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    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #1

    draw on

    Hello.

    On 9/11, day of mourning becomes day of service - Yahoo! News
    NEW YORK Drawing on the spirit that spurred volunteers to rush to the burning World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Americans looked for ways to help each other on a day better known for mourning the thousands of people killed in the nation's worst terrorist attack.

    What does "draw on" here mean?

    Thank you.

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      • Native Language:
      • Oriya
      • Home Country:
      • India
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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 2,121
    #2

    Exclamation Re: draw on

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    On 9/11, day of mourning becomes day of service - Yahoo! News
    NEW YORK – Drawing on the spirit that spurred volunteers to rush to the burning World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Americans looked for ways to help each other on a day better known for mourning the thousands of people killed in the nation's worst terrorist attack.

    What does "draw on" here mean?

    Thank you.
    Drawing on is a phrasal verb meaning: to derive/utilize or make use of (as a source)
    Here the source is the excellent disposition/attitude of the courageous volunteers who moved very quickly with firmness of intent towards the burning WTC on Sept.11.2001. This has inspired the Americans on this day of mourning, to find ways to help others.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #3

    Re: draw on

    What does "derive/utilize or make use of the spirit" mean?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #4

    Re: draw on

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    On 9/11, day of mourning becomes day of service - Yahoo! News
    NEW YORK – Drawing on the spirit that spurred volunteers to rush to the burning World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Americans looked for ways to help each other on a day better known for mourning the thousands of people killed in the nation's worst terrorist attack.

    What does "draw on" here mean?

    Thank you.
    The phrase "drawing on" in this sentence means "inspired by", or "influenced by". We could also say it means "taking from", which could then be paraphrased to "inspired by". To take from something can mean to use something, and in this case "using something" is better thought of as "inspired by something". By imitating the spirit of that day, you could say that they're using the spirit of that day.

    You could replace "drawing on" with "inspired by" in this sentence.

    Your question reminds me of the type of question I've seen in workbooks or worksheets: What does this word mean in this sentence? Or "Which phrase can replace this "word" or "phrase" in the paragraph?" They're usually multiple choice questions. I think the TOEFL exam used to use this sort of question before the CBT became the IBT. That's where I mostly sure I've seen this type of question.
    Last edited by PROESL; 11-Sep-2009 at 16:10.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #5

    Re: draw on

    Isn't it correct to say "Drawn by the spirit ...," then?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #6

    Re: draw on

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Isn't it correct to say "Drawn by the spirit ...," then?
    Yes, this phrase is correct. It would be a good idea to check your understanding of it by using it in a couple sentences.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #7

    Re: draw on

    "Drawing on the spirit ..."

    Is this kind of error common among native speakers?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #8

    Re: draw on

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    "Drawing on the spirit ..."

    Is this kind of error common among native speakers?
    It's not an error. Both phrases are correct.




    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #9

    Re: draw on

    I still don't understand "draw on the spirit." Could you write a few example sentences?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #10

    Re: draw on

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    I still don't understand "draw on the spirit." Could you write a few example sentences?
    The phrase "draw on the spirit" is not a specific expression unto to itself in the same way we understand idiomatic expressions, and it's not a high-frequency phrase as I see it. Therefore, it's challenging to think of examples at the moment. There are some examples on this page.

    "draw on the spirit." - Google Search

    Here are some dictionary examples of "draw on".

    3. Also, draw upon. Make use of something or someone. For example, This dictionary draws on many different sources, or The chairman was good at drawing upon the various members for their expertise. [Mid-1600s]

    draw on: Information from Answers.com

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