divide one's wealth into four equal parts for somebody

hhtt

Senior Member
Turkish
"He divides his wealth into four equal parts for his wife, his daughters and himself and leaves minnesota for duma key,
a stunningly beautiful, eerly remote stretch of the florida coast where he has rented a house."

I would like to ask about the phrase "divide one's wealth into four equal parts for somebody". The phrase seems to me strange. I am not much familiar with it. But instead of "for" there, should it be "among"?

"He divides his wealth into four equal parts among ..."

Source: Duma Key by Stephen King.

Stephen King’s New Novel Drops In January
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The four parts are being designated or intended for his wife etc. "Among" would make sense in a slightly different context: "He divides his wealth among his wife, his daughters etc."
     

    hhtt

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    The four parts are being designated or intended for his wife etc. "Among" would make sense in a slightly different context: "He divides his wealth among his wife, his daughters etc."
    This is a very subtle thing.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Not all that subtle. You would not combine "four equal parts" with "among". When using "among", you are listing the people who will share the wealth, but you are not specifying how much they each get. The shares could be unequal.
    The point about four equal parts is that this is not followed by "for somebody", but "for" followed by a list of four persons. So we are told that he divides the wealth into four equal parts, and then we are told who the parts are for.

    The four persons are his wife, his (two) daughters, and himself, so he keeps one quarter, and his wife and daughters all get a quarter each.
     

    hhtt

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Not all that subtle. You would not combine "four equal parts" with "among". When using "among", you are listing the people who will share the wealth, but you are not specifying how much they each get. The shares could be unequal.
    The point about four equal parts is that this is not followed by "for somebody", but "for" followed by a list of four persons. So we are told that he divides the wealth into four equal parts, and then we are told who the parts are for.

    The four persons are his wife, his (two) daughters, and himself, so he keeps one quarter, and his wife and daughters all get a quarter each.
    Do you mean "four equal parts among" is exactly incorrect? It makes much sense to me, though. I also cannot understand the underlined part of your post. Four equal parts are followed by "for somebody" in the original.

    "... four equal parts (followed) for his wife, two daughter, himself (somebody)
     

    hhtt

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    I mean it sounds strange to me.

    "Somebody" is one person. But we have four.
    As a learner, it is bad for me not to know somebody as one person. I have always thought it as plural but used with singular auxiliary verb. Are "somebody" and "one" synonymous?
     

    hhtt

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Both somebody and someone mean "some person". One just means "a person".

    It just isn't. But it can be used to represent an arbitrary person from a larger group.
    But we wouldn't use "somebody" to represent four specific persons.
    This is a fundamental situation. But what "some person" mean and what is the difference between "some person" and "a person". I learned some as plural version of a , both as indifinite adjectives in the school.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I learned some as plural version of a , both as indifinite adjectives in the school.
    That's correct, but it's a different meaning of "some", meaning "several". There were some books on the table.
    When "some" is used with a singular noun, it denotes an unknown or unspecified instance of that thing, so "some person" means an arbitrary unknown person.
    Typically "a person" would refer to a known, specific, particular person.
     

    hhtt

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    That's correct, but it's a different meaning of "some", meaning "several". There were some books on the table.
    When "some" is used with a singular noun, it denotes an unknown or unspecified instance of that thing, so "some person" means an arbitrary unknown person.
    Typically "a person" would refer to a known, specific, particular person.
    But for this situation don't we use "the person" instead of "a person" because the person is known or introduced before?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Yes, there are degrees of known-ness. It's a matter of context just how specific a person is.
    Betty is a person who likes lizards. (a person = the kind of person).
    If you want to learn about lizards, Betty is the person who will be able to help you.
     
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