to test drill for gas

Discussion in 'English Only' started by marsbeing, May 6, 2014.

  1. marsbeing Senior Member

    Hello, what does "test drill" mean in the quoted sentence below:

    I've looked up "drill" on the Free Dictionary Online but none of the definitions seems to fit in the context. Does "drill" mean the act of drilling here?
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Yes, drill means the act of drilling. And a test drill is made to determine if there's anything down there worth really drilling for.
  3. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    Why not use the dictionary here on Wordreference? test
    and drill
  4. marsbeing Senior Member

    Thanks for confirming my guess, Copyright. : )


    Thanks for letting me know there's such a great dictionary!

    Regarding "test", isn't it a verb here? I think it's a noun when it functions as as a modifier.
  5. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    No, it's a noun acting as a modifier. I suppose it's an adverbial modifier here because it is modifying 'to drill'. If it was an application to undertake test drilling, then it would, I suppose, be an adjectival modifier.
  6. marsbeing Senior Member

    Now I see. Thanks again, Andygc.
  7. marsbeing Senior Member

    Wait, your comments seem to contradict each other. If drill is a noun here meaning the act of drilling, then test would be a verb, not a modifier.
  8. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    :confused: A noun acting as a modifier, as in oil drilling, wood drilling, metal drilling, post drilling, pile drilling. It describes the type of drilling. How could it be a verb?

    PS I just realised the source of your confusion.
    An application to test drill - to drill - verb.
    An application for test drilling - drilling - gerund.

    To drill is not the act of drilling.
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  9. marsbeing Senior Member

    And "test", as in the above quote, is an adverbial modifier?
  10. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    I think it has to be seen as one. It's certainly modifying the verb. Just the same as 'he test drove the car' or 'he test flew the new aeroplane'.
  11. marsbeing Senior Member

    Now I get it. Thanks for taking so much time to explain this to me, Andygc.

    I think it's time this usage went into all English dictionaries.

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