May one use the expression 'plant afresh' or 'plant anew' in the sense of planting new but unspecified plants? For example: Now it's time to plant afresh/anew.
We would never say a sentence like this in isolation.
There must be a context which makes things clear to the person you're speaking to or writing to:
• that planting is not an unexpected act
You might be speaking in a garden for example. Or you may have been talking about gardening.
• that somebody that you both have in mind has planted previously
It may be one of you, for example. Or you may not know exactly who did the planting, but it's obvious that somebody did.
• that the previous process of planting is in some way finished
For example, the previous plants may be dead, or removed. Or you may be thinking of planting in a new place. In any case, you're not just continuing an established plan of planting.
I think there's a difference here between using anew and using afresh. Both mean repeating the action of planting, but suggest slightly different ways:
anew suggest repeating the action in the same way as before
afresh suggests repeating the action with changes designed for better success
Note that it's the action that's new — not necessarily the plants. It's possible to dig up plants and then plant them anew in a different part of the garden.
Thank you, David Crosbie. This is in the context of spring gardening. Can you, in that context, simply write "now it's time to plant"?
Well OK, norwegianblue, but i'd prefer
It's time to plant now.
It's time to plant.
I feel is that your version suggest that we're discussing how to organise our time.
Actually, my favourite choice would be
Now's the time to plant.
• the word now in the introductory position known as TOPIC (also THEME).
• the word plant in the end position where it's stressed and where it suggests NEW INFORMATION.
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