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    #1

    to be out of the question = to be utterly impossible

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me your expert opinion concerning the following sentence?

    The doctor talked of a long sea voyage… He thought it was a safe thing to say, for he knew the Shurins were poor and a long voyage was out of the question.

    I know the meaning of the idiom “to be out of the question” namely “ to be utterly impossible". My embarrassment concerns the pointing omitting of the auxiliary verb in the original English text.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

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    #2

    Re: to be out of the question = to be utterly impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me your expert opinion concerning the following sentence?

    The doctor talked of a long sea voyage… He thought it was a safe thing to say, for he knew the Shurins were poor and a long voyage was out of the question.

    I know the meaning of the idiom “to be out of the question” namely “ to be utterly impossible". My embarrassment concerns the pointing omitting of the auxiliary verb in the original English text.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    Dear Vil:

    I'm not sure this is the answer you are hoping for, but perhaps it would help to know that the sentence could just as easily have been:

    The doctor talked of a long sea voyage… He thought it was a safe thing to say, for he knew the Shurins were poor and a long voyage was utterly impossible.

    What was it? It was out of the question.
    What was it? It was utterly impossible.

    I hope this is helpful. If not, I'm sure someone else will have a better response.

    Petra

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    #3

    Re: to be out of the question = to be utterly impossible

    Dear Petra,

    Thank you for your prompt reply as well as for your satisfactory explanation.
    I was wonder-struck because I saw a maimed idiom in an original English text, namely “The doctor talked of a long sea voyage… He thought it was a safe thing to say, for he know the Shurins were poor and a long voyage out of question.” (R.Fox).

    My original post was solely in order to become convinced that this one was a regrettable mistake.

    Thank you again for your backing.

    Regards,

    V.


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    #4

    Re: to be out of the question = to be utterly impossible

    I don't see that it is a mistake, but another way of saying the same thing.

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    #5

    Re: to be out of the question = to be utterly impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear Petra,

    Thank you for your prompt reply as well as for your satisfactory explanation.
    I was wonder-struck because I saw a maimed idiom in an original English text, namely “The doctor talked of a long sea voyage… He thought it was a safe thing to say, for he know the Shurins were poor and a long voyage out of question.” (R.Fox).

    My original post was solely in order to become convinced that this one was a regrettable mistake.

    Thank you again for your backing.

    Regards,

    V.
    Dear Vil:

    Because the 'was' was included in your original post, I did not understand that it had been omitted in the text you were reading. I thought you had italicized it to point out where your confusion lay.
    The sentence,
    He thought it was a safe thing to say, for he know the Shurins were poor and a long voyage out of question,”
    does not contain an error, but I can certainly see how it would sound like one! It is common to make this kind of construction. If you heard it spoken, you would hear that the 'were' of 'were poor' is made to do double duty and stand in for the 'was' of 'was out of the question.' The 'was' is understood. There may even be a very slight pause before 'out of the question,' which would be pronounced with emphasis.

    Thanks for you interesting post,

    Petra

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