"If you have dessert, then you must have the pie first"...

Karen123456

Senior Member
Malaysia English
My daughter was asked to put the following sentence in reported speech.

"If you must have dessert, then you must have the pie first," advised Sarah.

Her answer is:

Sarah advised me that if I must have the dessert, I must have the pie first.

But the teacher's answer is:

Sarah advised me to have the apple pie if I had to have dessert.

I wonder whether my daughter is acceptable, and if the teacher's answer is right.

Thanks.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Where did the teacher find the "apples" for this pie? Are we supposed to know whether the pie was a dessert pie?
     

    Karen123456

    Senior Member
    Malaysia English
    Thanks, velisarius and You little ripper!

    I checked with my daughter. I left out "apple" in the question and her answer. It was a typo. Sorry.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think the main learning point here is that the purpose of a teacher is to inspire thought, not to be infallible. It seems therefore that this teacher has been very successful.

    Sarah advised me that if I must have the dessert, I must have the pie first.

    This sentence is grammatical. However, you have not indicated what point the teacher was trying to emphasize when he/she preferred a different sentence. That different sentence is, for example, shorter and neater.

    If you must have dessert, then you must have the pie first," advised Sarah.
    This sentence is very confusing. Does it refer to the widely held view that children must finish their first course before they begin their dessert? What is the function of the first "must"? Does it perhaps refer to a child's earlier tantrum about wanting a dessert?
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    My daughter was asked to put the following sentence in reported speech.

    "If you must have dessert, then you must have the pie first," advised Sarah.

    Her answer is:

    Sarah advised me that if I must have the dessert, I must have the pie first.

    But the teacher's answer is:

    Sarah advised me to have the apple pie if I had to have dessert.

    I wonder whether my daughter is acceptable, and if the teacher's answer is right.

    Thanks.
    Are you trying to help your daughter with her school questions? Nothing wrong with it, but it opens up a whole new snare.
     

    Karen123456

    Senior Member
    Malaysia English
    Yes, I'm guiding her, but my daughter's teacher is not an English native speaker. That's why I have to check with natives on this forum. I myself want to be sure the teacher's answer is correct.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    ... I checked with my daughter. I left out "apple" in the question and her answer. It was a typo. Sorry.
    Karen, could you confirm what the original sentence was?

    If you simply insert "apple", the sentence makes no sense: "If you must have dessert, then you must have the apple pie first," advised Sarah.:confused:

    Working backwards from the teacher's 'translation', it seems likely that the original sentence was "If you must have dessert, then you must have the apple pie," advised Sarah.
     

    Karen123456

    Senior Member
    Malaysia English
    Thanks, Loob.

    The original sentence is: "If you must have dessert, then you must have the apple pie first," advised Sarah.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Then there's a problem with the original sentence:(. "Have the apple pie first" wouldn't, in my version of English at least, mean "choose the apple pie": it would mean "eat the apple pie and then eat the dessert". Maybe "have the apple pie first" means "choose the apple pie" in Malaysian English?

    Leaving to one side the problematical word "first", and comparing your daughter's answer with the teacher's, I would say:

    ~ your daughter's answer is acceptable, except that she's inserted an unnecessary "the" before "dessert"
    ~ the teacher's answer is, as teddy says, shorter and neater - it's more 'elegant'.​

    In particular, I like the teacher's use of "advised me to ... " instead of "advised me that I must ...". Indeed, I wonder if advise + to-infinitive was one of the things being practised in the exercise?
     
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    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    As a man who knows his way around a dessert course, my first thought was that you get more than one dessert – or you're at a buffet where more than one dessert is offered ... and usually taken.

    "If you must have dessert, then you must have the apple pie first," advised Sarah. Meaning that if you're going to have dessert, then you really must have the apple pie first because it's wonderful. Then you can move on to the chocolate cake and tiramisu and fruit.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    As a man who knows his way around a dessert course, my first thought was that you get more than one dessert – or you're at a buffet where more than one dessert is offered ... and usually taken.

    "If you must have dessert, then you must have the apple pie first," advised Sarah. Meaning that if you're going to have dessert, then you really must have the apple pie first because it's wonderful. Then you can move on to the chocolate cake and tiramisu and fruit.
    :thumbsup::D
    I can't understand, though, why the first 'must' is in there. If you have dessert, then you must ... would sound better to me.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Well, chaps, much as I adore the idea of apple pie followed by chocolate cake followed by tiramisu (why do I never get invited to dinner parties like that?:rolleyes:) I see the teacher's translation implied that the listener could only choose one....
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    My daughter was asked to put the following sentence in reported speech.

    "If you must have dessert, then you must have the pie first," advised Sarah.

    Her answer is:

    Sarah advised me that if I must have the dessert, I must have the pie first.

    But the teacher's answer is:

    Sarah advised me to have the apple pie if I had to have dessert.

    I wonder whether my daughter is acceptable, and if the teacher's answer is right.
    Your daughter is right – the teacher has misinterpreted her own original statement. The whole "first" thing is very important, as you can see from my interpretation ... and your daughter's. The teacher has ignored this in her answer.

    Well, chaps, much as I adore the idea of apple pie followed by chocolate cake followed by tiramisu (why do I never get invited to dinner parties like that?:rolleyes:) I see the teacher's translation implied that the listener could only choose one....
    I agree that the translation implied that she could only choose one ... which means her original statement is not correctly phrased.

    As for tiramisu, you should come to Asia – every other restaurant serves it, much to my annoyance. :rolleyes:
     
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