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micchon's avatar

Is my grammar okay? (Apology letter for a lover)

Asked by micchon (391points) February 21st, 2017
6 responses
“Great Question” (5points)

Hi, English is not my native language. Here is my letter.

I didn’t want to reject you when you asked me to leave with you. I know I wouldn’t want to go back if I go with you, but of course soon I have. I was stuck. If he finds me gone, if he catches me sleeping over at someone else’s house, there would be black and blue. I don’t want to get hurt. He’s unpredictable. I’m only free when he’s not here, I don’t have to walk on eggshells.

I apologise about the self-pity and impulsivity last night.

Life feels pretty hopeless recently and I’ve been dealing with a lot of self-issues in the past few months, mostly about my self-worth. I’m unstable. I have a lot of self-loving to do. I know you don’t like people who don’t love themselves, but it’s hard to love one’s self when he’s alone. A storm is staying for a vacation, there are no silver linings yet but I hope they come soon.

You were right. Small things, big impact. I think I really missed something big. I should have followed my instincts. I wish I wasn’t so careless.

Forgive me for not coming with you. I’m sorry.

The “he” is my father. This is a letter for a soul mate. I also want to say “I hope you ask me to leave with you again” but I don’t know how to put it into words without sounding desperate.

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Answers

micchon's avatar

please help me

Soubresaut's avatar

Hi micchon,

First I’m so sorry to see that you are in such a difficult situation.

I would be happy to help. Some other members of Fluther are quite astute in the grammar realsm and would probably be able to help even more. I think most of them are asleep right now, though, so when they wake up and are back on I imagine you’ll see more responses. [Edit—oh, speaking of the other members, one of them’s crafting a response right now!] Anyway, here are my two cents.

I would make ”... to go back if I go with you” into ”... to go back if I left with you.”

At least in my mind, saying “left” instead of “go” makes the sentence more precise (going could be anywhere) and it avoids the repetition of “go” happening in the sentence as-is.

I would revise the wording of “but of course soon I have.” It doesn’t sound right with that phrasing. I am not entirely sure what you are getting at there. Do you mean “but of course I would have to go back”/“but of course I would have to go back soon/quickly/eventually”? or something else?

“there would be black and blue” might

“I’m only free when he’s not here, I don’t have to walk on eggshells”—I think I see the meaning behind the sentence, but the two phrases don’t have a grammatical/linguistic connection with each other yet so they read as separate ideas. I might try, “I’m only free when he’s not here; the rest of the time I’m walking on eggshells” or “I’m only free when he’s not here, otherwise I’m walking on eggshells.”

“I apologise for the…” sounds better to me than “apologise about,” though I’m not sure why.

”... recently, and I’ve been” (minor addition of a comma)

“when he’s alone”—unclear what this means. The way it reads now, it seems to say that one person has a hard time loving their self when someone else happens to be alone. Do you mean it’s hard to love one’s self when one is alone with your father? Or is the “he” at the end of the sentence referring to the same person as the “one”? (If the “he” and the “one” are the same person, match the pronoun and say “it’s hard to love one’s self when one’s alone.”)

“A storm is staying for a vacation” is a perfectly grammatical and clear metaphor. It is like more common English idioms related to storms, such as “a storm is brewing” which you might consider instead… of course, “brewing” sounds more like the storm is building up; “staying” means the storm is there already.

As for the last part… here are some different wordings I played with—not sure how to explain my thinking on any of them. One may sound right to you or not.

- I hope it’s not too late to change my mind.
– If I made the choice over again, I would go with you.
– I’m ready to go with you now, if you’ll have me.

Zaku's avatar

The grammar is mostly good. I think he is probably used to understanding how you speak in English, and he must love it well enough, so rather than try to make it sound more native, I am only suggesting changes that correct things or make things more clear.

I’m not certain what you mean or imply by the first phrase “I didn’t want to reject you”. I think you might mean to say “I wasn’t rejecting you” or “I didn’t mean to seem like I was rejecting you”.

