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  1. Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Tagalog
      • Home Country:
      • Philippines
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines

    • Join Date: Apr 2016
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    swallow without swallowing?

    (While looking at pictures of aquatic animals)

    Child: The shark can bite me?

    Parent: Yes, it can.

    Child: The whale can bite me?

    Parent: Yes, it can. But it will probably just swallow you whole.

    Isn't swallowing supposed to be letting whatever it is pass down the throat? If we're talking about just letting whatever it is enter the mouth whole without needing to bite off a smaller piece, would it still be called swallow?
    Not a teacher.

  2. Skrej's Avatar
    Key Member
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2015
    • Posts: 2,545

    Re: swallow without swallowing?

    Yes, but that's why we say 'swallow it whole', to indicate that it was still all in one piece.

    Note that the correct way to ask the child's question would be "Can the shark/whale bite me?", but perhaps you intentionally wrote it that way to sound childlike.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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