bother

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jasonlulu_2000

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They were puzzled at first but eventually they seemed to begin to understand that the teacher meant “war” as a metaphor. One student said, “My brother declares war on me when I bother his things” “My Dad blows up at bad drivers,” offered one girl. Another said she did war with one of her dishonest friends. Finally the thought appeared that all violence was in conflict with the idea of peace.Through the discussion the teacher introduced the concept that they could decrease violence and increase peace in their own lives by giving up the idea of fighting with others.

As far as I learn, "bother" is followed by somebody instead of something. So is "bother" naturally used here?

Thanks!

Jason
 

Gillnetter

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They were puzzled at first but eventually they seemed to begin to understand that the teacher meant “war” as a metaphor. One student said, “My brother declares war on me when I bother his things” “My Dad blows up at bad drivers,” offered one girl. Another said she did war with one of her dishonest friends. Finally the thought appeared that all violence was in conflict with the idea of peace.Through the discussion the teacher introduced the concept that they could decrease violence and increase peace in their own lives by giving up the idea of fighting with others.

As far as I learn, "bother" is followed by somebody instead of something. So is "bother" naturally used here?

Thanks!

Jason
Yes, it is fine here. You can bother things as well as people.
Don't bother the car. Don't bother the plants. Don't bother the lights.
 

5jj

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It may be fine in Gill's variety of English, but it sounds weird to me, I'd use disturb/touch/mess with/mess up/interfere with/play with or some other expression for inanimate objects.
 

emsr2d2

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It may be fine in Gill's variety of English, but it sounds weird to me, I'd use disturb/touch/mess with/mess up/interfere with/play with or some other expression for inanimate objects.

Same for me. If someone said "Don't bother my stuff", I would understand it but I don't think I've ever heard and I wouldn't use it. "Don't bother the plants/lights" both sound extremely unnatural. I can't even imagine how someone would bother lights!
 

SoothingDave

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I agree. You could bother the cat, but I draw the line at bothering inanimate object.
 
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