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Thread: fail

  1. #1
    English4everyone is offline Member
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    Default fail

    As far as I know, we don't use any prepositions for "fail", for example: He failed his final exam. But I saw some sentences with "in", for example: But his brother failed in mathematics.
    I want to know "fail" and "fail in" are completely the same and always interchangeable?

  2. #2
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: fail

    Quote Originally Posted by English4everyone View Post
    As far as I know, we don't use any prepositions for "fail", for example: He failed his final exam. But I saw some sentences with "in", for example: But his brother failed in mathematics.
    I want to know "fail" and "fail in" are completely the same and always interchangeable?
    No, they are not always interchangeable.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: fail

    We wouldn't use "He failed in mathematics". We might use:

    He failed maths.
    He failed his maths exam.

    At a push, you might hear "He failed at maths".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. #4
    English4everyone is offline Member
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    Default Re: fail

    So you mean "fail" is never used with "in"? If there are any examples, could you give me?
    Or maybe it's another difference between British and American English.

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: fail

    Quote Originally Posted by English4everyone View Post
    So you mean "fail" is never used with "in"? ...
    Nobody said that.

    b

  6. #6
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    Default Re: fail

    Quote Originally Posted by English4everyone View Post
    So you mean "fail" is never used with "in"? If there are any examples, could you give me?
    Or maybe it's another difference between British and American English.
    I didn't say it's never used with "in". I simply gave you the natural BrE version of your specific sentence. "Fail" can certainly be used with "in":

    He failed in his attempt to swim across the English Channel.
    They failed in their attempts to drive me out of the company.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
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    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: fail

    NOT A TEACHER

    Quote Originally Posted by English4everyone View Post
    But his brother failed in mathematics.
    This to me means that his brother failed as a mathematician. It doesn't mean that he flunked math.

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