At first

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rituparnahoymoy

Senior Member
Assamese -India
The very first question.

I am having difficulty constructing this sentence.

I hope that the interviewers don't ask me a very tough question at first.

I doubt if it is a grammatically correct.
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    If you are talking about substituting "first up" for "at first" in your sentence, it would probably convey your meaning, but it has a rather casual, even slangy, tone to it. Why not simply say that you hope the first question isn't a tough one? It will reasonably be understood that it is the interviewers who are asking the questions.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    This sounds like slang to me and maybe it's American because I don't use it.
    I know it, but I don't associate it with 'at first', but with 'first of all'.

    There have been a number of complaints about your work. First up, you're always late.

    Writing 'At first,' would make no sense here.

    I crossed with Florentia in fact, and it seems my understanding of 'first up', as 'first of all', might not be right.
     

    rituparnahoymoy

    Senior Member
    Assamese -India
    Or, "I hope the first question they ask me isn't a tough one."
    Thanks a lot. I have made an attempt to say this like,

    I hope they don't asked me a tough question to start/begin with.

    I hope they don't start with a tough question against me.

    Are these correct?
     
    Thanks a lot. I have made an attempt to say this like,

    I hope they don't asked*:cross: me a tough question to start/begin with.:tick: [ask *me]

    I hope they don't start with a tough question [against:cross: me.:cross:]:thumbsdown:

    (To be against someone means to be their enemy or at least very opposed to them.) That is not what you mean and the construction doesn't belong there in English in any event.

    Are these correct?
    No.

    "I hope they don't start with a tough question.":thumbsup: or "I hope they don't start off with a tough question.":thumbsup: (My preference. "start off" carries the feeling of beginning very quickly and abruptly.)

    Since the context is already known to be you being interviewed, in this post I left the corrected questions just as they are.
     
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