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how to use this prase: "sort of"

 
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susan_wu



Joined: 28 Sep 2003
Posts: 48
Location: china

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 1:54 am    Post subject: how to use this prase: "sort of" Reply with quote

Hello,

Is this sentence correct?

"I have been very busy and also very tired that I sort of let my out burst on you."

What's it mean: "sort of"?
Who can give me some examples that sort is used as Verb?

Thanks a lot.
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bud



Joined: 09 Mar 2003
Posts: 2111
Location: New Jersey, US

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, "sort of" is not a verb. I think it would serve as an adverb. You might hear it, and even see it written, as " sorta."

It means "somewhat, but not totally."

"Kind of" (kinda) means the same thing.

Here's your sentence: I have been very busy and also very tired SO that I sort of burst out at you." You could say vented instead of burst out.

Your sentence is a good example of how we often use that term. It doesn't really mean somewhat in this case, but rather is a way to soften the harshness of what you are admitting.

ex: I'm sorta tired so I think I'll stay home tonight.
I kinda like my new boss. We might make a good team.
I sort of liked that movie, but it's not one of my favorites.
She's kind of lonely and she's thinking about taking a trip to see her family.
Honey! I sort of had a little accident with your car. (Here, the entire front end of the car is probaby crunched into the size of a jewelry box!)

Hope that helps.
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advoca



Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 422
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2003 12:08 am    Post subject: Sort and kinda Reply with quote

Please, please, Bud, by all means teach students how they speak in New Jersey (New Joisy? And sorta funny and kinda strange) but do not teach them to write such words unless they are quoting somebody speaking in this slovenly way.

Please, please, let's have no one using slovenly spoken words when writing.
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Diana



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 494
Location: Guam, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:20 am    Post subject: In reply. Reply with quote

Hello Susan,

Sort of means "somewhat," "rather" or "in a way." Also, as Bud pointed out, if you ever come across the word "sorta" be aware that it is the same thing as "sort of." The same thing is true in using the word "kinda." It also means "kind of."

However, both sort of and kind of are used only in informal writing. In formal writing, it is always best to avoid such words as sort of and kind of.

For example:
NOT THIS: Louise is kind of worried.

BUT THIS: Louise is rather worried.

I hope that helps.

Best regards,
Diana
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bud



Joined: 09 Mar 2003
Posts: 2111
Location: New Jersey, US

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2003 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Diana. Thanks for pointing out that the two phrases are extremely informal. I didn't think to point that out.

Advoca, are you not able to add a point without being so condescending?
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advoca



Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 422
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 12:03 am    Post subject: Apologies to Bud Reply with quote

Dear Bud,

Please accept my apologies. I did not mean to sound condesending. I am just trying to make a point, which I am sure you agree with.

It is just that I get burned up when I see students using bad English, and I am dissapointed when teachers (and I assume you are a teacher) go so far as to advise students to use noises like wanna and gonna in written communication.

Geaoge Dubya done do it. Ah am sure you all knows lotsa folks that done do it. Dya agree? It justa kinda freeks me.

You all have a nice day, dya hear. An accep ma pologee.

Advoca
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bud



Joined: 09 Mar 2003
Posts: 2111
Location: New Jersey, US

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(this may be a duplicate message)

Thank you for clearing that up, Advoca. Apologies accepted. And please accept my apologies for my sarcasm in another thread.

I agree with what you say, but only to a point. My teaching goals are different than what I imagine yours to be. I am not a trained teacher, but a tutor of ESL. I tutor adults, and the goal is simply for them to be able to use English effectively enough so that they can better achieve their goals in the US. Most of them are in their 30's, 40's and 50's and do not have a TOEFL looming in their future.

(I am working one-to-one with a doctor trying to earn his American credentials. Next month he will take the last of four tests needed to accomplish that goal. This test will assess both his diagnotic skills and his English communication skills. Even in this test, the communication standard is lower than TOEFL's, although he did have to pass the TOEFL previously. The standard in this test is that it is not overly difficult for a patient to understand him. Perfect grammar is not required, nor is perfect pronunciation. For example, if he stresses the wrong syllable of a word, as long as it is still readily understandable, it's ok. He and I also discuss cultural issues, such as questions worded in a way that might sound offensive to a born American.)

For the rest of my students, all at beginner to intermediate levels, I feel that it is important that they understand how those around them speak. While "sorta" is very informal, that is how people really speak when they are speaking casually. Slurring (informal contractions) comes up fairly frequently in the main group that I tutor. In this example, I would explain that it is informal, that they don't need to use it themselves - it is up to them - but when they hear it, "this" is what it means. The same with "hafta." They can say "have to," "need to" or "must", but 'this' is what it means when you hear it. Slurring is natural and occurs in other languages (e.g., Spanish). Any native-speaker who took the trouble to "correctly" pronounce each and every word would sound impossibly pompous.

I feel similarly about grammar. Certainly a good basic grammar is a must, but when a student uses "incorrect" grammar that most any native-speaker uses, then I will let it pass in most cases. Ex., a dangling participle. I would not object to "Who are you going with?" and try to get them to say "With whom are you going?" Except in formal commiunication, virtually all people that I come in contact with would use the first example.

Anyway, I just wanted to explain to you and to any student that reads my posts what my own philosophy is.

Cheers,
Bud

PS: I did not intend to imply that someone should use "wanna" in writing, unless they are quoting. Certainly not.
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advoca



Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 422
Location: Beijing

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 4:26 pm    Post subject: Wann and such Reply with quote

Thanks Bud.

I teach English to Chinese adults in Beijing, and I frown on them mixing up the spoken word and the written word. Many of them are upwardly mobile (first-class yuppies) and I warn them not to write for a job saying they wanna better job than they have at the moment.

My nightmare stems from the possibility of a student writng to a potential employer saying "Have u got an opening? I wanna find a company with betta opportunities than I've got now."

I teach them when to write such words as "gonna" and "wanna," (inside quotes of the spoken word) and when to use "want to" and "going to" (when writing). Since most of the lurkers on this forum are students I try to get the message through to them also.
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