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free as a bird or like a bird?

IP: *.bochnia.sdi.tpnet.pl 05.11.02, 15:31
Witam,

jak prawidłowo brzmi porównanie wolny jak ptak? :
1) "free as a bird"
or
2) "free like a bird"?

Regards

Monika
Edytor zaawansowany
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 05.11.02, 15:57
    Gość portalu: Monika napisał(a):

    > Witam,
    >
    > jak prawidłowo brzmi porównanie wolny jak ptak? :
    > 1) "free as a bird"
    > or
    > 2) "free like a bird"?
    >
    > Regards
    >
    > Monika

    Free as a bird! You can fly like a bird but you are free as a bird.
  • Gość: Monika IP: *.bochnia.sdi.tpnet.pl 05.11.02, 16:06
    Are you sure?
    Have you heard the song with words"like a Rollinstonse...?
    What is your opinion, should they say in that way?

    Regards
    Monika
  • beciab 05.11.02, 16:11
    Well, but there's a song "Free as a bird" as well :)
    It's certainly "as a"...You might say she walks like a cat, he flies like a
    bird...but adjectives+nouns usually go with "as".
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 05.11.02, 16:37
    Well, I know what you mean, Monika. Let's wait and see what majority of
    posters think about it.
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 05.11.02, 17:12
    Hi, again,
    after a bit of reflecting and a glimpse at Google I am now changing my
    position and restating it as:

    You are free like a bird. This, I think is much safer and certainly NOT WRONG.
    Sorry for my first misleading post.

    beciab,

    I believe that it is better to use 'as' in this: "He drinks as they do in
    Scotland" but 3Ne drinks like a Scott."
  • Gość: Monika IP: *.bochnia.sdi.tpnet.pl 06.11.02, 07:19
    Hi Adalbert,

    what you mean by:"3Ne"?
    Ans thanx for your answer :-))

    Monika

  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 06.11.02, 09:00
    Gość portalu: Monika napisał(a):

    > Hi Adalbert,
    >
    > what you mean by:"3Ne"?
    > Ans thanx for your answer :-))
    >
    > Monika

    3Ne meant "He" just like your "Ans" tried to be "And" - a typing error.
  • amatorski 05.11.02, 21:20
    I've heard both versions in songs ('free as a bird' by a Brit and 'free like a
    bird' by a German). This means everything or nothing.
    Anyway: Songs are the best source of native blunders. You may quote me ;-)
  • Gość: kluba1 IP: *.we.client2.attbi.com 05.11.02, 17:33
    Free like a bird !!!!!
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.77.218.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 05.11.02, 20:15
    Try not to leave out the first "as" and the problem will
    be gone, most likely;
    (as) good as gold, (as) obstinate as a mule, (as) sober
    as a judge, (as) like as two drops of water, (as) free as
    a bird.
  • beciab 06.11.02, 15:28
    I tried to check it on the web as I was a bit confused by your answers. I still
    think that you should say "<as> free as a bird", not "like a bird".
    You might say "He is like a snake" but "trustworthy as a snake".
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.108.120.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 06.11.02, 18:14
    My sincere apologies for being confusing.
    In principle, you are absolutely right. Your "He is like
    a snake", "He is as trustworthy as a snake" are good
    examples of standard formal writing. However, if writing
    is a record of an informal conversation or lyrics, all
    bets are off. I think it is the informality that causes
    confusion. Having said that, why screw up the language on
    purpose? There are many other similes based on the
    as...as structure; they are used frequently (overused?)
    and, I think, they sound awkward when corrupted in
    conversation.

    P.S. "like a bird" means with no difficulty, with no
    hesitation. Do you know Leonard Cohen?s "Like a bird on a
    wire"?

    Like a bird on a wire
    Like a drunk in a midnight choir
    I have tried in my way
    to be free...

    No grammar complaints here. Agreed?
  • gudrun 06.11.02, 10:02
    Free like a bird. It's a question of grammar: prepositon "like" is followed by
    a noun or a pronoun, conjunction "as" by a clause.
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.108.120.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 06.11.02, 15:15
    "(I am as) free as a bird" is standard, at least in
    formal writing, with the ADVERBIAL "as...as". That's
    elementary, Watson. People say and sing all kinds of
    strange stuff, just like me right now.
  • Gość: sisi IP: *.bydgoszcz.cvx.ppp.tpnet.pl 06.11.02, 22:32
    gudrun napisała:

