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    #1

    on the beat

    Hello

    Definition of beat, Macmillan Online Dictionary: Free American English Dictionary and Thesaurus
    beat
    [usually singular] an area that a police officer has responsibility for and must walk around regularly
    walk/pound/patrol the beat: The two officers used to walk the beat together.
    on the beat (=walking around an area): We intend to increase the number of police on the beat.


    Can the and the be changed into "somebody's", and can the and the be changed into "their"?

    Thank you.


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    #2

    Re: on the beat

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello

    Definition of beat, Macmillan Online Dictionary: Free American English Dictionary and Thesaurus
    beat
    [usually singular] an area that a police officer has responsibility for and must walk around regularly
    walk/pound/patrol the beat: The two officers used to walk the beat together.
    on the beat (=walking around an area): We intend to increase the number of police on the beat.

    Can the and the be changed into "somebody's", and can the and the be changed into "their"?

    Thank you.

    their - Yes, "the" can be changed to "their" or any other possessive adjective that logically fits with what one is saying.

    somebody's - I suppose you could if one cop is subsituting for another. Is that you mean?

    For the most part, I don't think cops walk beats any longer. This is more a thing of the past, though it still may be a custom in some places sometimes.
    Last edited by PROESL; 28-Aug-2009 at 05:43.

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    #3

    Re: on the beat

    Dear Daruma:

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello

    Definition of beat, Macmillan Online Dictionary: Free American English Dictionary and Thesaurus
    beat
    [usually singular] an area that a police officer has responsibility for and must walk around regularly
    walk/pound/patrol the (You could say 'patrol one's beat', but 'somebody's beat' doesn't work for the same reason mentioned by PROESL) beat: The two officers used to walk the (Yes. They can walk their beat) beat together.
    on the beat (=walking around an area): We intend to increase the (No. 'We intend to increase their number of police on the beat' would probably change the meaning of the sentence. It could only be used in a very specific circumstance: if 'we' intend to increase some other group's number of police on the beat. Highly unlikely.) number of police on the beat.


    Can the and the be changed into "somebody's", and can the and the be changed into "their"?

    Thank you.
    I hope this is helpful,

    Petra


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    #4

    Re: on the beat

    We intend to increase the number of police on the beat.

    Can I use "their" instead of the?

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    #5

    Re: on the beat

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    We intend to increase the number of police on the beat.

    Can I use "their" instead of the?
    Yes.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: on the beat

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    We intend to increase the number of police on the beat.

    Can I use "their" instead of the?
    Sorry, but I would say no.


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    #7

    Re: on the beat

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    We intend to increase the number of police on the beat.

    Can I use "their" instead of the?
    It works grammatically or structurally, but substituting "their" for "the" just seems not to be a good choice for vocabulary. The expression doesn't work well with "their". This could take some thinking about in order to explain why. It's simply not "their beat". It's "the beat". However, "my beat" is okay. A cop could say, "I'm walking my beat" and a reporter could say "I'm working my beat".

    I agree with bhaisahab. It's best not to use "their" in place of "the" for this sentence.


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    #8

    Re: on the beat

    Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
    beat
    a place or area that someone (such as a policeman) regularly goes to, walks through, or covers as part of a job —usually singular
    ▪ The policeman was patrolling/pounding his/the beat. = The policeman was on his/the beat.
    ▪ a reporter's beat


    "On one's beat" is not wrong, is it? Is it just that "on the beat" is more common than "on one's beat"?


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    #9

    Re: on the beat

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
    beat
    a place or area that someone (such as a policeman) regularly goes to, walks through, or covers as part of a job —usually singular
    ▪ The policeman was patrolling/pounding his/the beat. = The policeman was on his/the beat.
    ▪ a reporter's beat


    "On one's beat" is not wrong, is it? Is it just that "on the beat" is more common than "on one's beat"?
    The phrase "on one's beat" would only be used as a way to demonstrate that any possessive adjective can go in its place. However, even this is not likely as there would seem to be a limited selection of possessive adjectives, or determiners, from which to choose that are used regularly as part of the phrase which is under observation in this discussion.


    He's walking his beat.

    They put more cops on the beat, but it didn't do any good.

    The cop said, *"I been walkin' dis beat for də past dirty-nine years. It's my beat, and I know it like də back of my *' hand. In fact, it's dee only thing I know. I don't know nothin' else, and dat really ain't no surprise, is it? Us cops do our jobs good."*

    Last edited by PROESL; 30-Aug-2009 at 00:51.

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