Catch a tiger by the/its toe.

brian&me

Senior Member
Chinese - China
Hi, everyone.

I read a rhyme as follows:

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,

Catch a tiger by the toe.

I wonder if we could also say catch a tiger by its toe.

Thanks a lot in advance.
 
  • I agree you could use "its".

    I think, though, that "the toe" is sort of a set phrase in this favorite childhood chant. (I've heard "his toe" as a variation.)

    Also, in medical terminology and definitions "the" is used for body parts:

    "The heart is the organ that pumps blood through the body."
     

    brian&me

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thanks, friends.

    Tom hit the boy on the head.

    Jack took her by the hand.

    I wonder if I could say these two sentences as follows:

    Tom hit the boy on his head.

    Jack took her by her hand.

    Thanks again.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Those are possible, B&M, but "the head" and "the hand" sound more idiomatic to me.

    Some speakers, perhaps influenced by dialect, use the possessive far more often than I do: He hit me in my face/on my head. The possessive seems needless and a little annoying to me, but apparently some other speakers find it normal.
     
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