Results 1 to 3 of 3
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Apr 2004
    • Posts: 296
    #1

    All tyranny needs to gain foothold

    Hi everyone,

    " All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." - Thomas Jefferson
    My question is why to use for in this phrase? Could it be left out?
    I've been thinking about this almost half of my day and I couldn't understand that.
    Could you help?
    Thank you.

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

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #2

    Re: All tyranny needs to gain foothold

    No, you can't leave it out. If the sentence had 'needs gain' it would make 'All tyranny needs gain a foothold' the main clause [="All [kinds of] tyranny needs [to] gaina foothold'] ; and the 'sentence' would not make sense.

    What it does mean is 'For tyranny to gain a foothold all that is necessary is that well-meaning people remain silent'. Jefferson's version is neater.

    b

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Apr 2004
    • Posts: 296
    #3

    Re: All tyranny needs to gain foothold

    Thank you very much.
    I am trying to understand the use of 'for' in the phrase, but I was not able to formulate what I had in mind.
    When I read your answer, I realised what I have written and that was not what I wanted to say.

Similar Threads

  1. we had got a foothold on the market
    By vectra in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 15-Jul-2012, 16:55
  2. [Grammar] using the word tyranny
    By swampishgreen in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-Dec-2010, 21:00
  3. gain / gain in
    By Lenka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Jul-2006, 05:06
  4. Gain
    By nyggus in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14-Apr-2006, 00:04

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
  •