My teachers said that the following sentences are awkward. Can anyone point out the problems with them? Thanks.

I did not like her to put makeup on her face, let alone to waste time on it. In my eyes, she looked pretty. There was no reason for her to paint chemicals on her face.

  • 3
    I'd suggest something like "I didn't like her to wear makeup. I thought it was a waste of time. To me, she looked pretty [or beautiful] without makeup, and I saw no reason for her to paint her face [with chemicals]."
    – tautophile
    May 10, 2018 at 21:27
  • 1
    Only the last sentence seems awkward to me. It's uncommon to say "paint [a substance] on." May 10, 2018 at 21:33
  • Painting chemicals on her face is to exaggerate my opinion on putting makeup. I think makeup are chemicals that can damage skins in long run. If that is too awkward, I would remove it.
    – learning
    May 10, 2018 at 21:36
  • "face painting" has connotations of Halloween makeup. Something that you did not intend but it reads well as an exaggeration of just makeup. May 10, 2018 at 22:44
  • I recommend that you ask your teachers what in particular they thought was awkward about the quoted sentences.
    – Sven Yargs
    May 11, 2018 at 0:20

2 Answers 2


I would write this:

"I hated it when she put on makeup. In my eyes, she was beautiful. There was no need for her to paint her face with chemicals."

I would avoid using the word "pretty" in a situation like this - It connotes something shallow. Unless that is what you are looking for, but judging by what you are writing, I don't think it is.


I see a few problems:

  1. The way the first & third sentences are phrased, it sounds like the speaker is objecting specifically to the act of applying makeup. But the overall context shows this isn't true, the speaker's objection is to her wearing makeup. So make that the focus. By doing so you can trim out some extra words that make it clunky to read.

  2. The use of the phrase "let alone" is off the mark. Normally this phrase connects a lesser/greater relationship. Something like, "I didn't even want to watch the baseball game, let alone spend the money on front-row tickets to be there in person." But the situations it connects here don't have that lesser/greater relationship, they're just two aspects of the same thing: the act of putting on makeup.

  3. The middle sentence -- a simple declaration that she was pretty -- doesn't connect well with the first. It would flow more if you used the word "already," or the phrase "without it [the makeup]."

Correct these issues and you could have, for example,

"I did not like her wearing makeup. It was a waste of time to even put it on, because in my eyes she already looked pretty. Having chemicals on her face didn't serve any purpose."

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