out of darkness/the darkness

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  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Who is doing this, and is the darkness figurative or real? Where did you find the example and what is the context? :thumbsup:
     

    Faramarz2015

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Who is doing this, and is the darkness figurative or real? Where did you find the example and what is the context? :thumbsup:
    God is the protector of the believers; He taketh them out of the darkness/darkness into the light.

    Could you tell me how you can recognize which one is correct?:confused:
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    This is a figurative/abstract state: you should not use "the". And I would not use the with "light" - You are, in fact saying that a deity is taking people from hopelessness into some sort of happy existence. All the nouns are uncountable.

    (You seem to have another, very similar question on the board. You may wish to ask a Moderator to combine them. :thumbsup:)
     

    Faramarz2015

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Thanks.

    Is this figurative state true about "shadows"? I looked it up in the dictionary but I couldn't find any figurative meaning. If you wanted to write again the below text as a native, would you use "the" before "shadows" and "light"?

    -And the unbelievers -- their protectors are idols, that bring them forth from the light into the shadows; those are the inhabitants of the Fire, therein dwelling forever.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It is not the same with shadows. Here either is OK: you have established that there is darkness and light (and hopefully, your readers have not taken this literally, but have seen the figurative meaning/ the concept.) The reader then understands this concept so there can be actual shadows (the shadows) which are in the area between the hopelessness and happiness, or the reader will understand the general concept of shadows (shadow).

    You should have told us that you were looking at translations of Koranic verses http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=2&verse=257, I have written the above and find that the passage you quoted has no mention of "darkness"

    And it would help to know why you are comparing translations - If it is for your own understanding of the English or to produce another translation, etc.

    The English that the translators have use is typical of ardent religious writings in which an old fashioned version of English is believed to give some gravity to the statement but which currently distracts readers from the meaning by giving a sort of "obsessional" feeling to the message. (The Bible suffers the same way in some versions.)

    With the source and context, to keep with the style of the old-fashioned English in Arberry's translation, I would say: "He brings them forth from the shadows shadow into the light." To make it more acceptable to the modern speaker, I would say "He brings them forth leads them from the shadows into the light." (forth is archaic/historical)
     

    WildWest

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Hi. Is it always considered correct to leave out the the whenever we speak of abstract states/concepts rather than real things? Can we generalize it as a rule? The sentence below is from a TV series, and I'm pretty sure the word darkness is used in figurative meaning as well.

    "Once darkness descends true natures emerge and everything's a fair game."

    If generalizing it the way I have offered above is not acceptable, can you give me an example in which it makes difference?
     
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