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  1. Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 53

    Fort and back OR Back and forth

    Hi to all and Happy Easter to the ones who celebrate it

    I would like to know how should I use the expression "back and forth"...this should be an idiomatic expression, right ?

    So, should I write "the ball travels back and forth along the line" or "the ball travels forth and back along the line" ? The actual travel of the ball is first forth and then back...Obviously the phrase is different, but I hope my point is clear :)

    Second: In a formal essay, the conditional should be made with "were" also for third person... "if it were correct, then it would be good"


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,398

    Re: Fort and back OR Back and forth

    #1 It is a fixed idiom, so use "back and forth".

    #2 Yes, that looks fine.

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 40

    Re: Fort and back OR Back and forth

    Hi Trapanipalermo,

    You need to use "back and forth" no matter how the ball really travels.

    Your second point is correct, you need to use "were".

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 554

    Re: Fort and back OR Back and forth

    Happy Easter to you too!

    The order of words is very strict so it must be "back and forth" whatever the real order of events.

    In the second conditional 'were' is correct for all persons. Previously this was the only correct way of doing things and technically still is, however, modern practice allows the use of 'was' in less formal situations.

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