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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    repeat it

    Why is a common English error to say "repeat it" instead of "repeat that"?

    May anyone explain to me why?

    Thank you very much.

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    #2

    Re: repeat it

    Why do you think it's a common error? I've never heard it.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: repeat it

    Quote Originally Posted by salitre View Post
    Why is a common English error to say "repeat it" instead of "repeat that"?

    May Can anyone explain to me why?

    Thank you very much.
    I don't know what you mean either. Can you give the context in which this phrase is being used?
    There are many instances in which 'it' and 'that' and 'this' are used wrongly, or unnaturally by learners. A common error is to start a post with "Is it correct?", where no referent has been given yet (Instead of, for example, "Is the sentence below correct?").

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    #4

    Re: repeat it

    Quote Originally Posted by salitre View Post
    May anyone explain to me why?
    We use can, could, will or would here.

    With can, the question is more open, and we can say 'can anyone/someone ... ?'
    With could, will and would, the question is more like a request, and we usually say 'could/will/would someone...?'

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: repeat it

    Quote Originally Posted by salitre View Post
    Why is a common English error to say "repeat it" instead of "repeat that"?

    May anyone explain to me why?

    Thank you very much.
    Why do you think this is a common error? In fact, why do you think it's an error at all?

    "You said that word very quietly. Please repeat it, but say it more loudly."

    "You read a beautiful poem earlier. Can you repeat it for me?"

    "I heard a rude joke earlier, I think I'll tell it over dinner tonight."
    "You can't repeat that!!! My grandmother will be there."

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    #6

    Re: repeat it

    I read it in this webpage. ompersonal.com.ar/ommistake/elementary/mistakes1Errores comunes en ingles-Common errors, mistakes in English
    Number 15
    thank you very much for your help

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    #7

    Re: repeat it

    As you haven't posted enough yet to post links, here's the page for everyone else's benefit:

    errores comunes en ingles, common errors in english, mistakes

    If that doesn't link to quite the right page, there is indeed a page listing a "Right" and a "Wrong" column, and "Could you repeat it please?" is under the "Wrong" column, and shows "Could you repeat that please?" as the correct version in the "Right" column.

    To be honest, all the other errors in the "Wrong" column are actually wrong but I disagree with their claim for this one particular example. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with "Could you repeat it please?"

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: repeat it

    Ah, thanks ems.

    Yes, if someone said something which you didn't catch, it would be more common to say, "Could you repeat that please?", where "that" means "what you just said".
    Using "Could you repeat it, please" is more likely to invite the response of "repeat what?" than is "Could you repeat that, please?"

    There's one exception I can think of. That is where you have been asked for information.

    A: Please give me your address.
    B: <Something unintelligible>
    A: Could you repeat it please?

    Here, "it" refers to "your address", not primarily to "what you just said" - even though they are likely to be identical in this case.

    But, salitre, if you are going to take a few words out of the context of those examples, you would be able to make the case that saying anything in English is wrong!
    The claimed error is quite clearly, "Could you repeat it please?", not "repeat it".
    Last edited by Raymott; 02-Jan-2012 at 04:57.

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    #9

    Re: repeat it

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Why do you think this is a common error? In fact, why do you think it's an error at all?

    "You said that word very quietly. Please repeat it, but say it more loudly."

    "You read a beautiful poem earlier. Can you repeat it for me?"

    "I heard a rude joke earlier, I think I'll tell it over dinner tonight."
    "You can't repeat that!!! My grandmother will be there."

    Hi emsr2d2,

    Do you mean 'that' is more emphatic than 'it' as per your example "You can't repeat that!!! ?

    Thanks

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    #10

    Re: repeat it

    Originally Posted by emsr2d2

    "You said that word very quietly. Please repeat it, but say it more loudly."

    "You read a beautiful poem earlier. Can you repeat it for me?"

    "I heard a rude joke earlier, I think I'll tell it over dinner tonight."
    "You can't repeat that!!! My grandmother will be there."

    Does it mean 'that' is more emphatic than 'it' as per emsr2d2's examples "You can't repeat that!!! ?


    Can anybody help?
    Last edited by Winwin2011; 03-Jan-2012 at 18:14.

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