1

He left a very large body of drawings.

I understand what "body" means in this sentence, but it's possible to replace it with a word like "number". I think body has a emotional touch in it.

Will a change occur if I replace body with number?

1

No, the general idea of the sentence will stay the same. Basically says that he left numerous drawings. The "slightly more specific meaning" attaching to body is the implication that collectively, the drawings form a "coherent whole". The same way a real biological body has features and functions that go beyond anything directly manifest in the individual cells that make up that body.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    The "slightly more specific meaning" attaching to body is the implication that collectively, the drawings form a "coherent whole". The same way a real biological body has features and functions that go beyond anything directly manifest in the individual cells that make up that body. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 14 '18 at 14:40
  • I like that phrasing, can I borrow it for my answer? – Element115 Mar 14 '18 at 16:13
  • Please do! My main reason for posting the comment is in hopes that you might consider making an edit to improve your answer. Which is perfectly correct so far as it goes, but I do think that large number of things that can/should be considered as a whole collection is an important implication of the word body in OP's context, so it's well worth explicitly making the point in your answer. Besides which it's a useful reminder to non-native speakers that there's usually a good reason why we use this particular (biological) metaphor in this context. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 14 '18 at 16:53
  • (Note that OP has drawn the inappropriate implication / association between body and emotional, so it would obviously be useful for him! :) – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 14 '18 at 16:55
  • ...warming to my theme, I'd go so far as to suggest that changing body to number could significantly affect how the statement might be interpreted. To me, number actually implies the drawings are numerous, but not capable of being treated as a whole (i.e. - they're just a bewildering mishmash of different drawings with no real connection apart from all having come from the same artist, which might imply they're just "throwaway" pieces, rather than a collection of great art). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 14 '18 at 17:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.