Between the pounding of hammers, I could hear the whimpering dog.

Nightowll

Senior Member
Italian
One day your neighbors are making large shelves. As you pass by, you hear the whimpers of a lost dog, though barely because the noise the neighbors are making is so loud. You can only hear the dog when the neighbors' hammers are not hitting anything.

Between the pounding of hammers, I could hear the whimpering dog.

Do you think I'm using between in this sentence correctly? Can between be used to describe a sound situation like this?
 
  • Nightowll

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thank you! :)

    Between hammer blows, I could hear the whimpering dog.

    Between the pounding of hammers, I could hear the whimpering dog.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I would say no, it’s not good, because between refers to at least two things, and pounding is only one thing.

    But I don’t disagree that it has a nice ring to it. I would probably tweak it, for example to “behind the pounding of hammers, I could hear the dog whimpering”.
     

    Nightowll

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thanks! :)

    So you should use behind instead of between if you say "the pounding of hammers." If you use between, perhaps you could say "between hammer blows" like Barque suggested.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I would much prefer:

    Between the sounds of the pounding of the hammer ...

    It would also seem to resolve Lingo's objection.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It would be more logical to say between hammer blows, certainly, but it’s much more prosaic (it doesn’t sound as nice).

    Behind does not quite mean the same thing – it was just a suggestion in order to retain the literary ring of the original.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It would be more logical to say between hammer blows, certainly, but it’s much more prosaic (it doesn’t sound as nice).

    Behind does not quite mean the same thing – it was just a suggestion in order to retain the literary ring of the original.

    But still I am wanting to hear "sounds"

    Between the sounds of the hammer blows...

    But perhaps ...

    Lost in the sounds of the hammer blows was the whimpering of the dog.
     

    Nightowll

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I see, sounding literary and being grammatical at the same time is difficult in this case.

    Between the pounding of hammers ...
    This sounds nice but is not grammatical.

    Between hammer blows ...
    This is grammatical.

    Behind the pounding of hammers ...
    This sounds nice and also is grammatical, but it means something different (the pounding and the whimpers are heard at the same time).

    Between the sounds of the pounding of the hammer ...
    Between the sounds of the hammer blows ...

    These sentences could be the most precise? Though they might imply there were multiple kinds of sound.

    Lost in the sounds of the hammer blows was the whimpering of the dog.
    I wonder if this means the dog ended up not being found because of the loud hammers. :oops: But it could be just me.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I wonder if this means the dog ended up not being found because of the loud hammers. :oops: But it could be just me.
    I think most native English speakers would understand that the "sound" of the whimpering dog was being lost in the "sounds" of the hammer blows. The word "sound" is understood as "whimpering" is a type of sound.

    Lost in the sounds of the hammer blows was the whimpering [sound] of the dog.

    (Crossed posts with Myridon. It appears we agree.)
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    This sounds nice but is not grammatical.
    It is grammatical. My only objection to it is that to use "between", you need distinct things between which something can exist. The phrase "pounding of hammers" suggests a single body of sound to me. I felt "between" goes better with "hammer blows" which, to me, indicate different and distinct things--each individual blow.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It is grammatical. My only objection to it is that to use "between", you need distinct things between which something can exist. The phrase "pounding of hammers" suggests a single body of sound to me. I felt "between" goes better with "hammer blows" which, to me, indicate different and distinct things--each individual blow.
    :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
    Another way to express this is:

    You cannot stand between one building (or object); you can stand between two or more buildings (or objects). So "pounding of hammers" is the equivalent of one object. You cannot stand between one object.
     

    Nightowll

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Good to know! :)

    Lost in the sounds of the hammer blows was the whimpering [sound] of the dog.
    So the whimpering sound was lost, but not the dog, so the sentence says nothing about whether the dog was found. Perhaps part of the reason I was confused was that I didn't know whether lost meant unable to find one's way or that has been taken away or cannot be recovered in this sentence.
     

    Nightowll

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thanks for clarifying! :)

    You mean 11. to have (someone) slip from sight or awareness: to have slip from sight, hearing, attention, etc.: to allow to go astray or out of sight:? Your definition makes more sense than the dictionary in this case.
     

    Nightowll

    Senior Member
    Italian
    OK, so "lost in the sounds of the hammer blows" perhaps means something like lingobingo's "behind the pounding of hammers."
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If the whimpering was lost, you wouldn’t hear it at all. But you could say it was obscured (or, colloquially, drowned out) by the pounding of hammers.
     

    Nightowll

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I see, "behind the pounding of hammers" is more like obscured or drowned out, but "lost in the sounds of hammer blows" means completely drowned out. That's why we can't say, "I could hear the whimpering of the dog lost in the sounds of the hammer blows," while Packard's sentence is fine.
     
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