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Thread: articles

  1. #1
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    articles

    She made up the whole story from beginning to end.

    Why is there no article in front of the "beginning" and "end"? Could I say the sentance also with some articles (either definite or indefinite) in front of these words?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: articles

    It's a common phrase, you could put definite articles in, but it just wouldn't sound very natural. Indefinite articles wouldn't work there as it's a know story with only one beginning and end.

  3. #3
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: articles

    What about these two sentences?

    1. I read the book from beginning to end.
    2. They went on holiday to the seaside for a week. It rained from beginning of the week to the end.

    Why is there no need to use any articles in the first sentence; on the contrary, the definite articles are used?
    How can I recognise whether it is or is not considered a phrase?

  4. #4
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: articles

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    What about these two sentences?

    1. I read the book from beginning to end.

    You could,Lenka, but as Tdol says, it's an idiomatic phrase. If you really wanted to emphasize, you could say,

    I read the book from the very beginning to the very end.


    2. They went on holiday to the seaside for a week. It rained from the beginning of the week to the end.


    Why is there no need to use any articles in the first sentence; on the contrary, the definite articles are used?

    Because it's an idomatic phrase.

    How can I recognise whether it is or is not considered a phrase?
    Ya can't, Lenka except to become more fluent in English. For this one at least, now you know.

  5. #5
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    Re: articles

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    How can I recognise whether it is or is not considered a phrase?
    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Ya can't, Lenka except to become more fluent in English. For this one at least, now you know.
    Lenka!

    There are dictionaries that include lots of phrases, sayings etc. I have two of them: Oxford and Webster. Both are very useful, and I can find "from beginning to end" in the former, however, they may not include all the phrases used in English.
    You can also try online dictionaries, for example, Merriam-Webster Online but the said phrase is excluded.
    Last edited by retro; 13-Dec-2006 at 02:50.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: articles

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    How can I recognise whether it is or is not considered a phrase?
    Search for the exact words in Google, using speech marks "", or try [DAVIES] Variation in English Words and Phrases (VIEW)

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    Re: articles

    Hi, Lenka,
    There are quite a few collocations with from ...to that have no article, eg from north to south; can't remember others...

    Rgs

  8. #8
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: articles

    Thank you very much for your replies! However, I don't think you didn't understand my question... Actually, I wanted you to explain how could I recognise whether I should use the phrase with ot without the articles...
    If "from beginning to end" is a phrase, why is it used with the articles in the second sentence, then? Could I say the second sentence only with "from beginning to end"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post

    1. I read the book from beginning to end.
    2. They went on holiday to the seaside for a week. It rained from beginning of the week to the end.

  9. #9
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    Re: articles

    1. I read the book from beginning to end.
    2. They went on holiday to the seaside for a week. It rained from the beginning of the week to the end.
    The many 'from N to N' idioms ('from beginning to end, 'from start to finish', 'from north to south', 'from top to bottom'. 'from stem to stern' etc etc) work only if no other noun phrase intervenes:

    all week long, from beginning to end
    or
    from the beginning of the week to the end
    But NOT


    from beginning of the week to end

    Once you've started a 'from N to N' idiom, you have to the end - from start to finish

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 13-Dec-2006 at 16:50. Reason: tidy up format

  10. #10
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Re: articles

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    The many 'from N to N' idioms ('from beginning to end, 'from start to finish', 'from north to south', 'from top to bottom'. 'from stem to stern' etc etc) work only if no other noun phrase intervenes:

    all week long, from beginning to end

    or

    from the beginning of the week to the end
    But NOT


    from beginning of the week to end

    Once you've started a 'from N to N' idiom, you have to the end - from start to finish

    b
    Aha!! So if I say "They went on holiday for a week. It rained from beginning to end.", is it correct?

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