it looks like a woman is climbing the stairs

Gisellee

Senior Member
Spanish-Peru
Dear friends, I'm giving suggetions to a friend, I appreciate it if you can correct my advice:
Context: Compare and contrast, speculate the pics:
HE said: "On the left picture...It looks like a woman climbing the stairs. The stairs are on the hill.."
I suggested: "On the left picture..it looks like a woman is climbing the stairs, the stairs are on the hill..I guess.." I just added the verb to be, for me it is more natural...Thanks for your advice...
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  • SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    You don't really need "is." Be is an auxiliary verb, and as such adds grammatical notions of, for example, "tense." "Tense" connects the action to the present "time," but the very act of looking at the picture connects the picture to the present "time," so there is no need for "is." Without the auxiliary verb, what's left behind (a woman climbing the stairs) is a complete idea in and of itself.
     

    Gisellee

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Peru
    I'm not sure what "speculate the pics" means. In the picture on the left, a woman is climbing some stairs.
    It's when you have to compare and contrast the pictures, give an opinion about what you see..not only a description but also deduce, hypothesize...it is the format of FCE and CAE examinations. :b

    You don't really need "is." Be is an auxiliary verb, and as such adds grammatical notions of, for example, "tense." "Tense" connects the action to the present "time," but the very act of looking at the picture connects the picture to the present "time," so there is no need for "is." Without the auxiliary verb, what's left behind (a woman climbing the stairs) is a complete idea in and of itself.
    Thanks SevenDays! :0
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    Context: Compare and contrast, speculate the pics:
    As Newt says, you need a preposition after "speculate" because it is being used intransitively. It can only be used transitively when followed by a "that" clause: He speculated that the money would all be gone by then.
    I suggested: "On the left picture..it looks like a woman is climbing the stairs, the stairs are on the hill..I guess.."
    Although you can say "on the left" (a la izquierda), you cannot say "on the left picture" because you can't say "on the picture." It is "in the left picture." Also, it sounds more natural to say "In the picture/photo on the left," as Newt did.

    I don't think we need to speculate about whether the woman is climbing the stairs (that is, using "looks like"), as that seems to be the only possible action. Therefore, I would say it just as Newt did.

    I agree with you that adding "is" makes the sentence sound much better.
     

    brit66

    Member
    English - British
    If I were asking what is happening in the picture, I would say "What's going on in this picture?:tick:" or "Tell me what's happening in this picture.:tick:"

    Speculate about the pictures. :thumbsdown:

    This seems very odd to me!
    Speculating about the picture would cause me to say "I think she might be a model. There doesn't seem to be a boat at the jetty so I can't see how she has got there. She seems to be posing for a photograph." It's similiar to guessing.

    So my question would be "Why might she be there?" :tick:or "Can you speculate why she is there?" :tick:

    Hope that helps...
     

    Gisellee

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Peru
    If I were asking what is happening in the picture, I would say "What's going on in this picture?:tick:" or "Tell me what's happening in this picture.:tick:"

    Speculate about the pictures. :thumbsdown:

    This seems very odd to me!
    Speculating about the picture would cause me to say "I think she might be a model. There doesn't seem to be a boat at the jetty so I can't see how she has got there. She seems to be posing for a photograph." It's similiar to guessing.

    So my question would be "Why might she be there?" :tick:or "Can you speculate why she is there?" :tick:

    Hope that helps...
    Thanks dear Brit, the thing is that in these formats of the CAE or FCE examinations, we have a convention, you have to contrast, speculate, deduce, give opinion about 2 pictures. In Youtube there are tons of videos, they go like this for instance:

    C1 Advanced (CAE) Speaking Test Part 2​

    :)
     

    brit66

    Member
    English - British
    Thanks dear Brit, the thing is that in these formats of the CAE or FCE examinations, we have a convention, you have to contrast, speculate, deduce, give opinion about 2 pictures. In Youtube there are tons of videos, they go like this for instance:

    C1 Advanced (CAE) Speaking Test Part 2​

    :)
    I researched your exam format and would suggest the following questions:

    Compare two of the pictures and say why people might feel excited / exhausted / scared doing them. (Contrast)

    Do you think these activities/this activity would be enjoyable for everyone? (Speculate)

    Which activity do you think is the most enjoyable / fun /difficult / scary/ strenuous? (Speculate)
     

    Gisellee

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Peru
    Thanks, dear friends, I continue studying the possible phrases because my students are learning to elaborate them: For example(Speaking context):
    In the first picture, I see a woman climbing some stairs, next to a beautiful lake... :tick:
    In the first picture, I can see a woman walking up the stairs next to the mountains...:tick:
    In the picture on the left there is a woman walking on the stairs, I think....:tick:
    In this picture, there is a woman enjoying nature in a magnificent scenery, I think/ I reckon..:tick:

    The confusion they have is using the verb, with all the possibilities :0 Hope my sentences are ok :b
     
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