Sentence Clarity


"Living in an English environment and not able to listen and speak English well is like fish without water. " Is this sentence clear in meaning? Any suggestions? Thank you very much.

asked Jan 14 '14 at 02:28 AQ New member

2 answers


Using parallelism with a simile--keep using the gerund format you began with:

fishing- without water


Further, you did not correctly establish your conditional clause AND you didn't use a parallel gerund for the condition:

not being- able to listen and....

link comment edited Jan 14 '14 at 03:40 Aaron Prejean Expert

I think the metaphor you are going for here is: when you live in a community that speaks a language you don't understand, you feel like a fish out of water.

link answered Jan 14 '14 at 05:14 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

You are- a fish out of water would be a metaphor.

Aaron PrejeanJan 14 '14 at 05:19

Thank you Aaron and Patty!

"Living in an English environment and not being able to listen and speak English well, I feel like a fish without water." Do I get it right this time?

AQJan 14 '14 at 05:39

You are right, Aaron. I started the sentence thinking of the metaphor, then used it as a simile. My bad.

Patty TJan 14 '14 at 06:10

I live in the US, which is not an "English environment." It is an English-speaking environment. England has an English environment.

Patty TJan 14 '14 at 06:13

:=) Should I use "a fish" or "fish"? Is fish a countable noun?

AQJan 14 '14 at 17:06

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