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  1. #31
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Why does something have to have a single core meaning?

  2. #32
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Why does something have to have a single core meaning?
    Because "in" is "in" ,and "-ing" is "-ing".

    You wouldn't say like when you see "in -ing" structure in a sentence, you come up with hundreds of usage for "in -ing", apply each of them according to the context, and decide which usage it should be by a process of elimination. That's quite unlikely, I think.

    My hypothesis is, "in -ing" has a core meaning or "image", and the core image is "colored" by its context. As a rusult, it has a specific meaning.

    I just want to know the core image, if there is any.

  3. #33
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    It can also have a meaning simialr to 'by', so I'm not sure that I can say there is a single core meaning to this. I'll have to dwell on it a bit and look at some concordances.

  4. #34
    allei78 Guest

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    hi Tdol

    so we don't have to use "in" just "be careful crossing the street. what about this one "be careful climbing the tree. is it correct? i'm kind of confused.


    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    You could change 'in' to 'when' there without changing the meaning. 'In regard to' would work better, imo, if it came before the factors.
    Are you saying that if it were " However, transportation may be so overcrowded and expensive that,in deciding where to settle, one has to balance these two factors.", then it should be semantically the same as "....,in regard to deciding where to settle, one has to balance these two factors."?

    Why would such difference in your interpretation happen according to the position of the "in"-phrase?

  5. #35
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'd happily say 'be careful climbing the tree'. I don't see that 'in'adds anything there.


    In regard to deciding where to settle, there are various factors....
    There are various factors in regard to deciding where to settle...
    However, transportation may be so overcrowded and expensive that, in regard to deciding where to settle,

    To me it sounds and feels better at the beginning. In the middle it seems a bit unnecessarily bulky and can be shorter and more direct. At the beginning, it can be used to help shape the focus, but once the focus has been shaped, then I would go for the shorter form.

    By the third example, the sentnce is becoming a bit ponderous.

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