Will all the three sentences express this idea naturally?

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Section two roughly symmetrical pieces of your hair at the front. (Used by an American on a website.)


Take two sections of your hair at the front.

Do all of these sentences sound natural and likely to you????

And what about:

Take a small section of hair in the front.

Here are a few links: https://www.instructables.com/id/Two-Small-Braids/




So do those three sentences sound equally likely?

  • I might just call them lengths, but hanks, strands and locks would also be quite common (and more specific to "hair"). May 27 '19 at 15:32
  • I think section here is fine. Divide something into sections. English would allow for that. It's not academic writing...Merriam Webster: to cut or separate into sections.
    – Lambie
    May 29 '19 at 15:55

I don't think "section" as a verb is unnatural in this context. I've certainly heard it in hair tutorials on youtube by plenty of different native speakers. Though I have heard it by itself, "section off" sounds more natural to my ear.

"Section off two equal pieces of hair at the forehead/behind the ear/at the crown of the head."

That said, I think "section" is much more common as a noun in this context (ex: "Separate/divide your hair into three equal sections, and bring the first section over the second") so using it as a verb as well might sound a little strange because it's duplicative.

David Siegel's first three examples sound natural to me; the fourth one ("take a set of hair") sounds really off.

  • So is the use of "pieces" natural according to you? Does it sound like a single "cut off" hair strand? May 29 '19 at 15:25
  • And what do you think about :"Take two sections of hair in the front." May 29 '19 at 15:27
  • Pieces is natural in the context. I wouldn't necessarily use it to describe someone else's completed hairdo, but in instructions for creating a hairstyle, it's perfectly fine.
    – Katy
    May 29 '19 at 15:27
  • I would say "take two sections of hair in front" is fluent enough, but not helpful as an initial instruction. I might expect it after a first instruction that says something like "Divide the hair into six sections, three on each side of the center part. Take the two sections of hair in front and..."
    – Katy
    May 29 '19 at 15:30
  • Does "pieces" sound like a "cut off" hair strand or just a small portion of hair ? And what sounds most likely to you "portion, "section" or "pieces"? May 29 '19 at 15:33

The first two sound very unnatural. I would not use the word "section" as a verb in this context.

I would say things such as:

  • Part the hair in the center.
  • Divide the hair into two sections.
  • Separate the hair into two sections (or parts).
  • Take a set of hair on one side, and ...
  • Some people say: How to section you hair? Does taht sound unnatural as well? And does the "third sentence" sound "natural"? May 27 '19 at 16:19
  • @It To me "How to section you hair? " does sound unnatural. When I hear "section" as a verb, i think "cut up" as in an autopsy or cutting an object apart. The 3rd sentence seems more natural to me, but I would prefer one of my examples. Mind you, the first two are not ungrammatical. May 27 '19 at 16:24
  • And what about: Take a small piece of hair. May 27 '19 at 19:09
  • @It's about English To me, "a small piece of hair" would suggest a strand cut off. May 27 '19 at 19:44
  • And do you think that there might be natives that use the verb form of "section "? May 27 '19 at 21:58

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