    > Free like a bird. It's a question of grammar: prepositon "like" is followed
    by
    >
    > a noun or a pronoun, conjunction "as" by a clause.
    I must disagree here. Don't know what grammar you mean, but how about:
    She is working as a waitress. What clause is that???
    Then we've got the informal:
    Like I said before, .... - isn't it a clause now?
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 06.11.02, 23:03

    'like' is placed before nouns/pronouns in the simple types of comparison:
    "He fought like a madman" , but if the noun/pronoun is followed immediately by
    a verb, ie. if there is a clause of comprison, 'as' should be used: "when in
    Rome, do as the Romans do"
    'as can also be used with a noun alone, but there is a difference in meaning:
    "He worked as a slave" = he was a slave
    "He worked like a slave" = he worked very hard
    "he used his umbrella as a weapon" = he defended/attacked with it.

    source: A.J.Thomson and A.V.Martinet 'English Grammar' 2nd ed.
  • Gość: nat IP: *.in-addr.btopenworld.com 07.11.02, 00:30
    Off hand, I would think it's like that;
    VERB + LIKE
    He fought like a lion
    She eats like a horse
    It'll work like a dream

    ADJECTIVE/ADVERB + AS + ADJECTIVE/ADVERB +AS
    He's as brave as a lion
    She's as fat as a pig
    He's as good as gold


    .... (?) like a rolling stone?
  • gudrun 07.11.02, 08:09
    Gość portalu: sisi napisał(a):

    > gudrun napisała:
    >
    > > Free like a bird. It's a question of grammar: prepositon "like" is follow
    > ed
    > by
    > >
    > > a noun or a pronoun, conjunction "as" by a clause.
    > I must disagree here. Don't know what grammar you mean, but how about:
    > She is working as a waitress. What clause is that???
    > Then we've got the informal:
    > Like I said before, .... - isn't it a clause now?

    When we use "as" and "like" for comparison. "As" may have different meaning
    like in the example given by you. She works as a waitress means that this is
    her job (she is a waitres) We don't compare here anything. She works like a
    waitress implies that it is not her job. She simply does similar activities.
  • Gość: Mr. T IP: *.ne.client2.attbi.com 07.11.02, 02:35
    Gość portalu: Monika napisał(a):

    > Witam,
    >
    > jak prawidłowo brzmi porównanie wolny jak ptak? :
    > 1) "free as a bird"
    > or
    > 2) "free like a bird"?
    >
    > Regards
    >
    > Monika

    I would use "free like a bird".
    I think it's more casual and matches polish equivalent more closely.

    Also, see Nelly Furtado's song: "I'm Like a Bird"
  • beciab 07.11.02, 15:53
    But the sentence "I am like a bird" is so much different from "free <in my
    humble opininion> as a bird". For there is this "free" and it changes
    everything. However, I'm not English and so I might be wrong.
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.126.212.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 07.11.02, 17:07

    > I would use "free like a bird".
    Growing your own wings?

    > I think it's more casual
    So what?

    >and matches polish equivalent more closely.
    So what?

    > Also, see Nelly Furtado's song: "I'm Like a Bird"
    Why not just listen to it?
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 07.11.02, 17:13
    So, which is better in your opinion, Bert, 'I'm free like a bird' or 'I'm free
    as a bird'?
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.126.212.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 07.11.02, 17:28
    "I am as free as a bird", with the first "as" very much
    in there, unless you have your own justified ideas.
  • mouchi 08.11.02, 16:39
    Gość portalu: Wojtek napisał(a):

    > So, which is better in your opinion, Bert, 'I'm free like a bird' or 'I'm
    free
    >
    > as a bird'?

    "I'm free like a bird" is not better it is the only CORRECT version.
    :0)
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 07.11.02, 19:01
    Well, as far as I am concerned it is quite a claim to say "I am as free as a
    bird", a statement of impossibility, really, whereas to say "I am free like a
    bird" is an indication as to how I feel; to say "I am free as a bird" befits
    only talking birds. What would you say to that?
  • Gość: Mr. T IP: *.ne.client2.attbi.com 08.11.02, 01:51
    Gość portalu: Wojtek napisał(a):

    > Well, as far as I am concerned it is quite a claim to say "I am as free as a
    > bird", a statement of impossibility, really, whereas to say "I am free like a
    > bird" is an indication as to how I feel; to say "I am free as a bird" befits
    > only talking birds. What would you say to that?

