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    #1

    tidings/ attempt his life

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I’m right with my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences from an English text?

    “Time passed on; and as the eldest son did not come back, and no tidings were heard of him, the second son set out, and the same thing happened to him.”
    tiding = a piece of information or news

    But he was thankful to the fox, and did not attempt on his life as his brothers had done; so the fox said, 'Sit upon my tail, and you will travel faster.'
    attempt on his life = have a go or shot or whack at him (it)

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 31-Jul-2009 at 17:27.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: tidings/ attempt his life

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I’m right with my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences from an English text?

    “Time passed on; and as the eldest son did not come back, and no tidings were heard of him, the second son set out, and the same thing happened to him.”
    tiding = a piece of information or news - YES, though normally this would only be used in the plural as it is here. "To hear good tidings" = to hear good news.

    But he was thankful to the fox, and did not attempt his life as his brothers had done; so the fox said, 'Sit upon my tail, and you will travel faster.'
    attempt his life = have a go orshot orwhack at him (it) - SEE BELOW

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    "He was thankful to the fox and did not attempt his life" is not correct. I imagine it should either read "...thankful to the fox and did not attempt to take his life" or "...thankful to the fox and did not make an attempt on his life".

    Either of those would mean that "he" did not try to kill the fox.

    To take someone's life - to kill them.
    To make an attempt on someone's life - to try to kill them.

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    #3

    Re: tidings/ attempt his life

    Hi emsr2d2,

    Thank you for your well-founded amendments.

    Here is the following entity I found in my Dictionary:

    attempted murder/ attempted coup
    attempt on his life = attempt his life = have a go or have a shot or have a whack at him (it)

    “In 1991, Zahir Shah survived an attempt on his life by a knife-wielding assassin who pretended to be a Portuguese journalist.”

    have a shot at, alluding to firing a gun as in “I had a shot at it but failed

    Thank you again for your attention and kindness.

    Regards,

    V.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: tidings/ attempt his life

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi emsr2d2,

    Thank you for your well-founded amendments.

    Here is the following entity I found in my Dictionary:

    attempted murder/ attempted coup
    attempt on his life = attempt his life = have a go or have a shot or have a whack at him (it)

    “In 1991, Zahir Shah survived an attempt on his life by a knife-wielding assassin who pretended to be a Portuguese journalist.”

    have a shot at, alluding to firing a gun as in “I had a shot at it but failed”

    Thank you again for your attention and kindness.

    Regards,

    V.
    Personally, I'm afraid I would have to disagree with your dictionary's use of "attempt his life". In 40 years, I have never heard that. "Attempt on his life" - yes, many times.

    To have a shot at = to try, to have a go, to attempt. It doesn't actually have anything to do with firing a gun (although that may be where the phrase originated). If you fire a gun, you generally "take a shot".

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