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Imbibe
PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:51 am Reply with quote
Blumengarten
 
Joined: 09 Sep 2006
Posts: 32


A colleague asked me which preposition would work best with imbibe. She was trying to construct a sentence to explain how her dogs drank slime water. Her question was whether she should use the phrase "the dogs imbibed in slime water" or "the dogs imbibed with slime water."

To my ear, they both sound off and we were trying to decide if a preposition is needed with the verb imbibe. So, can any Word Nerd (or word nerd) help us?
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 1:31 am Reply with quote
Kathleen S.
 
Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 10


Both sentences sound awkward to the ear and the prepositions actually make them ambiguous.

The first can be read two ways:
"The dogs were in the slime water that they drank."
"The dogs were in slime water as they drank."
They may sound the same, but in the second possible interpretation of the sentence it is not clear what the dogs were drinking, just that they were drinking.

The second can be read as:
"The slime water drank with the dogs."
While this is logically impossible, it is not grammatically so.

I would omit the preposition altogether.
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:42 pm Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


Kathleen S. wrote:
I would omit the preposition altogether.

I agree with this. "Imbibe" can be a transitive verb (i.e., one that takes a direct object). Therefore, you can imbibe something--a drink, water, wine, whatever.

You can also imbibe a lot, without having an object. It can also be intransitive. So you could imbibe in a bar, on a stool, out of a bottle.

But I just can't hear a preposition used with the thing you imbibe.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:54 pm Reply with quote
canismajoris
 
Joined: 17 Jul 2008
Posts: 5


Dave wrote:
Kathleen S. wrote:
I would omit the preposition altogether.

I agree with this. "Imbibe" can be a transitive verb (i.e., one that takes a direct object). Therefore, you can imbibe something--a drink, water, wine, whatever.

You can also imbibe a lot, without having an object. It can also be intransitive. So you could imbibe in a bar, on a stool, out of a bottle.

But I just can't hear a preposition used with the thing you imbibe.

Eh, I can hear imbibing in a bar, but that's sort of a bizarre thing to say when "drink" is readily available.
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Imbibe
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