1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

operate someone on or operate on someone

Discussion in 'Medical Terminology' started by poly70, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. poly70 New Member

    Argentina - Spanish
    Hi, guys!
    I know that OPERATE ON SOMEONE is ok...and also in passive voice: TO BE OPERATED ON is ok...
    But...is it ok to split that idiom when saying: "The doctor will operate him on"???. I think it is not, but I would like to have it clear.
    Thanks a lot.

    Paul
     
  2. Indrid Cold

    Indrid Cold Senior Member

    France/Italy
    English (UK)/French (FR) - Bilingual
    I think the only way you could use it would be, for example : "The doctors will operate him on tuesday" ( or "on arrival" etc...)
    IC
     
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    That is not correct.
    Surgeons do not operate patients, they operate on patients.
     
  4. poly70 New Member

    Argentina - Spanish
    Was almost sure about that being a mistake, but I heard someone lecturing who said that...so, I wanted to open it up for discussion. THANK YOU ALL!
     
  5. jadedhero Junior Member

    Canada
    Canada English/Spanish
    No it is incorrect to split the verb (that being to operate on), you operate on someone, never operate someone on.
    Also for interest's sake the verb to 'pick up' can be split depending on whether you're using a pronoun or not... for example it is incorrect to say, "I need to pick up it (her/you/them/us/him);" you have to split the preposition (or in this case a postposition...), "I need to pick it (her/you/them/us/him) up."
    That being said, the construction can be split or left together when using a proper noun: "I pick the ball up," or "I pick up the ball," is correct...
    funny the English language, really....
     
  6. Ivan Ariel Senior Member

    Spanish
    Takin' advantage of this thread as regards the problematic structure of the verb "to operate", i would like you to tell me what happens when the structure mentioned before, is followed by a certain date and its preposition:

    For instance: "The surgeon will operate on him on mid March" Is it correctly formulated?

    Thanks a million!
     
  7. Ivan Ariel Senior Member

    Spanish
    Takin' advantage of this thread as regards the problematic structure of the verb "to operate", i would like you to tell me what happens when the structure mentioned before is followed by a certain date and its preposition:

    For instance:

    "The surgeon will operate on him on mid March" Is it correctly formulated?

    "He'll be operated on March" Is it necessary to repeat the preposition when dealing with passive voice?

    Thanks a million!
     
  8. jadedhero Junior Member

    Canada
    Canada English/Spanish
    Yes it is necessary, "He'll be operated on in March."

    The preposition "on" is only used when a specific date (3rd, 4th, etc.) or day of the week (Monday, Tuesday, etc.) is utilized. For all other time constructions utilize the preposition "in".

    Needless to say, the verb "operate" when used to mean "in surgery" must always be accompanied with the preposition "on". It cannot be omitted.

    "Operate" without "on" is used in instances such as "He operates heavy machinery" or "I cannot operate on little sleep. ".

    That is the word "operate" in a nutshell.
     
  9. Ivan Ariel Senior Member

    Spanish
    Your explanation was as clear as water, Jadedhero. So, going back to my question, if we're talking about a specific date, it should be formulated as follows: He will be operated on on 3rd March. Am i right?

    Thank U!
     
  10. jadedhero Junior Member

    Canada
    Canada English/Spanish
    Yes but separated by a comma: He will be operated on, on the 3rd of March. In colloquial speech, you can omit the preposition for the date: The 3rd of March, he will be operated on (most people would use active voice and say they'll operate on him). Or they'll operate on him, the third of March, or even he will be operated on, the third of March. But the last one would be considered poorly constructed, and the on that is omitted is the one used for the date, not for the verb.

    However if you're talking about in March then you cannot omit the 'in'.
    He will be operated on, in March.
    That preposition cannot be omitted in any instance.
     
  11. aurilla Senior Member

    Puerto Rico
    Am Eng/PR Spanish
    "Operate a patient" means you would be working the person as if he/she were a robot or a machine.

    "Operate on a patient" is to do surgery on the person.


    "He will be operated on on 3rd March" reads strange but is correct.

    To avoid confusion, it would be better to say "The doctor will operate on him on March 3rd."

    Also, "His operation will be on March 3rd."
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  12. Ivan Ariel Senior Member

    Spanish
    Thanks a Million, jadedhero!!!!
     

Share This Page