Context: Ted is speeding around in his car inside a parking garage where the exits are blocked. There are some bad guys there too, who are shooting at him. Ted is on the phone with his friends, Tom and Mike.

Tom and Mike: Ted, what's happening? What's happening? Are you okay?

All they hear is Ted screaming and shots being fired as he speeds around in the parking garage trying to escape the bad guys.

My question is about the highlighted part. Is the sentence completely natural with the tense used? Or should I go with: ...Ted's screams and gunshots...

1 Answer 1


Yes, it’s absolutely fine. There’s nothing there to indicate that you’re not a native English speaker. I think it’s better than “Ted’s screams and gunshots”, which takes the emphasis away from the action by replacing verbs with nouns.

  • "Ted's screams and gunshots" could suggest that the gunshots are Ted's, i.e. Ted shooting. So it's probably worse.
    – Stuart F
    Aug 31, 2023 at 18:37

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