Friday, March 28, 2008

'Chase' needs no prepositon after it

Starting today, police personnel on beat duty will take on a new look with uniforms made of flame-resistant cloth.

The lightweight fabric gives police personnel more flexibility – enabling them to chase after criminals or engage in hand-to-hand combat. Accessories include a gadget belt, baton, pepper spray, a set of handcuffs, walkie-talkie and semi-automatic gun. To complete the look are a beret and boots. Unlike the old uniforms, where badges are pinned, the insignias form part of the outfit.

The above two paragraphs about the new look of the uniform of the police force in Malaysia which I quoted from a local newspaper contains a common mistake – the use of ‘after’ after the verb ‘chase’. It is wrong usage because ‘chase’ means ‘run after’. Hence the preposition ‘after’ would be redundant after the word ‘chase’.

Look at the following sentences to know the correct usage of 'chase' visually:

1 The policeman chased after the snatch-thief. [wrong]

2 The policeman chased the snatch-thief. [correct]

3 The policeman ran after the snatch-thief. [correct]

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