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Wednesday, 13 June 2007

AAE Q71: a few questions

Hello,

I have couple of questions.

Thanks

Ján

1. I saw this:"I can swim like a fish." but "It is as sweet as honey." Why do you use like in the first sentence and as in the second one? - I think they both refer to simile.

Both of these expressions are similes.

  • "I can swim like a fish." means that I can swim similarly to a fish
  • "It is as sweet as honey" means that it is the same level of sweetness as honey.
Simile - a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with `like' or `as'). It is still a simile when you compare two things as being similar (using like) or as being the same (using as).

2. What is the difference between plenty of and enough, for example "plenty of glasses" or "enough glasses"

  • If you have 'plenty of glasses' you have more than enough. For example if you are having a party and invite twenty people. 30 glasses would be plenty.
  • If you have 'enough glasses' you have a sufficient or adequate number of glasses. In the example above that would be 20 glasses.
3. Is there any difference between these words:"until" and "till"?

Basically in most cases you can use either. I found the following paragrah about these words on the net

"Till and until are generally interchangeable in both writing and speech, though as the first word in a sentence until is usually preferred: Until you get that paper written, don't even think about going to the movies.·Till is actually the older word, with until having been formed by the addition to it of the prefix un-, meaning "up to." In the 18th century the spelling 'till became fashionable, as if till were a shortened form of until. Although 'till is now nonstandard, 'til is sometimes used in this way and is considered acceptable, though it is etymologically incorrect."

4. What is the difference between "a bit" and "a little". Can I say: "I speak a little English, or I speak a bit English, or both: I speak a little bit English"?

In the sentences
"I speak a little English and "I speak a bit of English", a little and a bit of are quantifiers: words that come before and modify nouns. Both of these quantifiers mean the same and must be used with uncountable nouns.

The sentence "I speak a little bit of English" means that you speak less than a bit or a little.

5. Why do you say: "I have never been to London" and not "I have never been in London.?"
Is it a rule to use "to"?

"I have never been to London" basically uses 'been' as a past participle (third form) of the verb 'go'. It expresses movement to a place, and therefore we use the prepostion to.

"I have never been in London" is possible but uses 'been' as the past participle of the verb 'be'. It expresses being 'in', 'on', 'at' etc a place. For example:

"I have never been in a submarine"
"I have never been on a plane"


Hope this answers your questions.

M

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