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Thread: To Mike, tdol.

  1. #1
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default To Mike, tdol.

    My English-Japanese says that there is a difference between how Americans and British interpret this sentence:

    Give my child this toy in case he cries.

    (AE)=Give my child this toy if he cries.
    (BE)=Give my child this toy to prevent him from crying.

    Is this really true?

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    Default Re: To Mike, tdol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    My English-Japanese says that there is a difference between how Americans and British interpret this sentence:

    Give my child this toy in case he cries.

    (AE)=Give my child this toy if he cries.
    (BE)=Give my child this toy to prevent him from crying.

    Is this really true?
    The AE meaning is correct. I don't know about the BE.

    in case

    Also, just in case. If it should happen that. For example, In case he doesn't show up, we have a backup speaker. The variant also is used without a following clause to mean simply “as a precaution,” as in I took an umbrella just in case. [c. 1400]
    in case of; in the event of. If there should happen to be. For example, Here is a number to call in case of an emergency, or In the event of a power failure, we'll have to shift our plans. Similarly, in that case means “if that should happen,” as in You're alone in the store? In that case I'll bring your lunch. The first usage dates from the early 1700s, the second (with event) from about 1600, and the third from the mid-1800s. Also see in any case; in no case; in the case of.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


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    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: To Mike, tdol.

    OK. Thanks, Mike.

    Now, it's British turn, tdol.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    I'd say the allegedly American meaning is how I would understand the sentence, but the second meaning is possible, but far from the default reading for me.

  5. #5
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'd say the allegedly American meaning is how I would understand the sentence, but the second meaning is possible, but far from the default reading for me.;-)
    Then, it's not really a typical British way of interpreting the sentence, as my dictionary says?

  6. #6
    Susie Smith Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'd say the allegedly American meaning is how I would understand the sentence, but the second meaning is possible, but far from the default reading for me.
    Although it can be interpreted that way, in case is not necessarily the same as if.

    Give my child this toy (now) in case he cries (because he might cry later).

    Give my child this toy if he cries. (Wait until he cries; then give it to him.)

    I don't want to leave home this afternoon in case Mom calls.

    I don't want to leave home this afternoon because Mom might call.

  7. #7
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'd say the allegedly American meaning is how I would understand the sentence, but the second meaning is possible, but far from the default reading for me.;-)
    Then, it's not really a typical British way of interpreting the sentence, as my dictionary says?
    tdol?

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    It's possible; it does make sense.

  9. #9
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    It's possible; it does make sense.;-)
    You mean it's a typical Biritish way of understanding the sentence, even though you said it's far from the default reading for you???

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    I'm going to do a straw poll of others and see which would be their default reading, then I'll let you know.

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