ロランは本を読んでいます

maud

Senior Member
French(Canada)
Hello!
I am preparing an oral test and for which I must make some sum-up of different texts that I am studying. I would like to show you the sentences that I have made and for which I am really not sure whether they are correct or not:

小林さんは何をロランさんにしています、と今日の午後何をかれにたずねます。

I wanted to say: "Kobayashi asked Laurent what he was doing and what he will do this afternoon"
I have some difficulties with the "and" , I have put "
と" but I think it doesn't fit this way, and I did'nt know wether I had to repeat the verb "たずねます"twice or not .

That's all for now but I will have other questions later.
 
  • toscairn

    Banned
    Japan
    Making it as simple as possible will save confusion, you could divide it into two sentences.

    小林(さん)はロラン(さん)に何をしている(の optional)か、(を optional)尋(tazu)ねた。また今日何をするつもり(or 予定)かを尋ねた(or 訊いた kiita)。

    Of course you can take a power play like this,

    小林はローランに何をしている(の optional)か、また、今日の午後何をするの(or するつもり)かを尋ねた。

    Using と above should better be avoided. Connecting two clauses with と sounds awkward, if not mistaken.

    小林さんは何をロランさんにしています、と今日の午後に何をかれにたずねます。
    In this sentence of yours, ロランさんに is misplaced. Here we're talking in analogy to "misplaced modifier". The main components are 「ロランさんに尋ねる」 plus 「何をするかを」. The subject of 「何をする」 should be 「ロランさん」 not 「小林さん」, and you're risking meaning 「何かの行為をロランさんにする」 by inserting 「ロランさんに」 there. Therefore, 「ロランさんに」 should be placed either before 「何を」 or just before 「たずねます」. Corrected sentences look like this:
    (1)小林はロランに何をしているか、また、今日の午後何をするつもりかをたずねました。
    (2)小林は、何をしているか、また、今日の午後何をするつもりかをロランにたずねました。

    W,wait!!!Warning! This sentence (2) may have a potential of causing a big confusion. It could mean, without the comma before 「何をしているか」, "Somebody asked Laurent what Kobayash was doing and what somebody unspecified (Kobayashi or Laurent) will do this afternoon. In speech, this interpretation will inevitably be taken by listner. So, (2) should be avoided.

    Warning again!!! While being an appropriate sentence, (1) also could be misinterpreted as "Somebody asked somebody what Kobayashi was doing to Laurent and what somebody will do this afternoon.

    See???!!! This shows how Japanese language is so ambiguous and quite unfit for logical communication. Japanese will never be able to be recognized as international language (sarcasm here, laugh, everyone!)

    Japanese has no cases, that's one of many deficits, to be sure. Spanish is not free from ambiguity, though. One example: Me compró un CD. "He or she bought CD from me." or "He or she bought CD for me." For an English example: Mother made me pizza. "Mother changed me into pizza." Not as ambiguous as Japanese, all the same.
     

    maud

    Senior Member
    French(Canada)
    Wow !!
    Thank you so much toscairn !! :)
    I will learn the 1st sentence .


    Here are other sentences:
    ロランは本をよんでいます、またしゅくだいをすると言います。

    小林はどのしゅくだいですかをあてるをこころみします。

    I tried to say "Laurent is reading a book and doing his homework." "Kobayashi tries to guess what homework it is." (I mean which subject).

    I realise that my sentences are a little bit too hard for my level :S
     

    toscairn

    Banned
    Japan
    ロランは本をよんでいます。また、本を読んでいます。
    ロランは本をよんでいます。同時に、本を読んでいます。
    ロランは宿題のために本を読んでいます。

    小林は(それが)どの教科の宿題かを当てようとしています。
    小林は(それが)どの宿題かを当てようとしています。

    Using 「推測」 for "guess" would be too strong (I mean, out of place, kind of "latinish").

    Good luck on your test!
     
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