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Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 11:39
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
May 25

Announcement in a train when arriving at the airport:

We are arriving at the airport
We will shortly arrive at the airport.
We are about to arrive at the airport.

Which of the above sentences sounds most "native" to you?


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Ian Mansbridge  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:39
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
The second one May 25

Or, as an alternative, "we are now arriving at the airport" or "we will shortly be arriving at the airport".

[Edited at 2017-05-25 07:07 GMT]


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
They all sound native May 25

The first one sounds like you're just pulling into the station.
The second is more what I would expect to hear.
But Ian's second suggestion is best, I think.


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:39
German to English
Maybe use present continuous May 25

Personally, I think I would prefer the present continuous, e.g.

We are now arriving at the airport
This train is now arriving at the airport
This train will shortly be arriving at the airport (this would probably be a minute or two before the actual arrival).

I think the Heathrow Express uses a variant of option 1 above (something like "We are now arriving at Heathrow Terminal X"), but I also think I've heard option 2.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
I would say idiomatic May 25

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Announcement in a train when arriving at the airport:

We are arriving at the airport
We will shortly arrive at the airport.
We are about to arrive at the airport.

Which of the above sentences sounds most "native" to you?


All three are idiomatic English. There are differences in usage depending on a) who's the speaker and b) what's the intent attached to the information of arriving at a particular station. The third one, in particular, would be used by a speaker who's trying to bond with the listener or reader, such as a journalist or a travel guide.

The first sentence is about an imminent event: it is happening now. The second, of course, is not the same because it informs us that the event will happen shortly afterwards, from 1 to 5 minutes (or more).

I'ts not just grammar.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
:-) May 25

Mario Chavez wrote:

I'ts not just grammar.


Lol


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:39
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
None of the above May 25

All three of Heinrich's options are "acceptable," but I don't consider any of them entirely satisfactory (especially "We will shortly arrive at the airport," which I find awkward). I also note that such an announcement would never be generic in nature, and would *always* include the name of the airport in question.

I think the most natural wording in such a scenario would be the following:

We will soon be arriving at [name] Airport.

[Edited at 2017-05-25 15:40 GMT]


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:39
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Arriving at the airport May 25

Taking a break from translating a document from a Mexican lawyer, I figured I'd help rewrite the sentence for clarification:

The individuals authorized by the management committee, where applicable, should in due course, and in the event of failure to arrive at the aforementioned unauthorized time in accordance with section 3.2 herein, shall bring about the condition of section 5.3 herein leading to pecuniary sanctions, when said individuals authorized by the management committee reaches the area for landings and takeoffs, referred to hereinafter and herein as "Aerodrome", shall arrive.


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jiahui_w
United States
Local time: 01:39
Chinese to English
they're all "native" May 25

All three are native in that they are all perfectly grammatical in the Chomskyan sense. I can think of various contexts in which each might be used:

1. We are arriving at the airport
Probably not what a captain would say, but rather what a car driver would say to wake up the passenger in the back, for example.


2. We will shortly arrive at the airport.
This is something the captain of the plane might say upon descent. It also might be what the bus driver might say to a bus full of tourists so they can gather their belongings.

3. We are about to arrive at the airport.
To me, the same as #2, but not as precise; slightly lower register (about to arrive is slightly less formal than shortly arrive)


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MollyRose  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:39
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
To my U.S. ears May 25

We are arriving at the airport. = We can see it! Basically, here we are!

We will shortly arrive at the airport. To be grammatically correct, it should be: We will arrive shortly at the airport, or We will arrive at the airport shortly. (The latter sounds better.) This is to avoid breaking an infinitive [will arrive]. = We will be there in a few minutes (~3-10 minutes)

We are about to arrive at the airport. = We'll be there in ~1-5 minutes.

Notice the difference when the words "are" and "will" are used? One is present and the other is still in the future.


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:39
Member (2012)
French to English
some bizarre posts here, but May 25

Chris S wrote:

The first one sounds like you're just pulling into the station.
The second is more what I would expect to hear.
But Ian's second suggestion is best, I think.


Yep, "we will shortly be arriving at..." is the one, no doubt about it.


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Georgie Scott  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:39
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Split infinitives May 26

MollyRose wrote:
We will shortly arrive at the airport. To be grammatically correct, it should be: We will arrive shortly at the airport, or We will arrive at the airport shortly. (The latter sounds better.) This is to avoid breaking an infinitive [will arrive]. = We will be there in a few minutes (~3-10 minutes)


This is a myth. "We will arrive shortly at the airport," said no-one, ever.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/split-infinitives

On the London overground they say "We will shortly be arriving at..."

(see 2:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-nHvSvZke0)


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polyglot45
English to French
+ ...
and it is not even a split infinitive May 26

"We shall shortly be arriving" is perfect and perfectly correct.
Where do you see an infinitive, let alone a split infinitive, in that sentence?


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Rosalind Haigh
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:39
German to English
+ ...
Trainspeak May 26

On British intercity trains they now announce "We will shortly be arriving into Birmingham New Street" or wherever. Makes me shudder every time.

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MollyRose  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:39
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
split infinitive May 30

Well, maybe it isn´t exactly an infinitive (to arrive), but when you insert "shortly" between "will" and "arrive," it is splitting the verb form.

Anyway, my dad would use that word a lot: We'll be there shortly, or I'll do that shortly. ("I will do that shortly," not "I will shortly do that.") I realize it's different words, but it's the same sentence structure.

We aren't "no-one, ever."


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