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Hello people!

Can you think of an analogous construction to "to squeeze something dry"? I mean, a VERB + something + an adjective.

Does the expression "to beat someone dead" exist? I know that "to beat someone black and blue does.

Can we "create" this kind of expression or are they "fixed expressions" in a way?

Now, if i think of the phrase "to drive someone mad", the structure looks similar, but the meaning doesn't. I realized this when I tried to paraphrase the phrase:

1. "to squeeze something dry" = "to squeeze something until it's dry"

2. "to beat someone dead" = "to beat someone until he/she is dead", same with "to beat someone black and blue"

3. "to drive someone mad" = "to drive someone until he/she gets mad"* This is not possible.

Thanks a lot!

Mara.
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Hi Mara,

Can you think of an analogous construction to "to squeeze something dry"? I mean, a VERB + something + an adjective.

Does the expression "to beat someone dead" exist? It sounds odd, because it's uncommon, but I wouldn't really call it wrong. After all, we can shoot someone dead. I know that "to beat someone black and blue does.

Can we "create" this kind of expression or are they "fixed expressions" in a way? I think a lot of them are common, but I see no reason why you can't 'create' one. See my comment, below, on the structure, which is not really an unusual one.

Now, if i think of the phrase "to drive someone mad", the structure looks similar, but the meaning doesn't. I realized this when I tried to paraphrase the phrase:

1. "to squeeze something dry" = "to squeeze something until it's dry"

2. "to beat someone dead" = "to beat someone until he/she is dead", same with "to beat someone black and blue"

3. "to drive someone mad" = "to drive someone until he/she gets mad"* This is not possible. I see this as similar to the others. The verb'drive' is just a little less concrete. It means 'force', 'urge'.

I think the overall structure is just 'verb + object + adjective that describes result of verb's action'. Isn't it really just similar to 'He painted the wall blue'?

Best wishes, Clive

"drive" means to "harass" in this case. And "mad" means "crazy".
So the expression "to drive someone mad" is, in fact, analogous to "to squeeze something dry".

shake someone awake
shake something loose
beat someone senseless
knock someone unconscious
bore someone silly/stiff (idioms)
wash something clean
wipe something dry
push/pull something (door) open/closed
stand something upright

CJ
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Can you use "squeeze something dry" to mean you have done everything possible with a subject: "We've squeezed these pictures dry" We've said such a lot about them, while comparing and contrasting them, that we don't feel it's possible to say anything more?
I would never use it that way. I doubt that you'll find many who would.

CJ
Hi,

When you use the phrase "squeeze something or someone dry," I think it means you get something out of something or someone until there isn't anything left to get it out.

I think you would hear the expression "squeeze someone dry" more often than "squeeze something dry."
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Hi, CalifJim.

I agree that those examples are analogous to "to squeeze something dry." I think for the two I have brought out (up??) from your examples. they can use the adverb form too but that would create different meanings. Am I right?

shake something loose -- loosen up something by shaking it.

shake something loosely -- I think this is grammartically correct but the meaning isn't clear.

beat someone senseless -- beat someone until he can feel nothing.

beat someone senselessly -- beat someone severely, to a degree that is senseless.
the two I have brought out (up??) selected from your examples they can use the adverb form too, but that would create different meanings. Am I right?
Yes and no.

shake something loose - shake it until it is loose
shake something loosely - [hard to assign a meaning here - maybe, shake it without grasping it firmly?]
beat someone senseless - beat someone until he can feel nothing
beat someone senselessly - This could mean "beat someone for no reason", meaning that it was senseless (irrational) for someone to beat another in this manner, but more often the expression is "a senseless beating".

CJ