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    #1

    for?

    Tracy must envy her for her beautiful little boys. (from BNC)
    In that sentence, the preposition is necessary, isn't it? Is it wrong?
    Hi,teachers: would you please tell me?
    Thank you.
    Last edited by norwolf; 12-Oct-2008 at 18:53.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: for?

    It reads more fluently with it. So yes, it is better to have the preposition.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #3

    Re: for?

    'envy' means to desire to have a quality, or a possession, or some other desirable attribute belonging to someone else.
    So - the two possibilities are:
    Tracy must envy her for her beautiful little boys.
    The sentence means that Tracey envies "her" ( the mother of the boys) for having 'beautiful little boys" - she would like two beautiful children just like her.

    Tracy must envy her beautiful little boys.

    When the 'for' is omitted, then we must also omit the additional 'her'.
    The sentence now means that Tracey envies the 'beautiful little boys" - perhaps, for instance, because Tracey is a child, and she hears other people remarking on how beautiful they are and people don't say this to her.
    This does not seem to be the intended meaning of the sentence.

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    #4

    Re: for?

    Hi, Anglika and David. Looking up the word "envy" in dictionaries, I can see it have two objects without "for". For example, He envied Rosalind her youth and strength.(Longman Dicyionary of Contemporary English) I envied him his good looks. (Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
    I thought the sentence from BNC was grammatically bad or was used informally.
    Am I right?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #5

    Re: for?

    Then it would be:
    Tracey must envy her her beautiful little boys

    Here, you have a double 'her", and as Anglika pointed out:
    It reads more fluently with it (the 'for'). So yes, it is better to have the preposition.

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