A JTE asked me if I could explain the differences/similarities between:Rather odd question, I thought, but I'll give it a shot.
(be over & end)
(call for & need)
(start & leave) as in:The best thing is to (start / leave) at once.
As for call for vs. need, perhaps the difference can best be explained by contrasting them in
"The forecast ________ more rain." The similarity is that they are both completely ungrammatical in that context, so you need the third person 's', producing
1st person: "The forecast need more rain."
2nd person: "Hang on! That's not grammatically correct."
3rd person: "Shhhhh! That's not PC anymore."
Moving on to be over and end, though very similar, one can detect a slight change in nuance, which is brought out nicely by putting them in the following context:
"the dog bit me on my rear _____"
In the final pair, there isn't enough context to really tell start and leave apart, but if we add one sentence to the beginning, it becomes much more obvious, to wit,
"I think I'm going to fart."
"The best thing is to start / leave at once."
I attempted a comment on the call for vs need debate but your blog stops me at about 50 words! Darn it - I had a good (but long) point to make re meaning nuanced from usage.
In any case, good luck at the conference tomorrow!
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