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  1. #1
    dzpqkl is offline Newbie
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    Question Use of "turn"

    In this sentence "A young person may be conceited, illmannered, but I do not turn for protection to dreary clichés about respect for elders..."
    Should I understand it as "turn for sth" and "protection to sth" or in another way like "turn to sth for protection"?
    How can I use "turn for" and "turn to"?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Use of "turn"

    To me, it's turn to sth for protection with the word order reversed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Use of "turn"

    Hi, dzpqkl and Tdol. I'm not a teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    To me, it's turn to sth for protection with the word order reversed.
    So here, "... but I do not turn to dreary clichés about respect for elders for protection." - this sounds cumbersome and is probably why the word order was changed in the first place. Since we have two objects ("dreary clichés..." and "protection") we must choose the word order to suit the meaning of the sentence. In some ways I agree with original word order - the important part is the "dreary clichés about respect for elders" phrase, and that is placed at the end. It is also the longest of the objects, and it is normal to place the longer one at the end. But somehow it still sounds wrong.

    I think the best solution would be to shorten the "dreary clichés" phrase so that it can be used first, since Tdol's analysis is correct: the phrase we use is "turn to sth for protection". That, or rephrase it altogether:

    "... but I don't want to be protected by dreary clichés about respect for elders ."

  4. #4
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    Re: Use of "turn"

    Could you say "I dare not resort to dreary cliches about ..."

  5. #5
    dzpqkl is offline Newbie
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    Re: Use of "turn"

    Thank you all. Now I'm clear with the structure of this sentence.
    Just one more question, I've noticed that neither of you had understood this sentence in "turn for sth" way, does "turn for sth" exist?

  6. #6
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    Re: Use of "turn"

    Quote Originally Posted by dzpqkl View Post
    Just one more question, I've noticed that neither of you had understood this sentence in "turn for sth" way, does "turn for sth" exist?
    Not as a phrase on its own. Like I said, I think in this case the two objects have been switched ("turn to sth for protection" --> "turn for protection to [sth longer]") to put the longer one at the end of the sentence for clarity - but in doing so, I believe the writer has made it more confusing! In situations like this, I recommend just rephrasing the sentence.

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