X3w8w
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How to explain this grammar question...

Sorry my English student asked this question but I dont know how to answer... help?

"...Food was generally eaten by hand, meats being sliced off in large pieces held between the thumb and two fingers... "

why is it in large pieces instead of by large pieces?

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question, large, pieces, thumb, fingers
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Hacksaw tounge
(2 hours after post)
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trick question needs trick answers.. lol .. some kidder there!

X3w8w
(4 hours after post)
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lol I dont like these kind of questions

16935743 1750032141977429 1455532587 o
(11 hours after post)
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Because if it was cut by large pieces... it implies the pieces are doing the cutting.

X3w8w
(23 hours after post)
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Thanks for your help๐Ÿ˜

05ad6afe 1f85 4c4a 8680 4f73a3c1f45c
last online: <time class="timeago" datetime="1669828893" title="Nov 30, 2022 17:21">Nov 30, 2022 17:21</time>
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(2 days after post)
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This probably isn't the best way to explain it but just a thought (not an original one):

Prepositions are largely arbitrary when not being used in a literal, spatial sense.

So while "in" makes the most sense there in English, in their native language "by" might make more sense. Taking the preposition in the literal sense, the meat isn't being cut "in" pieces (of meat). It's being cut in a room, or in the kitchen, etc.

Another example "We spoke about that." Though it's not used this way in American English as much, "about" more or less means "around." But if you said "We spoke around that" it would sound weird, or imply you almost the opposite of "we spoke about that."

In italian or spanish, if i remember correctly, you'd rather say "we spoke of that."

#grammarthoughts

X3w8w
(6 days after post)
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Thanks so much for your answer :)

05ad6afe 1f85 4c4a 8680 4f73a3c1f45c
last online: <time class="timeago" datetime="1669828893" title="Nov 30, 2022 17:21">Nov 30, 2022 17:21</time>
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(1 month after post)
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You know it occurs to me that you said English student and i assumed it meant esl as opposed to teaching an english speaker about their own grammar.

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