in, with black stocking

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Silver, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. Silver

    Silver Senior Member

    Chongqing
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Hi,


    If I wanted to describe a girl who was putting on black stocking, can I say:


    The girl in black stocking.

    Or

    The girl with black stocking.


    Thanks
     
  2. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    Stockings is usually used in the plural like other things that come in pairs - pants, trousers, etc.
     
  3. Valvs Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    Russian
    Assuming that you mean a girl wearing black stockings rather than one who is in the process of putting them on, "The girl in black stockings" is correct.
     
  4. Silver

    Silver Senior Member

    Chongqing
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect

    Thanks a lot, I think "in" will be better, do you agree?
     
  5. Silver

    Silver Senior Member

    Chongqing
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect

    In a pair of black stockings will be better?
     
  6. Big Hoser

    Big Hoser Senior Member

    Montreal
    English-Français
    "The girl in black stockings" is good. It gives a sense of a "name" for her.
    However, "the girl with the black stockings" also works, grammatically. It doesn't have the same flair, though, as using "in".

    Do not use "in a pair of black stockings", as that sounds awkward.
     
  7. Big Hoser

    Big Hoser Senior Member

    Montreal
    English-Français
    I just read what I wrote and realized I don't agree with myself.

    BOTH versions have the same flair. Either "in" or "with".

    I keep thinking of the song, "Lady in Red".
     
  8. taked4700 Senior Member

    Kagoshima
    japanese japan
    Excuse my curiosity.

    Is it ok to say 'the girl with black stockings'?

    And I guess it would be ok to say 'the girl with a pair of black stockings'.

    What do you say to these guessings?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  9. Big Hoser

    Big Hoser Senior Member

    Montreal
    English-Français
    If you say, "The girl with a pair of black stockings", it conjures an image of a girl holding a pair of black stockings in her hand or something. It is not a great sentence, it sounds odd to me, though I can't really say it's "wrong".

    However, "the girl with black stockings" is completely fine.

    And you don't need to apologize for being curious - that's what this forum stuff is all about!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  10. taked4700 Senior Member

    Kagoshima
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Big Hoser.

    Could I ask you once again?

    1. Is there any difference between 'the girl with the black stockings' and 'the girl with black stockings'?

    2. Which expression do you use more often in a daily conversation, 'the girl with the black stockings' or 'the girl with black stockings'?

    3. If your attention focused on the stockings, which do you use 'the girl with the black stockings' or 'the girl in black stockings'?


    Thanks in advance.
     
  11. Silver

    Silver Senior Member

    Chongqing
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Thanks, Mr.BIG

    I have a question for you, when you said "The girl in black stockings" gave a sense of a "name" for her, did you mean by saying "The girl in black stockings" actually it is just like saying a girl's name?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  12. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    "The girl in black stockings" just means the girl who wears/is wearing black stockings.

    "The girl in the black stockings" means that girl wearing black stockings— you see the girl and you see the black stockings. It might also mean the girl wearing distinctive black stockings.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  13. taked4700 Senior Member

    Kagoshima
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Ferero.

    To be honest with you, I'm more confused with your explanations.

    I guessed that 'in' implies static situations or just a feature that tells you which is which whereas 'with' implies more specific concerns you want to show.

    So, I think the conversations below would be natural:

    A:Look at that girl with the black stockings. My boss bought her that stuff. They were very expensive. ('With black stockings' will also work, but 'the' shows the intention A wants B to pay attention to the stockings. It would be unnatural to use 'in black stockings' in this context.)

    B:Which one? The one with a black bag? ('A black bag' means just a feature that tells which is which. If you say "The one with the black bag.", it means you are thinking the bag is something special.)

    A:Yea, that young girl with the black bag that you can buy at the Helmes.

    B:I know her. I met with her yesterday. She was in a red dress that seems silk.

    A:Oh, that piece must be the one I gave to her last week for her birthday. She came to the office in that dress. She said to me that every woman with red silk dress must look so lovely. (This expression would be a little embarrassing. She may have suggested that the dress be a fake silk.)

    B:Yes, you can say that again. Wemen in red look so fine in this season.

    Let me hear your comments.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  14. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Hi, Taked4700.

    Sorry for the confusion. I missed the with in your post. I meant to be discussing the distinction between in black stockings and in the black stockings.

    My choice of in or with is strictly objective, relating to her position relative to the stockings.

    If she is wearing black stockings, I would say "in (the) black stockings" or "with (the) black stockings on". You can say "with (the) black stockings" too, but there is a bit of ambiguity there. She might be selling black stockings or just holding them.

    A bag is different. I do not say "the girl in the black bag" because she does not wear it or get inside it. She carries the bag, so I say "the girl with the black bag."

    A determiner is required with bag because it is count singular, whereas stockings is plural (and counted in pairs).

    I hope this helps.
     
  15. taked4700 Senior Member

    Kagoshima
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Ferero.


    I think my questions are all solved.

    Thanks again,
    taked4700
     
  16. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    Until Big Hoser comes around, I'd say that between yourself and, say, a friend of yours, you could use 'the girl in black stockings' as a kind of name to refer to a girl who supposedly wears or has worn black stockings, especially in a situation where none of you knows her real name. You wouldn't use it, normally, to address her directly.
     
  17. taked4700 Senior Member

    Kagoshima
    japanese japan
    How about 'a/the girl of black stockings'?

    Is it ok to use 'a/the girl of black stockings' as a name just as you mentioned?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  18. Hermione Golightly

    Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    London
    British English
    Let's put the phrase in a little sentence. "Do you see the girl of black stockings?" Of is not used like this, not in modern day English. So it isn't OK

    No, since of is not correct usage just as we wouldn't say "Hello, girl in black stockings, do you come here often?" I am not sure why EStjarn's thinking of by "normally", but I can't think of any normal circumstances when I would actually address somebody using what they were wearing or dressed in as a name.

    If you come across it you can let us know, describing the context or situation. Meanwhile you have the options with 'in' or 'with' [optional 'the'] black stockings, red dress, purple shirt, and so on.

    I must say I think I tend to use in, rather than with, when talking about what the person is wearing, and with when talking about physical characteristics.

    :)
    Hermione
     
  19. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    I was considering the possibility that the expression might be used incidentally when, for example, teenagers meet up: - Look, here comes the girl in black stockings. What a knockout you are!
     
  20. Hermione Golightly

    Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    London
    British English
    Yes :) I had a similar situation in mind. If I see a friend in a very pretty blue dress I might say Hello "Lady in Blue"! That's a very beautiful dress!
     

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