"give up trying" or " give up on trying"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by roniy, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    "give up trying" or " give up on trying"

    Which one is the correct ???

    Thanks.
     
  2. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    To give up trying - the construction is To give up + V-ing, meaning that you are no longer trying to do whatever it was you were trying to do.

    Eg

    He has given up trying to find a suitable property in this part of town - he has decided to move altogether.
     
  3. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    and when can I use-
    give up on something
    ????
     
  4. PKTO Senior Member

    Toronto
    English, Canada
    You can use give up on trying + something when the something is not a verb. The only example I can think of is with a pronoun:

    For example, I gave up on her a long time ago since she was not dependable.
     
  5. Ted D'atlanta New Member

    English
    I gave up on trying to learn English
     
  6. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    I disagree with this example: I'd prefer I gave up trying to....

    And I agree with the pronoun suggestion:
    I waited for you for an hour, then I gave up on you.
     
  7. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    I am a bit confused.

    I have seen some different possibilities and I don't understand the difference

    as you say it should be like this
    "I give up on her"
    or
    "I give up waiting her"

    But I have seen
    "I give up on doing that"
    or
    "I give up the gun"

    and this two examples are different than what you have tried to explain me.

    what you think ????
     
  8. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    I should have made this clear in my 1st reply:

    TO GIVE UP ON + Noun => To give up on something (or somebody)

    He has given up on him - whenever they arrange to go out for a drink, he arrives an hour late (= he no longer expects anything of his friend).

    She has given up on the idea of moving to Brussels (= she has dropped the plan).

    TO GIVE UP + Verb (Ing form) => To give up doing something

    He has given up smoking (= he no longer smokes).

    We have given up trying to talk sense into her: she won't listen (= we don't think it is worth it, so we are not doing it any more).

    I hope the above is clear and I believe it is correct.
     
  9. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    But how do you explain these two :

    "I give up on doing that"
    or
    "I give up the gun"

    they the excat opposite of what you said and I think they are correct.
     
  10. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    "I give up the gun" is in line with what I suggested (Give up + Noun).

    I suppose you could say "I give up on doing XYZ" if you consider that the V-ing form is a gerund (i.e. a verb used as a noun) as opposed to a regular verb form (i.e. a verb used as a verb).

    Indeed, gerunds are noun-like verbal forms.

    Eg

    Hunting is a cruel sport (= the fact that one hunts)

    Smoking is bad for you (= the activity of smoking)

    Etc

    I still feel the basic rule would be the one I outlined.
     
  11. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    I don't get it.

    You said
    GIVE UP ON + noun
    is the correct form, right ???

    But here I gave you
    GIVE UP + noun

    without "on"

    And what you are saying is that
    GIVE UP + V+ing.

    but " I give up the gun". " the gun" is not a verb and it came without "on" before it.
     
  12. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    Sorry, you are right - my mistake. So, "I give up + Noun" - different meaning to "Give up on + Noun". No time to explain right now but will get back to you tomorrow or this weekend. Someone else may help. It is more complicated than I first realized, I must admit! "Give up on + Noun" would tend to be about sb, I feel - I give up on him, he won't help me! (!) Give up + Noun can be anything, as in to abandon sthg - I have given up my job. It would rather be about sthg and not about sb. Give up + V-ing is the standard form. Give up on + V-ing when a gerund. Does it make sense? Can anyone substantiate?
     
  13. Paskovich

    Paskovich Senior Member

    Berlin
    Germany - German
    I think there´s a difference between give up the gun and give up on the gun.

    Giving up the gun is like not using it anymore and giving up on the gun is like you don´t "trust" it anymore because of the constant jams and now prefer to use a baseball bat. ;)

    That´s what I guess. Feel free to correct me natives. :)

    EDIT

    <EDIT2junkdeleted>

    Just an example:

    "[SIZE=-1]... terrorists in Pakistan to give up the gun and join the peace process."[/SIZE]
     
  14. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    As often, we could (and I should) have had a look at a good dictionary first - the Oxford Concise Dictionary is a good source. They say:

    To give up (Intransitive, no object) - Cease making an effort/admit defeat
    To give sb up - To deliver a wanted person to authority
    To give sthg up - (a) To part with sthg that one would prefer to keep
    (b) To stop doing sthg => To give up doing sthg
    To give up on - To stop having faith or belief in sthg or sb

    So, we can have:

    To give up, No object - Eg I give up! (= I am abandoning my efforts, sorry!)
    To give up + Noun (= to drop) Eg He has given up his job
    To give up + V-ing (= to stop doing) Eg She has given up smoking
    To give up on + Noun (= to lose faith in) Eg I give up on her: she never stops moaning about her job but will not do anything positive about it
    To give up on + Gerund, ie V in -ing form used as noun - Eg The government has given up on implementing those changes

    I would still say the more common form is To give up doing for a form with verb. Also, To give up on (sb/sthg) is different in terms of meaning rather than anything else, as compared to To give up (sthg/sb).

    I hope this is clearer and does cover it...
     
  15. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)

    Thank you that really helped me to understand this subject.
     
  16. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    I just looked at that again and I saw "give up sb".
    And I thought

    "Give up on my girlfriend"
    is that when you lose you faith in her.

    but
    how is that
    "give up my girlfriend"
    ???
    I am certain I have heard this one.
    And according to Oxford dictionary it says to delive a wanted person to authority.

    or I guess it is wrong without "on" in this example ???
     
  17. Fedora

    Fedora Senior Member

    Ft. Worth, Texas, USA
    Guyana/English
    Hi Roniy,

    This case is specific to a person that is wanted by the authority e.g., a robber who is wanted by the police (they want to put him in jail/take him to court/there is an arrest warrant out). If your girlfrend is that robber and you know that the police are looking for her and call them to tell them where she is then you "Gave your girlfriend up" not "Gave up your girlfriend"

    Does that help?
     
  18. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    Fedora is right in stressing the difference in meaning:

    To give sb up - Legal meaning and judicial process
    To give up on sb - Colloquial expression and psychological process

    Glad we managed to make some sense of this query in the end! As often, at first, you reply on the assumption that it is easy to address, and then you realise that there are layers of meaning you hadn't quite bargained for!:D
     

Share This Page