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Hi teachers,

Signs on the doors of the carriages on subway say:

Exit this side.

Exit from the opposite side.

Another one being:

How to exit (from) Windows.

Could I know the difference in meaning with or without "from"?

Thank you.

Regards,

Tinanam

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tinanam0102 Signs on the doors of the carriages on subway say:

Exit this side.

Exit from the opposite side.

Another one being:

How to exit (from) Windows.

Could I know the difference in meaning with or without "from"? Signs are sometimes ambiguous. You may have to read between the lines.

I believe "exit" has both a transitive and an intransitve sense.

If it's something you do to the window (transitive), then the preposition is not used.

If it's something you do to yourself, then the prepositional phrase is the correct form, modifying the action (adverbially). How do you exit? From the other side.

"Exit this side" probably means, "Don't exit from the other side."

Suppose it said, "Exit here." It probably means, "Don't exit there."
It could say, "Exit from here," which could mean "This is the point from which you should begin your exit (noun) of the building" OR "begin to exit (verbal) the building."

The "windows" example is easier than the "side" example. Using the preposition clearly makes the verb intransitive.

If you're reading a sign which says "exit other side," the intention could be transitive or intransitive, with preposition omitted ("on / from").
"Exit from other side" means "the other side is where you begin your action.
"Exit on other side" would mean the other side is where you perform the action.

(I give the "on" example only to clarify the meaning of the "from" example.)

"Exit from the bus!" imperative, intransitive
"Exit the bus!" imperative, transitive (this is something you do to the bus)

Edit Well, I may be in trouble here. My dictionary claims "exit" as a verb is intransitive only.
I've been wrong about it all these years.
I suppose "Take the bus" is intransitive also. "Board the bus!" "Take a cab!" "Take a drink."
Sorry about that. I don't know what to say.

"She left the train" is transitive. "She left by the back door" is intransitive.

"She exited the train" is intransitive. (Could it be because of the Latin translation?)

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Since writing this I have noted that my Am Htg Dictionary begins the entry for "exit" (let's call it the exit entry) with the word "Latin."

I now suspect that since the word "exit" in Latin comprises a complete sentence, we are understood to accept the Latin grammar for its use. Emotion: smile
Avangi
"Exit from the bus!" imperative, intransitive

"Exit the bus!" imperative, transitive (this is something you do to the bus)

Dear Avangi,

Thank you for your additional information.

Do you mean the first one "Exit from the bus" is like a command? Someone ask you to exit the bus. And "Exit the bus" would be more like you want to do it with your own will?

Regards,

Tinanam

An imperative statement has no subject. "Stand up." This is understood as "[You will] stand up."
Even when you say, "Please stand up," in grammatical terms it's considered a command.

Leave this place! (transitive) Leave from this place! (intransitive) Both are commands (imperative)
(Signs are almost always "commands.")

Both "leave" and "exit" are hard to explain as to the difference between transitive and intransitive.

If you wish to express that this is being done of your own volition, you could say, I'm going to exit / leave [from] the bus.

The special problems presented by the "Latin sentence," exit, only serve to confuse the effect which the preposition "from" may or may not have on the meaning.

Let's change the action to "make an announcement."
This is obviously transitive. You're doing something to something.
"Please make your announcement from / on this side."
"Please make your announcement from / on the other side."
We're talking about the place where you will perform your action.
You can perform the action in one place or the other place.

But what makes "leaving / exiting" special is that you can't do it in one place. You have to go from here to there. The action involves changing places. But you can do it from one place.
(1) You read the sign, "exit from other side."
(2) You go to the other side and find the door.
(3) You then proceed from a point inside the train to a point outside the train.

To my ear, there's nothing wrong with saying "Exit from this side." If a sign is clear without a word, they'll usually leave it out. This is not an advertisement. They don't want to hold your attention.
But I think the "from" does help to clarify exiting the other side, because you have to go there before you can do it.

If I had realized that "exit" is intransitive only, I would never have gone down that road, believe me!
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AvangiIf I had realized that "exit" is intransitive only, I would never have gone down that road, believe me!

Hi Avangi,

Happy New Year to you.

>If you don't mind, would you tell me what you meant by "I would never have gone down that road"?

>"Signs on the doors of the carriages on subway say" Would you correct this sentence for me? I'd like to know how to write sentences like this (whether "subway and carriages" should be a plural form)?

Thank you again.

TN

Going down a road is something like opening up a box, or opening a door. Sometimes you're unpleasantly surprised by what you find. Woops! I opened a can of worms. I let the genie out of the bottle. The phrase "unintended consequences" is currently popular.
If you had known the can was full of worms, you wouldn't have opened it.

I thought the transitive/intransitive idea would help explain the preposition question. But it actually created more problems than it solved.

<< "Signs on the doors of the carriages on subway say" >>

We say "subway cars." Do you say "subway carriages"?

Do you mean that the signs on all the doors have the same message?

If so, I'd use the definite article. If the context makes it clear that you're talking about a subway, I'd say, "The signs on the carriage doors say . . . "
If not, you might say "The signs on the subway carriage doors say . . . "
If some signs are different, you could say "There are signs on the subway carriage doors which say . . . . . " (There are also some which say something else.) Emotion: big smile

I'd use "door" in the singular only if each carriage had only one door.

**************************

As an aside, this form is not often used in the US these days:

<< Could I know the difference in meaning with or without "from"? >>

If you mean to politely inquire about something using this style, I'd use "may" or "might":
"Might I know the difference?" equals "Would/Could you please tell me the difference?"
But to use the expression in current English would suggest either that you're a truly humble person, or that you're being a bit sarcastic. Emotion: hmm
Hi Avangi,

I work as a customer service employee so it's part of my job that I have to be polite to my customers. I never know there's sarcastic. But why a girlfriend tells his boyfriend (very nice person), "Would you please call our doctor?" in a film. Because this boyfriend is ill and he is avoiding this doctor.

>Does that mean she's being sarcastic about his boyfriend who is not calling the doctor?

>My teacher used to teach us to delete "please" when used with "Would/Could" because it'd be extremely very polite. How would you ask a customer to fill out a form politely? Does "Can you please..." work better than "Might you", "May you", "Could you", "Would you"?

Thank you.

Tinanam
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"Would you please call our doctor" in the situation you describe sounds like an example of pleading. In the film, the line may have been delivered in a variety of ways, but I think the emotion would be genuine. She's seriously worried about the boyfriend's health, and she means exactly what she says. When she says "please," she's seriously begging.

Sarcastic could be, "Sure, go ahead. Just lie there and go into convulsions. You'll be okay!"
(She says the opposite of what she means, in an attempt to show him how foolish he's being.)

In your politeness examples, I'd avoid "may you" and "might you."
But I think it's quite appropriate for a customer service rep, or a salesman, to be more polite to his customers than, let's say, a customs agent at the border crossing. ("Could you please very kindly remove your clothes?") I see nothing wrong with "Could you please fill out these forms?" when speaking to a customer.
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