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  1. #1
    azzobrother is offline Newbie
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    Use of the preposition 'at'

    I came across the following sentence:

    "he asked me questions without any pretense at politeness."

    Would it be wrong to use 'of' in place of 'at'?

    Thank you for your help,

    A

  2. #2
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Use of the preposition 'at'

    Personally, I would use "of".

    For info, I don't know if this a BrE versus AmE spelling difference, but in BrE it's "pretence", not "pretense".

  3. #3
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    nyota is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Use of the preposition 'at'

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    For info, I don't know if this a BrE versus AmE spelling difference, but in BrE it's "pretence", not "pretense".
    Yes, it is - Longman:
    pretence BrE
    pretense AmE

    BrE takes 's' where AmE has 'z' in words such as organise vs. organize. Because of this s-preference, I used to think license must be British, too, but of course it's not. In pairs like licence vs. license BrE goes for 'c'.

  4. #4
    azzobrother is offline Newbie
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    Re: Use of the preposition 'at'

    Thanks for clearing up the confusion on the proper spelling. But can somebody explain why 'at' was used and not 'of'?

    Thank you,
    A

  5. #5
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Re: Use of the preposition 'at'

    Quote Originally Posted by azzobrother View Post
    But can somebody explain why 'at' was used and not 'of'?

    Thank you,
    A
    Probably because, like me, he thought at sounded perfectly correct in that collocation.

    Emsr2d2 didn't say it was wrong. It isn't, and I prefer it.

    Rover

  6. #6
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    Re: Use of the preposition 'at'

    I think I use both.

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