walk out of the dense forest / dense woods

Sotech

New Member
UK
Hungarian
I have a discussion about using some words in a special sentence.

- The tourists walk out of the dense forest.

I said 'forest' in this sentence is interchangeable with 'woods' (or 'wood', I know it's rather BrE), but my discussion partner told me it's not possible, because we cannot use in this context 'dense' with 'woods' only with 'forest' because the tourists don't hike in a 'dense woods' only in a 'dense forest'. I found a lot of articles using these words 'dense wood(s)' together but I got an answer: "your examples are newsworthy, literary, and/or geographic descriptions, which would seem very strange for "the tourists to walk out from"."

Is it right 'the dense woods' cannot be used in this sentence or everyday speech? What do you think?

Thanks for your replies!
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I said 'forest' in this sentence is interchangeable with 'woods' (or 'wood', I know it's rather BrE), but my discussion partner told me it's not possible, because we cannot use in this context 'dense' with 'woods' only with 'forest' because the tourists don't hike in a 'dense woods' only in a 'dense forest'.
    I agree with you. However, I also find it somewhat unlikely that tourists would be hiking in dense woods or forests. In my experience, they generally prefer to hike in areas that have trails that are well maintained and that offer toilet facilities. But there isn't anything wrong or illogical about a sentence like this: The tourists walked out of the dense woods.

    Cross-posted.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    A wood is a bit more homely than a forest. A forest could be of any density, but a wood is something you can go into and walk through. If the area is too dense to walk through, we'd probably call it forest. Woods can be scary or demon-haunted, but perhaps not impenetrable.
     

    Sotech

    New Member
    UK
    Hungarian
    I agree with you. However, I also find it somewhat unlikely that tourists would be hiking in dense woods or forests. In my experience, they generally prefer to hike in areas that have trails that are well maintained and that offer toilet facilities. But there isn't anything wrong or illogical about a sentence like this: The tourists walked out of the dense woods.

    Cross-posted.
    Thanks, I thought the same. I found a sentence in an article (The New Yorker): The trail led through dense woods. So maybe that woods is good for hiking. :) But my discussion partner said there is no definite article in it (not 'the dense wood' just 'dense woods') so it's not a good example and it doesn't prove anything because it's different from the "contentious" sentence. It's nonsense isn't it?
     

    Hercynian Forest - Wikipedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Her...



    The Hercynian Forest was an ancient and dense forest that stretched across Western Central Europe, from Northeastern France to the Carpathian Mountains
    ===
    From Eurail.com
    7 incredible forests in Europe you can reach by train

    Germany’s Black Forest is perhaps central Europe’s most famous forest. This stunning mountainous region in south-west Germany has it all — dense evergreen forests, dramatic mountains, and quaint villages. It’s home to cuckoo clocks dating back to the 1700s, and many villages feel eerily stuck in a distant time. The fairytale atmosphere lends itself perfectly to full escapism from the real world.

    How to get there by train: One of the best ways to experience the Black Forest is by train.
    ---
    ===
    As for hiking:



    Best trails in Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg, Germany ...​

    https://www.alltrails.com ›germany


    Results 1 - 10 of 159 - The Black Forest is a large, mountainous forest area in Baden-Württemberg. The region is known for its many hiking and mountain biking trails...
    Rating: 4.2 · 717 reviews
     

    Sotech

    New Member
    UK
    Hungarian
    Hercynian Forest - Wikipedia...
    Sorry but the question was: Is it right 'the dense woods' cannot be used in this (see above) sentence or everyday speech? Your links are only about forests. I can link a lot examples with 'dense woods'. :)
     

