Richard

Dear Richard,

Thanks for the time you have taken over my blog entries. With a pal like you reading them, I have a stronger motivation for keeping my blog well. Your advice and suggestion are always welcome and if you find any errors or inconsistencies, do drop me a line. I take your opinion seriously.dictionary

I have righted two spelling errors you reminded me of – on longer / no longer and sever / severe. I reread the two sentences you discussed in the latest mail and here is my response.

A

“To call him a teacher is complimentary; to call him a businessman is proper; and to call him a hooligan derogatory.”

My revised version is:

“To call him a teacher is complimentary; to call him a businessman proper; and to call him a hooligan derogatory.”

As you can see, I have left out “is” even before proper. The rule is: if a sentence pattern recurs, the recurring words can be left out. Look at these two examples:

But the competition was fierce, and people (were) cold everywhere.

I like my city. The environment is good, people (are) friendly and transport (is) convenient.

B

Of course there are occasions when I leave them with nothing gained.

This sentence is right. The word occasions here is a noun. It is followed by an attributive clause when I leave them with nothing gained. Another example:

There are occasions when you must refuse.

Richard, you have been an inspiration to me on my learning journey. When I was reading your first letter, your warmth and enthusiasm struck me. And those lively conversations in the evening!

Keep writing anytime you have something to share. Good friends are true to each other. Both your criticism and encouragement are treasured by Shengliver, your buddy.

Best regards to you, your wife and your daughter.

Yours,

Shengliver

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