Dear experts,

Would you confirm that in the sentences below the expression MAKE A DASH AT can only be replaced by HAVE A DASH AT in the first instance:

1. We were now at the Frank Hotel, where French would seem to be most appropriate. We found out afterwards, however, that it was our friend's habit, when travelling in any foreign country, to make a dash at French, even if the people understood English perfectly well.

2. Allen drew up his men, addressed them in his own emphatic style, and announced his intention to make a dash at the fort without waiting for more force.

Thank you,

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Original Post
I'm going to make a dash at answering this question, although by no means am I sure about it.

From various examples found on Google and Yahoo, the answer to your question seems to be "yes." Both "make a dash at" and "have a dash at" mean make an attempt or have a stab at. "Make a dash at" seems to refer to military tactics, or other seriously competitive area; the participants in the activity appear to believe they can win a battle and intend to try valiantly. On the other hand, "have a dash at" could refer to something of less import, and the participant is not necessarily expecting to succeed. In fact, the expression could be used to refer to dilettantes.

Here are some examples for "make a dash at":

"¢ the sound) he might, by leaving parties in suitable positions, with a view to preventing our crossing the river and falling on his rear, make a dash at the navy ...

"¢ ... possible. However there was one man India had to contend with, if at all they did make a dash at victory, and they failed to contend. ...

"¢ BUCKLE TO; buckle oneself; put -, lay -, set- one's shoulder to the wheel; put one's heart into; run the gauntlet, make a dash at, take the bull by the ...

● ... With a major label record deal right around the corner, Stereo 360 is poised to make a dash at the top of the charts with its own brand of power rock n roll. ...

"¢ 'Totsugeki suru" means to charge at or make a dash at (an enemy position), so this can probably be translated as "Charging Reporter" or "Attacking Reporter". ...

"¢ Spanish-English Dictionary - Yahooligans! Reference -
... race) - carrera corta 4. (verve) - brío 5. (IMPRENTA) - raya 6. (AUTOMOVILISMO)- salpicadero at a dash - de un golpe to make a dash at (for) - precipitarse

Some examples for "have a dash at":

"¢ Phew - I think I'll go and try out something new, you know, just to see how it feels I think I'll have a dash at some jellied eels. ...

"¢ If the Brigs come out, we will have a dash at them, and, as the Boats will be in

"¢ Negotiations are currently underway to bring out of retirement IPC's 24-hour paddle adaptor team to have a dash at this blue ribband event.

"¢ ... PG WODEHOUSE (1881 - 1975 ) : "Very good , Jeeves" (1930). "Now,just as a suggestion,why not have a dash at a light, breezy article on pet dogs.You've probably ...

"¢ Yes. Yes, she has.". Eustace Hignett uttered a sharp cry. "Sam," he said, "can you bear a shock?". "I'll have a dash at it.". "Brace up!". ...

"¢ ...profile but there are other issues. If we are to have a dash at it, this is a unique opportunity to do so. In answer to your query ...


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Let me add one thought to Rachel's comprehensive answer. I think that "have a dash at" is typical of British, not American, English.

Marilyn Martin

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