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    #1

    Post Detract From

    "He tried to detract from the severity of the accident."
    "He tried to take away from the severity of the accident."

    Could both be standard English?

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    #2

    Re: Detract From

    "To try to detract from" does not sound natural to me. Normally, we say that something "did/did not detract from" something else. It's not normally something which is attempted.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: Detract From

    Then, "He tried to take away from the severity of the accident" is okay English?

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    #4

    Re: Detract From

    Quote Originally Posted by QueryDay View Post
    Then, "He tried to take away from the severity of the accident" is okay English?
    I think we need some context. My initial reaction is that "He tried to take people's attention away from the severity of the accident" or something similar is more natural but without knowing what it is he is actually doing, it's impossible to tell.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: Detract From

    More context:

    nytimes.com/2008/07/15/nyregion/15adopt.html?pagewanted=print

    " 'While nothing can detract from the severity of defendant’s criminal acts,' the lawyers wrote, 'these children are also victims of a system that repeatedly failed at every turn to uncover the most basic and fundamental factual truths.' "

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    #6

    Re: Detract From

    Quote Originally Posted by QueryDay View Post
    More context:

    nytimes.com/2008/07/15/nyregion/15adopt.html?pagewanted=print

    " 'While nothing can detract from the severity of defendant’s criminal acts,' the lawyers wrote, 'these children are also victims of a system that repeatedly failed at every turn to uncover the most basic and fundamental factual truths.' "
    On that basis, why did your original question involve "He tried to detract from ..."?

    I realise that your basis question appears to be "Can I use "take away from" in place of "detract from" but I can't see why you would change the whole thing. You could have posted the quote from the New York Times in the first place and simply asked if the writer could have used "take away from" instead.

    I concentrated on the use of "He tried ..." in both of your examples.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Detract From

    Thank you, emsr2d2!

    So, the newspaper got it wrong due to poor editing?

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    #8

    Re: Detract From

    Quote Originally Posted by QueryDay View Post
    Thank you, emsr2d2!

    So, the newspaper got it wrong due to poor editing?
    What on earth gives you that idea? Their sentence is absolutely fine. As I said, we normally say that something does or does not (or in this case "can/cannot") detract from something. What I said was that saying that "someone tries to detract from something is incorrect".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: Detract From

    Thank you for your reply, emsr2d2!

    Making a few changes:

    "Nothing can detract from the severity of the accident."
    "Nothing can take away from the severity of the accident."

    Only the first sentence is real English and the second is fake English?

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    #10

    Re: Detract From

    Quote Originally Posted by QueryDay View Post
    Thank you for your reply, emsr2d2!

    Making a few changes:

    "Nothing can detract from the severity of the accident."
    "Nothing can take away from the severity of the accident."

    Only the first sentence is real English and the second is fake English?
    They're both fine. What is "fake English?"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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