shout for/at/to them

Discussion in 'English Only' started by redgiant, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. redgiant Senior Member

    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Haymitch and Effie are knocking on my door. I shout for them to go away and eventually they do. It takes at least an hour for me to cry myself out.

    The Hunger Game

    Background: I fly down the hall into my room, lock the door and cry for doing something stupid.

    Hi, I'd like to know if "shout at/to them" also works in this context.
  2. MateuszMoś

    MateuszMoś Senior Member

    Shout for somebody means that you want this person to approximate you or make this person pays attention to you. Shout at somebody means that you want to scold somebody so It seems to me that they can't work in this context.
  3. Shout at works here... (as well as 'to scold) it means to use your loud voice to make it clear that you want something. eg
    " I shouted at him to hurry up and close the gate".
    " He shouted at her to be careful of the broken glass".
    Shout for/to means to call someone to come to you.
  4. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    Yes, either of those would also work in this particular context.
  5. redgiant Senior Member

    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    The traveler asks a local boy, "Tell me, local boy. Does the swamp have a hard bottom ?" And the boy tells him that it does. So the traveler guides his horse into the swamp and they begin to sink deeper and deeper into the muck.
    shouts to the boy, "I thought you said it has a hard bottom !"

    Source: Dead Like Me Season 2 Episode 3

    Background: The episode begins with George, a grim reaper, telling a story about a traveler on horseback crossing a swamp in the woods after a local boy reassures him that the swamp has a hard bottom.

    Are "shouts for" and "shouts to" also interchangeable in this context?
  6. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    No. Either "shouts to" or "shouts at" is fine. But "shouts for" works in your original sentence because the speaker wants them to do something ("go away"), and that doesn't apply here.

    "He shouts for the boy to pull him out of the muck" would work.

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