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Thread: I beg (of) you

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    I beg (of) you

    What's the difference between "I beg you" and "I beg of you"?
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    Re: I beg (of) you

    Nothing really, "beg of you" is just more old-fashioned. My guess would be that originally the verb to beg (and probably not only this verb) took the request itself as its object, rather than the addressee, e.g. I beg forgiveness of you, but over time it became normal to treat the addressee as the object, e.g. I beg you for forgiveness, perhaps because that's how many other English verbs work.

    It's sort of like the difference between...

    Я прошу Вас прощения.
    Я задаю Вам вопрос.

    ... with the verb to beg being able to use either construct.

    Like I said though, that's just a guess.

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    Re: I beg (of) you

    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    Я прошу у Вас прощения.
    А можно "I beg you" (или "I beg of you") употребить отдельно - не прошу чего-то, а просто прошу вас? Например: Tell me, I beg (of) you!!!
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    Re: I beg (of) you

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    Я прошу у Вас прощения.
    А можно "I beg you" (или "I beg of you") употребить отдельно - не прошу чего-то, а просто прошу вас? Например: Tell me, I beg (of) you!!!
    Yeah they can both be used like that. "Beg of you..." sounds a bit more melodramatic and archaic, but then "beg" is a pretty melodramatic verb to begin with. I think in modern contexts you're more likely to hear it phrased as "I'm begging you" rather than either of your examples.

    Something else just occurred to me too: I think you can only use the "beg of you" construct in the first (and maybe second) person. You can't say for example "John begged of Bill forgiveness", only "John begged Bill for forgiveness".

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    Re: I beg (of) you

    I would think of "I beg you" as asking for something concrete, an object: I beg you, please give me a drink. I would think of "I beg of you" as pleading for some sort of action: I beg of you, please don't leave.
    You have to consider the context of these phrases as it would be highly unusual to hear them in "real life."
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    Re: I beg (of) you

    Scotcher''s comment that "beg of" sounds more archaic and melodramatic is right on.

    Nowadays we mostly use "I beg you" or "I'm begging you" to reinforce a request that was said in a different way first:

    "Sharon, please-please-please be nice to Mom this Thanksgiving, I'm begging you. Can't we have a nice time at home just this once?"

    "Mr. Jones, please don't fire me, I'm begging you. I have three kids to feed, and nobody is hiring now."

    We also use it a lot to report when someone implored someone else for help.

    "She begged her husband to go to the doctor, but he just wouldn't listen." (That doesn't mean that she necessarily used the word "beg," just that she asked him with great emotion.)

    "I begged her not to go out with that guy. He's a complete sleazebag."

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    Re: I beg (of) you

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    What's the difference between "I beg you" and "I beg of you"?
    By any chance is this because of what I wrote to Cocos & AlexB?

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Please, I beg of you, respond in English. Rockzmom
    Quote Originally Posted by doninphxaz
    Scotcher''s comment that "beg of" sounds more archaic and melodramatic is right on.
    It is an expression that I tend to use and in the context of the request, I was being melodramatic. When you well educated Russians start chatting back and forth in Russian on a thread that I started, I get lost and worried. So, that was why I selected that particular expression to use. Also, it might have to do with my age and how and where I was raised in the U.S.

    So for me personally, I use "I beg of you" much more than "I'm begging you" or "I beg you." It is just my style of speaking.
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    Re: I beg (of) you

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    By any chance is this because of what I wrote to Cocos & AlexB?
    No, it's because of what I've read in Conan Doyle's "The Hound Of The Baskervilles":
    Don't move, I beg you, Watson.
    I always thought it should be "I beg of you" (and my dictionaries say so), so I was wondering if it was not a mistake/typo, since the book was printed in Russia.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: I beg (of) you

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    it's because of what I've read in Conan Doyle's "The Hound Of The Baskervilles":
    Don't move, I beg you, Watson.
    I always thought it should be "I beg of you" (and my dictionaries say so), so I was wondering if it was not a mistake/typo, since the book was printed in Russia.
    Nope, the I beg you is perfectly normal, not a typo.

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