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Thread: Gray area

  1. #1
    Rachel Adams is offline Key Member
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    Gray area

    Can I use "gray area" in the sentence below?

    "She is terrible at computers. It's gray area for her."

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    Piscean is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Gray area

    Have you looked up gray area? Does it make sense in your sentence?
    Last edited by Piscean; 16-Jan-2021 at 21:55.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Gray area

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    Can I use "gray area" in the sentence below?

    "She is terrible at computers. It's gray area for her."
    1. We don't say someone is terrible "at computers". You can be terrible with computers, at computing, at using computers etc, but not "at computers".
    2. Even if "grey area" (BrE spelling) were correct, you've omitted the relevant article.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    Rachel Adams is offline Key Member
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    Re: Gray area

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    1. We don't say someone is terrible "at computers". You can be terrible with computers, at computing, at using computers etc, but not "at computers".
    2. Even if "grey area" (BrE spelling) were correct, you've omitted the relevant article.
    Is using "bad" and "good" also wrong? "She is bad/good at computers?"

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    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: Gray area

    Yes. You have just replaced 'terrible' with different adjectives.

  6. #6
    Rachel Adams is offline Key Member
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    Re: Gray area

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Yes. You have just replaced 'terrible' with different adjectives.
    But isn't it correct with other words? For example, "She is good/bad at tennis"?

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    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Gray area

    Yes, but "computers" isn't an activity/sport. It's simply a plural noun. We don't "do/play computers".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    Rachel Adams is offline Key Member
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    Re: Gray area

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Yes, but "computers" isn't an activity/sport. It's simply a plural noun. We don't "do/play computers".
    So if I use "good" or "bad" I should use a singular noun or gerund.

    1. "She is good/bad at teaching."

    2. "He is good at learning languages".

    3. "He is good with languages" but not "He is good/bad at languages".

  9. #9
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: Gray area

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    Can I use "gray area" in the sentence below?

    "She is terrible at computers. It's gray area for her."
    That's not how we use GRAY AREA.

    Have you looked it up yet?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    Skrej's Avatar
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    Re: Gray area

    Personally, I don't have a problem with 'good/bad at computers'. It's not unheard of in my area.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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