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    #1

    to be vs to have

    I've come across the following sentences about M.Phelps and have serious difficulty in grasping usage of the verb 'be'.I would think the verb 'have' should have been used instead. Could anyone explain the possibility of such usage?

    Thanks in advance.

    'The avarage man is the same distance from outstretched fingertip to fingertip as he is tall.'

    'Yet we have not,so far,demanded the tests to prove he is all parts man and no parts marlin.'
    Last edited by unaccounted for; 21-Aug-2009 at 22:31.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #2

    Smile Re: to be vs to have

    Quote Originally Posted by unaccounted for View Post
    I've come across the following sentences about M.Phelps and have serious difficulty in grasping usage of the verb 'be'.I would think the verb 'have' should have been used instead. Could anyone explain why.

    Thanks in advance.

    'The avarage man is the same distance from outstretched fingertip to fingertip as he is tall.'

    'Yet we have not,so far,demanded the tests to prove he is all parts man and no parts marlin.'
    In English, we view the distance one is from a place as a "state". It is a location in space. We don't "possess" this distance.

    ... he is all parts man, and no parts marlin... - In English, the emphasis is more on one's state - what one is - rather than what one has. Yes, "he has parts", but "he is those parts" in English before "he has those parts".

    Here are two typical errors, which may help clarify this more.

    Claudia's daughter has ten years old. - This should be "Claudia's daughter is ten years old.

    Have some cars in the parking lot. - This should be "There are some cars in the parking lot."

    I hope this helps. It's not exactly the easiest thing to explain.


    Last edited by PROESL; 21-Aug-2009 at 22:48. Reason: error typo words left out

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 31
    #3

    Re: to be vs to have

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    In English, we view the distance one is from a place as a "state". It is a location in space. We don't "possess" this distance.

    ... he parts man, and no parts marlin... - In English, the emphasis is more on one's state - what one is - rather than what one has. Yes, "he has parts", but "he is those parts" in English before "he has those parts".

    Here are two typical errors, which may help clarify this more.

    Claudia's daughter has ten years old. - This should be "Claudia's daughter is ten years old.

    Have some cars in the parking lot. - This should be "There are some cars in the parking lot."

    I hope this helps. It's not exactly the easiest thing to explain.


    Thank you PROESL. Your post is really more than what I would expect.Thank you.

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