her impeachment

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Sun14, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    Hello, my friends,

    This is a news from The Economist. I was wondering what the underlined part means.

    “WHEN a president has single-figure approval ratings, faces calls for her impeachment, and has lost control of her political base, is she in a position to play hardball with the country’s legislators? Brazilians will soon find out.”
     
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    If she faces "calls for her impeachment", people are asking the legislature to impeach her.
     
  3. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    I was wondering whether "the impeachment of her" would be more idiomatic since "her impeachment" seems ambiguous.
     
  4. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    The author is saying, by asking that question, that the president a) has low approval rating with the public, b) is facing possible impeachment (some legislators have said they want it [=call for it],
    c) has lost touch with her base-- for all these reasons, she is likely NOT in a good position to
    confront legislators, to try to pressure or threaten or punish them. But Brazil will find out soon.

     
  5. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    "her impeachment" is admirably clear. Just as, in a trial of a woman, we say,
    "Her conviction was certain."

    "Her" has different meanings, e.g., "her dog," "her fault," "her traffic tickets," "her trial," [is she defendant or judge?]
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
  6. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    Got it. Do you mean her has different meaning but in the case "her impeachment", it could be interpreted in only one way?
     
  7. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    No, and it's not ambiguous. She is the person who could be impeached, so it is "her impeachment". Just the same as "Joe went to prison following his conviction."

    Perhaps you are thinking that "her impeachment" could mean that she was impeaching somebody else - it can't. It is her impeachment by the legislature. If you want to phrase it differently you could say "the legislature's impeachment of the president", but it would be very odd to have "the legislature's impeachment" on its own. If we heard that we'd think "how can a legislature be impeached?" The meaning of the word affects the ways in which it can be used.
     
  8. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    Got it. One's impeachment and conviction might be taken as set phrases.
     
  9. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    Agreed with Andy. I was simply saying there are cases where 'her' is ambiguous.
    Anne wanted us to see her first trial.
    Anne was calm after her criticism.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
  10. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    No, not really set phrases, but there are restrictions on the way that possessives are used with these words because of their meanings.
     
  11. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    Thank you very much, bennymix and Andygc.
     
  12. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    Note Merriam Webster online, for 'her'

    Full Definition of HER
    : of or relating to her or herself especially as possessor, agent, or object of an action
    <her house> <her research>
     
  13. Sun14

    Sun14 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese
    Got it. Thank you very much.
     

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