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approach smb. on the subject



 
ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
And the truth be told | Dun, dun, duuuun?
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approach smb. on the subject #1 (permalink) Sun Nov 12, 2017 13:59 pm   approach smb. on the subject
 

Hi,

I have come across the following sentence:
It was impossible to approach her on the subject.
Why is “on” used in the sentence? As far as I know the verb “to approach” does not need any preposition. Or is it the set phrase “to approach smb. on the subject?
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approach smb. on the subject #2 (permalink) Sun Nov 12, 2017 15:31 pm   approach smb. on the subject
 

There are several expressions you could use - about, concerning, regarding, with regard to and so on. The idea of 'approach' here is to tentatively go to someone and ask them about something often seeking their advice/opinion.. Probably 'on' is the most suitable.

Alan
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approach smb. on the subject #3 (permalink) Sun Nov 12, 2017 17:05 pm   approach smb. on the subject
 

Is it possible to say "It was impossible to refer her on the subject"?
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approach smb. on the subject #4 (permalink) Sun Nov 12, 2017 17:22 pm   approach smb. on the subject
 

The only possible way of saying that would be - to refer to her. That does sound a bit strange and I suggest - to consult her.

Alan
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approach smb. on the subject #5 (permalink) Sun Nov 12, 2017 17:41 pm   approach smb. on the subject
 

Thank you, Alan!
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