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    #1

    Question ball vs ball of string/wool

    Hi there,

    In an illustrated grammar for children I saw the picture of a cat sleeping on a ball of string (wool?) and one of the characters says: 'Look, Kitty is sleeping on the ball.'
    Could they use only 'ball' for 'ball of string/wool'? Perhaps they used only 'ball' because the illustration made it clear what kind of ball it was?

    Secondly, I read 'It could be a lesson in patience.'
    Shouldn't it be 'a lesson ON patience'?

    Thanks,

    daydreamer

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    #2

    Re: ball vs ball of string/wool

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamer2009 View Post
    Hi there,

    In an illustrated grammar for children I saw the picture of a cat sleeping on a ball of string (wool?) and one of the characters says: 'Look, Kitty is sleeping on the ball.'
    Could they use only 'ball' for 'ball of string/wool'? Perhaps they used only 'ball' because the illustration made it clear what kind of ball it was?

    Maybe you're right. Perhaps the reading-age they were aiming at wouldn't allow a noun phrase like 'ball of string'. Using 'ball' on it's own strikes me as rather unclear but not wrong.

    Secondly, I read 'It could be a lesson in patience.'
    Shouldn't it be 'a lesson ON patience'?

    Thanks,

    daydreamer
    Either. To my ears, a lesson on something is less likely to sink in: the owner gave her his usual lecture on trespassing, but she went back the next day.' (I've cheated by changing to noun to 'lecture', but it underlines the meaning I attach to 'a lesson on'. A lesson on something is a bit more abstract.)

    b

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