Do these sentences mean the same thing?
A. He scratched his knee.
B. He scratched at his knee.
- Anonymous1 month agoFavorite Answer
No. Saying "at" suggests that he either couldn't leave it alone, that he scratched and scratched and scratched, or that for some reason he couldn't quite reach his knee to actually scratch it, like if he were wearing a cast or some kind of thick clothing that prevented him from actually being able to scratch it. The "at" implies that the reason for scratching, like an itch, went unsatisfied at the point the action in the past completes.
- Anonymous1 month ago
A is correct. You do not need the prepositional phrase, in B, which is confusing and vague.
- Larry K.Lv 71 month ago
Nope! A similar example which illustrates the difference would be:
He shot his knee. or He shot at his knee.
- RPLv 71 month ago
A is correct. B is wrong because we scratch something, but we don't scratch at it.
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- bluebellbkkLv 71 month ago
He scratched his knee:
1, he fell over and his knee was scratched;
2, his knee was itching, so he scratched it.
BUTHe scratched AT his knee cannot mean . It usually means , but the word 'at' carries an extra suggestion of repetition, or failure to achieve the desired result.
- busterwasmycatLv 71 month ago
for me, yes.
- Karen LLv 71 month ago
They might, and they might not.
'He scratched at his knee' means he scratched it himself, on purpose, probably because it was itchy.
'He scratched his knee' could mean the same thing, or it could mean that his knee got scratched in some unspecified way, but not by him and not by another person or an animal. It's what you would say if he fell and got a scratch on his knee, or walked too close to a tree branch and got a scratch from it.
- ExpatLv 61 month ago
Yes, they are the same
- Son of T3Lv 71 month ago
Many may use them as the same, but "at his knee" can mean that he tried and missed or he did it multiple times in a strong manner. The exact use you need to get from the user.