blanket given by the nurses

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HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
Hello, again.

How different would the subtlety be if 'the nurses' were changed to 'a nurse' here? (Certainly it is a singular nurse who gave the blanket to her. For what purpose the nurses is used here, I wonder. They discussed and decided to give it to her? I doubt it)

“Liz?” It was the first time he had used her first name, and she sat up, worried about Peter again.

“Is something wrong?” She set her feet down on the carpet, and tossed off the blanket she’d been given by the nurses.
('The House on Hope Street' by Danielle Steel)
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Hi.

    "Given by the nurses" does not mean that several nurses picked up a blanket together and handed it to her (if that's the impression those words gave you). It just implies that there were various nurses there, perhaps helping her in various ways, and one of them gave her a blanket.

    To give you another example, I was reading an article on the Nepal earthquake which referred to rescuers finding a child alive in rubble. It is quite likely that the child was found by one rescuer but the word rescuers is still used because they were working together for the same purpose.

    Having said that, you could also say "by a nurse".
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    There would have been several nurses, but writing "a nurse" or (better) "one of the nurses" would seem to place undue importance on that nurse - as though she were more caring than the others, perhaps..
     
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    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    [...]
    "Given by the nurses" does not mean that several nurses picked up a blanket together and handed it to her (if that's the impression those words gave you). [...]
    Hi, Barque. That I didn't have. No the scene was clearly in my mind but it's the intricate meaning 'the nurses' would give out, vis-a-vis just 'a nurse,' I was curious about.

    There would have been several nurses, but writing "a nurse" or (better) "one of the nurses" would seem to place undue importance on that nurse - as though she were more caring than the others, perhaps..
    Hi, velisarius. It would be like 'As soon as we arrived at Disney Land, our son dashed to the rides,' then, when in actuality he dashed to one ride (He can't go to more than just one ride at the same time). 'A ride' would get, as you say, undue importance.
     
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