1

Suppose a person who has mounted a horse for the first time and it is difficult for them to get off the horse. Someone helps them to get off. Which one of the following sentences sound more natural:

  • He helped me dismount the horse.
  • He helped me get off the horse.
  • He dismounted me from the horse. --- This sentence sounds odd to me. I don't know why.

The first two sentences both work for me and seem to be grammatically and idiomatically correct and natural.

2 Answers 2

3

In British English, dismount has two meanings in the context of horses:

[no object] Get off a horse, bicycle, or anything that one is riding
he rode over and dismounted -he got off his horse

[with object] Cause to fall off a horse, bicycle, etc.
The knight struck his opponent and dismounted him -he caused his opponent to fall off

Looking at your sentences:

He helped me [to] dismount the horse

dismount has an object- the horse. Note that, in the with-object meaning, the object is what's caused to fall off. So, somebody helped you to make the horse fall off something: that can't be right!

To make it make sense, you need to use the intransitive (no object) form:

He helped me [to] dismount
He helped me [to] dismount from the horse

These both have the meaning that you probably intended.

He dismounted me from the horse

Again, dismount has an object- me, so it means that he made you fall off your horse.

In American English, this NGram shows that, as in British English, the vast majority of getting off horses involves dismounted from his horse. There is a difference, though: in the past 30 years there has been a small but growing usage of dismounted his horse.

If you look at actual instances in the Ngram, you find that many are dismounted. His horse and dismounted, his horse which don't really count. I suspect that many of the remaining occurrences are written by people who don't know one end of a horse from another.

0

I think;

He helped me to get off the horse

more natural than the others.

1
  • 2
    Thanks for your contribution. When suggesting something is more natural, it is generally good idea to provide some explanation or reasoning. This can help a learner make that decision themselves in future.
    – LMS
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 20:49

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .