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Old 12-08-2010, 09:26 PM   #1
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Easy English question please

This is the first page from a fiction novel, please read this text and then read my question at the end :


The girl checked the time oh her pink wristwatch and looked back at the front door of the school. Tracy, her best friend, should have been here by now. The girl sat down one the stone embankment and swung her legs hard, hitting the backs of her calves against the rock in a steady rhythm. No. She was wrong. Tracy wasn’t her best friend. She used to be. Then Tracy got to be friends with the popular girls.




"Then Tracy got to be friends with the popular girls."

Why the word friend is in plural and not in singular form??


thank you.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:13 PM   #2
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My guess is that Tracy is not alone in being a friend -- the friendship goes both ways, between herself and the popular girls. To use a singular noun, you'd have to write something like:

Tracy became a friend of the popular girls.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmay View Post
My guess is that Tracy is not alone in being a friend -- the friendship goes both ways
I think that's it. How many people she's friends with is irrelevant, afterall. Writing "Tracy got to be friends with the popular girl." is equally correct.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:56 AM   #4
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***The girl sat down one the stone embankment and swung her legs ***

Bloody clumsy paragraph anyway, Eric. And a typo (see above). I'd stop reading at this stage. Neil
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:52 AM   #5
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There's another typo - the word "oh" in the first line.

Having said that, there are some good things here. Solid consistent use of POV and the introduction of both character and conflict in the opening paragraph.

However, the use of "fiction novel" in the description did put me off - novels are fiction, no need for the redundancy.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:31 AM   #6
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Eric, it doesn't matter because you're not using "friends" as a noun - "being friends" is actually being used here as a corrupted verb, in a colloquialism, much the same as you get corrupted adjectives nowadays like "bendy" "stretchy", all of which are basically being lazy, instead of seeking the correct terminology. However, and it's a big however, if you are writing for effect, and I can see you are, you can get away with colloquialisms like the above, and incomplete sentences like "She used to be." Technically, grammatically, that statement and the next - "Then Tracy got to be friends etc" actually together only make one complete sentence. Do you see my point? Language is evolving continuously, so don't lose any sleep over "got to be friends". If you ever get to the point where a line editor is working on your text, you will have many time wasting moments like this, depending on that particular editor's foibles, i.e, what matters garmmatically to them. And guess what? They're all different. My current editor (and very good she is too) hates the word "then", which looks to me as if that puts you on a loser straight away!! ;-)) My suggestion would be to concentrate more on saying what you mean. Worry about the grammar later. And talking about "then". A very weak word (so my editior keeps telling me). Try substituting "Before".
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:50 AM   #7
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Apologies for the typos - Yes, I did spot them after posting (this is why I need an editor ;-))

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Old 12-12-2010, 03:31 AM   #8
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It's plural because it's related to the construct "Joe and Bob became friends." When the act is complete, Joe and Bob are friends, not friend, after all.
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