3
   

which verb sounds best here?

 
 
Reply Thu 4 May, 2017 02:28 pm
The student worked hard to attain a good education.
The student worked hard to get a good education.
The student worked hard to gain a good education.
The student worked hard to obtain a good education.
The student worked hard to acquire a good education.

Which verb sounds worst/best? Which would be best in formal writing?

I'm aware this sentence could be altogether reconstructed to sound better than all of the choices I've provided, but that's not what I'm looking for. Thank you.
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 919 • Replies: 19
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centrox
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 May, 2017 02:45 pm
They are all synonymous, as you no doubt realise. Possibly in a formal situation I would avoid 'get'. Otherwise, take your pick.

perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 May, 2017 03:00 pm
@centrox,
Hmm. On the site I'm look at about attain vs. obtain, it says that attain should be used for something intangible, like a degree, where as obtain should be used for tangible items, like a diploma.

Education is intangible, but I feel like obtain sounds better in the situation than attain?

Also, to attain something seems synonymous to accomplishing something, whereas you don't necessarily need to accomplish something you obtain. And a good education is something you accomplish through hard work?
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 May, 2017 04:30 pm
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:
On the site I'm look at about attain vs. obtain, it says that attain should be used for something intangible, like a degree, where as obtain should be used for tangible items, like a diploma.

I am aware of the distinction you are groping towards, but degrees and diplomas are both tangible - they are documents, certificates if you like.

Quote:
Also, to attain something seems synonymous to accomplishing something, whereas you don't necessarily need to accomplish something you obtain. And a good education is something you accomplish through hard work?

To attain is to succeed in achieving something that one has worked for. Such a success is an accomplishment.


0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 May, 2017 04:42 pm
A degree is tangible. An education isn't.
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 May, 2017 07:37 pm
@roger,
I thought a diploma is the tangible certificate that shows you acquired a degree in something? Like, the degree is the course of your education.
ekename
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 May, 2017 09:16 pm
@perennialloner,
Quote:
I thought a diploma is the tangible certificate that shows you acquired a degree in something?


Correct , however in the neck of the woods that contrex hails from it's much more commonly used to describe the a course of study in a subject ( especially a less rigorous course eg. I have a Diploma in Nail Design) .

Quote:
A diploma (from Greek δίπλωµα díplōma, meaning "folded paper") is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as a college or university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study,[1] or (US) recording that an academic degree has been awarded.[2] In some countries, e.g. the United Kingdom and Australia, the word diploma also refers to an academic award (e.g. diploma of higher education, graduate diploma, postgraduate diploma).


I choose attain as the best word to use because it's associated with achievement whereas the others don't necessarily imply effort ( as you noted ) especially given the context "the student worked hard."

They all earn the tick of approval.

http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/attain

I like to borrow information too :




0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 May, 2017 09:32 pm
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

I thought a diploma is the tangible certificate that shows you acquired a degree in something? Like, the degree is the course of your education.


You are absolutely correct. Do you believe that contradicts my earlier reply?
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 May, 2017 09:43 pm
@roger,
I dont understand how a degree is tangible if it's not an item someone can hold. But maybe I don't understand what tangible means.
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 May, 2017 01:27 am
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:
I thought a diploma is the tangible certificate that shows you acquired a degree in something? Like, the degree is the course of your education.

Not really. A tangible degree (certainly in Britain and Commonwealth countries, and I suspect everywhere else) is a physical document, a certificate, which historically was inscribed on parchment, these days probably done on a laser printer. It is issued to a successful student at then end of a course of study (his or her degree course). Usually graduands are offered the choice of receiving their degree certificates at a formal ceremony at which they wear academic clothing and headgear. Very often the degree certificate is rolled up, with a band or ribbon around it.

Here is a picture of a student who has just received his degree:

https://www.seh.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/styles/linkblock/public/Keith%20Barnes_MG_5298.jpg?itok=SCahlZUe

This one is rolled up:
http://gozonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/r-cauchi.jpg

"Diploma" can be a global term covering all educational qualification certificates of varying grades, but in certain educational systems it can be a lesser qualification than a degree, often vocational, or a greater one. In the European education system a Diploma in Engineering ("Dipl. Ing.") is a prestigious qualification superior to a first degree, awarded at the end of a four-year course.

Of course, degree (certificate) is tangible, whereas a degree (qualification) is not. The first is proof of the second, although if the certificate is lost or destroyed it doesn't matter, since the awarding institution will keep a record.

Furthermore, many people use the word 'degree' to denote the entire course, e.g. "I'm starting a degree [course] next year".

So three things: qualification, certificate, course.
0 Replies
 
ekename
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 May, 2017 07:09 pm
@perennialloner,
Attain.

Quote:
perennialloner wrote:
I thought a diploma is the tangible certificate that shows you acquired a degree in something? Like, the degree is the course of your education.
centrox wrote:
Not really. A tangible degree (certainly in Britain and Commonwealth countries, and I suspect everywhere else) is a physical document, a certificate, which historically was inscribed on parchment, these days probably done on a laser printer.


By now I trust you've enjoyed a wry smile or was that two, awry?

Now, about that little red riband. What about it?
0 Replies
 
florajohn225
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 6 Jun, 2017 11:37 pm
The first time my English teacher said it I laughed so hard. It sounds ridiculous but it has a mildly depressing definition.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jun, 2017 11:55 pm
@florajohn225,
Eh?
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jun, 2017 12:45 am
@roger,
roger wrote:

Eh?

That post is throwaway; there is spam for an academic cheating services in the signature.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jun, 2017 02:14 am
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

Education is intangible, but I feel like obtain sounds better in the situation than attain?


For what it's worth, I agree with you. I would also say that "acquire" would be most formal, but can't really say why. "Get" would probably be most common in everyday speech.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jun, 2017 02:29 am
@roger,
I got a degree in manufacturing license plates, eh?

Wait, strike that...

I earned a degree....
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jun, 2017 02:44 am
@centrox,
Yeah, but upon reading the sig line, with great regret I decided to give their service a pass.
0 Replies
 
ekename
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jun, 2017 06:47 am
@layman,
Yer too modest, ways i heared it you stretched it to the attainment of a triple major in mailbags, laundry n licentiousness.
0 Replies
 
glen74
 
  0  
Reply Tue 20 Jun, 2017 06:32 pm
@perennialloner,
why not:
The student worked hard for a good education.
?
glen74
 
  0  
Reply Tue 20 Jun, 2017 06:34 pm
@glen74,
preposition

4.
in order to obtain, gain, or acquire: a suit for alimony;
to work for wages.
0 Replies
 
 

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