bubbling with despair

Glaçon

Senior Member
Russia, russian
Hello everybody, I just want to know if my sentece souns English:
"It gave him a kind of wild pleasure to see the superintendent bubbling with despair. He decided to hold his head under water for quite a long time".
Thak you! :eek:
 
  • Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Hello everybody, I just want to know if my sentence sounds well in English:
    "It gave him a kind of wild pleasure to see the superintendent bubbling with despair. He decided to hold his head under water for quite a long time". :tick: :eek:
    Thank you!
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Glaçon said:
    Hello everybody, I just want to know if my sentece souns English:
    "It gave him a kind of wild pleasure to see the superintendent bubbling with despair. He decided to hold his head under water for quite a long time".
    Thak you! :eek:
    "Mistakes" may be a subjective term. The grammar is fine. "Wild pleasure" is a little strange sounding. There is nothing wrong with it, but it's an uncommon usage for describing a person who is observing.

    I have never seen anyone 'bubbling with despair'. It is not wrong; it sounds a little odd. The last sentence gives me problems. The references are unclear. If the first "He" refers to the person with wild pleasure, then it remains unclear whose head is being submerged, although it is probable that it is the superintendent who is getting dunked.

    cheers,
    Cuchuflete
     

    Helicopta

    Senior Member
    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    I personally don't have a problem with 'wild pleasure' (you can interpret that anyway you wish!;)) but i would change 'bubbling with despair' to 'bubbling in despair'.
     

    lsp

    Senior Member
    NY
    US, English
    Outsider said:
    Hello everybody, I just want to know if my sentence sounds well in English:
    "It gave him a kind of wild pleasure to see the superintendent bubbling with despair. He decided to hold his head under water for quite a long time". :tick: :eek:
    Thank you!
    I think it should be "sounds good" because good is an adjective and well is an adverb.

    Examples
    • You did a good job. Good describes the job.
    • You did the job well. Well answers how.

    • You smell good today. Describes your odor, not how you smell with your nose, so follow with the adjective.
    • You smell well for someone with a cold. You are actively smelling with a nose here so follow with the adverb

    What do you think?
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    lsp said:
    • You smell good today. Describes your odor, not how you smell with your nose, so follow with the adjective.
    • You smell well for someone with a cold. You are actively smelling with a nose here so follow with the adverb
    That's a very interesting example. I do have problems sometimes with "good" versus "well".
    I suppose I should say "the sentence sounds good", because "good" refers to the sentence, in that case...
     

    Becky85

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Yes I agree.

    You could say:
    ...if my sentence sounds good
    ...if my sentence sounds OK

    but ...if my sentence sounds well is not quite right.
     

    ojyram

    Senior Member
    USA English (Learning Spanish)
    Back to the original sentence... with the change to "bubbling in despair" I think the writing is teriffic! Surprise, drama, bold language, a glimpse into the coldhearted mind of the killer, a shiver as I experience the struggle of the superintendent! I'm ready to read the rest of the story!
     

    te gato

    Senior Member
    Alberta--TGE (te gato English)
    The sentence is fine..

    I do have one little problem..
    The same as Cuchu..I have a hard time with 'bubbling in despair'..
    when a person is 'bubbling' they are happy..which is the opposite of despair...
    so I would use 'wallowing in despair'..
    just an Idea..
    te gato;)
     

    ojyram

    Senior Member
    USA English (Learning Spanish)
    bubble verb to emit bubbles
    bubbling adjective marked by high spirits or excitement

    The word bubbling has more than one meaning, and that provides a twist in the tale that interests the reader in the first sentence and shocks him in the second.

    You read the first sentence and say to yourself "how can someone be bubbling in despair? Shouldn't that be "bubbling with pleasure?" Then you read the next sentence and discover to your horror that the superintendent is bubbling because his head is being held under water, not because of his mood! The surprised and interested reader wants to read more to find out what will happen next. That makes the writing good in my opinion.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I think some of the respondents to this thread didn't understand the superintendent was being drowned in that passage. "Bubbling" is not a metaphor; it's literal.
     
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