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there is a boat Options
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 12:52:10 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,703
Neurons: 18,823
Is this correct?

There is a boat coming/sailing towards us.
There is a boat in the distance coming/sailing towards us.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 1:04:05 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
They're all correct.

I think "coming towards us" would be more common than "sailing towards us", but that's just because "come" is a very common verb.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 5:07:25 AM

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Joined: 3/30/2016
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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
However boats sail, so I’d prefer “sailing towards us” but that might be because I’ve a few nautical miles beneath my feet.
thar
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 7:27:30 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
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If it is a boat, it is already inherent that it is sailing.

The 'towards us' shows that it is coming.

So the verb is actually free to be more expressive, with the rest of the sentence doing the work of describing the basic situation. In fiction writing, or in telling a story, you would use the verb to describe how it is moving.

A boat steaming/racing/drifting/ ploughing through the water/ cutting through the waves/ sailing majestically/ coming towards us with full sail/ etc etc etc.


If it were an emergency situation, you would probably keep it simple:
There is a boat coming [this way].
There is a boat heading in our direction.
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 7:50:07 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 6,369
Neurons: 1,382,661
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
What thar says is true.

However, I would suggest that thar's simpler sentences would actually be used in ordinary conversation and not limited to emergency situations.
There is a boat coming [this way].
There is a boat heading in our direction.
And you shouldn't be surprised to hear "Here comes a boat." This one might be limited to situations where a boat was not anticipated, and inflection would most likely show that.
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