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''Keep'' a relationship ''good''

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Xavier da Silva, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Xavier da Silva Senior Member

    Portuguese
    Hello everyone,


    Is it natural/ common to use "keep" with "good" in the context below? Please take a look.


    "We do our best to keep our relationship good." I must confess it's not easy; but we are doing it.''


    Keep our relationship good definition: do something so that the relationship remains good and doesn't get worse.


    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    No, this isn't idiomatic. I would say something like:

    We do our best to have a good relationship.

    If the context is not romance though, this is not right.

     
  3. HasuMoo Junior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    "We do our best to keep up our good relationship." and "We do our best to maintain our good relationship." sound better, I believe.
     
  4. Xavier da Silva Senior Member

    Portuguese
    Thank you for your answer.

    But I heard that "keep a relationship strong" is idiomatic. Why not "keep good"?
     
  5. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    Yes, "we do our best to keep our relationship (going) strong" is fine. I can't give you a grammatical explanation for why 'good' doesn't work, but you can't say "keep good" in English
     
  6. Xavier da Silva Senior Member

    Portuguese
    Thank you Tags.

    One less mistake in my English.

    "Keep going strong" seems to be a good option.
     
  7. HasuMoo Junior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    Because good is an adjective and well is an adverb. Adverbs are used to say something about verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. Since 'keep' is a verb, you can only say 'keep well', not 'keep good'

    Edit: unless you are talking about the noun 'keep', which is the main tower of a castle. In that case, you can definitely say: "the keep is good". ;)
     
  8. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    But if that were true, then surely it would also be wrong to say "keep quiet", as quiet is an adjective here, but that's grammatically correct...
     
  9. HasuMoo Junior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    I think it has to do because of the fact that quiet doesn't modify the verb, but only states the condition of the manner in which you "keep" said condition. But I would indeed like to research this further. Perhaps someone else knows the exact rule for this.
     
  10. HasuMoo Junior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    Source: www.eslprof.com/handouts/info/AdverbAdjectiveInfo.doc

    Adjectives follow the verb to be and a few other "stative" verbs:
    He is careful.
    She was noisy.
    I want you to be quiet.
    They are beautiful.
    He seems capable.
    They look honest.
     
  11. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    But equally, if the condition of the relationship is "good" then "keep good" is referring to the condition you want to keep and it should be correct, but it isn't. So I don't think that reasoning works ;) (But like you, I would like to know what the rule is exactly! :))
     
  12. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    The link doesn't work.....
     
  13. HasuMoo Junior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    You are right, I just disproved my own reasoning. Krashen would be proud of me! :)

    Edit: Yes, I don't think you can link files here (security reasons). I just googled "keep quiet! adverb or adjective" and that word document popped up.
     
  14. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    Haha! :D I'm wondering where I can go to get the grammar rule on this now. It's going to bug me...
     
  15. HasuMoo Junior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
  16. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    You know what, I didn't even know that those types of verbs were called 'stative'. That shows you the state of English grammar lessons in schools in the UK/Ireland these days :( It takes a Dutch man to tell me what these things are called!) :D
     
  17. Tazzler Senior Member

    Maryland
    American English
    It's just a matter of collocation. Sometimes there is no rime or reason to what words are idiomatic.
     
  18. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    I hope you don't mind the correction ;) I'm not convinced that it's a collocation issue though...hmm. Must find a grammar expert! :D
     
  19. coolieinblue Senior Member

    Seoul,Korea
    Korean
    Hi HasuMoo, what do you mean by 'good'?
     
  20. Tazzler Senior Member

    Maryland
    American English
    Oh no, you're on my list for that. Just kidding. I doubted between the two :rolleyes:. I don't think one can always turn to grammar for an explanation of why, say, "good" is wrong here. Theoretically it makes sense, especially if you go by dictionary definitions, but it's just not something we normally say.
     
  21. HasuMoo Junior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    Oxford Grammar Finder; 2009, module 51, page 75 agrees that state (stative) verbs can be followed by an adjective.
     
  22. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    Haha! True, sometimes collocations are the answer. But I'm a grammar-believer at heart - much like a scientists, I believe there has to be a reason for things. God can't be responsible :D
     
  23. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    Yes, in fact, I can think of more examples of adjectives after keep if I put my mind to it, e.g. keep fresh the lettuce, my friend! (while I can't imagine ever using this phrase, it's grammatically correct :D)
     
  24. HasuMoo Junior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    Just to clarify, commanding or exclamatory sentences such as: "Keep it fresh!" or "Keep going strong!" miss a noun or pronoun. If you add a noun or pronoun e.g. you,
    the stative verb is equaling the noun with the adjective.

    You = strong
    You = fresh
     
  25. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    Sorry, you lost me with that one ;) Can you give an example of what you mean?
     
  26. HasuMoo Junior Member

    Dutch - Netherlands
    I always struggle to convey my messages on paper. :)

    An adjective modifies a noun or pronoun. When an adjective is in a predicative position, it is commonly mistaken as an adverb.

    Kate is fluent in Russian. Fluent says something about 'Kate', not about 'is'. In this case fluent is an adjective.
    Kate speaks Russian fluently. Fluently says something about 'speaks', not about 'Kate'. In this case fluently is an adverb of manner.

    Teacher: "Keep still!" is actually saying "You must keep still." Here 'still' is not used as an adverb of manner, but as an adjective. You equals still.
     
  27. Tegs

    Tegs Mód ar líne

    Wales
    English (Ireland), Welsh, Irish
    Oh, I get you! Yes, don't worry, I know that in 'keep fresh', 'keep still' etc, 'fresh' and 'still' are not related to, or doing anything to the verb at all. But the rule behind 'keep good' is still a conundrum :)
     
  28. coolieinblue Senior Member

    Seoul,Korea
    Korean
    Hello Hasumoo,

    I would use 'good' when I show my reaction to something/somebody or give my opinion on something/somebody. What do you intend to mean by 'keep good'?
     

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