Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Thing = (i) state of affairs in general or within a specified sphere; matters: ‘Things are improving now.’ (ii) a special situation: ‘It is a remarkable thing.’ ‘I found the whole thing very boring.’ (iii) an action, deed: ‘How can you do such things.’ (iv) possession in term of object, clothes etc.: ‘Pack your things.’ (v) any attribute or quality as having its own existence: ‘The only thing I like about her is her sincerity.’ (vi) what somebody says or thinks: ‘She says the first thing she thinks of.’ (vii) detail or point: ‘Please check every little thing.’

Avoid using thing after an adjective when the adjective can be used on its own: ‘To obtain a bank loan when you don’t have a job can be very difficult.’

Note however the commonly used phrase a/the good thing: ‘The good thing about this school is that all the teachers are very enthusiastic.’

Something + adjective, anything + adjective, etc: ‘Did you notice anything unusual?’

The use of many things often sounds unnatural. Instead, use a lot, a great deal, etc.: ‘She said that she had a lot to do.’ ‘In just one or two sessions you can learn a great deal.’

Note also the phrase all about: ‘The best person to ask is David – he knows all about tropical plants.’ (= he knows everything about …)

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