a point abreast of

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Huda

Senior Member
Arabic-Egypt
Please help me.
Could anyone please rephrase the clause that begins with "it was a point abreast of" and ends with "appeared" because I can't understand what the writer means to say. The following sentences are excerpted from an article that is published by the Geographical Journal, 1923.

Four of the best camels were selected and four volunteers started off through the uplands, while we waited breathlessly to see them reappear behind the quarry. In fact, they misjudged the distance, and it was from a point abreast of instead of behind the wells that they appeared, charging down the hillside.

Thanks in advance
 
Last edited:
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    they misjudged the distance, and it was from a point abreast of instead of behind the wells that they appeared
    =
    they misjudged the distance, and so appeared from a point beside – instead of behind – the wells
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don’t know the details of the situation, because you haven’t explained what’s happening.

    abreast of = in line with = beside/next to
    (imagine a line of people all holding hands and all facing the same way – they are abreast of each other)
     

    Huda

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Egypt
    Thank you lingo. I understand the meaning of "abreast of" but I can't understand this expression in the aforementioned context and I can't understand what the writer means by the whole clause. The file type is pdf and I can't write more context. I attached a screenshot of the whole paragraph.
     

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    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Please help me.
    Could anyone please rephrase the clause that begins with "it was a point abreast of" and ends with "appeared" because I can't understand what the writer means to say. The following sentences are excerpted from an article that is published by the Geographical Journal, 1923.

    Four of the best camels were selected and four volunteers started off through the uplands, while we waited breathlessly to see them reappear behind the quarry. In fact, they misjudged the distance, and it was from a point abreast of instead of behind the wells that they appeared, charging down the hillside.

    Thanks in advance
    They were trying to sneak up on a couple of strangers down at the wells. But they came out at the wrong place and emerged beside the wells, not behind the wells. It doesn't seem so important a mistake because they achieved their objective of chasing off the strangers.

    I have no idea why they wanted to do this.
     

    Huda

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Egypt
    They were trying to sneak up on a couple of strangers down at the wells. But they came out at the wrong place and emerged beside the wells, not behind the wells.
    Thank you. This part "behind the wells that they appeared" sounds odd to me. I thought that they appeared behind the wells not beside the wells. Does appear here mean "emerge"?
    It doesn't seem so important a mistake because they achieved their objective of chasing off the strangers.
    How did you know that?
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Thank you. This part "behind the wells that they appeared" sounds odd to me. I thought that they appeared behind the wells not beside the wells. Does appear here mean "emerge"?

    How did you know that?
    From the chunk of text you quoted. Isn't that what happens?
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Please help me.
    Could anyone please rephrase the clause that begins with "it was a point abreast of" and ends with "appeared" because I can't understand what the writer means to say. The following sentences are excerpted from an article that is published by the Geographical Journal, 1923.

    Four of the best camels were selected and four volunteers started off through the uplands, while we waited breathlessly to see them reappear behind the quarry. In fact, they misjudged the distance, and it was from a point abreast of instead of behind the wells that they appeared, charging down the hillside.

    Thanks in advance
    The writer waited to see the riders emerge from the bush and ride down the hill to the wells. But the riders misjudged the distance. Therefore the riders emerged from at bush at a point abreast the wells instead of behind the wells, which is apparently what they intended?
     

    Huda

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Egypt
    I read lingo's and pony's replies and I've understood now. Thank you very much indeed.
     

    Huda

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Egypt
    they misjudged the distance, and it was from a point abreast of instead of behind the wells that they appeared
    =
    they misjudged the distance, and so appeared from a point beside – instead of behind – the wells
    Does appear here mean emerge?
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Thank you lingo. I understand the meaning of "abreast of" but I can't understand this expression in the aforementioned context and I can't understand what the writer means by the whole clause. The file type is pdf and I can't write more context. I attached a screenshot of the whole paragraph.
    This PDF is what I read that made me think that the miscalculation in where they emerged from the bush didn't really affect the result.
     
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