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I have some question about the pattern "soar to something" here:

Natural gas prices on Monday soared to their biggest one-day gain in nearly nine months, as traders and investors braced for below-normal temperatures that are expected to stoke demand for the heating fuel.

I was thinking that when prices increase, they increase to new prices. So, prices should "soar" to new higher prices, not to a gain. "Gain" is the magnitude of the price increase. Prices could soar by some magnitude, but not to a magnitude. So, "soared to their biggest one-day gain" seems off to me.

Would "soared by their biggest one-day gain" be better?

  • What leads you to believe that prices should not "soar to" their largest one-day gain in nine months? – ColleenV Nov 19 '14 at 4:15
  • Why do you many times think that something written by a native English speaker is wrong? :) Do you know what gain means? If so, I echo @ColleenV 's question to you? – user6951 Nov 19 '14 at 4:22
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    @CarSmack "Gain" is the magnitude of the price increase. I was thinking when prices increase, they increase to new prices. Prices could soar by some magnitude, but not to a magnitude. – meatie Nov 19 '14 at 4:38
  • @ColleenV "Gain" is the magnitude of the price increase. I was thinking when prices increase, they increase to new prices. Prices could soar by some magnitude, but not to a magnitude. – meatie Nov 19 '14 at 4:40
  • Your explanation of your thinking helps us understand the source of your confusion - it would be great if you included it in your question. – ColleenV Nov 19 '14 at 4:54
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Natural gas prices on Monday soared to their biggest one-day gain in nearly nine months ...

I believe you're parsing it as something like soaring to [a destination], when really, the meaning of the clause is probably something more like:

Natural gas prices on Monday soared (to achieve their biggest one-day gain in nearly nine months)...

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  • Would "soared by their biggest one-day gain" be better? – meatie Nov 19 '14 at 18:56
  • No. That's infelicitous as it means it soared (and passed near) their biggest one-day gain. – jimsug Nov 19 '14 at 19:26

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