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purse

English translation: Perfectly OK

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08:02 Oct 24, 2006
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Linguistics
English term or phrase: purse
(Farmers, going to town for the Monday market, entertained themselves at an inn on Sunday afternoon, promising to pay the inn-keeper after the market.)

They paid the debts on their way back and returned home to their wives with empty *purse*.

I'm not sure if it should be: empty purse/an empty purse/empty purses. Or maybe another word would sound better here?
allp
Poland
Local time: 00:06
English translation:Perfectly OK
Explanation:
As an ENS, it really doesn't sound strange; it's just a colloquial way of expressing that when they returned home, they had (each) spent all their money. There is no rule which outlaws dropping the article in this case, I am positive.

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Note added at 12 mins (2006-10-24 08:15:34 GMT)
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BTW, if you DO write "with empty purse*S*", it looks at first sight as if each of the farmers was carrying MORE THAN ONE purse...
Selected response from:

David Moore
Local time: 00:06
Grading comment
I've decided to leave it as it is. Thank you for help!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +7empty pockets
Suzan Hamer
4 +2Perfectly OKDavid Moore
4empty wallets
Sonia Gomes
3empty-handed
Olga Layer


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Perfectly OK


Explanation:
As an ENS, it really doesn't sound strange; it's just a colloquial way of expressing that when they returned home, they had (each) spent all their money. There is no rule which outlaws dropping the article in this case, I am positive.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 mins (2006-10-24 08:15:34 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

BTW, if you DO write "with empty purse*S*", it looks at first sight as if each of the farmers was carrying MORE THAN ONE purse...

David Moore
Local time: 00:06
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 28
Grading comment
I've decided to leave it as it is. Thank you for help!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Will Matter: Archaic usage allows "empty purse", no article or additional 's' needed.
6 hrs

agree  Erich Ekoputra: Contextually, it's better to leave as it is; and perhaps check the possibility of plural per your addtl note.
20 hrs
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +7
empty pockets


Explanation:
Personally, even though men may have used small coin purses, somehow I see returning home with their pockets empty, or empty pockets, more fitting in this context.

Suzan Hamer
Netherlands
Local time: 00:06
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 20
Notes to answerer
Asker: Would it still sound right in the context of the 18th-19th century?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxcmwilliams
7 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Peter Shortall
9 mins
  -> Thank you, Peter.

agree  Dave Calderhead
18 mins
  -> Thanks, Dave.

agree  Heather Dawson
20 mins
  -> Thank you, Heather.

agree  Ken Cox: definitely -- very common usage
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Ken.

neutral  David Moore: Certainly not wrong; but the whole tone suggests - to me, at any rate - that this was written mayn, many years ago, when farmers really DID use purses, so what's the harm in leaving it like that?
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, David. You're right. No harm in leaving it; I should have made clear this was just a suggestion.

agree  Will Matter
6 hrs
  -> Thank you very much, Will.

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
9 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
empty wallets


Explanation:
Just a thought,

Sonia

Sonia Gomes
Local time: 03:36
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
empty-handed


Explanation:
another possibility?

Olga Layer
Local time: 18:06
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 4
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