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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    Let Ben meet Ann (e.g. at the station): can it be a suggestion?

    The word "let" has several meanings in dictionaries. Among them I haven't found the meaning which I thought should be there - "to suggest that somebody should do something" (as it is in my language). Can I say the phrase in the title to a third person with the meaning "I suggest that Ben meet Ann"? If yes, why is this meaning not described in dictionaries (your ideas)?

    P.S.1. I am not asking about the meaning "to allow / permit somebody to do something", I am interested in the one I have described with the context "I have a good idea - let Ben meet Ann (and show her around the city)".
    P.S.2. Is the negative form "Don't let's do it" used as often as "Let's not do it"?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 18-Sep-2013 at 21:43.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Let Ben meet Ann (e.g. at the station): can it be a suggestion?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    The word "let" has several meanings in dictionaries. Among them I haven't found the meaning which I thought should be there - "to suggest that somebody should do something" (as it is in my language). Can I say the phrase in the title to a third person with the meaning "I suggest that Ben meet Ann"? If yes, why is this meaning not described in dictionaries (your ideas)?

    P.S.1. I am not asking about the meaning "to allow / permit somebody to do something", I am interested in the one I have described with the context "I have a good idea - let Ben meet Ann (and show her around the city)".
    P.S.2. Is the negative form "Don't let's do it" used as often as "Let's not do it"?
    Yes it can be a suggestion or even stronger. I don't know what dictionary you used, but see the definitions and uses (#3) here: let - definition of let by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

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    #3

    Re: Let Ben meet Ann (e.g. at the station): can it be a suggestion?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Can I say the phrase in the title to a third person with the meaning "I suggest that Ben meet Ann"? Yes.

    If yes, why is this meaning not described in dictionaries? See VB 2 here (note the word 'proposal').



    P.S.2. Is the negative form "Don't let's do it" used as often as "Let's not do it"? No — nothing like as often.
    Have you bookmarked OneLook.com?

    Rover

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Let Ben meet Ann (e.g. at the station): can it be a suggestion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Have you bookmarked OneLook.com?

    Rover
    Not before you wrote it.)) Now I have.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Let Ben meet Ann (e.g. at the station): can it be a suggestion?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Thank you. And if I were the boss would it be possible for me to say "Let them finish the job!" as a command to one of my subordinates who has to tell others to stop working (meaning something like "tell them to finish the job")?
    I'm not sure I understand what you are asking. How could the others finish the job if they were told to stop working?

  5. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Let Ben meet Ann (e.g. at the station): can it be a suggestion?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Yes it can be a suggestion or even stronger.
    Thank you. So it can be even as strong as a command. And if I were the boss would it be possible for me to say "Let them finish the job!" as a command to one of my subordinates who has to tell others to stop working (meaning something like "tell them to finish the job")? Will it have the same meaning as "tell them to finish the job"?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Let Ben meet Ann (e.g. at the station): can it be a suggestion?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Thank you. So it can be even as strong as a command. And if I were the boss would it be possible for me to say "Let them finish the job!" as a command to one of my subordinates who has to tell others to stop working (meaning something like "tell them to finish the job")? Will it have the same meaning as "tell them to finish the job"?
    We are talking in circles. "Tell them to finish the job means more than one person (them). One of your subordinates is him/her.

  7. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Let Ben meet Ann (e.g. at the station): can it be a suggestion?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    We are talking in circles. "Tell them to finish the job means more than one person (them). One of your subordinates is him/her.
    Sorry, my example was confusing because I didn't notice the difference between "to stop working" and "to finish the job" (I wrongly regarded them as synonymic expressions))). It was really silly of me.

    Now let me try again. One of my subordinates is Bob. Can I say to Bob: "Bob, it's time to have a break! Let them (my other subordinates) stop working!" (I want Bob to go to my other subordinates and tell them to stop working). Will it be the same as if I said: "Bob, tell them to stop working! It's time to have a break!" (That's the context I meant from the very beginning but for that confusing mistake with "stop working" and "finish the job".)
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  8. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Let Ben meet Ann (e.g. at the station): can it be a suggestion?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Sorry, my example was confusing because I didn't notice the difference between "to stop working" and "to finish the job" (I wrongly regarded them as synonymic expressions))). It was really silly of me.

    Now let me try again. One of my subordinates is Bob. Can I say to Bob: "Bob, it's time to have a break! Let them (my other subordinates) stop working!" (I want Bob to go to my other subordinates and tell them to stop working). Will it be the same as if I said: "Bob, tell them to stop working! It's time to have a break!" (That's the context I meant from the very beginning but for that confusing mistake with "stop working" and "finish the job".)

    If I was Bob [a worker not in any position of responsibility] and you said that to me, I wouldn't necessarily understand that you specifically wanted me to tell the others to stop working. It might depend on how you said it. However, if Bob was in charge of the other workers, then I'm sure he would understand that it was his duty to pass your instructions on to the others.
    Interestingly, if you said "Don't let them stop working", then Bob - whatever his status - would be in no doubt that you wanted him to make sure that the others kept working. To sum up: although "let" may be used as a direct request or command, it can be mistaken as a passive sort of permission or acceptance; "don't let" is always an unambiguous command.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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