1

What is it:
1. Hey! Stop splashing me! (in a pool)
2. Hey! Stop splashing water on me!

In a washroom:
3. I splashed my face with cold water.
4. I splashed cold water on my face.

What is with the sentence #2? I mean, why is it not so common?

If #1, #3, #4 sound natural then why not #2? I'm confused

  • #2 doesn't sound unnatural; it's just excessively wordy. There is no need to say "water" if you're at a swimming pool or beach – it's pretty obvious what's being splashed. – J.R. Feb 4 at 10:32
2

ALL of your examples are correct, idiomatically at least.

The verb "splashing" means to cause a splash, but as a noun "a splash" can describe either the turbulence caused in a liquid or a quantity of liquid that is dashed against a person or object. Therefore the verb can describe both the action of causing liquid to splash or causing liquid to be dashed against something or someone.

This ngram shows that "splashing" is in regular use in literature followed by "water" or a subject (him, her, them etc). Although the numbers are low in the ngram you have to appreciate that this secondary use is going to be spread out between all possible subjects, and I could not possibly check them all.

2

All the sentences are correct. The reference is OALD.

splash somebody/something as in 'Stop splashing me' (transitive verb)
splash something on/onto/over somebody/something as in 'Stop splashing water on me. and I splashed cold water on my face
splash somebody/something with something as in 'I splashed my face with cold water.*

It depends on the style of writing.

1

What is with the sentence #2? I mean, why is it not so common?

  1. Hey! Stop splashing me! (in a pool)
  2. Hey! Stop splashing water on me!

because if you are in a pool (or the sea, or watering plants in the garden) it is obvious what you are splashing is water.

In fact 99.9% of the time you will be splashing water so the additional information is not required.

In a washroom:

  1. I splashed my face with cold water.

  2. I splashed cold water on my face.

In this example I am presuming you mean public toilets by the very coy phrase "washroom"

In these 2 examples the cold is the extra information, you could have splashed your face with hot water.

But it is also less common, it is more normal to use the toilet and wash your hands so splashing your face with water needs full explanation (well it does here in colder climates)

  • 2
    "Washroom" isn't necessarily a "very coy phrase." It is the standard Canadian word for public toilet. If the OP is in Canada, this would be the word they are used to hearing and reading. – Canadian Yankee Feb 4 at 17:41
  • 1
    What do you go in there for to wash or use the toilet? It is very coy to the brits. – WendyG Feb 4 at 21:33

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.