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barely

英語を勉強している方のためのフォーラムです。練習のために英語の文章を投稿してもかまわなく、英語の文法・語彙に関する質問をしてもけっこうです。

Re: barely

Postby AJBryant » Sun 06.08.2008 9:29 pm

I agree with Oracle 110 percent.


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Re: barely

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 06.08.2008 9:50 pm

Oracle wrote:Bit late, but's here my take on it

To me "barely missed it" means you missed the train by a small amount, but it sounds like one of those grammatically-correct-but-never-used-in-real-life constructions linguists use to test people :)


I use it all the time (not with trains so much, but with other things). Dialect difference, perhaps.
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Re: barely

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 06.10.2008 1:53 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:Simple question:

"I ran as hard as I could, and I barely missed the train."

Did you get on the train, or miss it?



Oracle wrote:Bit late, but here is my take on it

To me "barely missed it" means you missed the train by a small amount, but it sounds like one of those grammatically-correct-but-never-used-in-real-life constructions linguists use to test people :)
I wouldn't use "barely" in that way, I'd use "just" instead. "I *just* missed the train."

If I use "barely" with "missed" it would usually be in the sense of not getting to the stage/feeling of missing something (emotionally). Ie:

"The colleague who sits next to me was away for 3 weeks on a business trip. I barely missed him."

( = I didn't realise he was gone / I didn't really miss him at all :) )


the original question was, "Did you get on the train, or miss it?" with that question, and the original statement was, "I ran as hard as I could, and I barely missed the train."

I would ask for more CONTEXT. In it's form now, is all the information clear? No it is not. Were you running as hard as you could trying to forget about the train? (miss the train, similar to missing a person) Or were you running as hard as you could to catch the train? (in this case barely missing a train is no different than barely missing a baseball thrown at you. a miss is a miss and the only place where nearmisses are hits are horseshoes and handgrenades)

While I enjoy linguistics as much as I can handle them, I wonder if it isn't the linguists responsibility to be more clear and not blame the linguistics but put the blame on their own shoulders?
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Re: barely

Postby Feba » Tue 06.10.2008 2:47 pm

Oracle wrote:To me "barely missed it" means you missed the train by a small amount, but it sounds like one of those grammatically-correct-but-never-used-in-real-life constructions linguists use to test people :)
I wouldn't use "barely" in that way, I'd use "just" instead. "I *just* missed the train."


Well, now, see, I'd read that as you having JUST missed the train a moment ago; not having missed the train by a small amount. And then there's "I just barely missed it".

THT brings up a good point that, without context, it could actually mean someone misses a train. It's perfectly possible (in the same way you can miss any other object or place), and in that case "I barely missed it" and "I just missed it" could both be read as supporting that interpretation. "I just barely missed it." I don't think could be read that way, though.
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Re: barely

Postby AJBryant » Tue 06.10.2008 2:59 pm

The only way I can envision "I barely missed the train" as at ALL meaning the speaker made it onto the train is if he misused "barely" for "nearly."

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Re: barely

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 06.10.2008 3:42 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:I would ask for more CONTEXT.


One of the reasons I didn't give context is that I wanted to see the response without it -- to me, it is absolutely impossible for "barely missed the train" to mean that you got on the train, no matter what the context. If someone said "I barely missed the train, but luckily I got on just as the door was closing" I would wonder whether they were a native English speaker. But apparently others disagree, which was one reason for making this thread.
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Re: barely

Postby Feba » Tue 06.10.2008 4:43 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
two_heads_talking wrote:I would ask for more CONTEXT.


One of the reasons I didn't give context is that I wanted to see the response without it -- to me, it is absolutely impossible for "barely missed the train" to mean that you got on the train, no matter what the context. If someone said "I barely missed the train, but luckily I got on just as the door was closing" I would wonder whether they were a native English speaker. But apparently others disagree, which was one reason for making this thread.


I would have to agree; if it had been a close call you would've said "I nearly missed" or "I almost missed". http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=barely would lead me to believe that using barely (instead of Almost or Nearly) to indicate that you had made it on would be incorrect. "I only just missed the train" or "I scarcely missed the train" would indicate that you DID miss it, but by a very small amount. Likewise, "I barely made it on to the train" would indicate that you did in fact make it aboard.
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Re: barely

Postby chikara » Tue 06.10.2008 7:45 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:..... If someone said "I barely missed the train, but luckily I got on just as the door was closing" I would wonder whether they were a native English speaker. ......

Certainly in my flavour of English that sentence contains a contradiction and does not make sense.

I agree with Tony-san, that sentence would make sense if the speaker had
AJBryant wrote:..... misused "barely" for "nearly." ...
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