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    clothes or clothing

    What is wrong with this sentence?
    She asked me not to take off my wet clothes (clothing?) on (in?) the staircase to (and?) dry them.
    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Re: clothes or clothing

    Quote Originally Posted by ndexter View Post
    What is wrong with this sentence?
    She asked me not to take off my wet clothes (clothing?) on (in?) the staircase to (and?) dry them.
    Thank you
    "Clothing" is the general term for anything you can wear, so in your sentence I would use "clothes" as it refers specifically to the clothes you were wearing.

    She asked me not to take off my wet clothes on the staircase ....

    I am a little confused by the end of your sentence. How does taking your clothes off on the staircase help to dry them? Did the person actually ask you two things:

    1) Not to take off your wet clothes on the staircase; and
    2) To dry them

    If this is not clear, what I mean is, did "she" say:

    1) Please don't take your wet clothes off on the staircase to dry them.
    or
    2) Please don't take your wet clothes off on the staircase, and please dry them.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 02-Aug-2010 at 00:22. Reason: Typo

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    Re: clothes or clothing

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    She asked me not to take off my wet clothes (clothing?) on the staircase to dry them. Either clothes or clothing.

    She asked me not to take off my wet clothes (clothing?) in the staircase and dry them.

    The uses of "in" or "on" depends on what is common in your area. Either one is acceptable to me. If one is going to take off clothing to dry them and dry them is about the same thing. There is a slight difference in meaning here - to dry is to plan to dry, and dry seems to be more of a completed action.
    The underlined part of your reply interests me. I wonder if this is another AmE vs BrE difference. I have never heard "in the staircase". "In the stairwell" - yes. But "on the stairs", "on the staircase", "on the stairway".

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