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Thread: free and freely

  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default free and freely

    Dear teachers,

    This is a sentence in my textbook:
    After that her mind wandered free through time.

    I found the uses of 'free' and 'freely' as adverbs diffficult to distinguish.
    According to Longman dictionary:

    A. free: adv. not fixed or held in a particular place or position.
    The ropes are now hanging free.
    A gold chain swung free around his neck.

    B. freely: adv. without anyone stopping or limiting sth.
    the country's first freely elected president
    EU members are allowed to travel freely between member states.

    My questions are:
    No.1
    Both 'free' and 'freely' can be used as adverb. So could you please explain whether I can replace 'free' with 'freely'?
    No.2
    Could you please explain if I can regard 'free' as an adjective and 'hang' and 'swing' as link verb in the above examples?
    No.3
    Could you please explain how I can decide when to use 'free' and 'freely' as far as this meaning is concerned?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: free and freely

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    This is a sentence in my textbook:
    After that her mind wandered free through time.

    I found the uses of 'free' and 'freely' as adverbs diffficult to distinguish.
    According to Longman dictionary:

    A. free: adv. not fixed or held in a particular place or position.
    The ropes are now hanging free.
    A gold chain swung free around his neck.

    B. freely: adv. without anyone stopping or limiting sth.
    the country's first freely elected president
    EU members are allowed to travel freely between member states.

    My questions are:
    No.1
    Both 'free' and 'freely' can be used as adverb. So could you please explain whether I can replace 'free' with 'freely'?
    No.2
    Could you please explain if I can regard 'free' as an adjective and 'hang' and 'swing' as link verb in the above examples?
    No.3
    Could you please explain how I can decide when to use 'free' and 'freely' as far as this meaning is concerned?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang
    "Freely" usually involves will. "Free" usually means "unrestrained". For inanimate objects, "free" is the best choice.

    In some cases, there is overlap.

    The sheep wandered free. (no fence or restraint)
    The sheep wandered freely. (went wherever they wanted)

    In this case, they can have the same meaning. However, the sheep in the second case could also be in a fenced-in area.

  3. #3
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: free and freely

    &
    Dear Mike,
    I understand the explanations of the two words but I feel confused by your explanation to the second example.

    The sheep wandered free. (no fence or restraint)
    The sheep wandered freely. (went wherever they wanted)

    In this case, they can have the same meaning. However, the sheep in the second case could also be in a fenced-in area.

    I might misunderstand your examples. I interpret Example 2 as they are in a fenced-in area in contrast with the first (no fence or restraint. Could you please kindly explain that?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    "Freely" usually involves will. "Free" usually means "unrestrained". For inanimate objects, "free" is the best choice.

    In some cases, there is overlap.

    The sheep wandered free. (no fence or restraint)
    The sheep wandered freely. (went wherever they wanted)

    In this case, they can have the same meaning. However, the sheep in the second case could also be in a fenced-in area.

  4. #4
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: free and freely

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    &
    Dear Mike,
    I understand the explanations of the two words but I feel confused by your explanation to the second example.

    The sheep wandered free. (no fence or restraint)
    The sheep wandered freely. (went wherever they wanted)

    In this case, they can have the same meaning. However, the sheep in the second case could also be in a fenced-in area.

    I might misunderstand your examples. I interpret Example 2 as they are in a fenced-in area in contrast with the first (no fence or restraint. Could you please kindly explain that?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    In example 2, they could or could not be surrounded by a fence. That is because they can move wherever they wish inside a compound or if there is no compound. However, there can't be a fence in #1. That is the contrast and the overlap I wanted to convey.

  5. #5
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: free and freely


    Dear Mike,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Have a nice day.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    In example 2, they could or could not be surrounded by a fence. That is because they can move wherever they wish inside a compound or if there is no compound. However, there can't be a fence in #1. That is the contrast and the overlap I wanted to convey.

  6. #6
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: free and freely

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post

    Dear Mike,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Have a nice day.

    Jiang
    You're welcome.

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