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Thread: reach out,

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    #1

    reach out,

    Dear teachers,
    I have four questions to ask:

    No.1
    I get confused by "reach out" and "reach out for".
    Reaching for my bag, she took it down from the rack.
    I think I can use "reach out for", too because there are examples such as:

    He reached out for the dictionary.
    It swung open as he was about to reach out for the handle.

    No.2
    It is possible for the animals to live outdoors most of the year.
    I think I can use "outside" because in the dictionary it reads:
    Since it's such a nice day shall we eat/sit/go outside?

    No.3
    They are usuallyplaces where wildlife are safe from hunters and can live and breed undisturbed by man.
    Can I use "protected" instead of "safe"?

    No.4
    This is an error correction exercise:

    In the 21st century, a computer will play a more and more important role in our eceryday life.
    According to the key "a" should be replaced by "the". Could you please explain why? According to my grammar book"a+noun" can refer to each member of a kind of things or a group of people and "the+noun" refer to all members or things. To me there is no difference in this sentence.
    Could you please explain why "a" should be replaced by "the"?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

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    #2

    Re: reach out,

    My response:

    No. 1 Reach for/Reach out for. Either can be used in your examples. “Reach out for” however, for me is more illustrative and gives me a better mental picture of the action. So, if you think that is necessary use it that way.

    No. 2 My preference and again from my perspective would be to use “outdoors” for a general description of some activity, whereas I would be inclined to use “outside” for some more specific activity. The examples you present are the way I would use the terms.

    No.3 Yes, you can substitute “protected” and depending on the context I think it should be “There are”, not “They are”.

    No. 4 “The” can, in some cases, be used to describe a class/group of entities. For example, “the refrigerator is a common item to be found in the kitchen".

    I hope this helps.

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    #3

    Re: reach out,

    Dear billmcd,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. It helps a lot.
    The problem with the questions is they are from multiple choices for example "reach for" and "reach out for". So of the two I must choose one. That's why I got confused.
    The only thing that is still difficult for me is No.4. May I say "a" can be used to describe a class/group of entities?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    My response:

    No. 1 Reach for/Reach out for. Either can be used in your examples. “Reach out for” however, for me is more illustrative and gives me a better mental picture of the action. So, if you think that is necessary use it that way.

    No. 2 My preference and again from my perspective would be to use “outdoors” for a general description of some activity, whereas I would be inclined to use “outside” for some more specific activity. The examples you present are the way I would use the terms.

    No.3 Yes, you can substitute “protected” and depending on the context I think it should be “There are”, not “They are”.

    No. 4 “The” can, in some cases, be used to describe a class/group of entities. For example, “the refrigerator is a common item to be found in the kitchen".

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by jiang; 17-Mar-2010 at 08:45.

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    #4

    Re: reach out,

    Yes, I should have mentioned that "a" can also refer to a group/class of entities. In fact, in your example (No. 4) I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, either "a" or "the" could be used properly. But to make you more confused, I prefer "the" in your example.

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