Thursday, 18 December 2008

not for want of something

4 comments:

юлия said...

Teacher, the last phrase is not that easy. I'd like to see another example, if possible, and maybe a synonym for it or phrase that would fit in the example instead.

Teacher said...

Hello Yulia - probably the best way to understand 'want' in these contexts is to replace it with 'lack'. 'Tony didn't manage to eat all the cakes in Siberia, but it wasn't for the lack of trying.' In other words, Tony made a huge effort to eat all the cakes in Siberia, but he failed for another reason other than effort, such as the capacity of his stomach. Here, then, the phrase can be rewritten as follows: 'Tony didn't manage to eat all the cakes in Siberia, but he did his best.' I hope you find that helpful.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to you both. That was really helpful. Can I now check my understanding? Is my example correct and clear?
'I can't afford buying Buckingham Palace but it isn't for the want of money.'

Teacher said...

Hello Anonymous - if you mean 'I can't afford to buy Buckingham Palace but it's not because I haven't got enough money, it's for some other reason like publicity', then, yes, your example is correct and clear.

 
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