Tutor profile: Allison N.
Qu'est-ce que vous voulais faire ce week-end? (What would you like to do this weekend?)
Ce week-end, je voudrais faire beaucoup de choses! Vendredi, je vais allé au supermarché. Puis, je voudrais voir un film, mais mes amis ont dit qu'ils seront occupés. Samedi, je dois lire "La Belle et La Bête" pour une classe du théâtre. Enfin, dimanche. Je voudrais faire la vaisselle et ranger ma chambre. C'est un bon week-end.
How important is formal grammar in writing?
It depends on the context of the writing. For news print and peer-reviewed scholarly journals, adhering to the rules of grammar is important to communicate effectively and maintain one's academic reputation. But for less formal writing such as an email, a homework assignment, or even some school papers, the intricacies of grammar rules should not be your focus. As Joseph M. Williams points out in his 1981 article "The Phenomenology of Error," if your audience does not notice the errors (because they are small and don't hinder the reading of a paper) then it does not really matter.
What is a litotes? Give an example and explain why it is useful.
Litotes (or understatement) is a figure of speech that says less than intended. It is the opposite of a hyperbole. An example of this, found in Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress," is "The grave's a fine and private place,/But none, I think, do there embrace." In this poem, as the speaker is trying to persuade a lady towards romance, this litotes serves as an ironic, almost comical verse, softening his hasty pursuit. It is such an understatement to say that a grave is a "fine and private place." Obviously, a grave is more creepy, morbid and lonely than what he depicts. Again, of course nobody embraces there; they're dead! So, this ultimately gets the speaker's point across while softening his argument for the lady.
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