For example,

"Because the parents didn't have spend money on a lot of children, the parents could spend more on fewer children."

I think the ideal sentence should be:

"Since the parents decided not to raise many children, they could spend more on the few children they had."

I don't think this sentence is perfect. If you can make a better, please tell me.
But, how do you know if a sentence is bad? I can still understand what the first sentence is trying to say. Is it because it is too ambiguous? Most people would say the first sentence is weird, but what exactly is weird?

  • The first sentence has bad syntax. – Hot Licks Jan 3 at 1:21
  • I suppose that each speaker, in any language, will have to consider his personal taste when making these choices. I would say that because they had only a few children they could spend more money on each one. This seems less cluttered and has only two quantity words, making the two alternatives clearer. But as I say, I think taste is the main arbiter here. – Chaim Jan 3 at 5:35
  • Your sentence is totally grammatical, flows well (is stylishly satisfying and idiomatic), and makes sense. However, you've adjusted the meaning of the original. The first sentence covers cases where say the two eldest children have left home, where the parents couldn't have more than two children .... – Edwin Ashworth Jan 3 at 15:59
  • wait what are you saying? Does my sentence imply that children left? – Wise sequoia Jan 4 at 0:15

There's no such thing as an "ideal" sentence.

The first sentence is not correct, it contains grammatical errors "didn't have spend" is not correct, it should perhaps be "didn't have to spend"

Good English is a matter of rhetoric, and that is a big topic. Books have been written on rhetoric. But ultimately a good sentence is one that gets the job done. Sometimes the job is to inform, sometimes the job is to sing. Sometimes you want to convince, sometimes you want to confuse. Your sentence may be intended to start a fight or start a romance.

In your example, even if we fix the grammar error the sentence is repetitious, and unclear: not good in a sentence that is intended to inform and perhaps convince.

There are tricks in English rhetoric, such as "end weight" (longer phrases at the end of sentences) But much is common across languages. So, how do you decide what is a good sentence in your language. English speakers are doing the same.

  • do you know any good rhetoric books? – Wise sequoia Jan 4 at 0:15

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