cut a road through a rain forest

buoo

Senior Member
Korean
Cut.
- make (a path, tunnel, or other route) by excavation, digging, or chopping (oxforddictionaries.com)

: plans to cut a road through a rain forest


Hi

I was wondering if the following is true:

A. cut in 'cut a road through a rain forest' is in meaning equal to build, but

B. 'build a road through a rain forest' is wrong,

And

C. 'The road cuts through a rain forest.' (for a general depiction of a road) is not so much different from 'The road runs through a rain forest'
 
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Though I cannot say that "build a road through the rainforest" is wrong, "to cut a road through a rainforest" makes sense. That's because people must cut down many trees to build that road.

    I agree that both versions in 'C' mean roughly the same thing.
     

    buoo

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Hi owlman. Thanks for the comment.

    So, does B sound normal to you? Not normal but.. possible? In any case, if it is acceptable,

    possibly, do you read it as the following?

    : They built. They built something. They built [a road through a rain forest.]

    Or is it the verb that 'though a rain forest' is connected to ?

    : They build [a road] through a rain forest

    Just curious. Thanks :)
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I think you could look at the prepositional phrase in both ways, buoo: (1) "through a rain forest" is an adjectival phrase that modifies "road". (2) "through a rain forest" is an adverbial phrase that modifies the verb "build". I don't think the label you choose for the phrase is important. Whether you consider it to be adjectival or adverbial, it still tells us where that road was built.

    'B' does sound normal to me.
     

    buoo

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Yeah, I didn't mean to take it down the grammar path, I just thought build is not fitting with directional phrase. But you say it works, then it works. Thank you.
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    Two points:

    1. Cut a road through... or Build a road through...
    As Owlman says, you can "cut a road" through a rain forest, because you do have to cut down trees in order to make a road. You would not "cut a road across a prairie." You can also build a road through a rain forest, but this sounds like a more solid road. It kind of implies (to me, at least) that you are paving the road, whereas "cuting a road" just sounds like you're cutting down the trees so you can drive on the dirt path.

    2. "The road cuts through a rain forest" uses a different structure. To cut through something refers to taking a short cut. "Joey didn't want to walk all the way out to the road, so he cut through the barn." "I was late getting home, so I cut through the park."
     

    buoo

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, SM, graham. Whether it be chainsaws or earth-moving equipment, at any rate, something must be affected by the act of cutting, I gather.

    2. "The road cuts through a rain forest" uses a different structure. To cut through something refers to taking a short cut. "Joey didn't want to walk all the way out to the road, so he cut through the barn." "I was late getting home, so I cut through the park."
    Actually, it wasn't meant to express the short cut. I meant it to describe its existence or geometrical layout.
    Like this example,

    The Colorado River cuts through the Grand Canyon.

    I don't think you would consider this use of 'cut through' wrong, would you? Does this sound bad or not very common?
     
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