"your hair is messy. Comb it to the mirror."

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Can we say "your hair is messy. Comb it to the mirror."
I'm not clear whether it's to the mirror or in the mirror.
Could you please give me some explanation?
Thank you in advance
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Go comb it in the mirror.*
    Who do you see in the mirror every morning?


    *Having said that, it's an odd command that I've never heard before. I would just say, "Your hair is a mess – go comb it." I assume the person will use a mirror if he/she needs to. Otherwise, I don't care as long as their hair looks good for the trip to grandma's.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Do you mean "messy" in my sentence is odd and it should be "in the mirror" rather than "to the mirror"?
    Go comb it in the mirror.*
    Who do you see in the mirror every morning?


    *Having said that, it's an odd command that I've never heard before. I would just say, "Your hair is a mess – go comb it." I assume the person will use a mirror if he/she needs to. Otherwise, I don't care as long as their hair looks good for the trip to grandma's.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I would much, much prefer 'Comb it in front of the mirror.'
    At a distance of two feet. :D Sorry, nat ... "in front of the mirror" sounds very prescriptive to me in this case, although I can see, "Go stand in front of the mirror and tell me what's wrong with your outfit. You might like to focus on the combination of polka dots, stripes and checks."
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Do you mean "messy" in my sentence is odd and it should be "in the mirror" rather than "to the mirror"?
    It should be "in the mirror." What I found odd – and it may just be me – is telling the person to go use a mirror. I wouldn't be so detailed in my description, preferring to tell someone to comb their hair and not really caring how they did it as long as the end result was presentable. :)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, I suppose 'in' would be fine there. Copyright, 'in front of' doesn't sound pompous to me ...
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Copyright, 'in front of' doesn't sound pompous to me ...
    I didn't think pompous so much as instructions that seemed too detailed or unnecessary, but it could be me, and it could be that we're talking to a small child.

    I might say, "Your hair is messy. Use a mirror and comb it." (No, I don't imagine someone combing their hair with a mirror.) :)
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you.
    It should be "in the mirror." What I found odd – and it may just be me – is telling the person to go use a mirror. I wouldn't be so detailed in my description, preferring to tell someone to comb their hair and not really caring how they did it as long as the end result was presentable. :)
    In fact, I'm training my kids to describe the detailed processes of everyday activities so that they can expand vocabulary in a fun and efficient way.
    Such as: Look, you hair is a mess(or in a mess, or messy). Here is a mirror. Comb it in front of (or in) the mirror.

    So the more detailed, the better.
    By the way, the large words is the target vocabulary. You know in China, few people can talk about the details of everyday activities.
     
    Last edited:

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I didn't think pompous so much as instructions that seemed too detailed or unnecessary, but it could be me, and it could be that we're talking to a small child.
    I was imagining some authoritative figure talking to a small child. ;) (Try telling an older child to comb their hair!:eek:) 'Look at the state of your hair! Go in front of a mirror and comb it properly' is what I might say.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I was imagining some authoritative figure talking to a small child. ;) (Try telling an older child to comb their hair!:eek:) 'Look at the state of your hair! Go in front of a mirror and comb it properly' is what I might say.
    Considering post 11, you'd be right. :)
     
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