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Tutor profile: Serena C.

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Serena C.
Malaysian Chinese Student in Canada teaches English Writing
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

Below is a piece of writing taken from the website https://www.edu.xunta.gal/espazoAbalar/sites/espazoAbalar/files/datos/1372928882/contido/arquivos/actividades.pdf/. Summarise the most important points of the text in 50 words or less. As today's bride and groom celebrate their wedding, they have every excuse for being nervous. They exchange promises of lifelong fidelity and mutual support. However, all around them, they can see that many people do not and cannot keep these promises. Their own marriage has a one in three chance of divorce, if present tendencies continue. Traditional marriage is facing a crisis, at least in Britain. Not only are there more and more divorces, but the number of marriages is falling. Living together is more popular than before. The family is now no longer one man, one woman and their children. Instead, there are more and more families which include parents, half sisters and brothers, or even only one parent on her / his own. Although Britain is still conservative in its attitudes to marriage compared with other countries such as the USA, Sweden and Denmark, the future will probably see many more people living together before marriage - and more divorce. Interestingly, it is women rather than men who apply for divorce. Seven out of ten divorces are given to the wife. Also, one of the main reasons for divorce, chosen by ten times more women than men, is unreasonable or cruel behaviour. Perhaps this means that women will tolerate less than they used to.

Inactive
Serena C.
Answer:

In Britain, the rate of divorce is currently one-third and growing. The number of marriages continues to decline, concurrent with the increasing number of cohabitation and blended-family arrangements. Women are more likely to request—and be granted—divorce; the main reason cited is domestic cruelty. (45 words)

Subject: English as a Second Language

TutorMe
Question:

The following is part of a sentence that was taken from a short essay about how the metadata from digital photos can be used by stalkers to collect information about their victims. "People still post photos to [social media] platform[s]." Discuss the problems with the above sentence.

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Serena C.
Answer:

The problem here is the choice of the preposition “to” in “post photos to social media platforms.” Below are two examples that show how different verbs can call for different prepositions: We post things ON social media platforms. We upload things TO social media platforms. We use ON together with “post [things]” because once upon a time, “posts” referred to physical sticks or boards that stood up from the ground—people would put notices, flyers, and things like that up ON the post for others to see. We use TO together with “upload [things]” because in the world of digital media, uploads go up to what is called “the cloud,” or the virtual storage space used by a web platform for media files like pictures or documents. And like real-life clouds, “the cloud” cannot be physically reached or touched by us, so we cannot put things ON “the cloud.” We can only upload the media file and send it TO “the cloud” of the web platform.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

Discuss the problem(s) with the following sentence. "When not croaking, the chance that the frogs will be eaten by predators is reduced."

Inactive
Serena C.
Answer:

This is an example of a dangling modifier problem. When you start a sentence—when you start your presentation of an idea—with a subject-less phrase like "when not croaking," the first thing that your reader will wonder about is this: "Hmm, okay, there's croaking that's happening, but what exactly is doing the croaking?" Problems arise when the subject that immediately follows the phrase is not what the phrase is referring to: "When not croaking, the chance—" The reader will be taken aback: "Wait...the chance is the thing that's croaking?" That is not what we, the writers, are trying to say. One way to fix a dangling modifier problem is to ensure that the first noun that comes after the phrase refers to a thing (a subject) that is actually able to do the action that was just described in the phrase. "When not croaking, the frogs ..." This is a good setup in the sense that it has been made clear that the frogs are the things that are doing the croaking. But now, we are confronted with the problem of authentic meaning: the main clause of the sentence is talking about how a chance (of being eaten) is or can be lowered if the frogs do a certain thing (i.e., not croak); it is not simply about describing what happens at the time when frogs choose not to croak. Let’s say that the main clause has been revised for “the frogs” to become the subject, as such: “… the frogs reduce their chances of being eaten by predators.” If we want to stay true to the authentic meaning of the main clause, the preposition that introduces the modifying phrase at the beginning of the sentence should be changed (from “when” to “by”) in order to reflect how the being-eaten chance can be lowered: “By not croaking, the frogs reduce their chances of being eaten by predators.”

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