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    • Join Date: Sep 2009
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    please help

    Hi everybody,
    can you explain me when to use bath and when to bathe.I'm so confused.Please help me.

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      • Oriya
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      • India
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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
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    #2

    Exclamation Re: please help

    Quote Originally Posted by shafaa View Post
    Hi everybody,
    can you explain me when to use bath and when to bathe.I'm so confused.Please help me.
    Bathe is verb and it means to immerse (all or part of the body) in water or some other liquid, for cleansing, refreshment, etc. It can also mean to cover or surround, like: a ray of sunlight bathing the room; the morning fog bathing the city.
    They are bathing in the sun
    She bathed her body(except head) with soap-water to remove the stinging dirt.

    The act of bathing is called Bath (noun). We usually say take bath or have bath.

    I take my bath very early morning.
    Did you have your bath today?


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 25
    #3

    Re: please help

    I'd say that bath is the work, the function. "I need to give the kids a bath now." Or, "go fill up the bathtub with water."

    Bathe is just more poetic and nice and luxurious, but we hardly use it in everyday speech, really. "The starlet was bathed in a sunny glow." It's soft, and sensual, and passive. Maybe that's it, passive.

    Hope this helped.

    PS: you wouldn't say they are bathing in the sun, it's they're sun-bathing. See, passive, lounging around in the bathing suits on a hot day, getting a tan, mai-tai in hand, wearing sunglasses and slimy from the lotion. Bathing is luxury, taking a bath is work for the purpose of cleansing. Bathing is for pleasure.

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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      • Canada
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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #4

    Re: please help

    Hello rbiton

    sarat_106 has it: bath is a noun, a thing, and for that reason it takes a determiner; e.g., a bath, the bath, 2 baths, and so on, whereas bathe is a verb, an action.

    That bathe 'is just more poetic and nice and luxurious, but we hardly use it in everyday speech, really' is not the whole truth. In this day and age, speakers--maybe not Americans--do indeed use the verb bathe; e.g., I bathed last night; I am going to bathe; They will bathe the baby tomorrow; He is bathing right now.

    So you see, bathe is just another way of saying take a bath--it's not your way, of course, and that's perfectly acceptable, but if you are going to offer advice on English grammar to an audience of international learners, it's best to remember that English has more than one dialect.


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 25
    #5

    Re: please help

    Dear Soup, thank you for your clarification on this and as a new user I wonder if perhaps I am not qualified to comment here? Am I required to know all dialects of English, and use them in each comment?

    I was only trying to help Shafaa, and if this came up in my class I'd certainly feel compelled to give the same answer because language is very much social context. I wouldn't advise my students to say, "I think I'll go bathe now" because it would sound odd - where we are now learning English. People would cringe hearing that. And English learners don't generally want their listeners to cringe.

    That isn't to say that if someone speaks this way in England or Wales or South Africa they wouldn't be correct, but I'm not qualified to teach those regional dialects and perhaps I should be to comment here? I didn't realize. I'd think that's too much information for learners of English, as this isn't a linguistics site. Perhaps I should ascertain where the questioner is located first? Then defer to others more versed in international English dialects such as yourself to answer? Seems that might be the tone here and I guess I should just read and not comment at all? Gosh, I'm feeling quite intimidated to try to help here again. Your tone was rather harsh and I think in the spirit of professionalism, you owe me an apology.

    I guess for me language is social as much as linguistics and I like to think we can both be correct - depending on context. If bathe is used where you are fine, but we in America, in my humble opinion, wouldn't say He's bathing right now. We'd say, He's taking a shower right now. If that helps the Shafaa, great. If it's not appropriate in all places, then perhaps someone else can just add more information without criticizing an honest attempt to help. Shafaa can then glean from the comments what's most useful, given her/his context, and we can all feel welcome to share and support each other.
    Last edited by rbiton; 10-Nov-2009 at 15:25.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • American English
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    #6

    Re: please help

    Hi rbiton,

    No one is telling you not to contribute. Rather, the caution from Soup was to remember that when you say things like "but we hardly use it in everyday speech" you need to qualify that with something like "in the US" or "where I live."

    Otherwise it can seem that you are speaking for native speakers everywhere. This is especially true when you post something that contradicts what another poster has said.

    It's great to point out variations in speech, but make sure you qualify to show it's a contrast in regional usage, not a correction, and not an absolute statement.

    I've been frequently surprised by things since I started participating in forums like this: things I've said were wrong ("at the weekend" "in the street") were simply wrong for my dialect, so I've learned to be cautious about saying what is right or wrong, used or not used.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 25
    #7

    Re: please help

    I guess being new here I sense a certain tone that I'd like to avoid and felt was intimidating with "but if you are going to offer advice on English grammar..." There's something in that "but if" that implies don't try this again without considering yourself warned.If this is how you treat newcomers (gosh, i only have one green dot, she has like a million!), I can see I probably will take that warning to heart and not post again. Who knows what mistake I might make next.

    I do believe feeling(s) and context are essential in communication, and I was trying to convey that - beyond the grammatical correctness of it all. She could jsust as easily have said, as you suggest, "yes, I have family from the west, US, CA, hollywood, etc but in my parts here in XYZ, we say bathe as in blah blah." Or, "I've taught/ live where Shafaa is currently living and saying bathe would be fine."/

    There really was no need to include the part about "but if you're going to..." I could have come away feeling acknowledged and helpful instead I feel I stuck my nose where it doesn't belong.
    Another option would to have made her suggestion in a private email to me after adding her public comments about the regional differences.

    Please don't correct my grammar, spelling, use of ellipses or anything else even though I fear that fine-tooth comb is awaitin'. I'm in a hurry.
    Have a lovely day-
    r

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