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  1. #1
    cubezero3's Avatar
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    Default Can I say He is pig?

    Hello, there.

    I know people can say He is a pig. But can people say He is pig, to express that he is deemed as equal to this kind of animal?

    Many thanks

    Richard

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Can I say He is pig?

    I would always use the indefinite article. He is pig does not mean He is equal to a pig to me; you could try something like He's on the level of a pig, but it seems unnecessary to me.

  3. #3
    JMurray is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Can I say He is pig?

    To say "he's piggish" means he's crude, ill mannered, greedy etc. And so is synonymous with "he's a pig".

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Can I say He is pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    Hello, there.

    I know people can say He is a pig. But can people say He is pig, to express that he is deemed as equal to this kind of animal?

    Many thanks

    Richard

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) If you are talking directly to him, you could yell:

    You pig!!!

    (2) Of course, it would not be a good idea to say that to

    anyone -- unless he is a really close friend and he knows that

    you are just kidding. (Of course, you would never say that

    to a young lady!!!)

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Can I say He is pig?

    In some areas of the UK there's Pig off!, with a meaning like Get lost.

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I say He is pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    Hello, there.

    I know people can say He is a pig. But can people say He is pig, to express that he is deemed as equal to this kind of animal?

    Many thanks

    Richard
    You can say, "He is a pig", but you might not be understood. There is no absolutely clear meaning of what a pig-type person is in English.

    If a woman says it about a man, she generally means he's rude and ungentlemanly.
    In some cases, it means that a person is messy and untidy, and says nothing about they treat other people.
    A "pig" can be someone who eats to much, or is fat.
    Police are sometimes called "pigs".

    What does "pig" mean to you when used for a person?

  7. #7
    Soup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I say He is pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    Hello, there.

    I know people can say He is a pig. But can people say He is pig, to express that he is deemed as equal to this kind of animal?

    Many thanks

    Richard
    My Chinese-speaking colleagues use the noun pig in that context to mean born in the year of the pig (e.g., I'm Pig). English speakers use the zero article in that context too, for example, I'm Leo (meaning, my zodiac sign is Leo). So I see no reason why I'm Pig should be deemed ungrammatical. However, native speakers will find it odd because pig is not an expected zero-article noun.

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I say He is pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    My Chinese-speaking colleagues use the noun pig in that context to mean born in the year of the pig (e.g., I'm Pig). English speakers use the zero article in that context too, for example, I'm Leo (meaning, my zodiac sign is Leo). So I see no reason why I'm Pig should be deemed ungrammatical. However, native speakers will find it odd because pig is not an expected zero-article noun.
    So, most of us native speakers having no knowledge of Chinese, 'I'm Pig' is unacceptable in standard English except in the very limited context of our discussing our birth year, Chinese-style.

    Fjj (I'm dog).

  9. #9
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I say He is pig?

    But I wouldn't say "I'm Gemini." I'd say "I'm a Gemini." I don't see this as a good parallel at all!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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