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  1. #1
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    Default Should it be in or at the year, on or in a chair

    I happened to see this exercise and tried doing it. When comparing with the key answers, I couldn't make out some. Would you kindly explain them for me?
    The task is to choose the best prepositions. The ones in red are keys while the underlined are my answers
    1. Water was streaming ... the roof. (in, out of, from, off)
    2.
    He put the book ... the take and sat down ... a chair. (on-in, on-with, on-on, on-into)
    3.
    She sacrifices her life ... her family (With, for, into, to)
    4.
    I began to work here ... January ...the year 1980. (on-in, at-in, in-at, in-in)

    Thank you very much

  2. #2
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Should it be in or at the year, on or in a chair

    Quote Originally Posted by linhtho0211 View Post
    I happened to see this exercise and tried doing it. When comparing with the key answers, I couldn't make out some. Would you kindly explain them for me?
    The task is to choose the best prepositions. The ones in red are keys while the underlined are my answers
    1. Water was streaming ... the roof. (in, out of, from, off)

    'Off' is used to say that something has been removed from somewhere. In this sentence 'water' was removing itself from the roof, so to say.

    2.
    He put the book ... the table and sat down ... a chair. (on-in, on-with, on-on, on-into)

    "On" suggests a two-dimensional object, a flat surface. It could also be 'in a chair' if the chair had arms. Then the chair seat would be perceived as a three-dimensional object.


    3.
    She sacrifices her life ... her family (With, for, into, to)

    'Sacrifice to' has just to be remembered as such.

    4.
    I began to work here ... January ...the year 1980. (on-in, at-in, in-at, in-in)

    In January, in the year 1980 - are understood as time-containers. The event is inside those containers, that's why 'in'.

    Thank you very much
    ..........

  3. #3
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Should it be in or at the year, on or in a chair

    Hi linhtho0211

    1. I'd say 'off' and 'from' are both possible in general.

    2. 'Sit in a chair' would tend to only be used for bigger, uphostered chairs with arms -- something like what you see here:
    http://armchairspasm.files.wordpress...n-armchair.jpg
    But you can also 'sit on' for that type of chair. So, on-in and on-on are both possible.

    3. For. To me, 'sacrifice for' would be far more common than 'sacrifice to' in such a context (i.e. for the reason of). I would expect to see 'to' in a sentence worded something like this:
    - They sacrificed a lamb to the gods.

    4. in - in (You're right, and they're wrong.) However, you can also say 'in January of the year 1980'.

    .
    Last edited by Philly; 24-Jun-2008 at 17:18. Reason: added info to#4

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Should it be in or at the year, on or in a chair

    Many thanks to Clark and Philly

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    Default Re: Should it be in or at the year, on or in a chair

    Ah, Clark, what do you mean by this: 'Sacrifice to' has just to be remembered as such.?
    Do you mean sacrifice to is the correct answer?. Sorry but I don't get it.

  6. #6
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Should it be in or at the year, on or in a chair

    Quote Originally Posted by linhtho0211 View Post
    Ah, Clark, what do you mean by this: 'Sacrifice to' has just to be remembered as such.?
    Do you mean sacrifice to is the correct answer?. Sorry but I don't get it.
    I'm inclined to reconsider my position on this issue and agree with Philly. In this sentence 'for' should be used (=for the sake of). 'To' is more about the addressee of an action, which is not the case here. Sorry.

  7. #7
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Should it be in or at the year, on or in a chair

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    I'm inclined to reconsider my position on this issue and agree with Philly. In this sentence 'for' should be used (=for the sake of). 'To' is more about the addressee of an action, which is not the case here. Sorry.

    I think you could use either:

    She sacrifices her life for [[the good of]] the family: she is giving up her individuality because the family needs her help

    She sacrifices her life to the family: she has no individuality because the family demands/expects her help. She is essentially sacrificing herself to the family.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Should it be in or at the year, on or in a chair

    Thank you all once again

  9. #9
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Should it be in or at the year, on or in a chair

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    I think you could use either:

    She sacrifices her life for [[the good of]] the family: she is giving up her individuality because the family needs her help

    She sacrifices her life to the family: she has no individuality because the family demands/expects her help. She is essentially sacrificing herself to the family.
    I feel I don't quite get it. Please, correct me if I am wrong.
    The family benefits in both sentences. But with 'for' the family's position is passive, while with 'to' it plays an active role (demands her help) and becomes the recipient (in addition to the beneficiary) of the action. Is that the difference?

  10. #10
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Should it be in or at the year, on or in a chair

    Quote Originally Posted by linhtho0211 View Post
    I happened to see this exercise and tried doing it. When comparing with the key answers, I couldn't make out some. Would you kindly explain them for me?
    The task is to choose the best prepositions. The ones in red are keys while the underlined are my answers
    1. Water was streaming ... the roof. (in, out of, from, off)
    2.
    He put the book ... the take and sat down ... a chair. (on-in, on-with, on-on, on-into)
    3.
    She sacrifices her life ... her family (With, for, into, to)
    4.
    I began to work here ... January ...the year 1980. (on-in, at-in, in-at, in-in)

    Thank you very much
    1. I think OFF is often used in sentences like "jump off the bridge" where you don't touch the bridge, whereas in this case, the water goes down from the roof. If you change the verb, you probably can say "the water jumped off the roof", but you have to make the water jump first for the sentence to make sense.

    2. Usually sit on a bench, but sit in a chair, because a chair has two arms, which form a three dimensional space. Remember IN is always used to indicate a three dimensional space. If your chair is broken and the two arms are gone, then you have to sit on that particular chair.

    3. This is self-explanatory.

    4. You use "at' for a point of time, as in "at this moment", "at this hour of the day", but you use "in" before month and year, for these times last for a period of time. Hope this helps. If my explanation is not accurate, hope the moderators can jump in to clarify.

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