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  1. #1
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    Default turn in &turn down

    In the sentence "They turned down the offer",could I say "turn the offer down"? also, is "turn the manuscript in"possible?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: turn in &turn down

    Yes, you could. In the second example, what do you mean by 'turn in a manuscript'?

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    Default Re: turn in &turn down

    turn in the manuscript means the same as hand in the manuscript or homework to the teacher

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    Default Re: turn in &turn down

    With regard to a manuscript/screenplay etc, it could be used in certain circumstances.

    To explain, think about why we can say both 'hand in your homework/exam papers' and 'turn in your homework/exam papers'.

    'turn', in this context, has the meaning 'change or cause to change direction'
    Homework and exam papers are handed out, and on completion, the direction changes - they are handed in.

    Now, a screenwriter may be asked to write a screenplay of a novel - he is 'handed' the novel, and 'turns in' his 'treatment', his first draft of the screenplay, to the producer.

    A manuscript might be the original idea of a new author, so there is no 'change of direction' involved - he wasn't commissioned to write it.

    I'd be careful about attempting to use them interchangeably. There is a slight difference in meaning between the two.
    An assignment is due to be handed in next Wednesday. The Monday before this, students complain they are having trouble getting the assignment done on time. The lecturer says, OK, I'll give you till the end of the week; but all assignments must be turned in by Friday - no further extension.
    'turned in' has more the sense of surrendering something (perhaps even reluctantly or with reservations) whereas 'hand in' is merely 'pass something over' to someone. Students may have felt that they needed even longer to work on the assignment than Friday, to rewrite parts of it and polish it, but they must 'turn it in' even if they are not completely happy with it as it stands
    Last edited by David L.; 27-Jul-2008 at 06:51.

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: turn in &turn down

    Afterthought - coming late to the party: it's of interest, but little immediate relevance, that 'turn in' is also an informal equivalent of 'go to bed: 'Using the new web submission facility, he turned in his essay 5 minutes before the deadline and then turned in.'

    b

  6. #6
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    Default Re: turn in &turn down

    PPS Also, and even less relevantly ( - but it's a pleasing coincidence that this usage is also to do with beds) "turn down" is what you do to a bed to prepare it for someone to get in: 'It was a very hospitable hotel. When we checked in, the beds were made; but when we came back from dinner the maid had turned them down for us.'

    b

  7. #7
    mfwills is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: turn in &turn down

    And let us not overlook the ever-popular usage to describe what happened to someone who had committed a crime or other offense:

    "He cheated on the math exam, and someone turned him in."

    "Knowing he was the one who robbed the store, I had to turn him in."

    M

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