    Well said. I agree 100%
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.87.134.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 08.11.02, 04:08
    Gość portalu: Wojtek napisał(a):

    > Well, as far as I am concerned it is quite a claim to
    say "I am as free as a
    > bird", a statement of impossibility, really,
    Mr. Wojtek, why? It is a simile (a metaphor), remember?
    After taking a shower I am as clean as a whistle. Does it
    mean I am a whistle? Do I have to be a whistle to be clean?

    whereas to say "I am free like a
    > bird" is an indication as to how I feel;
    Mr. Wojtek, why? How come you see the feeling of freedom
    in this case only? Again, it is a simile.


    to say "I am free as a bird" befits
    > only talking birds. What would you say to that?
    Mr. Wojtek, again, why? It does not say you are a talking
    bird. The first "as" is missing, that's all. A lazy
    bugger left it out! "As a bird" does not mean "I am a bird".


  • mouchi 08.11.02, 16:45
    Gość portalu: Bert napisał(a):

    > Gość portalu: Wojtek napisał(a):
    >
    > > Well, as far as I am concerned it is quite a claim to
    > say "I am as free as a
    > > bird", a statement of impossibility, really,
    > Mr. Wojtek, why? It is a simile (a metaphor), remember?
    > After taking a shower I am as clean as a whistle. Does it
    > mean I am a whistle? Do I have to be a whistle to be clean?
    >
    > whereas to say "I am free like a
    > > bird" is an indication as to how I feel;
    > Mr. Wojtek, why? How come you see the feeling of freedom
    > in this case only? Again, it is a simile.
    >
    >
    > to say "I am free as a bird" befits
    > > only talking birds. What would you say to that?
    > Mr. Wojtek, again, why? It does not say you are a talking
    > bird. The first "as" is missing, that's all. A lazy
    > bugger left it out!


    "As a bird" does not mean "I am a bird".
    >in fact, it does
    >
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.122.132.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 09.11.02, 07:11

    > "As a bird" does not mean "I am a bird".
    > >in fact, it does

    With all due respect, I beg to differ.

    Boobie decided to go to the costume party dresses up as a
    monkey. I looked upon her as an idiot. Her brownish
    slacks and dark jacket would never pass as a monkey suit.
    "Use your ski pants as a top instead", I said.
  • Gość: Monika IP: *.bochnia.sdi.tpnet.pl 08.11.02, 09:29
    Hello everybody,

    I'm sure that one should say "as a bird" (I have asked my teacher native
    speaker .... greetings to Paul :-))

    Monika
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 08.11.02, 10:24
    Monika, dear, unless it was your birdie saying 'I'm free as a bird',
    your "teacher" is talking bollocks. If I were you, I'd ask for the money back.
    I really mean it!
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 08.11.02, 10:49
    ... or, maybe, not...
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.101.168.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 08.11.02, 22:35
    To add some more confusion to the as/like conflict I
    would venture to say that in formal academic writing even
    the verb/like configuration may be iffy. For example, the
    well-known classic simile "My love is like a red, red
    rose" makes you pause to think. What characteristics of
    the red rose did the author mean to compare to his love?
    That's poetically enigmatic.
    Academic writing abhors ambiguity, but even the purist
    will not object to "Oh, country girls, cheeks like roses,
    bosom like peaches..." Here the "things sitting" on both
    sides of each of the two "likes" are nicely balanced.
    Comparisons should be balanced; potentially, the
    verb/like structure is not, the "as...as" is. Why would
    you skip the first "as" in the "as...as?
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 08.11.02, 22:56
    Dear Mr Bert, Sir,
    I honestly feel this f****** bird gor much too much attention, surely more than
    it deserves. My simple answer to all your "Whys" from an earler post would be
    simple: because that's how I hear it. ... As free AS... sounds to me too heavy
    on quality. Having said that, I am stiil not 100% comfortable with the '...
    free like...' answer, but more than 'as'. I wish, somebody showed a link to a
    definitive answer to this particular case with a bird.
    Regards.
  • Gość: Monika IP: *.bochnia.sdi.tpnet.pl 08.11.02, 10:49
    Dear Adalbert,

    are you sure your version of "like a bird"?

