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    #1

    to use only for self-defense

    Can one write
    a. She was given a pepper spray to use only for self-defense.
    b. She was given a pepper spray to be used only for self-defense.

    c. She was given a pepper spray, to use only for self-defense.
    d. She was given a pepper spray, to be used only for self-defense.

    ?


    In (c) we focus on two things: She was given a pepper spray AND she was to use it only for self-defense. I don't think (d) works...

    Many thanks.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: to use only for self-defense

    I don't like C or D,

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: to use only for self-defense

    Also, I generally consider 'pepper spray' non-count, so "a pepper spray" sounds unnatural to me.

    It's similar (grammatically and chemically) to mace, which is always non-count. (Unless of course you're referring to the medieval hand weapon, but then I don't think many people carry them nowadays...)

    Also, given the nature of the substance, to specify 'to be used only' seems redundant. Unlike some other self-defense options, say a gun or even a taser, which could be used for recreational activities or practice, you're only going to use pepper spray for actual self defense - it's a one-time usage for the most part.

    I'd prefer something like "She was given pepper spray for self defense".
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: to use only for self-defense

    Since pepper spray usually comes in individual containers, I don't find "a pepper spray" that odd.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: to use only for self-defense

    I'd accept it with or without the indefinite article although with the article, I'd probably say "... a canister/container of pepper spray".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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