Once, cabbage was on his plate.

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brian&me

Senior Member
Chinese - China
Hi, everyone.

The following is from an English textbook in China (Project English, Wang Dechun):

During Michael’s childhood, he had to eat many vegetables and fruit to keep healthy. Once, cabbage was on his plate. As soon as Michael saw it, he got mad. But his mother made him taste it.

I wonder if it would be better to say once, his mother put some cabbage on his plate instead of once, cabbage was on his plate.

Thanks a lot in advance.
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I agree with you. Their sentence is odd in that context. Your sentence would be more natural.

    Their sentence would work better if the previous sentence had been something like:

    During Michael’s childhood, he had to taste whatever was on his plate. Once, cabbage was on his plate. As soon as Michael saw it, he got mad, but his mother made him taste it.​

    (It's still a little odd, but my point is that their sentence draws attention to the plate, and would be better in a context that focused on the plate.)
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    'Once there was cabbage on his plate.'/ 'Once he found cabbage on his plate'./ It still sounds a bit as if the cabbage put itself there. 'Once she put cabbage on his plate.'
    (Needless to say I really dislike the use of 'got mad', but that's another question of course.)
     
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