    So I will have to as my another friends (it doesn't mean that I don't believe
    you but I want to have another versions for using it, even I believe to Paul...)
    What you mean by using:
    1)birdie
    2)bollocks

    Monika


    Ps."If I were you, I'd ask for the money back"- it's not polite...
    But for your information they will give me money back if I failed my FCI d:-}
    > I really mean it!
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 08.11.02, 11:12
    Not sure of anything anymore!

    birdie = a bird
    bollocks? Can't tell you, a bit rude, unappropriate for young girls.
  • Gość: Monika IP: *.bochnia.sdi.tpnet.pl 08.11.02, 11:38
    Hi,

    belive me I'm much more curious about "bollocks"

    Monika
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 08.11.02, 13:12
    Gość portalu: Monika napisał(a):

    > Hi,
    >
    > belive me I'm much more curious about "bollocks"
    >
    > Monika


    www.thebollocks.com/
  • beciab 08.11.02, 16:18
    www.dictionary.com
    The last is the best :>
  • Gość: maggie7 IP: *.tnt9.chiega.da.uu.net 09.11.02, 01:46
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.122.132.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 09.11.02, 01:53
    Maggie7, what did you say?
  • Gość: maggie7 IP: *.tnt9.chiega.da.uu.net 09.11.02, 01:57
    That's what I wanted to say :) Didn't work the first time :)



    When asked which sentence is correct "Free as a bird" or "Free like a bird", 10
    out 10 Americans answered "Free as a bird."

    No explanation was given, though.

    So does it solve our problem?

    Take care :)
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.122.132.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 09.11.02, 02:02
    Maggie7, what about the first "as" in the "as...as"?
    Best regards.
  • Gość: maggie7 IP: *.tnt7.chiega.da.uu.net 09.11.02, 02:23
    well, I don't have those 10 Americans at hand right now :) The one American I
    have, though, is relaxing on the sofa and getting pretty annoyed by me asking
    all those questions.

    But here's what he said:
    I'm as free as a bird - grammaticaly correct, however too long
    I'm free as a bird - not as correct, but that's what everybody uses...

    What do your Americans say?

    See you around. :)
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.122.132.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 09.11.02, 02:52
    Guess what, I have a crowd of almost twenty, half Irish,
    half blue blood. It is going to cost me, because the
    Irish half refuses to discuss the freedom thing with the
    Mayflower party. You know, the
    you-overstayed-the-invitation-vs-you-were-never-invited
    argument. Grammar got lost in the mix. I am doing my
    best though, a few more bottles and I?ll have them where
    I want them. Results tomorrow.
    Take care.
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.122.132.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 09.11.02, 07:05
    Early exit poll results. Sample: 21 adults.
    Question: Which of the following is correct (how it ought
    to be properly said or written)
    1.I am as free as a bird ? 16 votes
    2.I am free as a bird ? 2 votes
    3.I am free like a bird ? 3 votes
  • Gość: mark IP: proxy / 144.139.193.* 09.11.02, 02:10
    Greetings!

    These all SOUND and FEEL correct:


    Free as a bird
    As free as a bird
    I'm like a bird

    These sound weird:

    Free like a bird
    As free like a bird
    I'm as a bird


    IDIOM plays an enormous part in all of this, especially in the world of popular
    song, which has the added problems of scansion that have to be taken into
    account.

    PS, I just discovered this forum. I love it!
    Cheers
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.122.132.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 09.11.02, 02:28
    Greetings to the good people down under.
    Would you care to elaborate on the first "as" issue?
    Just curious.
  • Gość: mark IP: proxy / *.prem.tmns.net.au 09.11.02, 07:27
    "I'm AS free as a bird" is probably put forward by some textbooks as "better
    English", but I can't really think of any context in any English-speaking
    country where omitting the first "an" would sound or feel weird. Some Britons
    of certain classes might feel that "I'm free as a bird" is an Americanism of
    some sort and avoid it for that reason, but I'm just guessing :)

    In English grammar just as in Polish (I'm trying to learn...), it seems that
    you can't always rely on rules, there are so many "special cases" that break
    the rules.
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 09.11.02, 11:55
    These are my conclusions so far:

    #1 - In a few years time we'll all be saying "I am free as a bird", if 10 out
    of 10 Americans say so today. Use this time wisely!

    #2 - To spend a fortune on booze in order to get 16 people (Irish among them)
    drunk enough to agree with your grammar-obsessed version is a solid proof of
    madness. But then, you are free as Bert.
  • Gość: mgr Wypych IP: *.nyc.rr.com 09.11.02, 22:35
    Wojtek from France knows better than Bert from Boston.
    It's positively "Free as a bird".
    If in a conversation you'll say "Free like a bird" the heads will turn.
    Don't quote Cohen's writing 'cause it ain't always grammatically correct.
  • Gość: mgr Wypych IP: *.nyc.rr.com 09.11.02, 22:38
    My apologies. I screwed myself with that bitting.
    Mea culpa.
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.127.85.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 10.11.02, 13:42
    Hi, Mark:
    Mark, would you loose the first "as" in the following: as
    soon as possible, as often as not, as long as? (E.g., I
    will do it long as I am allowed to.) It's the same
    conjunctive "as" as in "as good as new".

