Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2013
    • Posts: 1
    #1

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

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 972
    #2

    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....

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,500
    #3

    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

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

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 972
    #4

    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....

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Egypt
      • Current Location:
      • Egypt

    • Join Date: Feb 2013
    • Posts: 15
    #5

    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 ....................."

  4. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,092
    #6

    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.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,500
    #7

    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

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Egypt
      • Current Location:
      • Egypt

    • Join Date: Feb 2013
    • Posts: 15
    #8

    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.

Similar Threads

  1. [General] articles and prepositions
    By lukasky in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Nov-2012, 06:39
  2. [Grammar] articles and prepositions
    By bunty in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Nov-2009, 12:52
  3. Semicolons
    By Sassiegirl in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Jun-2008, 20:35
  4. articles and prepositions???
    By asad hussain in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-Oct-2006, 21:09
  5. my research on metaphors or about metaphors?
    By vinicio in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 14-Jun-2006, 01:11

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •