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  1. #1
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    Default Quite "to" the contrary??

    Hello, I don't quite understand why the "to" is inserted in this sentence : " The epithet, despite sounding flattering, was quite to the contrary."
    I would have said "...was quite the contrary."
    Please, could someone explain?
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Quite "to" the contrary??

    I think that it works because the verb 'sounds' is not as strong as 'be'. However, you could remove the preposition.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Quite "to" the contrary??

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I think that it works because the verb 'sounds' is not as strong as 'be'. However, you could remove the preposition.

    I don't understand your idea of the sound of a verb.
    Anyway the phrase "quite to the contrary" is wrong to me. I cannot find a reason that justifies the insertion of "to" in that phrase.
    Any ideas people?

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Quite "to" the contrary??

    The original use 'despite sounding', the gerund form of the verb 'sound', which implies having the appearance rather than actually being, which makes it less strong that 'be'.
    The phrase is not wrong- Google records 173,000 examples of it: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...o+the+contrary
    The fact that a word may be unnecessary or not add much doesn't make it incorrect.
    Last edited by Tdol; 08-Jan-2006 at 05:45.

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