who's mother language is english ???please help me!

China
April 7, 2010 4:29am CST
I'm preparing toefl ibt text following is my speaking draft ,please modify it ,make it more like a native speaking thank you very much draft : If I have an oppotunity to meet someone famous .I'll choose Jhonny depp.First ,because he is one of most popular actors in the world and I like him pretty much I'm his fan .so I think if I can visit him ,I could ask for him autograph and take a picture with him .second he is a graet actor ,the most roles he played is fabricated ,like edward scissorhand and caption jack .I wanna know the reation why he can play these roles successfully . how does he understanding these odd fish .finally many young people addict idols ,as an idol as a super star ,what he would like to tell.
4 responses
@owlwings (37695)
• Cambridge, England
7 Apr 10
There are a few places where it is not quite clear what you mean to say but I would suggest: "[b]If I had (or were to have) the opportunity to meet someone famous, I would choose Johnny Depp. First, because he is one of the most popular actors in the world and I like him very much - I'm his fan! I think if I could visit him, I would ask for his autograph and have my picture taken with him. Second, he is a great actor: most of the roles he has played are (?)fictional, like Edward Scissorhand and Captain Jack. I want to know how he can play these roles successfully - how does he understand these odd fish? Finally, many young people are addicted to idols. What would he like to say about being an idol and a superstar?[/b]" Most of the differences are in the use of the conditional tense. "If I had ..." or "If I were to have ..." rather than "If I have ..." and "could" and "would" rather than "can" or "will". "[I would] have my picture taken with him." is clearer than "Take a picture with him" because it means specifically to take a picture of you and Johnny Depp together. I hope that makes it clearer!
• China
8 Apr 10
thank you very much really help me a lot
@owlwings (37695)
• Cambridge, England
8 Apr 10
I know that tenses in English are difficult. The problem is that each language has its own rules, really, and that the idea of a 'tense' is something that really comes from Latin and Greek grammar. Other languages (including English) have different ways of expressing WHEN an action was/is/will be performed (or when it MIGHT happen/have happened, IF ... [some condition occurs]. Your language (and thought process) may make no distinction in the verb itself between whether something happened continuously in the past or whether it happened only once; it may not use a different verb form for something that really happened/is happening/is about to happen and something that could happen/have happened. Part of it is to do with the way that different cultures perceive events and part of it is to do with the way that each of us have of expressing what we mean. Latin and Greek (and Sanskrit) have different verb forms and endings to show different variations of 'time': English and many other languages don't do it in quite the same way and have to add words (called auxiliary verbs - 'have', 'be', 'may', 'might', 'will', 'shall', 'can' and so on) to express all the variations. This can be VERY confusing to someone who is used to expressing these things in another language (and even native English speakers don't always use the same methods and sometimes use expressions which are considered 'incorrect' or 'dialect' by other speakers!). If you visited England and, for example, asked people in different parts of the country what they will do when they reach a certain age, you might receive different answers, depending on where you were in the country! In most of the south-east, you would expect to hear: "When I am 65 ...", "When you are 65 ...", "When he/she is 65 ..." &c (and the contractions: "I'm", "You're", "He's/She's" &c) but in the west and north of England you would often hear: "When I be 65 ...", "When thou/du bist/beest 65 ...", "When he/'er/she/'er is 65 ..." and so on! I suppose that you want to be able to speak English as 'the BBC' or 'educated Americans' do. That is what is understood as 'English' the world over. But other ways of saying things are really just as valid (including 'Indian' English ... that is English as spoken in India as a whole). What is important is to be sure that you will be understood, where ever you go where people understand English, and also (to a lesser extent) not to sound too 'regional' or 'stilted' or 'bookish'. It really is a very difficult thing for foreigners (and would be quite as difficult for me if I were to come to your country!) but humour, humility, willingness to understand and to learn - and, in addition, a confidence that you will be befriended and friendly where ever you go - are really the best the best weapons you have!
@owlwings (37695)
• Cambridge, England
8 Apr 10
If you are writing as you would speak: "thank you very much really help me a lot" might be: "Thank you very much [It] really helped me a lot." 'helped' because you WERE helped [by what I wrote]. If 'it' is implied (but not written, which is acceptable in speech or colloquial writing) then you have to use the correct [3rd person singular] verb form - '[it] helps', '[it] helped', '[it] will help' and so on.
@Theresaaiza (9599)
• Australia
8 Apr 10
Oh, good luck on your exam. Anyway, doris, I am not also a native English speaker, so I know how difficult it is for you. I am just lucky to learn the language in school for years, improving as time goes by. I would suggest you to write it this way: "If I will/would have the opportunity to meet someone famous, I would choose Johnny Depp because he is one of the most famous actors and I like him very much. I am his fan! So If I can visit him someday, I would ask for his autograph, and have a picture taken with him. Second, he is a great actor. Most of the roles he played were fictional like Edward Scissorhands, and Captain Jack (Sparrow). I wanna know how he plays these roles successfully, and how does he understand roles as odd as these? (is this what you mean?) Finally, many young people idolize a lot of stars. Being a superstar himself, how would he react to this?" Hope that helped. You need, I think, to practice more on the usage of verbs, and their proper arrangements in a sentence. When you use do, does, did, follow it with a verb in the present tense, and don't add "s". Like, for example, How does he understand? Do not use UNDERSTANDING. or do not use UNDERSTANDS. Another, How do you CATCH that animal? Why does she GO on hurting me? Where do you PLAN to spend your holiday?
@owlwings (37695)
• Cambridge, England
8 Apr 10
I think that verbs (and especially the conditional and past tenses) are the main problem that people have with English. We English tend to use them correctly without knowing why or how; other nationalities (Indian and Chinese, for example) have difficulty with using them correctly and many English speakers don't understand the problems and don't know how to explain! "If I will/would have the opportunity to meet someone famous ..." is not correct. "If I were to have ..." is correct but a little 'dated'. Most people these days would say "If I had ...". 'Will' and 'would' really imply a conscious intention. 'Shall' and 'should' mean that something is going to happen whether we like it or not, 'can' and 'could' refer more to an ability to do something. Many people use 'shall' and 'will' interchangeably (and, strictly speaking, incorrectly). "If I will/would have the opportunity ..." really implies that one could choose to have the opportunity (opportunities and chances usually can't be chosen ... they happen ... though one can choose to ignore them!) "He asked me if I would go to the movie with him" is correct and is 'reported speech'. It's identical to saying "He said/asked, 'Will you go to the movie with me?'" but not quite the same as "He said, 'Would you go to the movie with me?'" nor to "He said, 'Shall we go to the movie?'" You can see that it gets quite complicated! The rest of your rendition is perfect ... except for 'wanna'!!! Please, never write 'wanna'! It may be how it sometimes sounds (and song writers, especially, do write it that way) but it should always be written 'want to' and, especially in an aural exam, pronounced that way - as two words.
• Australia
9 Apr 10
Your pointers are such a big help. Yes, I agree that English speakers sometimes cannot really point out why it was an error, but they just know that there was. I think it is because I am more accustomed to the American English that ...well, I guess American English does have more slang or incorrect usage but are just neglected or accepted anyway, so I also tend to do that. I also overlooked the fact that he is taking an exam. I stand corrected about the "wanna". I learned a lot from you. So, thank you.
@rachael5760 (2455)
• Israel
9 Apr 10
In order to pass this test, you need to practice speaking. Just writing it out will help, but the examiners will be able to see that you have prepared this. I think that the best thing is to take some English lessons. Message me for more details.
@freerr (667)
• China
8 Apr 10
It's not a good idea. You must insist on you way to improve english. good luck.