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    #1

    The attack on the military base

    I am wondering if my sentence sounds natural. Would you please correct my mistakes? Is the phrase "relieving each other" correct?

    The attack on the military base occurred as the sentries were relieving each other.

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    #2

    Re: The attack on the military base

    One sentry relieves another sentry. They don't relieve each other.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: The attack on the military base

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I am wondering if my sentence sounds natural. Would you please correct my mistakes? Is the phrase "relieving each other" correct?
    It is technically correct. As a colloquial expression, however, "to relieve oneself" is commonly understood to mean relieving the pressure on one's bladder by urinating. Moreover, given the typically British fondness for double-entendres, the image of soldiers "relieving each other" will likely be given a distinctly sexual connotation and provoke a few titters here and there - 'though it is probably less problematic for an American audience whose cultural style of prurience leads them instead to use "going to the bathroom/wash-room/rest-room" rather than "relieving oneself".

    Better perhaps to say the sentries "were changing" or "were being changed" or "were changing over".

    Good luck in negotiating the pit-falls of double-meaning.

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The attack on the military base

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazz View Post
    given the typically British fondness for double-entendres, the image of soldiers "relieving each other" will likely be given a distinctly sexual connotation and provoke a few titters here and there .
    I doubt that.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The attack on the military base

    I must admit it was the first thing I thought of when I saw it. I just hadn't got around to responding to explain it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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