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At a/the Full Speed Of

 
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Hiroaki Sone



Joined: 29 Oct 2005
Posts: 32
Location: Sendai, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:22 am    Post subject: At a/the Full Speed Of Reply with quote

Hi.

Would you please go over the sentences with me, and tell me if I'm okay in understanding the subtleties?

[1] This auto ran at a speed of 210 MPH.
There may be a difference from the actual, precise speed, but it drove at more or less 210 MPH.
[2] This auto ran at the speed of 210MPH.
Sounds like its speed was measured, and it was precisely 210 MPH.

[3] This auto ran at a top speed of 210MPH.
In the mind of the author, he may be comparing the top speed of this car and those of others.
[4] This auto ran at the top speed of 210MPH.
He is only thinking of the top speed of this vehicle.

[5] This auto has a top speed of 210MPH.
[6] This auto has the top speed of 210MPH.
[5] sounds fine, but [6] odd.

Thanks in advance for your enlightenment.

Hiro/ back from a three-week stint downunder, and getting grumpy at the prospect of having to go back to work tomorrow. Sad
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Lorikeet



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 1847
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm I never thought about the differences before. 1 and 2 sound about the same to me, as do 3 and 4. I will be interested to see what some other native speakers think.
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Hiroaki Sone



Joined: 29 Oct 2005
Posts: 32
Location: Sendai, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi.

Thank for your posting, Lorikeet. What do you think of [5] and [6]? [6] sounds a tad strange to my ear.

Hiro
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doliver



Joined: 09 Oct 2005
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:37 am    Post subject: a top speed / the top speed Reply with quote

Hi, Hiro-san.

You wrote:

Quote:
[1] This auto ran at a speed of 210 MPH.
There may be a difference from the actual, precise speed, but it drove at more or less 210 MPH.
[2] This auto ran at the speed of 210MPH.
Sounds like its speed was measured, and it was precisely 210 MPH.


Comments:

I agree with your interpretation for [2], but my interpretation of [1] is that there were several autos and several speeds, with one particular auto ("this auto") running at 210 mph.

----------------------------------------------------------

Then you wrote:

Quote:

[3] This auto ran at a top speed of 210MPH.
In the mind of the author, he may be comparing the top speed of this car and those of others.
[4] This auto ran at the top speed of 210MPH.
He is only thinking of the top speed of this vehicle.


Comments:

I don't understand [3] as a comparison. Instead, I understand 210 mph as one of many speeds.

I also don't understand [4] as the top speed of one particular vehicle; instead, I understand 210 mph as the top speed possible for any vehicle. If I wanted to show that 210 mph was the top speed of that particular vehicle, I would've written "This auto ran at its top speed of 210 mph."


----------------------------------------------------------

Then you wrote:

Quote:

[5] This auto has a top speed of 210MPH.
[6] This auto has the top speed of 210MPH.
[5] sounds fine, but [6] odd.


Comments:

I agree that [5] sounds fine, but [6] doesn't. To me, [5] means that the auto's top speed is one of many possible speeds, while [6] means that 210 mph is the top speed possible and this auto has it.


----------------------------------------------------------

Best wishes, as always.
_________________
Dennis Oliver
Estrella Mountain Community College
Avondale, AZ U.S.A.
http://www.emc.maricopa.edu
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Hiroaki Sone



Joined: 29 Oct 2005
Posts: 32
Location: Sendai, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Dennis.

How have you been? Thanks for your help. As always, your insight is so deep I can actually "see" the phrases.

Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
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