He's the whole week not in the office

tigerduck

Senior Member
German / Switzerland
Hello

One of my student's wrote in a telephone conversations

He's the whole week not in the office.

I thinks the syntax is incorrect. Shouldn't it be

He's not in the office the whole week?

Thanks
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    You are correct. I will say that, for some reason I'm not even sure of, I'm not comfortable with the word "whole" (although you hear it all the time). I'd use "entire week" but perhaps that's just a style preference.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    "He hasn't been in the office all week" is much more idiomatic. The other examples don't even sound like English to me.
    .
    .
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The italicized sentences in the first post.
    .
    .

    Ah... wasn't sure whether you were referring to my use of "entire week" or not. Had me worried there for a second.:) No doubt about the first sentence but do you not hear the second one? It grates on me everytime I hear it but it's common in my part of the world ie. "I'm off work the whole week" or "I've got to be in the office the whole week". Yikes!
     

    Victoria32

    Senior Member
    English (UK) New Zealand
    Ah... wasn't sure whether you were referring to my use of "entire week" or not. Had me worried there for a second.:) No doubt about the first sentence but do you not hear the second one? It grates on me everytime I hear it but it's common in my part of the world ie. "I'm off work the whole week" or "I've got to be in the office the whole week". Yikes!
    Maybe it's another AE/BE thing, but "the entire week" sounds just as odd to me as "whole week" does to you!
     

    sunshinegrl

    Member
    german
    Besides the whole-entire-all discussion, I agree with fox. The sentence indeed does not sound very English. It does sound like a German-English translation, because in German you would probably say "er ist die ganze Woche nicht im Büro" However you cannot exactly use the same tense in English, I believe. I would also say
    He has not been in the office all week (the entire week/the whole week).
     

    tigerduck

    Senior Member
    German / Switzerland
    I see what you mean. Present Perfect (have been) is much better. Anyway, I will check what the business English book we are using has in the model answer of that excercise. I will be back to report what the book says.
     
    Top