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  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default to get the car started

    Dear teachers,

    Could you please explain if "to get the car to start this morning" correct or not?
    The title should be: to get the car to start
    Jiang

  2. #2
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: to get the car started

    How To Get The Car To Start

    Getting The Car To Start

    What I Do To Get The Car To Start

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: to get the car started

    Either, in Br English at least. The focus of the user changes:

    It took ages getting the car to start this morning. I had to clean the plugs, and even then I had to get my flatmates to bump-start it [focus on the process]

    but

    We finally got it started [focus on the result]

    b

  4. #4
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: to get the car started

    Dear BobK,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. The sentence in my dictionary is:

    I couldn't get the car to start this morning.

    Should I understand this way:

    After the whole process I wasn't able to make the car start?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Either, in Br English at least. The focus of the user changes:

    It took ages getting the car to start this morning. I had to clean the plugs, and even then I had to get my flatmates to bump-start it [focus on the process]

    but

    We finally got it started [focus on the result]

    b
    Last edited by jiang; 11-Sep-2008 at 13:52.

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: to get the car started

    Yes, "I couldn't get the car to start" means that the car did not start, but that the person who said this made a real effort to get it to do so.

    If you went out, turned the key once, and it didn't start, so you gave up and went inside, this phrase (I couldn't get the car to start) wouldn't be appropriate. You didn't go through much of a process to try.


    {not a teacher}

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: to get the car started

    If you wanted to emphasize the trouble you went to, you could say "I had trouble getting the car to start, so in the end I gave up and caught the bus".

    b

  7. #7
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: to get the car started

    Sorry to bother you again. I am afraid I have to ask a further question.
    "If you went out, turned the key once, and it didn't start, so you gave up and went inside, this phrase (I couldn't get the car to start) wouldn't be appropriate. You didn't go through much of a process to try". In this case can I say "I couldn't get the car started" or "I couldn't get the car going"?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Yes, "I couldn't get the car to start" means that the car did not start, but that the person who said this made a real effort to get it to do so.

    If you went out, turned the key once, and it didn't start, so you gave up and went inside, this phrase (I couldn't get the car to start) wouldn't be appropriate. You didn't go through much of a process to try.


    {not a teacher}

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: to get the car started

    In that case, you simply say "The car didn't start."

  9. #9
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: to get the car started

    Dear Barb_D,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. I get a little bit confused. Could you please kindly explain when we should use "I couldn't get the car started'' and "I couldn't get the car going"?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    In that case, you simply say "The car didn't start."

  10. #10
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: to get the car started

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear Barb_D,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. I get a little bit confused. Could you please kindly explain when we should use "I couldn't get the car started'' and "I couldn't get the car going"?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    They mean the same thing.
    But, if you really want to get technical, starting a car is not the same as getting it going. If someone had stolen all your tires overnight, you'd be able to start it, but not get it going (moving).

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