Basic Step by Step - notes to step 7
enough,far, near, much,
Fire, a fire. Fire is the name given to the
process or condition of burning, and a fire is a
mass of material in this condition, specially such
a burning mass used for heating or cooking.
Fire-place. We have seen that the name
of one thing may be used before the name of
another to give the idea that the thing talked of
has the qualities pointed to by the two names.
Sometimes, however, the first name may be a
sign, not of a quality of the thing in the common
sense of the word (as in ' baby boy '), but of the
purpose for which it is designed or the use to
which it is put. When this is so, the two words
are generally joined with a '-,' and become the
name of a special thing, as fire-place (place for a
fire), though sometimes, when they are very
common they may be put together as one word,
like workman (see the Note on complex words,
" Some of the rooms." Some is frequently used
by itself in the sense of 'a part' or 'a group,'
and then of is put between it and the name of
the thing or things (which necessarily has the,this,
that, or an owner-form before it) from which the
selection effected by some is made. Other words
which may be used in a parallel way with of are:
all, any, enough, little, much, and the number-
'words (one of, two of, etc.).
" We make houses warm." Take note of this
use of we in the sense of " persons generally."
We is used for any group of which the person
talking is a part; it may be quite general,
representative of " all men " ; or somewhat less
so, represe€ntative of a more limited group such
as the person's countrymen, school friends, and
so on or quite special, as further on in this
Step, where it is representative only of the boy
and his sister.
" By the use of fire." The root sense of by,
we have seen (Step 6) is' near to.' As a develop-
ment from this, of which a detailed account is
given in the ABC (p' 119)' it comes to be used,
even more importantly, for pointing to the way
in which we do things or to the instrument,
person, or cause which is responsible for them'
So the way in which we make houses"warm is
" by the use of fires ", or " by using
fire", or " by
having fires " and so on. Or, if we are interested
only in the instrument itself, and not in the act of
using it, we say " houses are kept warm by fires " ,
and so on. This is very like the expansion of
with noted on N2-2.
" If I have. . . and put. . . the fire will.. ."
" If we are far . . . we do not get ... . " The
statement which is dependent on one starting
with if is sometimes put in the present time and
sometimes in the future. It is in the future
when it is representative of an act, event, or
condition, which comes after that of the if-
statement ; in the present when it is represent-
ative of one which is going on at the same time
as that of the if-statement' This is not a complete
rule, but it will be a safe guide for the learner
till his reading has given him further ex-
perience. A second point to be noted here is
that when two if-statements are joined by and,
it is necessary to put if only before the first.
" We are.' It has been noted in connection
with Step 6 that are is the form used with we,
as am is used with I.
" Get it dry." It will be readily seen that if we
get anything by taking it from a high shelf we
get it down . In the same way we may get it in
any other direction (or into a position), and so,
by a simple parallel, we may get things into any
condition, such as that of being dry. Get has
come to be used in this way with little sug-
gestion of its root sense of 'making ours.'
From this it becomes possible to say of anything
which has an effect upon another that it gets it
into a certain condition. By a further simple
development things are able to get themselves
into conditions, and then the name of the thing
undergoing the operation is commonly dropped
out, as here, in " the water will get (itself) warm."
The two examples given later, " get (our bodies)
warm," and " get a burn," will be of help to
learner in seeing the connection between the
root sense and its developments.
" Before a fire." The use of before in
with space is to be noted. See N5-2.
" Near to," " far from " It is to
be noted that
though near and far are words of place like here
and there, and may be used in the same way,
without other words after them, their sense is
that of a relation in space between two or more
things, and they are most frequently used between
two names. When this is done, near takes to
between it and the second name, and far takes
from. The learner will have no trouble with this
use if he keeps in mind that the idea of near is
pointing to something, that of far, away from
" Very near," In addition to its use with names
of qualities, very may be put before near and far,
however these are used.
"Warm enough," " enough water." The
use of enough is as a sign of degree with names of
qualities, and as such it comes after the word it
is limiting. But it is, in addition, used with names
of things as a sign of amount, and then it generally
comes before them like the name of a quality,
though it is still possible to put it after.
Fire-light. That is, light produced by a fire.
Here we have another very common sort of
complex word, in which the first part gives the
name of the producer, cause, owner and so on of
what is named by the second part. Examples of
other complex words, in which the relation
between the two parts may be a little different
from those noted in this Step, will be given later.
Who. This form may be used of one or more
than one, but only of persons.
"In danger" Conditions and relations are
talked of as if they had the qualities
of space, and the use of in here is parallel
to the development earlier noted in connection
with time (Step 4).
" The damage may not be great." Though the
first sense of great has to do with physical size,
through the natural tendency to make use of
space-words for measuring other things, it has
come to be used as a general sign of degree.
" Go from one to another." In addition
to being the name of a number, one has a more
general use as a stronger form of a. It is specially
so used in connection with another. The flames
"go from one thing to another," that is "from
any one thing to any other."-Take note that
the word "thing"is here not put in again after
another. We have seen before, in connection with
the word some (N5-3), this trick of dropping a
name used earlier. There are two reasons why
it is important to give attention to every example
of it we may come across: first, because it is a
very common trick in English, and frequently, as
here, though it would not be wrong to put the name
in, it would seem stiff and unnatural; second,
because it is a trick which may be worked only
after certain words, and is not to be attempted
with any of whose use by themselves in this way
the learner has no knowledge. Naturally, all
words given it The Basic Words as having a
pronoun in addition to an ' adjective ' use are
quite safe, and the learner may make a start on
his list with those which have come in so far :
this and that, all, another, enough, some, and the
number words such as one