    Sotech

    New Member
    UK
    Hungarian
    :confused: The link in #8 is full of discussion about wood(s). Both forests and woods can be described as "dense".
    Sorry if it wasn't clear, my previous comment was a reply to bennymix's comment (take a look there's a part of the quote.). Your link (in #8) was very helpful. As I've thanked that with a "Thank you!" icon. :)
     

    marti.marti

    New Member
    US-English
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep"

    invited by Sotech "to look", I thought to post a more accurate account, i.e. the whole thing!
    in re: this forum's primary concern, see d. below.
    note1: erdő = either 'forest' or 'woods' indiscriminately
    note2: Hungarian verb tense changes (in)definite when followed by (in)definite article/noun in accusative
    ---------------------
    author's original: A turisták kisétalnak a sűrű erdőből.
    author's own translation: The tourists walk out of the dense forest

    Thank you for your efforts! very interesting, but ...

    a. context: The phrase "dense wood(s)" certainly exists, as you prove with well-documented examples, but those are all different from "tourists hiking [...] in a forest or dense forest [a sűrű erdőből], but not "dense woods".

    b. frequency: Also, your examples of "dense wood(s)" do not reflect the main assertion of (a), as per the previous post's statement "most tourists will be walking/hiking in forests..."

    c. Translator's intention: Since the translation says "forest", I assumed Author/Translator referred to a forest, but thanks to Other's first comment I became aware of the Hungarian erdő= wood or forest. Further on, I became aware of the "synonyms" thanks to Sotech. I am grateful to both and say: "Hurray for learning Hungarian!!" kösönöm szépen

    d. hypothetical alternative intention: It is possible that if Author/Translator looked at those places designated as "the dense woods", they may have used "a sűrű erdőből" in those contexts, as well. However, a, b and c remain true.

    e. semantically: all instances of "dense wood(s)" in your examples are newsworthy, literary, and/or geographic descriptions, which would seem very strange for "the tourists to walk out from". [*laughing a bit... thanks!] It would be funny to see a group of tourists walking out from any of those examples, unless the Author/Translator's sentence was in an obscure literary work, because even the news would be extremely rare.

    f. gramatically: all instances of "dense wood(s) in your examples do not contain "the", which is significant and not a minor difference. If the sentence had been ""A turisták kisétálnak EGY sűrű erdőből." However, according to your examples, which lack the definite article "the", our sentence containing "a sűrű erdő" = the dense forest and not "the dense woods".

    ---------------
    1. Sotech's subsequent, 2nd set of examples included the definite article, disqualifying point f., but c. cannot be disqualified ever, rendering the entire discussion moot ab initio (notwithstanding d., which makes argument absurdly irrelevant, but friendliness permits! enduring side question: b. frequency of 'tourists': forests or woods?)
    2. further gratitude for all my research, including these beautiful forests and woods (UK): 15 Forests & Woods to Visit in the UK | GO Outdoors Blog [among the forests, 2 instances are found, Fingle woods and Hackfall woods, where the Author/Translator's sentence may indeed apply!!]
    3. 'what a wonderful world': Top 10 Beautiful Forests Across the World | Places To See In Your Lifetime

    Thanks to all! Best wishes and Happy Trails!
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Where I Iive, very dense forest leading to mountain wilderness starts right at the edge of the suburbs. You can take a city bus to the entrance of parks that will get you into serious terrain within an hour or two. Needless to say, we have a very well equipped search and rescue team that is always longlining down from helicopters to pluck underprepared and lost hikers out of steep terrain. Every year a few people die in there.

    In our local speech, forest and woods mean pretty much the same thing.

    The tourists could therefore walk out of the dense forest or the dense woods. They would probably be on narrow steep paths or if they are really lost, bushwhacking through undergrowth. I'm imagining a scene where the lost tourists crawl down a hillside and find themselves beside the highway while the search and rescue team are firing up the helicopter to go find them, and everyone is happy they are fine.

    Edited to add: I obviously can't comment on the translation from Hungarian or if this is an accurate translation. All I can say is that in Canadian English, forest and woods are pretty much interchangeable, most forest or woods is dense around here, and tourists very often end up getting lost in the wilderness. So the sentence seems totally normal to me.
     
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