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  1. milan2003_07's Avatar
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    #1

    The mummy dates back to the 10th century BC

    Dear friends,

    There is an old Egyptian mummy in the Egyptian Hall of the Hermitage museum and I always show it to my tourists. The mummy belongs to a priest who lived in Egypt in the 10th century BC. Below are the sentences I usually say. Could you please tell me if they are grammatically correct or not. The usage of the phrasal verbs is a bit confusing.

    1) The mummy dates back to the 10th century BC

    2) The mummy goes back to the 10th century BC

    3) The mummy dates from the 10th century BC

    Thanks

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    #2

    Re: The mummy dates back to the 10th century BC

    For me, #3 is best and #1 is OK. #2 is wrong.

    In writing, they all need to end with a punctuation mark.

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The mummy dates back to the 10th century BC

    I don't know that I have any preference between #1 and #3, but I do concur with Rover that #2 is wrong.

    'Goes back' has a sense of continuation that doesn't work with an inanimate object such as a mummy. Now if there were a curse that reanimates the mummy, said curse could go back to the 10th century.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. milan2003_07's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The mummy dates back to the 10th century BC

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    I don't know that I have any preference between #1 and #3, but I do concur with Rover that #2 is wrong.

    'Goes back' has a sense of continuation that doesn't work with an inanimate object such as a mummy. Now if there were a curse that reanimates the mummy, said curse could go back to the 10th century.
    To make sure I've understood you correctly, I'll provide several examples of my own to check:

    1) The Kolyvan vase in the New Hermitage [dates from / dates back to] the 19th century.

    2) The creation of the Kolyvan vase goes back to the 19th century.

    3) The foundation of the museum goes back to the 1750s.

    4) The museum [dates from / dates back to] to the 1750s.


    Maybe you can give some more useful examples showing the difference of using [go back to] and [date from / date back to].

    Thanks

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    #5

    Re: The mummy dates back to the 10th century BC

    2) and 3) are not right. A creation or foundation cannot go back.

    Use goes back when you want to focus on tracing a developmental line (usually to the origin) of a still current tradition, for example:

    The practice of cheese-rolling at Cooper's Hill goes back hundreds of years.

  4. milan2003_07's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The mummy dates back to the 10th century BC

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    2) and 3) are not right. A creation or foundation cannot go back.

    Use goes back when you want to focus on tracing a developmental line (usually to the origin) of a still current tradition, for example:

    The practice of cheese-rolling at Cooper's Hill goes back hundreds of years.
    ok, if I replace "go back" with "date from" or "date back to", will that work? See my rephrased examples:


    1) The creation of the Kolyvan vase [dates from / dates back to] the 19th century.

    2) The foundation of the museum [dates from / dates back to] the 1750s.

    Here is the example I've found in the dictionary with "go back":

    "The feud with the Catholics goes back to the 11th century"

    This example seems similar to mine with "foundation" and "creation". If so, why can we use "go back" here and can't use it with "foundation" or "creation"?

    Thanks

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    #7

    Re: The mummy dates back to the 10th century BC

    Your foundation of and creation of are abstract moments in past time, and so do not work well as subjects of these verbs. In your sentences 1) and 2) I suggest using the passive voice, where the vase and museum are grammatical subjects.

    The Kolyvan vase was created in the 19th century.
    The museum was founded in the 1750s.

    The example of goes back from your dictionary is a good one; The feud is still current and its developmental path is traceable to the 11th century.

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