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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 9th, 2009, 08:28 pm
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Default 'at morning' to mean 'in the morning' ?

One of my students asked me if 'at morning' means the same as 'in the morning'

I told her that I don't use 'at morning' but that it might be British.

However, 'at morning' in AE would mean 'at dawn' / 'at day-break' or something like that. It sounds like something you'd hear in a movie that's over dramatic if at all.
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Unread Jul 10th, 2009, 02:11 am
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Default Re: 'at morning' to mean 'in the morning' ?

Certainly not generally used in British English. Sounds odd to me. But I fed it into a concordancer and came up with two possibilities :

a) morning was being used as the first part of a compound noun, and at really collocated with the second part. So, I found eg : at morning prayers, at morning tea break, at morning playtime, at morning church ...

b) it is (very occasionally) used in both BEng and AmEng. I found these examples :

AmEng
.... he shrank from the bosom of Faith, and at morning or eventide, when the family knelt down at
... time-clocks to punch, Mrs. Wingfield. One at morning, another one at night!


BrEng
... seemed to arrive either by bus -- a bus at morning and evening stopped in the lane outside

But these are the only examples in a 56m word corpus. So it's clearly not common. Where did your student find it?
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Unread Jul 10th, 2009, 06:23 am
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Default Re: 'at morning' to mean 'in the morning' ?

PS - this has been bugging me all morning. Were these examples just slips? But they seemed to be written texts so it was less likely.

The "Mrs Wingfield" example intrigued me particularly, so I googled it - it's from Tenesee Williams' The Glass Menagerie. So definitely not a slip.

I then tried the others - the "bosom of faith" example is from a Nathaniel Hawthorne short story, and so could be explained by changes in the language over time - though I still don't remember coming across it before.

The "bus" example didn't come up, but the concordancer confirmed it's a written text. So again, not a slip. But very odd.
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Unread Jul 13th, 2009, 09:13 pm
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Default Re: 'at morning' to mean 'in the morning' ?

I'll ask my student this week. She comes on Friday.

I think the examples came from the same high school textbook, though.
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Unread Jul 17th, 2009, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: 'at morning' to mean 'in the morning' ?

Quote:
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I'll ask my student this week. She comes on Friday.
She's a pretty active learner and she said she can't remember where the example came from.

She subscribes in English email lessons, English magazines, websites, Skype lessons, teaches English and more. She's great to teach, but comes with some pretty tough questions sometimes.
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Unread Jul 18th, 2009, 02:02 am
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Default Re: 'at morning' to mean 'in the morning' ?

Ah well - my bet is that it was a collocation like at morning break with the preposition collocating with the second noun ...

If she comes up ith lots of these, tell her to always note down the complete sentence - makes it much easier to understand.
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Unread Jul 22nd, 2009, 07:07 pm
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Default Re: 'at morning' to mean 'in the morning' ?

Thanks. I'll tell her, but it's good for me to also think like that. Like you said, there may have been more following the example.
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Unread Jul 22nd, 2009, 08:46 pm
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Default Re: 'at morning' to mean 'in the morning' ?

Two months ago I had this kind of student - a Chinese / English translator in a government department. He sent me back to the books several times. Words, contextual meanings, idioms, etc.
I think teachers need such situations once in a while.
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