Heard on The Judges: "let someone see NP" = "let someone borrow NP"

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jun 29 13:46:56 UTC 2008

On Sun, Jun 29, 2008 at 8:42 AM, LanDi Liu <strangeguitars at gmail.com> wrote:
> They aren't talking about "let + NP + see"; they're talking about "let
> (someone) see NP".

Right, I should've used

 let + NP(animate) + see + NP(usu. inanimate).


 let  IO  see  DO

> I wouldn't consider it non-standard.  If someone asked me to see
> something that I had, I would hand it over, unless I didn't want them
> to.

Agreed. But the use that Wilson reported that started this thread is
something like 'borrow to use [for more than a minute or two]', as in
Larry's third example. I was pointing out that Larry's examples 1 and
2 weren't the same, because "let" is essential to the construction.

>  But I've never heard this in
> the past tense or third person, though--
 1  "I saw her nails".  It would
> seem very strange to hear
 2 "I saw his car keys" or
 3 "I let him see my car keys"
with the meaning Wilson attested,
 2a "I borrowed his car keys and took a drive" or
 3a "I lent him my car keys and he used them to drive off".

m a m

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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