+0
Hi teachers,

"In" indicates consequences, and I'd like to know if the following sentences could be reversed in sequence. Thanks

1. In reaching the remote control, he knocked over the cup.

> He knocked over the cup in reaching the remote control.

2. Mary takes her time in explaining her current mindset over the death of her daughter.

> In explaining her current mindset, Mary takes her time.

3. Doctor Yam's answer to the question is crucial in deciding whether the defendant was in a state of maniac episode at the time of committing crime.

> In deciding whether the defendant was in state of manic episode at the time of committing crime, Doctor Yam's answer to the question is crucial.

Thanks

TN
+0
I think only the first example is really natural as a reversal. (I'd probaly say "in reaching for the cup." In other words, it's the process, or the attempt, which leads to the consequences. If you wish to avoid the "for," and indicate that the attempt was successful, you could say, "In picking up the remote control, he knocked over the cup.")

Numbers two and three don't follow the model of number one with respect to "consequences." Also, the reversal of number three is awkward because the main clause is too long delayed.

Edit. In my opinion, #2 indicates no consequences. There's no causal relationship as with #1. There's not even an implied reason why her current mindset should cause her to take her time. The preposition doesn't even indicate purpose here.
I'd say "in" means "while in the process of," without the process actually being responsible for anything.

In taking my walk I stopped to watch the squirrels.

If you say, "In taking my walk I neglected to keep track of the time, and missed my appointment," then there are consequences.
+0
tinanam01021. In reaching the remote control, he knocked over the cup.

> He knocked over the cup in reaching the remote control.

2. Mary takes her time in explaining her current mindset over the death of her daughter.

> In explaining her current mindset, Mary takes her time.

3. Doctor Yam's answer to the question is crucial in deciding whether the defendant was in a state of maniac episode at the time of committing crime.

> In deciding whether the defendant was in state of manic episode at the time of committing crime, Doctor Yam's answer to the question is crucial.
tinanam0102What does "in" do in #2 and #3? Their meaning per se? I expect the various meanings of "in" have been codified by the ESL community, and I hesitate to add my own interpretation.
But I think in numbers two and three, "in X" means "in the process of X." (in the process of explaining; in the process of deciding)
I know this is not much help, because you can say the same of #1: in the process of reaching. But #1 is special, because the "reaching" is the cause of the "knocking."
However, in 2 & 3, you can't say that "explaining" or "deciding" are the causes of anything.

In the sentence of "The insurance company is dragging its feet on paying John's insurance". And why "in" is not used? (I think it should be.)
Sometimes a procedure is looked at as an item on a list, or an item on an agenda. We may ask, "What's you opinion on number two?" "Don't worry about number three." "Take your time on number five." "Let's not drag our feet on number four." "Let's really do a good job on this one."
That is, we drag our feet in the process of doing the job. Or, we drag our feet on this particular job.

In the sentence of "I called the repsected respective / appropriate department on Mainland the mainland to report the containmated melamine contamination from found in a batch of baby formulas, and Authorities on the mainland was were dragging its their feet in recalling them" (I'm not sure about the wording, but "in" is definite there. Could you correct the mistakes in this sentence for me? Thank you)

And question is why "in" is used and not "on" in the above sentence?

I take "was dragging its feet in recalling them" as "was dragging its feet in the process of recalling them." Emotion: smile

Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
1 2
Comments  
Hi Avangi,

What does "in" do in #2 and #3? Their meaning per se?

In the sentence of "The insurance company is dragging its feet on paying John's insurance". And why "in" is not used?

In the sentence of "I called the repsected department on Mainland to report the containmated melamine from a batch of baby formulas, and Authorities on mainland was dragging its feet in recalling them" (I'm not sure about the wording, but "in" is definite there. Could you correct the mistakes in this sentence for me? Thank you)

And question is why "in" is used and not "on" in the above sentence?

Thank you

TN
tinanam0102 In the sentence of "The insurance company is dragging its feet on paying John's insurance". And why "in" is not used?
"In" would definitely be my choice here. I don't know why so many people choose to use "on" in this situation.

I'll get back to you. I have to rush out. Emotion: surprise
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
 Avangi's reply was promoted to an answer.
Hi Avangi,

I'd looked up the word in the dictionary (Free dictionary on line) before I posted this question.

drag your feet/heels

to deal with something slowly because you do not really want to do it (often + on ) He was asked why the government had dragged its feet on the question of a single European currency. (often + over ) We don't want to look as if we're dragging our heels over promoting women to senior positions.

Could the use of "on" apply to what you just explained to me as in "sometimes a procedure is looked at as an item on a list, or an item on an agenda"?

I notice that "over" is also an alternative here, and "over" also used with words like "concern (noun)", But just to be sure that the example cited in blue, "over" means "concerning" right? Could I look at "over" as "much longer hovering / lingering issue" that calls for its use? Or is it more formal to use "over" than "about"?

And why "in" not used then?

Sorry about this, but my knowledge does come short on the prepositions.

Thanks

TN
When it comes to preposition problems, you're in good company.

Re foot-dragging, we may generally use either "in" or "on," depending on where we want to place our focus - whether we wish to consider the dragging in reference to an item or a process.

In either case, the reason for the dragging is not stated. That's where "over" comes into the picture.
There may be an issue involved in causing the delay.

They're dragging their feet in/on passing the legislation because of the high cost. They're dragging their feet over the cost. (because of the cost) (they're concerned over the cost) (they're concerned about the cost)

I suppose there's a sense of "hovering" here, but I've never thought of it that way before. Good point.

(Dammit, now I've forgotten which was in blue, and I can't see it from here! I'll make an edit, if I don't get timed out.)

The difference between "concerned about" and "concerned over" is not really one of register.

"Concerned about" can often mean "involved with the details pertaining to", or "concerned with." It can mean that you feel something needs more attention or more work.

People sometimes use "concerned over" to express their emotional unease with a situation. "I'm concerned over the way laboratory animals are used in the testing of cosmetics." Emotion: sad

Edit. Here's the blue one:
I take "was dragging its feet in recalling them" as "was dragging its feet in the process of recalling them."

I don't think the sense of dragging it's feet over is involved in this sentence.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
tinanam0102I'd like to know if the following sentences could be reversed in sequence.
Yes, they can be reversed. Sometimes these reversals are used as a stylistic device to provide variety. As explained above, the use of the in ...-ing pattern at the beginning is more natural in the first than in the second and third examples. That's because in the first case the reaching is not related to the cup; it's not a case of the cup in reaching as any sort of logical grouping; whereas in the second case time is spent explaining, so takes her time in explaining makes a sort of grouping; and in the third case crucial in deciding is a sort of grouping also because the question is crucial with respect to the deciding process.

CJ
Hi Avangi, Hi CJ,

Finally some happy tears after all this struggling over the prepositons. I have had this love/hate situation about prepositions - I hate them, but I can't live without them, and finally you learn to live in peace with them and evetually to love them. Fortunately both of your answers has put me in the path of loving them. Thank you.

Just one more question about " crucial to". Could "in" be replaced by "to"? Dictionaries have provided "crucial to/for", and it's also a sort of grouping to me. Note: Your Honor, Doctor Yam's answer to the question is crucial in deciding whether the defendant was in a state of maniac episode at the time of committing crime.

Thanks again

TN
Show more