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I guess I am aware the meaning of "come across"

appear or sound in a specified way; give a specified impression.

This post focuses on the usage of "come across" with that meaning.


An ELL post uses "come across" this way

You could say that without breaking grammar rules, but no one expresses that feeling in that way, and if they did, it would come across fairly rude.

There are two questions about that use.

First of all, the subject would usually be someone, e.g. a personal pronoun. "It" would probably be inappropriate. Is my understanding right?

Secondly, I see the examples on Cambridge Dictionary and Oxford Dictionary put "as" after the phrase

After all, I appeared to be a bookworm sort of fellow trying to come across as tough.

I didn't want to come across as patronizing, but I did.

He comes across as a bit of a bore.

Is the word "as" required, optional or unnecessary there?

1 Answer 1

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First of all, the subject would usually be someone, human being. "it" would probably be inappropriate.

The subject isn't the person saying the phrase, the subject is the phrase itself.

There's no reason that the subject has to be a person. In fact, anything can be the subject.

"That car comes across as a practical daily driver."

Is the word "as" required, optional or unnecessary there?

'As' is generally required. It looks like a typo in the original answer to me.

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  • Do you agree that "the subject would usually be someone", according to the last three examples in my OP?
    – WXJ96163
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 7:21
  • The subject can be someone, but it just as easily can be the phrase (or action, etc.) itself. I wouldn't say one is noticeably more common than the other.
    – Omegastick
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 7:24
  • So, you claim that something can be the subject when "come across" functions as a predicate, right?
    – WXJ96163
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 7:29
  • Anything can be the subject. "That car comes across as a practical daily driver." There's no reason that it ever has to be limited to people.
    – Omegastick
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 7:44
  • Thank you, that's very kind of you. That's very good to know that. Would you please put that into your answer?
    – WXJ96163
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 7:58

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