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I am confused as to what should be the correct word order in this sentence. Originally, I wrote it as follows:

I had food at charity dinner in San Jose temple with my friend John last week.

But, then, I thought it looks jumbled up. I rearranged to

I had food at charity dinner in San Jose temple last week, with my friend John.

Which one is correct? If both are wrong, could you suggest a better way to write it?

Many thanks.

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    But we (probably) wouldn't say "had food" as that is not the typical way of saying you had dinner with someone. We would say "had food" if we were focusing on the act of eating itself, for example, when trying to remember what we had eaten that might have made us ill. I did have food at the airport between flights; or when responding to an anesthetist before a procedure, when asked "Have you had food in the last twelve hours?" More idiomatic for a social engagement would be "My friend John and I attended a charity dinner at the San Jose temple last week." You could say "We had some food". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 21 '15 at 20:31
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First, you're missing your articles for "dinner" and "San Jose temple". Also, it should be "at" instead of "in". Events are held at places, generally (unless the speaker wants to specify that it was inside of the place, but then they would probably use "inside of"). It should be something like:

I had food at the charity dinner at the San Jose temple with my friend John last week.

In regards to the modified part, they are both correct. I think the first is easier to say, but the second one is fine, too. If this is in a more formal document, it might be better to write as two sentences.

I had food at the charity dinner at the San Jose temple last week. I ate with my friend John.


Note that if you wanted to say you had dinner in San Jose, you would use "in". One has dinner "in" a region (neighborhood, city, state, etc.), but "at" a place (restaurant, hotel, home, etc.).

  • Thanks so much. One question, though: Is the second sentence I wrote in the OP correctly punctuated? – axomna Jun 21 '15 at 5:32
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    Yes, though the punctuation is optional. I think it makes more sense to not include the comma, though. – dantiston Jun 21 '15 at 5:50

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