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    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 10
    #1

    Red face Nuances in meaning

    I'm doing research on pairs of near-synonymous prepositional phrases but very puzzled by the subtle differences of the following pairs, which are all from BNC (British National Corpus). Looking forward to your insights.

    (1) a. We stood up and left the house by the back door.
    b. He entered the house through the back door.

    (2) a. All such grafts will die from lack of water.
    b. Farmers are losing crops for lack of water.

    (3) a. By conservative estimates, 2.5 million people around the world die each year from smoking cigarettes.
    b. The same thing that's happened in Ireland has happened all over the world.


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 143
    #2

    Re: Nuances in meaning

    Quote Originally Posted by qinhh76 View Post
    I'm doing research on pairs of near-synonymous prepositional phrases but very puzzled by the subtle differences of the following pairs, which are all from BNC (British National Corpus). Looking forward to your insights.

    (1) a. We stood up and left the house by the back door.
    b. He entered the house through the back door.

    (2) a. All such grafts will die from lack of water.
    b. Farmers are losing crops for lack of water.

    (3) a. By conservative estimates, 2.5 million people around the world die each year from smoking cigarettes.
    b. The same thing that's happened in Ireland has happened all over the world.
    Hi!

    I'm not a teacher.

    (2) a. All such grafts will die from lack of water.
    b. Farmers are losing crops for lack of water.

    It may have something to do with the collocations:

    "to die from/of" - in (2)a. the phrase "lack of water" is a substitute of some "unhealthy" condition and used the way we describe the cause of human death: He died from/of hunger.

    "to lose something for lack of something", as in (2)b., means that the farmers are loosing crops because of (as a result of) lack of water.


    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 10
    #3

    Exclamation Re: Nuances in meaning

    Dear friends,

    Can you tell me how native speakers use these prepositions? What on earth are their subtle differences conceptually

    Yours sincerely,

    Qin


    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 10
    #4

    Arrow Re: Nuances in meaning

    Who can help me? Woom...


    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 10
    #5

    Re: Nuances in meaning

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    You should start your own thread rather than hijack someone else's.
    Isn't this my thread? How is it "hijack"? I just suffer from the linguistic puzzle and eager for your help. Right here waiting...

    Yours truly,

    qinhh76

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