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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    brief; choice/choosing; plural/singular

    Dear all,

    I have collected a few questions and would like to hear your comments on them.

    1. brief/concise/short/succinct
    A friend once told me:
    brief: both short and purposeful – concise: purposeful, but of any length
    Is he right? How can we distinguish these four words from each other

    2. a car, activity ... of your choice/choosing
    Any difference in meaning or emphasis?

    3. It is properly, I have learned, “in the fifth and sixth centuries” - plural "centuries" necessary (same "the US and UK economies are suffering from ..."). It took me a while to grasp that, since in my native language (German) that is handled differently. But then I read “from the fifth to the eighth century”; I now would have used "centuries" here too because it involves a number of them. I googled both phrases, but the singular was more twice as widespread (I know about the risks of using Google). Any thoughts on this?

    Please go easy on me if I have accidentally violated any rules of posting here; it is my first thread.

    Thanks!

  2. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 700
    #2

    Re: brief; choice/choosing; plural/singular

    Quote Originally Posted by Atze77 View Post
    Dear all,

    I have collected a few questions and would like to hear your comments on them.

    1. brief/concise/short/succinct
    A friend once told me:
    brief: both short and purposeful – concise: purposeful, but of any length
    Is he right? How can we distinguish these four words from each other

    2. a car, activity ... of your choice/choosing
    Any difference in meaning or emphasis?

    3. It is properly, I have learned, “in the fifth and sixth centuries” - plural "centuries" necessary (same "the US and UK economies are suffering from ..."). It took me a while to grasp that, since in my native language (German) that is handled differently. But then I read “from the fifth to the eighth century”; I now would have used "centuries" here too because it involves a number of them. I googled both phrases, but the singular was more twice as widespread (I know about the risks of using Google). Any thoughts on this?

    Please go easy on me if I have accidentally violated any rules of posting here; it is my first thread.

    Thanks!
    1. Brief and short both mean just that: short in length. Concise and succinct both mean that you have used the fewest number of words possible to say what you have to say. You can be succinct in writing about World War II but it might still take you 1000 pages!
    2. Here in the U.S. we would probably use "choice" more often, but either works.
    3. So how would you say it in German? As far as my own German goes, I have always thought it was the same. In the first instance you are dealing with a plural situation, as when you say "In the fifth and sixth bags there are soccer balls." In the second instance you are going from one singular instance to another, as when you say "From the third person to the eighth person there is a space of three meters."

    I hope that is useful.

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