a better understanding of

theol

Senior Member
Japanese
I tried to describe that activity helped me understand mathematics in my everyday life. And this was what I wrote below.

"This activity helped me gain a better understanding of learning mathematics on a daily basis."

And this sentence doesn't sound right to me because "a better understanding of" is always followed by a noun but I don't know how to make some changes.
 
  • theol

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    So you really want to say that you learned something about learning and you didn't learn anything about mathematics?
    Yes, I didn't learn a specific mathematics formula or equation, but I learnt that I can learn mathematics in daily life, such as the things we see
     

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    Standard General American English USA
    I tried to describe that activity helped me understand mathematics in my everyday life. And this was what I wrote below.

    "This activity helped me gain a better understanding of learning mathematics on a daily basis."

    And this sentence doesn't sound right to me because "a better understanding of" is always followed by a noun but I don't know how to make some changes.

    Your sentence is correct.

    "Learning", which follows "a better understanding of", is a noun. "Learning" is a verbal noun. It is the object of the preposition "of".

    Learning is good. <<

    In the above sentence, "learning" is also a verbal noun. "Learning" is the subject of the verb "is".

    "a better understanding of learning" <<

    Again, "learning" is the object of a preposition. The preposition is "of". "Learning" is a verbal noun.
     
    Last edited:

    theol

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Your sentence is correct.

    "Learning", which follows "a better understanding of", is a noun. "Learning" is a verbal noun. It is the object of the preposition "of".

    Learning is good. <<

    In the above sentence, "learning" is also a verbal noun. "Learning" is the subject of the verb "is".

    "a better understanding of learning" <<

    Again, "learning" is the object of a preposition. The preposition is "of". "Learning" is a verbal noun.
    Thanks for answering me.
    I have one more question about this sentence.

    1. This activity helped me gain a better understanding of learning mathematics on a daily basis.
    2. This activity helps me gain a better understanding of learning mathematics on a daily basis.
    3. This activity has helped me gain a better understanding of learning mathematics on a daily basis.

    I am not sure which tense I should use because this activity happened in the past but it helps me understand the concept of learning mathematics in real life that I try to utilize it every day.
     

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    Standard General American English USA
    1. This activity helped me gain a better understanding of learning mathematics on a daily basis. <<

    This happened in the past. However, it can still help you now. After it helps you one time, it can continue to help you. So using "simple past" is correct for the meaning you want to communicate.


    2. This activity helps me gain a better understanding of learning mathematics on a daily basis. <<

    This means you are still involved in the activity. While you are involved in the activity, it can still help you now. You don't have to finish the activity for it to help you now. Then, again, you might have to finish the activity in order for it to help you. It depends on the activity, and it depends on you.


    3. This activity has helped me gain a better understanding of learning mathematics on a daily basis. <<

    This means that you finished the activity in the past. And using "present perfect" means that the activity is relevant up until now.

    In this case, the choice between present perfect and simple past is based on your viewpoint. It is psychological. If you are "holding on to the activity now in your mind", even though it's finished, then use present perfect.

    After enough time goes by, the activity will drift off into the past. At that point, you will likely not use present perfect and you will use simple past. At some point, the activity has to be, in a sense, "buried in the past".

    So how do you feel about this activity? Do you feel that it's still recent? If so, then use present perfect. If enough time has gone by, then use simple past.

    Again, using simple past still means that the activity helps you now. It's the experience that helps you. It doesn't matter that the experience is in the past. The experience can still help you even though it's from the past. "You learned from the experience, and the experience helps you now."

    Here's another way to look at this, for example.

    It's now 3:00

    Do you want to get a snack?

    No, I had a big lunch at 12. I'll wait for dinner. Thank you for the offer, anyway.

    So, here, you ate lunch at 12. You are still not hungry at 3. You are not hungry because of eating in the past. In effect, you don't have to eat again in order to not feel hungry. At 3, you still benefit from eating lunch at 12, which is definitely the past.

    You benefit from the activity because you experienced it in the past. In effect, you don't have to experience the activity again in order to continue benefiting from it.

    You might want to experience the activity again in order to review what you experienced or learned. However, this is necessary only if you think so.

    Eventually, you will have dinner.

    Eventually, it's possible that you will want to experience the activity again. However, again, it's not necessary. It's only necessary if you think it is.

    A meal only lasts so long, and then you get hungry again. However, a learning experience may last for a very long time before you think you need to experience it again. You may not need to experience it again at all.

    In the present, we benefit from our past experiences.

    The ideas I presented here should help you with other things when we consider the past as it relates to the present.
     
    Last edited:

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The sentence is grammatically correct, but I don't know what "an understanding of learning" means.
     

    theol

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    1. This activity helped me gain a better understanding of learning mathematics on a daily basis. <<

    This happened in the past. However, it can still help you now. After it helps you one time, it can continue to help you. So using "simple past" is correct for the meaning you want to communicate.


    2. This activity helps me gain a better understanding of learning mathematics on a daily basis. <<

    This means you are still involved in the activity. While you are involved in the activity, it can still help you now. You don't have to finish the activity for it to help you now. Then, again, you might have to finish the activity in order for it to help you. It depends on the activity, and it depends on you.


    3. This activity has helped me gain a better understanding of learning mathematics on a daily basis. <<

    This means that you finished the activity in the past. And using "present perfect" means that the activity is relevant up until now.

    In this case, the choice between present perfect and simple past is based on your viewpoint. It is psychological. If you are "holding on to the activity now in your mind", even though it's finished, then use present perfect.

    After enough time goes by, the activity will drift off into the past. At that point, you will likely not use present perfect and you will use simple past. At some point, the activity has to be, in a sense, "buried in the past".

    So how do you feel about this activity? Do you feel that it's still recent? If so, then use present perfect. If enough time has gone by, then use simple past.

    Again, using simple past still means that the activity helps you now. It's the experience that helps you. It doesn't matter that the experience is in the past. The experience can still help you even though it's from the past. "You learned from the experience, and the experience helps you now."

    Here's another way to look at this, for example.

    It's now 3:00

    Do you want to get a snack?

    No, I had a big lunch at 12. I'll wait for dinner. Thank you for the offer, anyway.

    So, here, you ate lunch at 12. You are still not hungry at 3. You are not hungry because of eating in the past. In effect, you don't have to eat again in order to not feel hungry. At 3, you still benefit from eating lunch at 12, which is definitely the past.

    You benefit from the activity because you experienced it in the past. In effect, you don't have to experience the activity again in order to continue benefiting from it.

    You might want to experience the activity again in order to review what you experienced or learned. However, this is necessary only if you think so.

    Eventually, you will have dinner.

    Eventually, it's possible that you will want to experience the activity again. However, again, it's not necessary. It's only necessary if you think it is.

    A meal only lasts so long, and then you get hungry again. However, a learning experience may last for a very long time before you think you need to experience it again. You may not need to experience it again at all.

    In the present, we benefit from our past experiences.

    The ideas I presented here should help you with other things when we consider the past as it relates to the present.
    Thanks for your generosity to share your knowledge.
     
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