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    #1

    stagger/ reel

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the following two sentences?

    He staggered along like a drunken man.

    He reeled to and fro like a drunken man.

    V.

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    #2

    Re: stagger/ reel

    Both are grammatically correct. What is your question?

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    #3

    Re: stagger/ reel

    Hi J&K Tutoring,

    I find you again in fighting trim. I value high your inexhaustible willingness to assist me in my work.

    The title of the thread has to make an allusion to the unclear point.

    I take a keen interest in the absolute equality of the meanings of the two verbs. There is a little to choose between them.

    These men began staggering in, singly and in groups, the legs seriously wounded supporting those who limped and staggered.

    The drunken peasant reeled on, swaying back and forth, catching a branch here and there to steady himself.

    He staggered under a blow.

    He reeled under a blow.

    What is your considered opinion?

    Thank you again for your kindness.

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 30-Aug-2011 at 10:18.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: stagger/ reel

    "Reel" means more to spin around (ie a reel of cotton, or the dance "the reel" where there is a lot of spinning around involved). Consequently, one wouldn't normally "reel to and fro", one "reels round and round" but "round and round" is unnecessary.

    If you imagine a boxer being hit very hard and "reeling" from the blow, you can imagine him literally being sent into a spin by the ferocity of the punch.

    "To stagger" just means to not walk straight, whether from drunkenness, tiredness or something else.

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    #5

    Re: stagger/ reel

    Hi emsr2d2,

    Finally I could see the shade difference.

    Thank you for your kindness.

    V.

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