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  1. #1
    Will17 is offline Senior Member
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    Cool reply to the question I asked

    Hello!

    Can we say: He replied rather drily to the question I asked.


    Thank you
    Will

  2. #2
    Will17 is offline Senior Member
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    Cool Re: reply to the question I asked

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    Yes, that is fine. I would like to point out that the way you presented the question is incorrect. "Can we say", indicates whether or not we have the ability to say. It would be better if you started with, "Is it correct to say?"
    Understood.

    Thank you
    Will

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: reply to the question I asked

    "Drily" (or dryly) is an uncommon word. I had to look it up to see if it even existed as an adverb.

  4. #4
    Will17 is offline Senior Member
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    Cool Re: reply to the question I asked

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "Drily" (or dryly) is an uncommon word. I had to look it up to see if it even existed as an adverb.
    I actually didn't know it either before trying to find the right translation for "sèchement"....

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: reply to the question I asked

    Quote Originally Posted by Will17 View Post
    I actually didn't know it either before trying to find the right translation for "sèchement"....
    "Drily" is the correct translation for "sèchement". It's common enough in BrE.

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: reply to the question I asked

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "Drily" is the correct translation for "sèchement". It's common enough in BrE.
    It's quite common here too.
    "Please hand me a beer," he said drily.

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: reply to the question I asked

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    I would like to point out that the way you presented the question is incorrect. "Can we say", indicates whether or not we have the ability to say. It would be better if you started with, "Is it correct to say?"
    I do not agree that 'Can we say' is incorrect these days. It is now common - and acceptable, in my opinion.

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: reply to the question I asked

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    Well... we all have opinions, don't we.
    True.

    As someone educated in the 1950s, I still use "May I...?" when most native speakers use "Can I ...?" for "Have I your permission to ...?" / "Is it OK if I ...?".

    In modern English, as most grammarians now agree, "Can I ...?" can mean "Have I your permission to ...?" / "Is it OK if I ...?". It can also mean "Is it possible to ...?"

    Even when I was at school, the old:

    Pupil: Please, sir. Can I go to the toilet?
    Teacher: yes, you can, but you may not.

    was regarded as outdatedly prescriptive.

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