a problem getting worse and worse

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feifayfeefey

Member
CHINESE
Dear All,

Is "deteriorating problems" appropriate to describe a problem which gets worse and worse?
Basically I want to say that "adolescent resistance is a deteriorating problem worldwide"

Many thanks in advance!
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    No. The problem is not deteriorating - that would mean that the problem's condition is worsening.

    You need another verb. I am not sure what "adolescent resistance" is but if it is getting worse then: "Adolescent resistance is a growing problem worldwide."
     
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    feifayfeefey

    Member
    CHINESE
    No. The problem is not deteriorating - that would mean that the problems condition is worsening.

    You need another verb. I am not sure what "adolescent resistance" is but if it is getting worse then: "Adolescent resistance is a growing problem worldwide."
    Hi Paul!

    Thanks for the reply! Adoelscent resistance is , e.g. adolescents' rejecting parental requests :)

    What if the problem has always been there but gets worse and worse now? Can I say "an aggravating problem"?

    Anyone who knows the differences among
    - aggravate
    - exacerbate
    - exasperate???

    Many thanks in advance!!!
     
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    feifayfeefey

    Member
    CHINESE
    No, you cannot. You do not seem to understand how the "-ing form" of the verb modifies the noun. An aggravating problem is a problem that aggravates something.
    Yes, the Word Reference dictionary.
    Hi Paul!

    MANY thanks for the correction and the tip!! I checked up both in my lingoes as well as the word ref dictionary but couldn't identify any clear distinction between the three words. That's alright.

    Is there a way to express the meaning of a problem's getting worse and worse in the form of "an ~ problem"? with ~ being one word to look compact.

    I'm also particularly grateful that you pointed out my wrong understanding in the “ -ing form" of the verb, i never noticed but it is true! An inspiring person inspires others rather than themselves, a fascinating thing fascinates others and not themselves. You made me realize one more difference in linguistic logics between English and Chinese! LOL In Chinese both inspiring and a problem which is worsening by itself can be expressed in the same form.

    My heartfelt THANKS! :)
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    An increasing/growing problem. If a problem grows/increases, by definition, it become a bigger problem and thus "worse".
     

    jmichaelm

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It would pay to think about how or in what way a problem is getting worse.
    A problem that happens more often could be called a "spreading problem" or an "expanding problem".
    A problem that grows more complex might be described as a "deepening problem".
    A problem which no one tries to fix could be called an "unchecked problem".
     

    feifayfeefey

    Member
    CHINESE
    It would pay to think about how or in what way a problem is getting worse.
    A problem that happens more often could be called a "spreading problem" or an "expanding problem".
    A problem that grows more complex might be described as a "deepening problem".
    A problem which no one tries to fix could be called an "unchecked problem".
    Thanks a lot jmichealm for the detailed answer! I have to say now i'm confused again by the -ing form LOL
     

    feifayfeefey

    Member
    CHINESE
    An increasing/growing problem. If a problem grows/increases, by definition, it become a bigger problem and thus "worse".
    In this case, what is increased/grown is the problem itself... I'm gonna say i'm confused again by the -ing form LOL
     

    jmichaelm

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thanks a lot jmichealm for the detailed answer! I have to say now i'm confused again by the -ing form LOL
    Sorry if I've added to your confusion. If you have a question about what I posted I can try to answer.

    PaulQ's answer was accurate and complete, as always. I just hoped to show how another word choice could help communicate the nature of the problem as you see it.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Is there a way to express the meaning of a problem's getting worse and worse in the form of "an ~ problem"? with ~ being one word to look compact.
    A worsening problem.

    In Chinese both inspiring and a problem which is worsening by itself can be expressed in the same form.
    The closest phrase I can think of, if I understand you, is "a call to action".
     
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    feifayfeefey

    Member
    CHINESE
    Sorry if I've added to your confusion. If you have a question about what I posted I can try to answer.

    PaulQ's answer was accurate and complete, as always. I just hoped to show how another word choice could help communicate the nature of the problem as you see it.
    Hi jmichaelm!

