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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    black coffee..... coffee black

    One day, I heard someone said 'coffee black'
    I think it has nearly the same meaning with 'black coffee'
    Likewise, we can say "I met a guy handsome."
    But in grammar books, I haven't found any specific illustration.

    Surely there is a rule that adjective should be followed after -thing[body, one]
    or present can have different meanings when it proceeds or follows a noun.

    But I can't tell the meaning between 'impossible mission' and 'mission impossible'
    Are they all grammatically correct? and Do they have different meanings?

  2. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: black coffee..... coffee black

    I think "coffee black" or other similar combinations can be correctly used only in certain structures like "I like (to have) my coffee black", and cannot be used in others (e.g. you can't say "This is coffee black".)

    As for the "mission impossible", it can be used as a movie or a newspaper article title or in technical language. In such cases the linking verb "be" can be omitted, so you get "Mission Impossible". But do not trust me, it's only IMHO.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #3

    Re: black coffee..... coffee black

    If you're ordering coffee (or other foods) it is not uncommon to specify how you would like it after you have said what you want. I'd like some coffee, cream and sugar. I'd like the eggs, over easy. I'll have the NY strip steak, medium rare.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: black coffee..... coffee black

    "I met a guy handsome" seems very unnatural to me.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: black coffee..... coffee black

    You'll hear "Coffee - black", "coffee - white" quite frequently. People order a coffee and then remember that they need to tell the waiter or barista how they would like their coffee prepared.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: black coffee..... coffee black

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    You'll hear "Coffee - black", "coffee - white" quite frequently. People order a coffee and then remember that they need to tell the waiter or barista how they would like their coffee prepared.
    I encounter this problem when I travel to Mexico. I thought that cafe negro (coffee black) would work if I wanted a cup of coffee with nothing added. I found that I had to start with cafe Americano (coffee American, or, American coffee. It seems that Mexican coffee has cinnamon added to it) and then go on to say that I didn't want sugar or cream in the coffee. For some reason the concept of black coffee didn't make sense to the waiter. One of them told me that coffee was not black, it was a brownish color.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: black coffee..... coffee black

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "I met a guy handsome" seems very unnatural to me.
    I would go further than that. It's incorrect, plain and simple.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: black coffee..... coffee black

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I would go further than that. It's incorrect, plain and simple.
    Yes, it is. You can take my previous answer as British understatement.

  9. BobK's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: black coffee..... coffee black

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I would go further than that. It's incorrect, plain and simple.
    - but it could become correct if you added a bit. 'I met a guy... handsome enough, I suppose, but...'. And in poetry this sort of inversion is quite common: 'I met a maiden young and fair' sort of thing (that's not a verbatim quote from anywhere, I'm just exemplifying the device: 'Nature red in tooth and claw' - if you want a verbatim example).

    b

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    #10

    Re: black coffee..... coffee black

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    If you're ordering coffee (or other foods) it is not uncommon to specify how you would like it after you have said what you want. I'd like some coffee, cream and sugar. I'd like the eggs, over easy. I'll have the NY strip steak, medium rare.

    [QUOTE] I'd like some coffee, cream and sugar.

    Is it unnatural to say, 'I'd like some coffee, milk and sugar.".

    Thanks.

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