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    #1

    Question lest

    What are the meanings of "lest", and different uses of this word?.

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    #2

    Re: lest

    Try lest - definition of lest by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    You won't hear this word very often nowadays. It's a formal word, most often used in the phrase "lest we forget". For examples, see http://corpus.byu.edu

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    #3

    Re: lest

    *Not a teacher

    lest = in order to prevent any possibility that something will happen (Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

    lest = with the intention of preventing (something undesirable); to avoid the risk of (Google Dictionary)

    lest = (after a clause indicating fear) Because of the possibility of something undesirable happening; in case (Google Dictionary)


    @birdeen's call: I come across this word daily (in my tests). It is usually followed by should.

    Example: Let's hail a taxi lest we should miss the train.
    Last edited by SirGod; 06-Apr-2011 at 20:48.

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    #4

    Re: lest

    Quote Originally Posted by SirGod View Post
    @birdeen's call: I came across this word daily in my tests. It is usually followed by should.

    Example: Let's hail a taxi lest we should miss the train.
    I don't understand why tests should feature a word that is so rarely used in modern English. I cannot imagine any native speaker saying that, except in a period drama or a comic sketch.

  3. SirGod's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: lest

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I don't understand why tests should feature a word that is so rarely used in modern English. I cannot imagine any native speaker saying that, except in a period drama or a comic sketch.
    Same here, fivejedjon. In almost every test there is minimum one question involving lest. The tests also include things like so + adjective + article + noun (so exotic a place), which, personally, I have never heard (movies, TV shows, forums, articles, books etc.).

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    #6

    Re: lest

    Quote Originally Posted by SirGod View Post
    Same here, fivejedjon. In almost every test there is minimum one question involving lest. The tests also include things like so + adjective + article + noun (so exotic a place), which, personally, I have never heard (movies, TV shows, forums, articles, books etc.).
    My objection to so + adjective + article + noun is not so strong as my objection to lest we should - I may even use the former construction myself, but it seems pretty pointless in most tests. What are these tests?

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    #7

    Re: lest

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    My objection to so + adjective + article + noun is not so strong as my objection to lest we should - I may even use the former construction myself, but it seems pretty pointless in most tests. What are these tests?
    They are grammar tests for admission to Police Academy, Foreign Languages and ASE (one of our universities). And the book includes things like "lest... should" because it is highly possible to see them in your exam paper.
    Last edited by SirGod; 06-Apr-2011 at 21:26.

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    #8

    Re: lest

    I don't understand why tests should feature a word that is so rarely used in modern English.
    I will post its position on this list:

    Corpus-based word frequency lists, collocates, and n-grams

    if someone tells me it's legal. I guess it is, but I'd like to be sure. If it's not, you can find out yourself.

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    #9

    Re: lest

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    if someone tells me it's legal. I guess it is, but I'd like to be sure. If it's not, you can find out yourself.
    I think if you will be OK if you quote the position on the list, and then add, changing the date if necessary:

    Davies, Mark. (2011) Word frequency data from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). Downloaded from Corpus-based word frequency lists, collocates, and n-grams on April 06, 2011.

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    #10

    Re: lest

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I think if you will be OK if you quote the position on the list, and then add, changing the date if necessary:

    Davies, Mark. (2011) Word frequency data from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). Downloaded from Corpus-based word frequency lists, collocates, and n-grams on April 06, 2011.
    OK, it's in the quote box then. The position is 13 934. Note however that the list has words like "xbrizoides", "davies", "csikszentmihalyi" and that some words appear several times when they're interpreted as different parts of speech. Also "have", "has" and "had" are different words here.

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