phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Naturalness of English

Posted by Bob on April 22, 2001

In Reply to: Naturalness of English posted by T. Yone on April 21, 2001

: Dear teachers,

: Thank you very much for your help last time.

: I asked three English natives whether the following English sentences sound natural or not. (I used 'sound' instead of 'sounded' here. Am I right? Or maybe both is right?) Sometimes they disagree with each other and I have no idea whose opinion I should follow. Could you help me to decide to make up my mind?

: 1. Sentences a) and b) are correct. Do you accept a sentence c)?
: a) It was in this year that the war broke out.
: b) It was this year that the war broke out.
: c) It was (in) this year when the war broke out.

: 2. I think a sentence a) is good while b) is not. One native accepts a sentence b). Do you agree with her?
: a) Planes took off one after another.
: b) Planes took off one after the other.

: 3. I think a sentence a) is good. How about a sentence b)?
: a) Pick out one of the following topics.
: b) Pick out one from the following topics.

: 4. One native explained to me that I can use both 'move to' and 'move out to' when 'he' moves to another state like California. But I can only use 'move to' when 'he' moves to the place except state such as 'move to Los Angeles. The other told me I can use both 'move to' and 'move out to' Los Angeles. Which opinion should I follow?
: a) He's decided to move to Los Angeles for good.
: b) He's decided to move out to California for good.

: Thank you for your help. I'm very grateful.

: Best wishes,
Maybe I'm a tolerant person, but I find myself accepting most of these.
Both "sound" and "sounded" are fine in your first question.
1. a, b, and c are all ok.
2. both a and b are acceptable, but b would be more appropriate if there were only two planes. a works better if there are many
3. a and b both sound natural
4. a and b are both common, but I'd probably edit out the extra word in b on general principle.