    As for the simile business in general, I suspect I might
    skip the first "as" provided I don?t intend to stress it.
    To be emphatic, I need it in "My feet are AS LARGE as
    boats". That's why I think the full "as...as" is safer
    (gives me a chance to do more with it) whereas the
    mutilated version might be lacking on some occasions. Our
    laziness must have something to do with the whole issue,
    too. Please comment.
  • Gość: Kingfish IP: *.dyn.optonline.net 10.11.02, 00:36
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 10.11.02, 16:10
    Bert,
    throwing links at me won't change much. Your '...as... as...' obsession comes
    from mixing two different grammar topics. 'As...as' belongs to the chapter
    treating the adjectives and adjective comparison. We are talking here 'like -
    as' comparison, ok? Let me illustrate my point by suggesting that the "bird
    saying" was originally like this: 'I am like a bird, free'. For some reason a
    poet or song writer moved that adjective 'free' causing ambiguity. If you say
    this sentence witha stress on to be - I AM free - than it begs 'like a bird'.
    If you say I am FREE then 'as a bird' tends to follow. That may throw also some
    light on American psyche, eh? There certainly is not any need for 'as...as', it
    makes it sound out of all proportion.

    Wacko,
    ...and whose heads might that be...? Freepers?
  • Gość: Jadwiga Borsuk IP: *.poznan.cvx.ppp.tpnet.pl 10.11.02, 19:23
    I'd go along with Mark. And Bert was talking sense on 6th November when he was
    on a 'written record of informal speech'. Seems to me dropping the "as" to come
    up with 'free as a bird' is extremely natural use of ellipsis. Spoken language
    is full of this - doesn't make it inferior to the written grammar examples
    loads of the posters have been quoting, that Martinet book being a good
    example. I wouldn't get so worried about what people say - for my money spoken
    English operates differently from written English and I try not to make
    judgements all the time about what is right when someone opens their mouth as
    speaks in real-time to communicate a message. "Forum English" is also different
    from 'formal-letter-writing English' or other forms of written English. Why get
    so worked up about it? Mind you, some smart arse is probably going to pick me
    up on a typo or something...
    Grammar-spotters can identify the uses of elipsis in this post.

    How to use the word 'bollocks' is far more interesting I'd say. How many
    textbooks deal with this extremely useful and common word?


  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 10.11.02, 19:47
    Welcome, welcome...

    No one gets worked up here, dear. It is all in the name of learning, arguing
    for arguing's sake (and not even for the sake of being right) and fun. The more
    outragous contributions, the better!
    Jesus would weep, wouldn't he? He was a smutas! Prefer the Buddha myself.
  • Gość: mishy IP: webcacheH* / *.chimpanzee.dialup.pol.co.uk 11.11.02, 00:51
    he was not a long-face at all
    "he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will joy over thee with singing"

    .. he will positively kick the stinkin shit out of you if you overstep the mark,
    sinner!

    Read Bible!
  • Gość: chickenShorts IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 11.11.02, 09:52
    Gość portalu: mishy napisał(a):

    > he was not a long-face at all
    > "he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will joy over thee with singing"
    >
    > .. he will positively kick the stinkin shit out of you if you overstep the
    m
    > ark,
    > sinner!

    > Read Bible!

    I have read it! Twice!
  • awalk 10.11.02, 20:51
    i have no time to read everything but my cpe book says free as a bird and so
    says cambridge dictionary dictionary.cambridge.org/results.asp?
    searchword=free+as. i don't think it makes sense to look any further. it seems
    it is quite standard expression.
  • Gość: Wojtek IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 10.11.02, 21:47

    Yep! Stand corrected! And informed!
    (BTW, from now on I am 'chickenShorts'.)
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.214.118.29.Dial1.Boston1.Level3.net 11.11.02, 00:25
    Sir, you did fine. You put up a good fight. I click my
    heels and salute you.
  • Gość: chickenShorts IP: *.abo.wanadoo.fr 11.11.02, 10:18
    You are a Gentleman and a Scholar to say that, Sir. Pity your adversary,
    Wojtek, is no longer here to hear. Shot dead!
  • Gość: Bert IP: *.30.182.179.Dial.Boston1.Level3.net 11.11.02, 14:51
    The newly adopted pen name doesn't do you justice.
    An ambush-in-the-works comes to mind.
    See you around.

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