As nobody noticed


Senior Member
The following sentence is an uncorrect one from our grammar course book.

As nobody noticed, a dark-hairded beauty slipped something into the spy's pocket.

The answer says "noticed" is not correctly used. What do you think of the problem of this sentnce?

I think it should be: When nobody noticed her, a dark-hairded beauty slipped something into the spy's pocket.
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    What are you supposed to do in this exercise? Are you supposed to replace 'noticed' with a different word, or rewrite the whole sentence? What grammatical point is the grammar book discussing?

    (Noticed does not seem strikingly wrong to me. I hope that more information will help us give you a more useful answer.)


    Senior Member
    USA / English
    The subordinating conjunction as has two possible meanings: (1) while or during the time that, and (2) since or as a result of the fact that. If while is meant, one event happens inside the time frame of a longer event. With the meaning since, one event (usually) follows the other and a causal relationship is implied. Context and verb tenses clarify which meaning is intended.

    I don't see anything wrong with the sentence if the meaning since is intended ("Since nobody noticed [something that happened earlier], ...").

    There is a problem if while is intended. Noticing is typically regarded to be almost instantaneous. It isn't on-going. It is a change of state, from not-noticed to noticed. You wouldn't say, "While nobody noticed, ...." A corrected sentence might be, "As nobody was watching, ...."

    Like I said, this is making assumptions about the authors' meaning. I agree with Cagey: It would help us to help you if we know what point of grammar the exercise is supposed to teach.


    Senior Member
    The book says the word "noticed" is not correclty used. It is supposed to use another word. "As nobody was watching, ...." is better, as Rana Pipiens suggested.

    Thank you very much for your advice.
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