Delia painstakingly built into a home to grow old in with him. 

 

And beware of using so many adjectives in one sentence like, "proudly parades" and "painstakingly built" all in the same breath. It makes no difference to throw two or three or five or eight adjectives in there because the point gets lost. Check out my example below:

 

Unashamedly and openly he proudly parades and prances his new and young and hot girlfriend around and all about and inside the house that poor pathetic Delia painstakingly and excruciatingly built so they would have somewhere to grow old.

 

Good luck!

link comment answered Dec 06 '13 at 17:35 Xao Thao New member

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