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  1. #1
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
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    Harp on about

    I have tried to use "harp on about" in my sentence. In AmE is "harp on sth". I am wondering if my sentences are correct.

    Maria harped on about Peter's smoking and drinking habits. He told her she should mind her own business or find a new husband. He was never going to kick the habits anyway.

  2. #2
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    Lynxear is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Harp on about

    Yes, this is quite a good set of sentences.

    "To harp on" means "to nag" in an extremely irritating way. You captured this well in your writing.
    Experience is recognizing a mistake the second time you make it.
    You don't go to an Englishman when you want good pierogi.

    - Wisdom from my father

  3. #3
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Harp on about

    Your text works fine in American English, too. I don't think we harp on something. People who perseverate harp on about the subject.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. #4
    tedmc is online now VIP Member
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    Re: Harp on about

    Apparently, "harp on something" is much more common than "harp on about something".
    http://fraze.it/n_search.jsp?q=harp+on&l=0

    After all, "to harp" is a continuous action, so "on" seems redundant.
    Last edited by tedmc; 04-Aug-2017 at 02:32.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  5. #5
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Harp on about

    In two of the fraze.it quotes, harp is the noun (the musical instrument), not the verb.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Harp on about

    It has the meaning of harp on (about) something for me. (BrE speaker)

  7. #7
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    Lynxear is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Harp on about

    har·py

    ˈhärpē

    noun
    Greek & Roman Mythology

    plural noun: harpies


    • a rapacious monster described as having a woman's head and body and a bird's wings and claws or depicted as a bird of prey with a woman's face.
      • a grasping, unpleasant woman.

    I think the verb comes from the older English word as described above. Actually it describes my ex-wife as well {sigh}.
    Experience is recognizing a mistake the second time you make it.
    You don't go to an Englishman when you want good pierogi.

    - Wisdom from my father

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