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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

2 answers


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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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