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so quick bringing ... and laying

English translation: They brought a big table and laid it so quickly that I didn’t even have time to wonder.

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12:34 Oct 31, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: so quick bringing ... and laying
Soon two servants appeared as if from nowhere. They were so quick bringing a big table and laying it that I didn’t even have time to wonder.

Dear native English speakers!
Please advise on the structure - is it okay or should I change it somehow? There's something in the phrase I don't really like, but I'm no NES, so I might be wrong. Would 'quick AT bringing and laying' or 'quick ABOUT bringing and laying' be better, maybe?
Andrew Vdovin
Local time: 10:39
English translation:They brought a big table and laid it so quickly that I didn’t even have time to wonder.
Explanation:
Just a suggestion.
Selected response from:

Yavor Dimitrov
Bulgaria
Local time: 05:39
Grading comment
Thank you for your help! Thanks everybody!!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2Before I knew it, they had brought in and set a big table.Robert Forstag
5 +1so quick in bringing in a big table and laying it or so quick to bring in and layJane Lamb-Ruiz
4 +2Before I even had time to wonder, they had brought (in) and set / laid a big / huge table.
Nick Lingris
4So quick were they to bring that enormous table and lay out the ....that I scarcely had time to wond
Elizabeth Lyons
4so quick in bringing ....
Britaly
2 +2They brought a big table and laid it so quickly that I didn’t even have time to wonder.
Yavor Dimitrov


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +2
They brought a big table and laid it so quickly that I didn’t even have time to wonder.


Explanation:
Just a suggestion.

Yavor Dimitrov
Bulgaria
Local time: 05:39
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in BulgarianBulgarian
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you for your help! Thanks everybody!!!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Armorel Young: That has a really nice rhythm to it.
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Armorel.

agree  Camelia Frunză
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Camelia.
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21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Before I even had time to wonder, they had brought (in) and set / laid a big / huge table.


Explanation:
:-}

Nick Lingris
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:39
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GreekGreek
PRO pts in category: 44

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Cristina Chaplin
4 mins
  -> Thank you, awana.

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
6 mins
  -> Thanks, Vicky.

agree  Bianca AH
44 mins
  -> Hi, Bianca. Thanks!

disagree  Jane Lamb-Ruiz: no this is a complete rewrite which is not necessary...to or in will do it
5 hrs
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28 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
so quick in bringing ....


Explanation:
I think the phrase sounds fine if the narrator is either a NES or if the story is fairly historic. You do need the "in" though to link the adverb correctly to the verb :)

Britaly
Local time: 04:39
Native speaker of: English
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57 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Before I knew it, they had brought in and set a big table.


Explanation:
I think that this pluperfect structure works better, in that it more powerfully and concisely conveys the idea that you had no idea what was going on until the action was already accomplished. I prefer "Before I knew it..." to "before I had time to wonder" here. "Lay a table" seems to be restricted to British English so, depending upon your audience, you may want to switch to "set", which is used on both sides of the pond.

Good luck.

Robert Forstag
United States
Local time: 22:39
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 64

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Nick Lingris: I, too, like "Before I knew it", but it is a reference to what follows, not to what came before (the servants appearing as if from nowhere).
14 mins
  -> It doesn't really matter. In both the original sentence and my revision, the action is taking place while the man is present, and it is accomplished before he realizes what has happened.

agree  transparx: i see no problem with respect to time relationships here, and i think the simple past could also be used, in fact, given that "before" is present (brought instead of had brought --but i do like "had brought" better). i also prefer "set."
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Nino.

agree  Freimanis
4 hrs
  -> Thank you!
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
So quick were they to bring that enormous table and lay out the ....that I scarcely had time to wond


Explanation:
It depends upon who your audience is: adults? children? adolescents?. For younger ones, the more imagination-provoking (vivid) the better. The more surprising for adolesents the better.
"Enormous..." is a colorful word that immediately evokes an image that contradicts the quickness with which they moved, emphasizing their agility and the element of surprise even more.

If you are speaking of putting plates, napkins and silverware on the table, I would say it as above:

"So quick were they to bring that enormous table and lay out (the knives and forks and dishes etc.), that I scarcely had time to wonder."

But, if you are referring to the food, I might say instead:

"So quick were they to bring that enormous table and spread out our fare (food) that I scarcely had time to wonder".

These are more poetic than the words I would choose were this ordinary prose or conversation, naturally. Especially appropriate if this is for children and adolescents from 7 through 16.

HTH : )

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Note added at 4 hrs 28 mins (2005-10-31 17:03:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Correx: adolesCents. (second line above.

The mind is nimbler than the hand ; ))

Elizabeth Lyons
United States
Local time: 19:39
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 24
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
so quick in bringing in a big table and laying it or so quick to bring in and lay


Explanation:
almost OK...just a little nudge...no need to restructure...

I am natively sure of this... haha


Soon two servants appeared as if from nowhere. They were so quick bringing a big table and laying it that I didn’t even have time to wonder.



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Note added at 6 hrs 21 mins (2005-10-31 18:55:04 GMT)
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1) They were so quick to bring in a big table and lay it that I didn’t even have time to wonder.
OR
2) They were so quick in bringing in a big table and laying it that I didn’t even have time to wonder.


BOth are correct. Number 1) is more elegant

No rewrite is necessary.




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Note added at 6 hrs 21 mins (2005-10-31 18:55:48 GMT)
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why quick at is wrong: if you are quick at something, it suggests In General..

HEre: quick To

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Note added at 6 hrs 22 mins (2005-10-31 18:56:49 GMT)
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For example: I am quick at word games (a general statement)

I was quick to answer....(your meaning)

to be quick to do something....is the expression

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Note added at 6 hrs 24 mins (2005-10-31 18:58:04 GMT)
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Yes quick about something...also works...but I still think Quick to is best here...

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Note added at 11 hrs 3 mins (2005-10-31 23:37:35 GMT)
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You can Lay A Table or Set A Table in English; both are correct

Jane Lamb-Ruiz
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nick Lingris: I like it. But I also like mine.
15 mins
  -> That's an honest answer. But yours and several others are rewrites. Mine is not. :)
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Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
PRO (3): Robert Forstag, Elizabeth Lyons, Jane Lamb-Ruiz


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Changes made by editors
Oct 31, 2005 - Changes made by Jane Lamb-Ruiz:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO


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