creep / crawl

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vil

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Dear teachers,

There are two very allied verbs, namely “creep” and “crawl”.

Would you tell me their characteristic features? They are pretty much alike, most of the time, but not at all events.. Could you tell me what prompted them to be sometimes so different?

The dog crept close to the man.
He crept round to my side.
A snake crawled along the path.
A spider crawled across the floor.
The wounded soldier tried to crawl back to the trench.
The cat crept (no crawled ) quietly nearer to the bird.
We crept (no crawled) through the bushes towards the enemy.

Ivy crept (no crawled) over the walls of the house.
He saw himself…creeping on his belly towards the house in the suburbs of Bonnville watching his chances.
Then the dogs crept to the edge of the fire-light, licking their wounds, voicing their misery to the stars.
She would go down on her hands and knees and crawl through the gap ..and rise to her feet again and go on.
He…saw the lion, horrible looking now, with half his head seeming to be gone, crawling towards Wilson in the edge of the tall grass.

With twilight he returned to the tent…ate two biscuits and crawled into the blankets.
The dog crawled under the table and went to sleep.

Thank you in advance for your efforts.

Regards.

V.
 

Anglika

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To creep = to move slowly, quietly and carefully, usually in order to avoid being noticed - it can be on hands and knees, or on foot.

To crawl = to move slowly or with difficulty, especially (of a person) on hands and knees.

The essential nature of creeping is the desire to avoid being seen, whereas crawling can merely indicate very slow movement.

So a cat will creep up on its prey, while a spider can crawl slowly up a wall.

Snakes don't crawl since they have no external limbs with which to crawl.
 

apex2000

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Crawl is a natural action of a child. Any of us might crawl to the edge of the abyss (safer than standing!). We would crawl through a large pipe because we could not stand up to get through.

Creep is more of a surreptitious action. If you do not want to be discovered, say, you would creep forward quietly to try to get a view whilst attempting to stay hidden. Creep forward quietly so as not to be heard.

No doubt you will want a bit more but start with this and see if it helps.:)
 

vil

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Dear Anglika,

Thank you for your lucid and rational explanation concerning the meanings of the words in question. Following your speculations I arrived at the conclusion that the term “creep” involves to a great extent a lot of activity. It involves taking an active part in the accomplishing of the motion on behalf of the upper and lower limbs, while the term “crawl” involves scanty limbs’ participation in the motion and even there is a total absence like these.

I beg your pardon, but I am against the plausibility yours last sentence above, namely “Snakes don’t crawl snce they have no external limbs with which to crawl.

Crawl = to move along in a crouching or prone position.

Why the snake crawls on its belly?

The snake crawls with hidden steps. The snake does not move by stepping, but crawls with small movements of its scales.

After a few days, the eyes clear and the snake “crawls” out of its old skin.

Why snake crawls in zig-zag way instead of strait, as it has to crawl long in zig-zag than in strait?

Thank you again for your backing.

Regards.

V.
 

vil

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Hi apex2000,

Thank you for your wonderful explanation.

Owing to you I brought home the bacon.

What do you think about the following examples?

1. To creep along the road in the ankle deep dust.
2. He is still very weak and can only creep about the house.
3. The cars crept up the steep road.
4. I couldn't yet beg; and I again crawled away.
5. he was deadly pale... All he could do was to crawl to his room.
6. Heavy trucks crawled along the road.
7. The burglar crept into the house and up the stairs.
8. He stood still and listened for a moment, then crept into the dining-room.
9. The odd feeling crept over him.
10. Perhaps some indication of his thoughts crept into his words.
11. The morning light crept.
12. Shadows crept over the wide field.
12. A chill was creeping on the air.
13. ..into the blue twilight the ground mist of the autumn was creeping.
14. The stores were dark and the people had crawled away to their houses.
15. At nine o'clock the train crawled into Blenely.
16. The tank crawled crunching out of sight.
17. Weeks and months crept on.
18. Time crawled by. In the intensity of her longing she could not remain still.
19. Don't creep so, be a man!

Thank you for your seconding.

Regards.

