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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    Incident/Accident/Event

    We were fortunate to get back without ...

    an accident<иииии correct
    an incident
    an event




    1. In the above question I chose "an incident" according to a dictionary definition:

    http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/incident

    without incident = without trouble

    But when I checked it I saw that my answer was wrong. Why? Is it because of the article?



    2. When a chandelier crashed down on to the people in the Opera House and hurt and even killed some of them (in "The Phantom of the Opera"), was it an accident or an incident? I think it was an incident as it had been planned by the Phantom and done by him intentionally. Right?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 13-Feb-2014 at 08:33.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Incident/Accident/Event

    It's an unfair question unless the responder is supposed to know that "without incident" is the standard English phrase. For a native, the only acceptable answer is "without an accident" because "without an incident" and "without an event" are inappropriate.
    Last edited by 5jj; 12-Feb-2014 at 22:22. Reason: tinsy typo
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Incident/Accident/Event

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It's an unfair question
    This type of question often is. The question-setter seems to be getting a kick out of showing off his/her superb command of the language. It's particularly silly in this case, because, in my opinion, most native speakers would not find 'without an incident' particularly gross.

  4. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Incident/Accident/Event

    To sum up, are "without incident" and "without an accident" both fine and mean the same?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Incident/Accident/Event

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    To sum up, are "without incident" and "without an accident" both fine acceptable/OK and do they mean the same?
    Yes and no.

    They are both acceptable, but they do not mean the same. Being stopped by the police for speeding might be called an incident; it is not an accident.

    We do not normally use 'fine' in the sense of 'acceptable' in negative or interrogative sentences,

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