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Thread: I've just got all these bulldozers and things to lie in front of...

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    I've just got all these bulldozers and things to lie in front of...

    'Well, I've just got all these bulldozers and things to lie in front of because they'll knock my house dawn if I don't, but other than that... well no not especially, why?

    This is the same as 'I've just got to lie in front of all these bulldozers and things because...'?


    © The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    : ch.1, p.16
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    Властелин
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    Oldboy,

    Yes.

    Scott

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    Thanks, fortheether!
    Why is such an inversion used here, to emphasis 'all these bulldozers and things'?
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    It's not exactly the same thing. "I've got to lie in front of all the bulldozers" means "I am obliged to lie...", so "I've got to" applies to "lie". "I've got all the bulldozers to lie in front of" establishes a connection between "I've got" and "bulldozers", as if there was an obligation towards the bulldozers to lie in front of them. Normally this structure would be used in sentences as "I've got so much work to take care of" or "I've got a family to consider", and in the case of this book it is used to make the joke funnier.
    Спасибо за исправления!

    Вам нравится этот форум, и вы изучаете немецкий язык? Вот похожий форум о немецком языке.

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    That is, from sense viewpoint, is it possible to say 'I've got all these bulldozers that I'm obliged to lie in front of' instead?
    Thanks for correcting me.

  6. #6
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboy View Post
    That is, from sense viewpoint, is it possible to say 'I've got all these bulldozers that I'm obliged to lie in front of' instead?
    Exactly right, oldboy. "I've got all these bulldozers that I'm obliged to lie in front of" sounds very slightly un-natural from an aesthetic point-of-view, but from a sense/meaning point-of-view, it signifies exactly the same thing as "I've got all these bulldozers to lie in front of" -- namely, that there is an obligation related to the bulldozers (and not to the act of lying down), as bitpicker explained perfectly.

    ЗЫ: The only problem with "that I'm obliged to lie in front of" is that I'm obliged sounds a little bit too formal and "Latinate" for the context. (Considering that Arthur Dent had just woken up, was still in his bathrobe, and hadn't shaved or showered yet.)

    But "I've got all these bulldozers that I've got to lie in front of" sounds appropriately colloquial. As I said above, the problem with obliged is purely an "aesthetic" one, and has nothing to do with grammatical or logical or lexical correctness.
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    А как лучше всего переводить французское выражение le mot juste на русский?

    In English, we usually say: "THE perfect word(s)" -- with a strong stress on the definite article. Or, in formal published writing, we sometimes use the French le mot juste (лэ мо ЖУСТ) untranslated.

    "Douglas Adams had a gift for finding THE perfect word to create a humorous effect."
    "Douglas Adams had a gift for finding le mot juste to create a humorous effect."
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

  8. #8
    Hanna
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    Oldboy, that book is written very much in the way that a British person would SPEAK, it is not necessarily elegant written language... But this is precisely one of the reasons why the book is entertaining to read. The other reason is the super-dry English humour. My advice would be to simply read the book and disregard any bit that you don't understand... As you read on, it will become clear. Also, the book is available in audio format off the internet. If I were you, I'd get that and listen on an mp3 player.

    There is an American book written with the same "SPEAKING" style English (American style); that is "The Catcher in the Rye". I'd recommend it. The language in that book is a bit 1950s... but it's a really nice and very funny book.

    I am sure there must be Russian books written in the same style.

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    bitpicker and Throbert McGee, many thanks indeed. I see now.

    Hanna, Yes, I know, I've listened to it performed both Douglas Adams and Stephen Fry. But I think before listening the book, it's better to understand the senses of phrases, meanings of words, and then you can listen to it as to remember pronunciations of the words, phrases, and then to enjoy it.
    "The Catcher in the Rye" have been read by me, only in Russian; by the way, we have it's called "Над пропастью, во ржи / Beside the brink, in the rye" ) I like it, but it's more sad than funny in the Russian edition, I think so... Thank you for the explanation and advice.
    Thanks for correcting me.

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    Старший оракул
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    After you are done with the book you can listen to the original radio show. I did exactly that and it was marvellous.

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    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks!
    And after that play the computer game. ))
    Thanks for correcting me.

  12. #12
    Почтенный гражданин oldboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    А как лучше всего перевести французское выражение le mot juste на русский?

    In English, we usually say: "THE perfect word(s)" -- with a strong stress on the definite article. Or, in formal published writing, we sometimes use the French le mot juste (лэ мо ЖУСТ) untranslated.

    "Douglas Adams had a gift for finding THE perfect word to create a humorous effect."
    "Douglas Adams had a gift for finding le mot juste to create a humorous effect."
    I would say "Дуглас Адамс - мастер в подборе точных слов при описании комических/смешных ситуаций".
    Thanks for correcting me.

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