General Language Points: Quiz 1

Common problems, suggestions

General problems:

- Don't over-use would. Review "Notes on the remote modals" (in your workbook).
- Make your periods (full stops) and commas bold, and position them even with the bottom of the preceding letter (not below, as HWP does). In the future, points will be deducted for violations of "Technical Features in Written Work" (E>G, Composition).

Specific rephrasing problems

A: Let's meet on the 14th.(1)

Wouldn't we meet on the 14th? COMMENT: No reason for negative. Also, this use of "wouldn't" changes meaning.
I would hope we will meet on the 14th. COMMENT: "Would hope" is too indirect for expressing the person's request to meet; it only expresses a desire.
I think we could meet on the 14th provided that you have no other appointment. COMMENT: [Technical: Don't change the meaning. In the original sentence we see no idea of opinion or other appointment.]
I'd like to meet you on the 14th. COMMENT: This comes a bit too close to a polite command.

Would it be possible to meet on the 14th?
I was wondering if we could meet on the 14th.

I want your opinion on our sales strategy.(1)

I was wanting your opinion... COMMENT: Grammar: I wanted...
I'm willing to listen to your opinion... COMMENT: "Willing" does not mean want. Look it up in the dictionary.
I would want your opinion... COMMENT: Grammar logic.
You could give me your opinion on our sales strategy. COMMENT: Let's stick to the exact content in these exercises.

I was hoping to get your opinion on our sales strategy.
I'd like to get your opinion...

B: I'm busy.(2)

I'm afraid I would be busy. COMMENT: Tense problem. Also, strengthen "busy" to a word or phrase that shows very busy. (See the comment below.)
I'm afraid I am a little bit busy. COMMENT: Tense problem. Also, if you're only a "little bit" busy it is not very nice of you to turn down your colleague's request.
I'm afraid I couldn't make it... COMMENT: This was pointed out on "Additions..."
I'm afraid that I'm a little bit too busy... COMMENT: If you're only a "little bit" too busy, you are not taking the other person's request seriously. Besides, it's "a bit," not "a little bit."
I'm afraid I would be busy. COMMENT: will

I'm afraid I'll be busy/tied up that day.
Best: I wish I could, but I'm afraid I'll be quite busy that day.

The 14th is an inconvenient date for me.(1 or 2)

I'm afraid I couldn't make it. COMMENT: won't be able to. See "Additions..."
If you said "I'm afraid anywhere else in this conversation, you shouldn't use it here. Don't overdo it.

Actually, the 14th would be rather inconvenient.

Change to the 30th.(1)

Wouldn't the 30th be better? COMMENT: "Better" for whom? This implies that the 30th would be better for the other person, but it is actually you who prefer this date.
Would/Wouldn't we change to the 30th? COMMENT: This just doesn't make sense in this context.

Would it be possible to change it to the 30th?
Could we meet on the 30th?
Would you mind changing it to the 30th?

Frankly, the 14th is too early for me.(2)

Wouldn't the 14th be too early for me? or: Wouldn't that be too early? COMMENT: This doesn't make sense in this context.
With respect, the 14th is a little bit early for me. COMMENT: This has nothing to do with respect. Also, "a little bit" means something else.
Frankly,... COMMENT: You were expected to substitute this with something like "Actually."

Actually / As a matter of fact, the 14th is/would be a bit early for me.

I need time to review the sales data.(1)

I would need time to review the sales data. COMMENT: This one is difficult to explain. In another context it would be all right, but in this context it's not. There doesn't seem to be any question that he will meet, and "would" signifies conditional, so "would" does not seem natural.

I would like to have some time to review the sales data.

A: Yeah.(1)

That would be o.k. COMMENT: "Okay" is quite informal; in a more formal situation, as in talk between colleagues, "fine" or "all right" is probably better.
(I think) that would be perfectly acceptable. COMMENT: Don't say "acceptable" when you are negotiating a favor from someone; it seems as if you are accepting or rejecting the conditions for the favor you are asking, which is arrogant.
I see no objection to that. COMMENT: This is also arrogant.

That would be just fine. Thank you!