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  1. suprunp's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 599
    #1

    They would tear past

    He had expected something to happen, but still he recoiled when a horizontal sheet of metal—thirty feet long and four inches thick—shot out of each wall with a terrible screech.
    [...]
    The plates of metal are too big and heavy. They would tear past whatever was in front of them as if it were not there.

    (C. Paolini; Inheritance)

    What 'past' is supposed to mean here?
    Does it mean 'in a direction so as to pass by or go beyond'?

    Thanks.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,814
    #2

    Re: They would tear past

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post
    He had expected something to happen, but still he recoiled when a horizontal sheet of metal—thirty feet long and four inches thick—shot out of each wall with a terrible screech.
    [...]
    The plates of metal are too big and heavy. They would tear past whatever was in front of them as if it were not there.

    (C. Paolini; Inheritance)

    What 'past' is supposed to mean here?
    Does it mean 'in a direction so as to pass by or go beyond'?

    Thanks.
    Yes.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,814
    #3

    Re: They would tear past

    To show speed, we use a variety of verbs and can combine them with "past" to show that someone is overtaking (whether in a car or on foot).

    He flew past me,
    He tore past me.
    He shot past me.

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