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Thread: when all of a sudden

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    when all of a sudden

    Hi all,

    I just read this example on papers:

    Charley had begun to fall asleep when all of a sudden, an oncoming car honked and awoke him.
    I reread it for a while, but it really seems odd to me for no reason. In my view, the following works better:

    Charley had begun to fall asleep and all of a sudden, an oncoming car honked and awoke him.

    Charley had begun to fall asleep when an oncoming car suddenly honked and awoke him.

    Am I right?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: when all of a sudden

    In my opinion all the options (yours and the original sentence) are fine. In the original sentence 'when' is used to cut the previous action.

    'All of a sudden' and 'suddenly' are synonyms.

  3. #3
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    Re: when all of a sudden

    Quote Originally Posted by kenny4528 View Post
    Hi all,

    I just read this example on papers:

    I reread it for a while, but it really seems odd to me for no reason. In my view, the following works better:

    Charley had begun to fall asleep and all of a sudden, an oncoming car honked and awoke him.

    Charley had begun to fall asleep when an oncoming car suddenly honked and awoke him.

    Am I right?

    Many thanks.
    Your second version is certainly better. By the way, I would say "woke him". We awaken (or in more modern English "wake", or "wake up") when we are "woken" by something or somebody. The "a-" is a good Old English thing and sounds a bit poetic: "I will arise and go now...", but in ordinary prose the "a-" is more often omitted: "he rose up angrily from his chair...", and "they rose him out of a deep sleep". I hope others agree.

  4. #4
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    Re: when all of a sudden

    Charley went to bed at 11:20.

    Charley had begun to fall asleep at 11:30.

    At 11:30, a car suddenly honked.

    Charley woke up because of that.

    I don't see anything wrong with the original sentence.
    Getting old is such sweet sorrow...Nichec & Shakespeare

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: when all of a sudden

    I've got it. Thanks to all of you for your kind help.

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