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His arm is mobile. Options
luckyguy
Posted: Sunday, July 02, 2017 4:01:00 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/25/2015
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Mobile means able to move.

Suppose that Tim broke his arm and could not move it at all four weeks ago. He can move it now without feeling much pain. Can I use the word "mobile" in my sentence below?

(ex) His arm is mobile now.

Please give me your opinion. Many thanks.
sureshot
Posted: Sunday, July 02, 2017 7:17:17 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 1,838
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luckyguy wrote:
Mobile means able to move.

Suppose that Tim broke his arm and could not move it at all four weeks ago. He can move it now without feeling much pain. Can I use the word "mobile" in my sentence below?

(ex) His arm is mobile now.

Please give me your opinion. Many thanks.

______________

Here are extracts from two dictionaries:

Source 1: LONGMAN DICTIONARY OF CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH

3 - able to move
mobile
/"më|baûlá-bÊl, -bi:l/ [adjective not before noun] especially British someone who is mobile can move and walk around normally

- He won't be mobile for some time. It's a bad knee sprain.


Source 2: Extract from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

able to move freely or be easily moved

In my view, if the individual is able to move his arm around normally, the use of the word "mobile" for arm is acceptable. Even a face can be mobile ( e.g. a mobile, expressive face: Reference TFD). The expression "can move it now without feeling much pain" is silent on the degree of movement.
Eoin Riedy
Posted: Sunday, July 02, 2017 5:42:05 PM

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Joined: 8/28/2016
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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
sureshot wrote:
In my view, if the individual is able to move his arm around normally, the use of the word "mobile" for arm is acceptable. Even a face can be mobile ( e.g. a mobile, expressive face: Reference TFD). The expression "can move it now without feeling much pain" is silent on the degree of movement.


You may technically be correct, but it sounds a little odd to me.
A person is mobile if they can move about from place to place.
A home is mobile if you can put it on a trailer and move the home from one place to another.

An arm is attached to a shoulder. I would say "His arm has mobility now," or "He has mobility in his arm now."
"His arm is mobile" somehow sounds as if his arm has detached itself and is flying across the room.
If the sentence were "His mobile arms and legs were rapidly bringing him to shore" it would sound natural, though.
Ex-pat
Posted: Monday, July 03, 2017 6:46:15 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 12/3/2014
Posts: 24
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Location: Phetchabun, Phetchabun, Thailand
Eoin Riedy wrote:
sureshot wrote:
In my view, if the individual is able to move his arm around normally, the use of the word "mobile" for arm is acceptable. Even a face can be mobile ( e.g. a mobile, expressive face: Reference TFD). The expression "can move it now without feeling much pain" is silent on the degree of movement.


You may technically be correct, but it sounds a little odd to me.
A person is mobile if they can move about from place to place.
A home is mobile if you can put it on a trailer and move the home from one place to another.

An arm is attached to a shoulder. I would say "His arm has mobility now," or "He has mobility in his arm now."
"His arm is mobile" somehow sounds as if his arm has detached itself and is flying across the room.
If the sentence were "His mobile arms and legs were rapidly bringing him to shore" it would sound natural, though.


As a NES(BrE) I would agree with Sureshot's interpretation, (backed by Longman) which translates as "able to move". "Mobile" would be quite normal and acceptable in BrE.

It appears, however, to have a different nuance in AmE - but that's life.
tunaafi
Posted: Monday, July 03, 2017 7:08:00 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/3/2014
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Location: Karlín, Praha, Czech Republic
This native speaker of British English agrees with Eoin Riedy. 'His arm is mobile' sounds very odd to me.
TMe
Posted: Monday, July 03, 2017 11:59:01 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/12/2017
Posts: 474
Neurons: 3,019
By itself, the arm can't move.

I think it should be;

He is able to move his arm now.

I am a layman.
Romany
Posted: Monday, July 03, 2017 4:48:18 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,608
Neurons: 38,425
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

I too agree that the arm being mobile does send out a funny picture in one's mind. It may be perfectly grammatical to say it, but I think the possibility of it being taken humorously is the reason we tend to say "He's got full mobility back in his arm now." or, more 'correctly' "He now has full mobility in his arm."
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