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which word is better?

 
 
Reply Wed 12 Apr, 2017 11:02 pm
Whats the purpose of saying she's smarter than him?

Whats the purpose in saying she's smarter than him?

Is of or in better?

Would context matter?

Thank you.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 626 • Replies: 11
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layman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Apr, 2017 11:23 pm
@perennialloner,
I would say "in" is better. The suggestion is the the statement "contains" a purpose.
perennialloner
 
  0  
Reply Wed 12 Apr, 2017 11:49 pm
@layman,
Huh. Could the suggestion of the statement be different then if preceded by purpose of? Instead of referring to someone's own purpose in saying that, it could allude to an abstract purpose that's external. Like, what on earth is the purpose of saying something like she is smarter than him?

Would that be interpreted or does that not make sense?

I guess I'm asking - is it apparent their suggestions are different or does purpose of just sound awkward?
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Apr, 2017 11:53 pm
@perennialloner,
I will tell you, the difference is too subtle for me. Intuitively, I would say 'purpose of', but would never object to 'in'.
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 12:01 am
@perennialloner,
Either is correct in this instance, but in general, "purpose of" is used far more often than "purpose in".

It is also simpler, since if you are going to use "purpose in", a verb must follow. That is not the case with "purpose of".

You cannot say, "What is the purpose in the handsaw?". You can say, "What is the purpose of the handsaw?".
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 12:08 am
@Blickers,
I dont think that's strictly true. I think purpose in could be followed by a gerund.

For example, someone could take a sentence with a fairly simple structure like "she swims purposefully" and change it to the convoluted "there exists purpose in her swimming."

But I know what you mean.
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 12:12 am
@perennialloner,
Yes, you are correct there. Never thought of that.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 11:28 am
@perennialloner,
Quote:
Would context matter?
Peren, always !


Whats the purpose of saying she's smarter than him?
What's the purpose (point?) of (me, he ?) saying (having said?, " She's smarter than him (he? John? allof'em?" ?), etc. Yes, no, peren, I'm not always of much help am I but don't get discouraged 'cause your interest in ojur peculiar tongue is to be admired


0 Replies
 
timur
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 11:35 am
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

I dont think that's strictly true. I think purpose in could be followed by a gerund.

For example, someone could take a sentence with a fairly simple structure like "she swims purposefully" and change it to the convoluted "there exists purpose in her swimming."

But I know what you mean.


Please note that the highlighted swimming is not a gerund but a noun..
perennialloner
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 01:39 pm
@timur,
How is it not a gerund? A gerund is a verb that functions as a noun.
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 01:43 pm
@perennialloner,
Okay, from now on, regarding all language questions, all you folks are required to ask perennialloner the questions and he/she will answer them for you.
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2017 01:47 pm
@Blickers,
Quote:
You cannot say, "What is the purpose in the handsaw?". You can say, "What is the purpose of the handsaw?".


I think we may well say the former when the context is rich enough where one could say,

What is the purpose in [you using/the use of] the handsaw?

Nevertheless, you made an excellent observation. These finer distinctions are important to EFLs.
0 Replies
 
 

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