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Use of "after"

Posted by Shae on August 09, 2003

In Reply to: Use of "after" posted by Doug Seaton on August 08, 2003

: An expression often used by my (Scottish) grandmother was "I'll (or You'll, or He'll, etc) be after" - e.g. "I'll be after a trip to the shops", which I can remember my dad explaining as Scottish-english having inherited some Gaelic roots. As I recall, he thought it should be interpreted as something like: "I'll [eventually] be [in the state corresponding to] after [having had] a trip to the shops".
: But this doesn't work for the expression used a few minutes ago by my (English) daughter: "I'm after a lift to town".
: What is the real basis, and just how should such expressions be parsed?

'After' as used in both examples means 'seeking, looking for, wanting.' Your daughter wanted a lift to town. However, your grandmother was *demanding* a trip to the shops. The 'be' before 'after' makes a big difference. 'I'll be after' means 'I expect to be provided with . . .' whatever.