With the Aborigine Peter learns a bit of the language...

erroranalysis

Senior Member
German
One of my students wrote an essay about a book. She wrote:

She and Peter want to go to Adelaide. Their uncle lives in that city. With the Aborigine Peter learns a bit of the language that he speaks.

Is the highlighted part OK or not? Some suggestions:
a) With the Aborigine's help...
b) With the help of the Aborigine...
c) With the Aborigine teaching him, Peter...
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    The reason that it's not right for me is that the reader is not really sure if it's the uncle who is the Aborigine.

    Once that is sorted, you may have a different sentence on your hands. But in this sentence, I think you can use the original if you put a comma after Aborigine. Your suggestions are correct, with my preference for one of the first two.
     

    dermott

    Senior Member
    B.E. via Australian English
    Is the Aborigine mentioned prior to this? The mention in the third sentence feels like a leap. Or is the uncle the Aborigine?

    That aside, I'd opt for (a). It's the simplest. There's nothing wrong with (b) or (c).

    I'd also look at the last part of the third sentence for reasons of clarity. Amended introduction to the sentence: With the Aborigine's help, Peter learns a bit of the language that he speaks. The he invites confusion between Peter and the Aborigine. You could write, With the Aborigine's help, Peter learns a bit/some of the Aboriginal language.
     
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