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    #1

    Several simple questions of a sentence

    The defending champions crashed out of the World Cup on Thursday as debutants Slovenia won the swim-or-sink game 3-2 to book a second round ticket in Johannesburg.

    As for this sentence, I have some simple questions:

    1.
    Defending champions should be defending champion?

    2.
    Debutants should be debutant?

    3.
    Swim-or-sink isn't idiomatic?

    4.
    How to pronounce 3-2?

    Thanks a lot

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    #2

    Re: Several simple questions of a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    The defending champions crashed out of the World Cup on Thursday as debutants Slovenia won the swim-or-sink game 3-2 to book a second round ticket in Johannesburg.

    1. Defending champions should be defending champion? No

    2. Debutants should be debutant? No

    3. Swim-or-sink isn't idiomatic? Correct; it's 'sink-or-swim'

    4. How to pronouncesay 3-2? three - two. If you wish, you can say, "by three goals/points/etc to two".

    Thanks a lot
    Collective nouns such as teams can be, and often are in BrE, treated as plural: Slovenia are in the lead.

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    #3

    Re: Several simple questions of a sentence

    Is this discussing women's teams? Cause "debutant" seems to be an emasculating term to me otherwise. Is this common?

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    #4

    Re: Several simple questions of a sentence

    I am not a teacher.

    That is the funniest sentence I've read in a while. You are seeing sportswriting---breathless, upbeat, and jingle-jangle with cliches, tortured metaphors and insider jargon. It's a fine art.

    The writer is not American, so he sees a team as its members. An American says, "Philadelphia is going to the World Series." Everybody else says, "England are going to the World Cup." But we all go on to say, "The defending champions are in for the fight of their lives."

    "Sink or swim" is the correct form. This "swim-or-sink" is backwards (and everybody knows it), but in a studied way. He's good.

    Three to two. The "to" sounds more like t' or d', depending on where you are (d', here).

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    #5

    Re: Several simple questions of a sentence

    3-2 should say as "Three two" or "Three dash two" or "Three to two"?

    Thanks a lot

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    #6

    Re: Several simple questions of a sentence

    And there was only one defending champion Italy, why do I need to say "defending champion"?

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    #7

    Re: Several simple questions of a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    And there was only one defending champion Italy, why do I need to say "defending champion"?
    Until the new World Cup competition, they are the champions. Once the new series of matches begins, they are defending their title. 'Defending' champion reminds us of this.

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    #8

    Re: Several simple questions of a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    3-2 should say as "Three two" or "Three dash two" or "Three to two"?
    See posts #2 and #4. Both are possible.

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    #9

    Re: Several simple questions of a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Until the new World Cup competition, they are the champions. Once the new series of matches begins, they are defending their title. 'Defending' champion reminds us of this.
    I hate to disagree, Five.

    I look up "defending" in dictionary, it means "try not to lose", and here in the context we are talking about Italy. We know that Italy was the World Cup champion in 2006, so in 2000, they were called "Defending champion". I don't quite understand why there were more than one defending champion.

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    #10

    Re: Several simple questions of a sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    I hate to disagree, Five.
    I look up "defending" in dictionary, it means "try not to lose", and here in the context we are talking about Italy. We know that Italy was the World Cup champion in 2006, so in 2000, they were called "Defending champion". I don't quite understand why there were more than one defending champion.
    There was only one team. As I noted in post #2, we often, especially in BrE treat collective nouns as plural:

    Italy (= the Italian team = a number of players) are the champions.

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