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  1. #1
    Daruma is offline Senior Member
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    Default Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.

    Hello

    gulp for air
    Fig. to eagerly or desperately try to get air or a breath.
    - Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.
    - Mary came up out of the water, gulping for air.

    Can I leave out for and for?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.

    No. You need it.

  3. #3
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    anupumh is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.

    Wont the usage of Gasp and "gasping for air" be more appropriate in this sceranio?

    Is gulp not used for voluntary actions and gasp for involuntary and reflex actions?

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.

    Either word could be used, and I have never met the voluntary/involuntary distinction. If you have been under water and need oxygen, you could either gulp or gasp for air on rising to the surface. It will be a natural reaction and involuntary in both cases.

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    Default Re: Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Either word could be used, and I have never met the voluntary/involuntary distinction. If you have been under water and need oxygen, you could either gulp or gasp for air on rising to the surface. It will be a natural reaction and involuntary in both cases.
    Alright, I have read he gulped down the beer, but I dont think we can say He gasped down the beer.
    I dont think the word Gasp has any other usage apart from being breathless and in deperate need of oxygen.
    However gulp is used for talking anything down your throat (and I thought it had to be the food pipe not the wind pipe)

  6. #6
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.

    Since the oesophagus and the trachea share the same inlet, you can gulp both drink and air. I agree that you will generally only swallow drink in this way voluntarily.

    You can gasp with surprise and gasp at the horror of something, both indicating extreme response.

  7. #7
    Daruma is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.

    Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
    gulp
    to take (air) into your lungs quickly
    [+ obj] ▪ The exhausted racers lay on the ground, gulping air.
    [no obj] ▪ The exhausted racers were gulping for air.

    Although gulping for air is grammatically correct, is gulping air incorrect?

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    Default Re: Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello

    gulp for air
    Fig. to eagerly or desperately try to get air or a breath.
    - Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.
    - Mary came up out of the water, gulping for air.

    Can I leave out for and for?

    Thank you.
    To maintain the proper meaning, you have to use "for". It would be correct in a grammatical or structural way, but it would be funny. We can't gulp air, but we can gulp for air.

    I would've said "gasping for breath" instead of "gulping for air".

    You can gulp a liquid. Don't gulp. Drinkly slowly.

    We use the phrase "gulp down". Don't gulp it down. Take your time.

    She was so thirsty after running in this heat that she gulped down half a gallon of water.
    Last edited by PROESL; 28-Aug-2009 at 02:33.

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    Default Re: Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
    gulp
    to take (air) into your lungs quickly
    [+ obj] ▪ The exhausted racers lay on the ground, gulping air.
    [no obj] ▪ The exhausted racers were gulping for air.

    Although gulping for air is grammatically correct, is gulping air incorrect?
    The phrase "gulping air" sounds funny to me. I don't imagine one can gulp air in the same way one can gulp water, no.

    It's not grammatically incorrect. It would be, however, I would say, a lexical error - an error in vocabulary rather than grammar.

    gulp water - okay

    gulp for air - okay

    gulp air - I don't think so.

    I might just use the phrase "out of breath" in place of "gulping for air".
    Last edited by PROESL; 28-Aug-2009 at 02:37. Reason: typos

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    Smile Re: Tom gulped for air after trying to hold his breath for three minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Alright, I have read he gulped down the beer, but I dont think we can say He gasped down the beer.
    It might work if you use a funnel and just pour in a little beer at a time.

    Gasp that beer!

    Where's the funnel?
    Last edited by PROESL; 28-Aug-2009 at 02:35.

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