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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 111
    #1

    Generalizing in English

    Can anyone tell me why it is in English things get generalized all the time. For example, what if I said "Karen is at the store." then someone might say "I know that." as if the 'that' is refering to the whole happening in the first sentence.

    The same is true when we try to explain words. Many times, we take them out of context and say "Joyous is happy." In this case, we are treating Joyous as a thing, making it a noun and subject of the sentence, why and how does that work?

    I mean I know it does, but is that just part of langauge?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: Generalizing in English

    It is part of the language, and it is a part of the flexibility of the language which is one of its great joys and merits.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 111
    #3

    Re: Generalizing in English

    Anglika, so what are you are saying is that it is completely normal. Based on the context of conversation or what we are trying to explain, sometimes words get used in a different manner or stated differently than defined.

    So that is why even though in my example "Joyous is happy", where I am trying to explain the word to somebody, where joyous is typically an adjective, a describing word, becuase of the context and the way language is, we can treat it as a noun and talk about it in a more abstract sense to get the explaination across correct?

    Like you said, it is part of what makes language what it is, give it flexibility and makes it a joy to work with.

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