Look it up in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English:
Longman English Dictionary Online
I have a question concerning this sentence taken out of a larger text:
Perhaps the greatest impediment to friendship in marriage is the amount of time a couple usually see of each other.
I cannot really explain the use of of after see. What does it refer to? What is the explanation?
I'd like native speakers to sort it out.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English:
I don't think that conveys it well to a non-native speaker.
A couple will see each other every morning, as they get ready for work, and the kids ready for school. 'see of (each other)' has the meaning of having time together, enjoying each other's company; or if not exclusively as a couple, and just the two of them in their relationship together, at least, say, entertaining another couple so that they as a couple are hosting their two friends, or are being invited out together as a couple, like 'on a date' together. In essence, time to enjoy each other's company and 'feel' for each other rather than busy busy and pre-occupied with all the other major and minor exigencies of life.
1..."of" shouldn't be there.
But you can say things like 'We don't see (much)(enough) of each other.'
...but I would add the following.
2...I would omit "usually".
3...So we are left with "...is the amount of time a couple see each other." But here "see each other" is a poor choice. I think 'spend(s) together' is a better choice.
So I would say, 'Perhaps the greatest impediment to friendship in marriage is the amount of time a couple spends together.'
Last edited by 2006; 03-Apr-2009 at 19:44.
The main thing I have to say is...
1..."of" shouldn't be there.
Is this...could it be...some idiosyncracy of mine?
I started off with 3 possibilities, and googled 'see of each", 'see of one' (another) and 'see of her' and was up over 100,000 hits and decided, NOT.
Perhaps the writer of this sentence knew what he/she was trying to convey!
( I did have the start of a paragraph, in my original post, warning of the difference when we place any other word between the 'see' and the 'of', but thought I was being too long-winded as usual! I deleted it.)
When you then say, "omit 'usually'"...well, perhaps you don't appreciate that one card and a bunch of roses on St. Valentine's Day ain't going to keep a woman emotionally satisfied! It's how much/how often. The odd bit here and there rather than 'usually' sharing a feeling of 'togetherness' won't cut it in the long-run. Perhaps some proportion of the 50-odd% of divorced couples would also look and think nothing of removing 'usually'.
But here "see each other" is a poor choice. I think 'spend(s) together' is a better choice.
Somewhat 'colder', less personal, but then all it means is that the writer is somewhere between a tad and a tide more 'touchy feely' than you.
Last edited by David L.; 03-Apr-2009 at 21:35.