throw, fling, toss

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vil

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Dear teachers,

I couldn’t well understand what do we need to use three different verbs for one and the same action in the following three sentences:

1. The children threw snowballs at each other.
2. He was so angry that he flung the book on the table and ran out.
3. The coachman tossed the shilling into the street and offered to fight Mr. Pickwick. The juggler was tossing eight balls into the air at once.

Throw is the general word in this group.

Fling is to throw violently or sometimes angrily or contemptuously.

Toss implies a light, careless, an sometimes, aimless throwing.

Would you be so kind to tell me some more explanatory words about this lavishness of words?

Thank you in advance for your efforts.

Regards.

V.
 

stuartnz

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Dear teachers,

I couldn’t well understand what do we need to use three different verbs for one and the same action in the following three sentences:
V.

I'm not a teacher, but I would say this first: We don't need to use those three different verbs. It would be quite possible to use "throw" in each of them.

Having the other verbs gives us more choice, more options, and thus the ability to make finer distinctions. I would liken it to a painter. In the basic colour groups of red, green, and blue there are thousands of shades. Each shade might be only subtly different from others, but having them available lets the painter pick exactly the right one for his or her needs.

So it is with words of similar basic meaning like the three verbs you mention. Each means something slightly different, as indicated by the excellent definitions you posted. Having them all available lets us choose whichever one best fits.
 

vil

Key Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bulgarian
Home Country
Bulgaria
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Hi stuartnz,

Thank you for your artistic explanation.

I am in full agreement with every word in your last post at the present thread.

Regards.

V.
 
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