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Which of the following two variants is correct with reference to some email attachments?

  1. I am unable to open them.
  2. I am unable to open up them.
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The first option is correct:

  1. I am unable to open them.

You could move the up in option two so that it reads I am unable to open them up, but the up is unnecessary in this sentence.

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Can you please explain why it is unnecessary to change the second option to "I am unable to open them up"? To me, the phrase "I am unable to open up them" sounds incredibly weird... I would have even called it wrong, if not for the fact that I would quite happily state that "I am unable to open up these things". – bracho monacho Jul 20 '11 at 11:16
I meant only that if you were to insist on the word up, that would be how I would use it, but really it adds nothing to the statement – shanethehat Jul 20 '11 at 11:26
@bracho monacho: I'm with you. "open up them" sounds wrong to me, but "open up these things" sounds fine. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Jul 20 '11 at 12:04

Brevity should be the aim of email communication, and he better expression would be I am unable to open it.

The meaning of this would be obvious to an email user, and the extra word 'up' doesn't add anything.

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protected by Rathony Jun 1 at 12:48

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