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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    We will lack nothing/ lack for nothing.

    I've come across both 'We will lack nothing' and 'We will lack for nothing'. Do both sentences mean the same thing, please?

  2. #2
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: We will lack nothing/ lack for nothing.

    Personally, I find the one with "for" sounds more natural. I won't be surprised to find others say the first sounds more natural to them.
    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.

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: We will lack nothing/ lack for nothing.

    Me, for one. 'Lack nothing' shows up pretty rarely in BNC (twice), but 'lack for nothing' doesn't show up at all.

    In COCA the preference seems to be in the same direction, but the numbers are 7/4 - pretty close, which confirms Barb's expectation. The phrase '... for nothing' seems to me to collocate more comfortably with 'want'. COCA has 18 cases of 'want for nothing'.

    Going back to BNC, here are the results for '<any verb> for nothing':

    1 COUNT FOR NOTHING 25
    2 COUNTED FOR NOTHING 14
    3 WORK FOR NOTHING 11
    4 BEEN FOR NOTHING 10
    5 WANTED FOR NOTHING 9
    6 COUNTS FOR NOTHING 7
    7 WANT FOR NOTHING 7
    8 WORKING FOR NOTHING 6
    9 WANTS FOR NOTHING 5
    10 SETTLE FOR NOTHING 5
    ... [etc etc - over 200 in all]
    Various forms of the verb 'want' (5, 7, and 9) make it the 2nd most common verb, after 'count', to precede 'for nothing'.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 20-May-2013 at 15:35. Reason: Added note in BNC quote

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