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General Writing and Grammar Help/usage of the expression "speak / think ill of "

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Question
Dear Ted,
I know there is an expression to "speak/think ill of somebody",  i.e. He speaks ill of his mother". Can you also say to "speak / think ill of something"? In other words, do the following sentences make sense and are they grammatically correct?
1. He speaks ill of BMW's.
2. He speaks ill of the Chinese government.
3,. He thinks ill of Nike shoes.
4. She speaks ill of Apple computers.
5. She thinks ill of Sony televisions.

Answer
Dear Glen:

Please forgive my lateness.  For the last two days, I have had disrupted service from my internet provider, AND I lost electricity while workmen installed new utility poles and wires.


I know there is an expression to "speak/think ill of somebody",  i.e. He speaks
ill of his mother". Can you also say to "speak / think ill of something"? In
other words, do the following sentences make sense and are they grammatically
correct?
1. He speaks ill of BMW's.
2. He speaks ill of the Chinese government.
3,. He thinks ill of Nike shoes.
4. She speaks ill of Apple computers.
5. She thinks ill of Sony televisions.

YES.  All five are correct.  Let me caution you, however.  "Speaking ill of something or somebody" is a rather old phrase, which is not often used in today's world.  Another somewhat antiquated phrase is "to speak unkindly" of a person or thing.

You still read or hear these phrases, but it is far more likely to say "She HATES Apple computers" or "He doesn't have a good thing to say about Nike shoes."

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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