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    #1

    Smile Grammar Question #1000

    I. He divested himself of his jacket.
    Can I omit "his" here without changing the sentence meaning?

    II. All these symptoms were assuredly not thrown away upon him.
    What is the meaning of 'upon" here?
    Is it in common use for "upon" in this way?

    Please.

  1. oregeezer's Avatar
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    #2

    re: Grammar Question #1000

    1. Need some kind of determiner to make it sound right -"He divested himself of a jacket" or "...the jacket. But "his jacket" is probably most common as we then know which jacket it was that was removed.
    2. Much more common would be simple "on" - the "upon" has the ring of non-native speech.

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    #3

    re: Grammar Question #1000

    All these symptoms were assuredly not thrown away upon him.

    What is the meaning of this sentence? Please.

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    #4

    Re: Grammar Question #1000

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzle View Post
    I. He divested himself of his jacket.
    It's a very odd sentence. Normally, we would say:
    He took his jacket off.


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    #5

    Re: Grammar Question #1000

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzle View Post
    All these symptoms were assuredly not thrown away upon him.

    What is the meaning of this sentence? Please.
    I have no idea what that sentence means. Where did you find that sentence? What is its context (if any)?



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    #6

    Re: Grammar Question #1000

    On such occasions, Lucy was silent, but her blushing cheek and her bright, happy eyes showed only too clearly that her young heart was no longer her own. Her honest father may not have observed these symptoms, but they wer assurdly not thrown away upon the man who had won her affections. ----Adapted from SHERLOCK HOLMES BY SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

    Is it possible that "upon" here means "by"?

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    #7

    Re: Grammar Question #1000

    Her blushing cheek and her bright happy eyes (the "symptoms") were not wasted upon the man who had won her affections ("stolen her heart").



    Context is everything.

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    #8

    Re: Grammar Question #1000

    So, "upon" here is not the meaning of "by", right?


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    #9

    Re: Grammar Question #1000

    So, "upon" here is not the meaning of "by", right?
    No. 'upon' is a more formal, literary form of 'on', more popular in literature of the 1800s and early 1900s when Conan Doyle was writing.

    but they wer assurdly not thrown away upon the man

    but they were assuredly not wasted on the man.

    The article, definite or indefinite, or a possessive pronoun, pins down the jacket so we know which jacket is being referred to.
    However, again in literature as above, there was a style of writing such as:
    "Lord Avery divested himself of jacket, shirt and shoes, and tossed them lightly to the floor."
    We 'understand' that Lord Avery is undressing, so we know to whom the garments belong.

    Understand this when reading classics, but nowadays, don't omit an article/possessive pronoun if the noun takes one (in the context).

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