One of my ESL students wrote this:
I suppose this is what she meant:
“20 times” is an adverb that modifies the gerund “developing lung cancer”, and so the sentence reads as if one might develop lung cancer twenty separate times. Of course, the student meant that one is twenty times more likely to develop lung cancer.
Could it also be that there will be 20 times when the person will get the chance of developing lung cancer? Who knows what the odds are each time, but it’d be something like the doctor saying, “Alright, it’s coming up again next week. It’s your 18th chance to develop lung cancer, so here’s hoping you stay in the clear one more time.”
Yep, “20 times” could potentially modify “get the chance” as well. Sounds like a pretty crummy lottery
Love it! And I love that you tell how to explain to student why this is an error.
Thank you! Glad you enjoy these 🙂
Correction: “to a student.” Now I sound like I need some English lessons! Whoops.
As I knew, “as I knew” is the best way to start a sentence I have ever heard. As I knew, I want to start every sentence that way from now on! But as I knew, that would probably get old quick.
Heh. The more I think about it, the funnier it gets. She used to know, but doesn’t any more, I guess. But, she’s still able to recall what she knew. Whoa.
There is also the medical term “Pack/years”. Smoke 1 pack a day for 20 years, or 2 packs a day for 10 years, or 1/2 pack a day for 40 years, and it all adds up to 20 pack/years for that person.
Statistically, the risk of getting cancer from smoking becomes most significant once you’ve crossed that 20 pack/year line.
I had no idea this was a medical term. Perhaps my student was alluding to this?
I’m so happy I stumbled upon your comics, you have provided me a nice amount of procrastination at work.
And I am so happy to be replying to your comment while I’M at work! Procrastination buddies?
about to leave work atm so we are procastination buddies looll