I don’t understand what you meant by “but of course soon I must”. As written, it means you will need to in the near future. So it would refer to something in the future, which would only seem to be leaving with your lover, but later you wrote you’re not at that point yet, so I think you probably made a mistake with the tense, and were talking about how you had to go home in the past. Assuming that’s right, I corrected it to “but of course I would have needed to return soon”.

The last sentence of the first paragraph seems to have the negative backwards.

I am not sure what you meant by “it’s hard to love one’s self when he’s alone” – is “he” your self, which is just a pronoun gender mistake or maybe it would be masculine in your native language (it would match your gender in English)? Or do I misunderstand? Should it be “it’s hard to love one’s self when I’m alone”? Or is “he” your father again, so you mean to say something else? I wouldn’t know what. I think that part needs more explanation unless it’s something you’ve talked about with the reader before that he would understand.

Here is a possible edit, though the bold parts I am not sure I understand and think you should make sure clearly say what you mean:
.

I didn’t mean to seem like I was rejecting you when you asked me to leave with you. I know I wouldn’t want to go back if I went with you, but of course I would have needed to return soon. I was stuck. If he finds me gone; if he catches me sleeping over at someone else’s house, there would be black and blue. I don’t want to get hurt. He’s unpredictable. I’m only free when he’s not here. When he is, I have to walk on eggshells.

I apologise about the self-pity and impulsivity last night.

Life feels pretty hopeless recently and I’ve been dealing with a lot of self-issues in the past few months, mostly about my self-worth. I’m unstable. I have a lot of self-loving to do. I know you don’t like people who don’t love themselves, but it’s hard to love one’s self when [I’m?] alone. A storm is staying for a vacation, there are no silver linings yet but I hope they come soon.

You were right. Small things, big impact. I think I really missed something big. I should have followed my instincts. I wish I wasn’t so careless.

Forgive me for not coming with you. I’m sorry.

.

For “I hope you ask me to leave with you again”, how about “I like the idea of leaving with you, in a way that would work well” or “let’s talk more about how it could work for me to leave”? Though I am also unsure if you mean to leave and stop living with your father, or just to find a time you can spend away with him without getting caught.

imrainmaker's avatar

Assuming your lover is also non-native speaker it looks unnecessarily complex to me. Can you make it less dramatic and keep it simple to pass on the intended message directly to the lover ?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Romeo and Juliet.

The above advice is very good. But I’m also thinking that this doesn’t require a major rewrite. If you were to make this a work of perfect English grammar, it wouldn’t sound like the girl who the reader wants to be with.

Just a couple of tone changes should be revised and one, short, summary paragraph should be added at the end.

Example:
Impulsivity should be written as my impulsiveness last night, or my impulsive reaction last night.

This is about emotional impact. You’re not writing about general feelings here, or someone else’s feelings—so own it. Drop all the remote “oneself” stuff and replace it all with my, me, mine, myself, our, ourselves. Make it personal. Own it. It’s tough because you are baring yourself and that is against all our instincts. But if you want maximum impact, this is how you do it.

You’re not worried about “black and blue”, you’re worried about him beating you black and blue. Say it. Don’t try to write this from an observational point of view. This isn’t casual communication, this is serious personal business. You’re in it and you want your lover to know that you’re in it.

I would finish this with a couple of terse statements that truthfully, cleanly, concisely, unabashedly summarize eveything you are trying to tell him—just so there is no misunderstanding as to the extreme poignancy and confusion you are feeling right now. Like so:

I want to be with you. I’m afraid. Please don’t give up on me.

Then sign it.

I sincerely hope things work out for your happiness. The best of luck to you.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I write poetry, and this letter is very beautiful. There are some good suggestions by others. You should consider them.

As for the closing, you could write “I could not refuse you again, if you asked.”

This is quite beautiful to read. I hope for you the best of all possible outcomes.

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