<by the fire> at Camp Waconda

VicNicSor

Senior Member
Russian
-- I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. (...) Mr. Stay Puft. We used to roast Stay Puft marshmallows by the fire at Camp Waconda.
Ghostbusters, movie

1. "by" here means "beside", "near". Is that right?

2. would it be possible to use the indefinite article herte -- "by a fire"?

Thank you.
 
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  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    1. "by" here means "besides", "near". Is that right?
    Yes, more or less. But a better equivalent would be 'around' - it's idiomatic to sit 'around the fire'.

    2. would it be possible to use the indefinite article herte -- "by a fire"?
    It would be possible, but it wouldn't sound as natural. It would have a slightly different meaning.

    I'm sure we've covered this sort of distinction before - several times.
     

    VicNicSor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    That would make sense if the listener was aware of what the speaker was talking about, maybe they both roasted those marshmallows. Otherwise it would leave the listener guessing -- "What fire?... Right?:)
     
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