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    #1

    by a mere three votes

    Hi,

    "The budget plan was turned down by a mere three votes."

    Is this idiomatic?

    Thanks in advance.

  1. FreeToyInside's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: by a mere three votes

    Quote Originally Posted by taked4700 View Post
    Hi,

    "The budget plan was turned down by a mere three votes."

    Is this idiomatic?

    Thanks in advance.

    'Mere' can be preceded by both definite and indefinite articles, and the same rules of when to use either article apply to the usage of mere. The exception is that the plural of a/an is to use no article at all, but when you use 'mere' with a plural indefinite noun, you use 'a.'

    So, since 'three votes' is indefinite (not the three votes), you would say 'a mere three votes.'

    "The thought of it makes me sick" becomes "the mere thought of it makes me sick."
    "She's a child" becomes "she's a mere child."
    "It cost twenty cents" becomes "it cost a mere twenty cents." (twenty cents is indefinite and plural, so it takes the indefinite 'a')

    (not a teacher, just a language lover)
    Last edited by FreeToyInside; 28-Jul-2013 at 08:56. Reason: typo

  2. userdownload2012
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    #3

    Re: by a mere three votes


    Hello
    I think it's not idiomatic .
    in this case mere is used to show that the plan was unsuccessful .

    FreeToyInside
    is right:

    "mere" is the same as "only, just this and nothing more." It's used to show that the measure failed by only three votes, a very small number.
    Last edited by userdownload2012; 28-Jul-2013 at 09:39.

  3. FreeToyInside's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: by a mere three votes

    Quote Originally Posted by userdownload2012 View Post

    Hello
    I think it's not idiomatic .
    in this case mere is used to show that the plan was unsuccessful .
    It was unsuccessful, you're right. But "mere" is the same as "only, just this and nothing more." It's used to show that the measure failed by only three votes, a very small number.

    If five people voted, then you wouldn't use "mere" because three votes out of five is not a small number. But it's assumed that many more than five people voted, because "mere" implies that the plan lost by a small number of votes.

    (not a teacher, just a language lover)

  4. userdownload2012
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    #5

    Re: by a mere three votes

    (I am not a teacher)
    Yes
    Thank you
    Last edited by userdownload2012; 28-Jul-2013 at 14:10.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: by a mere three votes

    Quote Originally Posted by userdownload2012 View Post
    Yes.
    Thank you.
    Remember to end every sentence with a single appropriate punctuation mark. Also note that "Yes. Thank you" is an unnecessary post. If you agree with or like the contents of a post, simply click the "Like" button on it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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