A few weeks ago I spent six months in a host family...

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erroranalysis

Senior Member
German
I teach English and my students had to write an essay on Japan. They had to imagine that they had spent 6 months there. The essay was about their personal experiences there. Previously we had discussed a short story on Japan in class. So they could write about some things mentioned in the short story.

One girl wrote the following, and that was her first sentence of the whole essay:

A few weeks ago I spent six months in a host family in Japan. Though they have modern technology and are very educated, they follow old traditions and customs.

The highlighted part is bothering me since it is not possible to spend six month in - what seems to be - a shorter period of time (referred to by a few weeks ago).

So I am considering the following two options to improve this sentence:


a) A few weeks ago I had just spent six months with a host family in Japan.

Do you find a) good enough? I still find it confusing.


b) A few weeks ago I came back from a six-month stay in Japan, where I lived with a host family.

Option b) would be a much larger rewrite, and that is something I want to avoid if possible.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I would go for "I recently spent six months in Japan", since "a few weeks ago" isn't really any more precise than that.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Here are a couple that keep the student's original sentence structure.

    A few weeks ago, I ended a six-month stay with a host family in Japan.
    A few weeks ago, I returned from six months spent with a host family in Japan.
     
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