V.
 

apex2000

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1. To creep along the road in the ankle deep dust. Could be either creep or crawl and even better walk!
2. He is still very weak and can only creep about the house. This should be crawl.
3. The cars crept up the steep road. OK. but could be crawled - that is to move slowly.
4. I couldn't yet beg; and I again crawled away. I crawled away again, is best.
5. he was deadly pale... All he could do was to crawl to his room. OK, but you can leave out the to in front of crawl.
6. Heavy trucks crawled along the road. OK. As for 3.
7. The burglar crept into the house and up the stairs. This is a very good example for creep.
8. He stood still and listened for a moment, then crept into the dining-room. OK.
9. The odd feeling crept over him. OK, but better is: An odd feeling. The odd feeling: is precise whereas using 'crept' suggests something creepy or sinister.
10. Perhaps some indication of his thoughts crept into his words. No. ...thoughts were revealed in his words. Crept has no place here.
11. The morning light crept across the meadow. It must creep somewhere!.
12. Shadows crept over the wide field. OK
12. A chill was creeping on the air. A chill crept into the air.
13. ..into the blue twilight the ground mist of the autumn was creeping. ...twilight crept the ground mist of autumn.
14. The stores were dark and the people had crawled away to their houses. OK
15. At nine o'clock the train crawled into Blenely. OK
16. The tank crawled crunching out of sight. The crunching tank crawled out of sight.
17. Weeks and months crept on. Better is crept by.
18. Time crawled by. In the intensity of her longing she could not remain still. OK
19. Don't creep so, be a man! Odd, but OK.

Hope these help. If you are unsure come back to me.
 

vil

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Hi apex2000,

I am unusually contented with your last post at the theme in question. It did me a lot of good.

Thank you for your precise surgical operation. Thank you also for your astonished patience as well as for your assiduous insistence. I will take the advantage of the present opportunity to use your amendment as a pattern to imitate in the years to come.

Thank you again for your empathy.

Regards.

V.
 

apex2000

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Hi apex2000,

I am (unusually)very contented with your last post (at) on the theme in question. It did me a lot of good.

Thank you for your (precise surgical operation) help. Thank you also for your (astonished) patience. (as well as for your assiduous insistence). I will take the advantage of the present opportunity to use your amendment as a pattern to imitate in the years to come.

Thank you again for your empathy.

Regards.

V.
Very nice of you to post such comments, Vil. I have taken the opportunity to make a few amendments which make your comments seem more natural.
I have suggested 'very contented' but 'very happy' is slightly better. 'Precise surgical operation' would only be used in a medical sense. 'Astonished' is wrong and nothing need replace it. The last part in brackets is totally unnecessary, not normal English, and would be too overpowering for the straightforward suggestions I have made.
 

vil

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Hi apex2000,

I am very happy with your successful attempt to refine my last comments. My words are in inadequate to express my gratitude.

It is a common knowledge that there are many shortcoming in my work. My writings were bad received because the proper words fail me to. From the second hand my style is clumsy and awkward. I have to mend my ways. I know the sooner the better. So I'm looking forwards to backing on the part of the teachers and NES at the present forum. Unfortunately many NES' consider my case hopeless. Most likely I'll turn a new leaf no sooner than the Second Coming.

It is difficult to make a crab walk straight.

Can the leopard change his spots?

Regards.

V.
 

Anglika

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Your writing is fluent, but you do fall into the trap of using complex words where a simple word may well be better. It is valuable to know the complex words and their meanings, but they do tend to make a person's writing look ponderous and pedantic.

Keep on - you always have interesting questions and your writing is definitely becoming easier.

Anyhow, why should one want a leopard without spots?
 

vil

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Dear Anglika,

Thank you for your well-meaning reply. Your words sounded very encouragingly to me.

Now I will try my hand at explanation the ancient proverb “Can the leopard change his spots?”

This is an insinuating proverb which is driving at my obstinacy in using complex words and expressions, which all too often were slow uptake from the people of moderate means.

You know:

spot = a mark of discredit or disgrace

There is an allusion to Jerammiah 13:23

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.”

Here is a message sent to king Jehoiakim, and his queen. Their sorrows would be great indeed. Do they ask, Wherefore come these things upon us? Let them know, it is for their obstinacy in sin. We cannot alter the natural color of the skin; and so is it morally impossible to reclaim and reform these people. Sin is the blackness of the soul; it is the discoloring of it; we were shapen in it, so that we cannot get clear of it by any power of our own. But Almighty grace is able to change the Ethiopian's skin. Neither natural depravity, nor strong habits of sin, form an obstacle to the working of God, the new-creating Spirit. The Lord asks of Jerusalem, whether she is determined not be made clean. If any poor slave of sin feels that he could as soon change his nature as master his headstrong lusts, let him not despair; for things impossible to men are possible with God. Let us then seek help from Him who is mighty to save.

You might see, the past time and the present time are side-by-side. O tempora, o mores!

Regards.

V.
 
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