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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
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      • Vietnam
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      • Vietnam

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 472
    #1

    compatible verbs

    In my language, some verbs are used with the subjects that are human or animal or visible or touchable as normal expressions, but they can also be used with the subjects that are abstract , invisible ,static ...as informal expressions but understandable to people.
    E.g: for the verb "fly".
    Can we use it to modify the subject "mind". We have "My mind is flying following the clouds" , "The bird is flying".
    I have some more examples:
    "You defeated me"
    "Your will defeated me".
    "The dog lives with me"
    "The car lives with me".
    "You told me that ..."
    "Your coat told me that you are so poor".
    ...ect
    Maybe some of them are not easy to understand exactly what the speaker wants to mean. (this also happens to my language).
    Could you please help me in this problem and if possible, give me as many examples as possible ?
    Thank you so much !

  1. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #2

    Re: compatible verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by crazYgeeK View Post
    In my language, some verbs are used with the subjects that are human or animal or visible or touchable as normal expressions, but they can also be used with the subjects that are abstract , invisible ,static ...as informal expressions but understandable to people.
    E.g: for the verb "fly".
    Can we use it to modify the subject "mind". We have "My mind is flying following the clouds" , "The bird is flying".
    I have some more examples:
    "You defeated me"
    "Your will defeated me".
    "The dog lives with me"
    "The car lives with me".
    "You told me that ..."
    "Your coat told me that you are so poor".
    ...ect
    Maybe some of them are not easy to understand exactly what the speaker wants to mean. (this also happens to my language).
    Could you please help me in this problem and if possible, give me as many examples as possible ?
    Thank you so much !
    I don't see the problem. Our languages are alike, in that we can both speak metaphorically* (no big surprise). An example, from the Random Quote on this site's home page, is 'My words fly up'. A word can fly, a will can defeat (in fact 'Your will defeated me" says more than 'You defeated me'), a coat can tell. I'd draw the line at a car living, but it depends on your attitude to the car. (I knew a girl who kept horses, and treated her car the same; when it managed a steep hill she would pat it on the dashboard and say 'Good girl'.)

    b

    PS *This is the key. When I say 'The mud on your shoes tells me that you took the short cut across the fields', 'tells' is a metaphor; we all know that mud can't talk. What you choO**se to personify or (the opposite) reify, is up to you. If your context justifies that metaphor, the language doesn't (can't) stop you from using it.

    PPS **Abject apologies for this typo!
    Last edited by BobK; 17-Aug-2010 at 10:18. Reason: Fix typo

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Vietnam

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 472
    #3

    Re: compatible verbs

    Thank you BobK, your explanation really makes me feel easier and more comfortable to learn and use English words.
    Thank you very much !

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