the butcher's/ grocer's (shop)?

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michi666

New Member
Polish
Hi everyone,
I'm in serious doubt as to whether phrases such as the butcher's can be treated merely as an ellipted form of some implicitly given noun phrase, say, the butcher's shop? Would it be as acceptable to say The butcher's is just opposite our flat as it is to say The butcher's SHOP is just opposite our flat?
Thanks in advance X
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's fine in British English too. I wonder why you 'doubt' it. Do you mean you aren't sure? That means you don't know for sure. 'To doubt something' means you think it is not true or correct
    We could also use 'a butcher's. 'There is neither a butcher's nor a baker's on our high street.'
     

    michi666

    New Member
    Polish
    It's fine in British English too. I wonder why you 'doubt' it. Do you mean you aren't sure? That means you don't know for sure. 'To doubt something' means you think it is not true or correct
    We could also use 'a butcher's. 'There is neither a butcher's nor a baker's on our high street.'
    Thank you for your clarification, Hermione. I hasten to stress that what I DOUBT is their grammatical status - such expressions seem to be exceptional among other ellipses in that they do not have an antecedent to which they refer (which is clearly not the case in My car is bigger that my friend's, where friend's UNDOUBTEDLY means no more than my friend's car). Rather, they require the speaker to recourse to his/her linguistic knowledge to decide whether the right reference would be shop, surgery or what have you.
     
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