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Forum anglais: Questions sur l'anglais
Tout ce qui a un rapport avec l'apprentissage de l'anglais: grammaire, orthographe, aides aux devoirs, phrases etc.

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piece/part
Message de bipbip posté le 04-09-2006 à 21:18:21 (S | E | F | I)

Bonjour
A question is puzzling me. I learnt that the word "piece" means "morceau", such as "a piece of cake", and "part" means "pièce" such as "a car part". But, in a text, I read "a piece is missing in this printer" with the translation "une pièce manque à cette imprimante".
So, does "piece" mean actually the same as "part"???????
Thank you very much for your help


Réponse: piece/part de etudiant, postée le 05-09-2006 à 00:36:25 (S | E)
In the case of the printer, you can use either part or piece.

With a cake, you can only use piece.

With a car, you can only use part.

I really wish I could give you a rule for this, but if there is one, I don't know it.

Generally, part emphasizes that it's a part of a whole. Part also tends to be reserved for things that are functional, or work in some way mechanically or technically. A car part, a printer part, interchangeable parts, moving parts, etc.

It doesn't always work though either... you can say "I read part of that book, but I didn't finish it." or "I spent part of my vacation in France, and part of it in Italy." In these cases, "part" emphasizes that it's a fraction of the whole.

I fear this explanation is woefully inadequate, but I can't come up with a better rule... maybe someone else can.

If you want to pose examples, I can tell you which word should be used in each case.


Réponse: piece/part de traviskidd, postée le 05-09-2006 à 04:26:39 (S | E)
In general, the "pieces" of something are more are less homogeneous. All the pieces of a cake are more or less the same (except maybe in terms of size, in which case I want the biggest piece! ). Even pieces of furniture, while differing in their exact function, are more or less the same in that each piece is used to make a home more comfortable.

On the other hand, "parts" of something are different things that are combined to form a whole. A car consists of a steering wheel, a gas pedal, an engine, windshield wipers, and so on. A printer consists of an ink cartridge, a paper roller, internal circuits, and so on.

So in fact "part" is the better word to have used.

Nevertheless, it is true that "piece" and "part" can sometimes be interchanged. In this particular case, to say "a piece is missing in the printer" means that "the printer is not complete", without alluding to the fact what is missing in the printer is different from the rest of the printer (because, for example, this fact may not be important to the one who made this statement, who just wants his printer fixed).

Note that it would be even less correct to say "A piece of this printer is missing", because this statement tends to imply a bit more that the parts of a printer really are all similar, or even that a printer is itself one homogeneous mass.

-------------------
Modifié par traviskidd le 05-09-2006 04:38


Réponse: piece/part de etudiant, postée le 05-09-2006 à 04:34:10 (S | E)
I thought of this myself a bit later, and I agree with Travis. Piece tends to be more a homogenous piece of the whole, while part tends to be something unique or filling a certain role.


Réponse: piece/part de bipbip, postée le 05-09-2006 à 06:37:40 (S | E)
Hello
, your explanations are simply perfect. You are greaaaaaaaaaaaaat and .
Have a wonderful day
bipbip


Réponse: piece/part de mp27, postée le 05-09-2006 à 12:01:22 (S | E)
Hello bipbip!
When you say “a piece is missing”, you refer to a collection of objects, like, for example, a jigsaw puzzle. A piece is often....”missing” (and found on the floor the following morning)! You can have, as mentioned above, a piece of cake, a piece of furniture.... But as we're talking about a printer, what is the “missing piece/part” inside it ??? Any idea from your text?
Apart from a cartridge, everything else is not designed to be removed, except from the cover (which is not “inside”!).
In this particular case, they could have used the word “part”, which is the most current technical word to use. In fact, they could have been even more specific, saying, for example: the cartridge is missing, assuming this is "the missing part"!




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