BBC (reporter) English

by minhthien
(Saigon, Vietnam)

minhthien learns to read

minhthien learns to read

In a post of BBC News, Monday, 22 March 2010

I read the following:

"The US House of Representatives has narrowly voted to pass a landmark healthcare reform bill at the heart of President Barrack Obama's agenda".

I find it strange to say that the House "narrowly votes" a bill, I think we can only say they narrowly pass the bill.

and the sentence should have been:

"The US House of Representatives has voted to narrowly pass a landmark healthcare reform bill at the heart of President Barrack Obama's agenda."

Would you please tell us which way is most likely said by a native speaker? Or if both are deemed equally acceptable? Thank you Diana
Hi Minhthien, Great question! When I first read it, like you, it sounded wrong or strange but it is actually very common when dealing with voting. Just search "narrowly voted" in Google and you will find hundreds of articles that use it.

Basically, it is referring to the fact that a group or body of people has voted for something and that the outcome is not a majority or that the difference is very narrow.

As for your suggested version, I would change it slightly..."The US House of Representatives has narrowly passed a landmark healthcare reform bill at the heart of President Barrack Obama's agenda."

I hope that helps Minhthien! - Diana

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Mar 29, 2010
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BBC reporter English
by: minhthien

Thank you Diana! Your reply is perfect and helpful!

And your rewording is wonderful for me, shorter yet more forceful ..

On behalf of (some) English learners, let me thank you again, as your answer has brightened the situation! It really HELPED!

minhthien learns English
Saigon, Vietnam

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