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of course vs certainly

 
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Metamorfose



Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 345
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:47 am    Post subject: of course vs certainly Reply with quote

Do you agree with the statements below?

Wrong sentence: He overworked himself and certainly he fell ill.

Right sentence: He overworked himself and of course he fell ill.


http://wasiarman-learnenglish.blogspot.com/2011/05/proper-usage-of-of-course.html

Thanks

Josť
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 2993
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it would take more than those pair of sentences to master 'certainly' "versus" 'of course'. And even the Right sentence can be expressed in so many different ways. Ultimately it just doesn't make much sense to me to present these sorts of "conflicting" examples much (though I appreciate that a learner who has made a mistake may sometimes need some indication(s) of how they might otherwise express the propostion(s) concerned).
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Metamorfose



Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 345
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I use English, if I was to say such a sentence I'd say: He overlooked himself and surely he felt ill. But I fail to see any reason to reject certainly and go for of course, indeed I have to confess that if a student gave me these two sentences I'd tell them to pick certainly. The dictionary seems to support this:

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/certainly_1

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/of-course#of-course__1

And in the given examples of the right usage of of course according to the previous site, I'd again go for Does he write poetry? Of course he does.

Josť
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 2993
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The conflicting/deliberately-opposed notions that appear to be trying to emerge here are "therefore" and "unsurprisingly". 'Of course' is the item that covers both notions the most (at least, according to the Cambridge definitions you've supplied), though I feel that the "unsurprisingly" meaning is the stronger, and indeed part of the Cambridge definition and a perfect substitute: 'used to show that a situation or a piece of information is not surprising' (He overworked himself and unsurprisingly/very predictably/lo and behold/surprise, surprise/whaddya know/would you believe it/yup, you guessed it, fell ill).

The Cambridge exampleS and definitions are actually rather good, in that they do give you a much better idea (much better than the two examples you're toying with, Josť) of the pretty consistent discourse function and general structural position of each item.

I'd advise that you look up 'surely' in the Cambridge too, because my intuition is telling me that it isn't really used to draw definite conclusions in the way you're presenting (rather, I believe it's used for asking genuine or at least rhetorical questions, i.e. will probably appear at the beginning or end of questions. I haven't checked the Cambridge, and will leave that to you, but I'd be surprised if I was far off the mark here).

To be honest, I didn't actually feel that EITHER of the wasiarman examples that you began with were good exemplars, though given the forced choice between them one would of course have to pick the "Right" sentence over the (more clearly) Wrong one. Why not just stick with something like the Cambridge dictionary in future, then? Wink
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