Yesterday I said "This is beyond the limits" and a teacher reproached me for having used "the" in that sentence; but I've found two books, a movie and a text with that sentence as a title, so I'm quite puzzled ...

Is it a mistake or not?

Thanks in advance
Original Post
I would have said "without limits" or "within limits" in a normal conversation, of course; the problem is specific to the expression "beyond the limits" and its being part of a discussion in which "the" limits were well known to everyone (it was about the behaviour of a pupil in school).

However, what do you think of these?
I wouldn't use titles as a guide for conversational style. They are too clipped.

Not sure about your context, but I'd use:

This is beyond the behavior limits allowed in our school.

or something of the kind. Again specific. Leaving stuff to hang as in your original sentence can be confusing, which seems to have been the case:-)
Last edited by Marius Hancu
Ok, I'll certainly remember it ;-)

Your sentence is obviously better, only I didn't think it was a major mistake, but a mere nuance ... I almost had my hands cut off for that ...

Was this 'mistake' in an English class? What kind of school are you in? It certainly seems that the teacher has the wrong attitude.

The 'the' may not even be a mistake! If you were stating certain specific limits, 'the' is absolutely correct.

If you were citing limits for the first time, you might say, 'This is beyond limits' or 'This is beyond all limits.'

Your sentence is perfectly correct, and although it might be slightly modified for some contexts, it is still correct.

If the over-reaction of your teacher is as you describe, then s/he is certainly beyond (the / all) limits.
I'm Italian and I teach law in a high school. The conversation took place during a session of the school board and was done in Italian. At a particular moment, in the heat of the discussion, I said the "incriminated" sentence in English and was soon reproached by the principal, who happens to be also an English teacher ...

What I meant in earlier posts is that the limits were related to the normal behaviour pupils should keep - and were of course known by every teacher in the room, because they had been set before.

You are right: the "teacher" has the wrong attitude towards everyone and likes to overboss :-)

By the way, there is no verbatim transcription, only a summary one.

Thanks for your advice, you have been of great help!
Last edited by steve

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