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  1. #1
    RobotJones is offline Newbie
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    Using articles, prepositions, and semicolons with metaphors

    I generally understand the grammatical rules governing the use of articles, prepositions, and semicolons. However, I'm currently having trouble constructing a sentence with a metaphor similar to this:

    Life is, in fact, not life at all, but a prologue for eternal death.

    Unfortunately, spending so much time analyzing this sentence has made me start to questions a few things about it. Here are those questions:

    1. The "a" before "prologue" implies that eternal death has many prologues, and that life is just one of them. Should I remove the article "a" in order to give the metaphor a more general, less specific feeling?

    2. I'm also wondering whether it would be better to say "prologue to eternal death" rather than "prologue for eternal death." Is one of these correct and the other incorrect? Or if both are acceptable, what are the differences in meaning?

    3. Should I replace the last comma in the sentence with a semicolon?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks! :)

  2. #2
    Grumpy's Avatar
    Grumpy is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Using articles, prepositions, and semicolons with metaphors

    1. I don't agree that the "a" implies that death has many prologues. It is completely neutral on that matter. If you want to assert that there is only one prologue, then change it to "...the prologue to eternal death."

    2. As I did in 1. above, better to use "to" eternal death. One generally refers to a prologue "to" something.

    3. No. Leave it as a comma.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: Using articles, prepositions, and semicolons with metaphors

    Welcome to the forums, RobotJones.

    I was going to write exactly the same as Grumpy!

    By the way, Grumpy, you're not a bit like I imagined you before you attached your photo. You are clearly much more affable than your soubriquet suggests.

    Rover

  4. #4
    Grumpy's Avatar
    Grumpy is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Using articles, prepositions, and semicolons with metaphors

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Welcome to the forums, RobotJones.

    I was going to write exactly the same as Grumpy!

    By the way, Grumpy, you're not a bit like I imagined you before you attached your photo. You are clearly much more affable than your soubriquet suggests.

    Rover
    Bah! Humbug!!!

    The photo was taken during a very pleasant stop-over in Singapore. You wanna see me this morning in cold, grey Lincolnshire...
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  5. #5
    ahmed2th is offline Newbie
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    Re: Using articles, prepositions, and semicolons with metaphors

    Why don't you say "Life is, in fact, a prologue to eternal death." or "In fact, life is a prologue to eternal death." ?

    I mean instead of saying "Life is, in fact, not life ....................."

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Using articles, prepositions, and semicolons with metaphors

    Quote Originally Posted by ahmed2th View Post
    Why don't you say "Life is, in fact, a prologue to eternal death." or "In fact, life is a prologue to eternal death." ?

    I mean instead of saying "Life is, in fact, not life ....................."
    Because by doing that, he would be leaving out the nonsense enigmatic phrase that life is not life.

  7. #7
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: Using articles, prepositions, and semicolons with metaphors

    Quote Originally Posted by ahmed2th View Post
    Why don't you say "Life is, in fact, a prologue to eternal death." or "In fact, life is a prologue to eternal death." ?

    I mean instead of saying "Life is, in fact, not life ...."
    ahmed, please read the Posting Guidelines, especially this part:

    You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly at the top of your post.

    Rover

  8. #8
    ahmed2th is offline Newbie
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    Re: Using articles, prepositions, and semicolons with metaphors

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    ahmed, please read the Posting Guidelines, especially this part:

    You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly at the top of your post.

    Rover
    When I first posted on this forum, I wrote please state whether you are a teacher or student after answering my question. One of the administrators said that the name and profile of each member clearly shows whether he or she is a teacher or student.

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