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  1. Member
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    #1

    browse (in) a place

    Hi,


    Can the preposition "in" be omitted in the following?


    John is browsing in the bookstore.

    I also saw the following example from a dictionary:

    tourists browsing the boutiques and souvenir stalls


    I'd appreciate your help.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: browse (in) a place

    Is that your sentence? (I would keep the preposition.)
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    #3

    Re: browse (in) a place

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Is that your sentence? (I would keep the preposition.)
    What about "tourists browsing the boutiques and souvenir stalls"?

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #4

    Re: browse (in) a place

    That works fine.

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    #5

    Re: browse (in) a place

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    That works fine.
    Which do you think works fine? The bookstore example?

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #6

    Re: browse (in) a place

    I was responding to this:

    tourists browsing the boutiques and souvenir stalls
    I would use the preposition in the bookstore example. In the bookstore, they are browsing the books, but in the second they are moving around the stalls and boutiques, so the stalls and boutiques are the things that are being browsed.

  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: browse (in) a place

    If you use the preposition, you have a preposition phrase, which puts a focus on where John is browsing.

    If you don't use the preposition, the bookstore is the thing that is being browsed. It feels slightly odd to me to use this verb transitively here.

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    #8

    Re: browse (in) a place

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    If you use the preposition, you have a preposition phrase, which puts a focus on where John is browsing.

    If you don't use the preposition, the bookstore is the thing that is being browsed. It feels slightly odd to me to use this verb transitively here.
    But do we browse boutiques and souvenir shops per se, or the commodities therein?

  9. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: browse (in) a place

    I found this at Dictionary.com

    browse
    (3) to look through or glance at casualty or randomly.

    He's browsing the shelves for something to read.

    Could you narrow that down to individual items, that is:

    He's browsing through the books.

    Yes. I suppose you could.
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  10. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: browse (in) a place

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    But do we browse boutiques and souvenir shops per se, or the commodities therein?
    I just looked through dozens of examples of the use of browse in the British National Corpus: https://www.english-corpora.org/bnc/

    From the data there, it seems the transitive use of the verb is very rare. Much rarer than I expected, in fact. The vast majority of uses are intransitive, followed by preposition phrases.

    I'll add, however, that it doesn't sound wrong to me to use the verb transitively, despite the apparent infrequency.

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