    It's good that you confused me! This way I have something to reflect on and have a chance to master something complicated! LOL
    Your samples are MUCH apprieciated and so is your kindness!! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     

    feifayfeefey

    Member
    CHINESE
    A worsening problem.



    The closest phrase I can think of, if I understand you, is "a call to action".
    Hi RedwoodGrove!

    I just noticed that you replied with "A worsening problem", that's cool!! What if the problem is not only worsening, but also alarming? Is there a word which can express both meanings??? Sorry for challenging all the experts here! :p
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Hi feifayfeefey,

    I concur with Paul and JM, you'd have to use a phrase in the format adverb + adjective + noun. So that might be, "an increasingly calamitous problem". Or you could use adjective + comma + adjective + noun: "a growing, desperate problem". You can choose the word combination that best describes the situation for your purposes.

    It's interesting, from a linguistics standpoint, to consider how many concepts can be wrapped up in one word. In English, even though a single word can have many dictionary definitions, when you use it you are almost always referencing just one definition or meaning. The added modifiers (adverb, adjective, etc.) alter the nuance.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    You can say a condition "gets worse, and then gets worse again".

    Or "it worsened and then worsened further."

    "It is a worsening problem that seems to be worsening at a yet higher rate."

    Etc.

    It might not be my first choice but I would not object to it, especially if it was used for emphasis.
     

    jmichaelm

    Senior Member
    English - US
    An inspiring person inspires others rather than themselves, a fascinating thing fascinates others and not themselves.
    I think I see some of your confusion here. It's not the suffix -ing which causes "inspiring person" to mean a person who inspires others. Rather it's meaning of the word "inspire". You don't typically inspire yourself; you inspire others.

    As an example of how you could use the -ing suffix to apply to yourself consider that you eat for yourself. You cant ordinarily eat for others. So an "eating person" is doing the eating, not eating for anyone else. The fact that there is an -ing suffix does not affect who you are eating for.
     

    feifayfeefey

    Member
    CHINESE
    Hi feifayfeefey,

    I concur with Paul and JM, you'd have to use a phrase in the format adverb + adjective + noun. So that might be, "an increasingly calamitous problem". Or you could use adjective + comma + adjective + noun: "a growing, desperate problem". You can choose the word combination that best describes the situation for your purposes.

    It's interesting, from a linguistics standpoint, to consider how many concepts can be wrapped up in one word. In English, even though a single word can have many dictionary definitions, when you use it you are almost always referencing just one definition or meaning. The added modifiers (adverb, adjective, etc.) alter the nuance.
    Hi RedwoodGrove!

    "an increasingly calamitous problem" is perfect!!! Thank you so much!!! LOL
    Does "an increasingly calamitous problem in a theoretical gap" make sense, in this case? I'm writing an academic journal article and want to say that this problem is not yet addressed in theory, namely it is a theoretical gap.

    What your brought about is very, very interesting... I never thought that this is also the case in English, because Chinese is known for making no sense given only one character, a character need always be combined with another character to make a precise sense... LOL

    By the way, what is the difference between "concur with" and "agree with"? I'm sorry but my master promoter used to say that I never stop asking questions... :p
     

    feifayfeefey

    Member
    CHINESE
    You can say a condition "gets worse, and then gets worse again".

    Or "it worsened and then worsened further."

    "It is a worsening problem that seems to be worsening at a yet higher rate."

    Etc.

    It might not be my first choice but I would not object to it, especially if it was used for emphasis.
    Hi Packard!
    I like your proposal, it's poetic! I'll be criticized if i use it in my academic article but I'll keep in mind for personal writings later. Thanks!!! LOL
     

    feifayfeefey

    Member
    CHINESE
    I think I see some of your confusion here. It's not the suffix -ing which causes "inspiring person" to mean a person who inspires others. Rather it's meaning of the word "inspire". You don't typically inspire yourself; you inspire others.

    As an example of how you could use the -ing suffix to apply to yourself consider that you eat for yourself. You cant ordinarily eat for others. So an "eating person" is doing the eating, not eating for anyone else. The fact that there is an -ing suffix does not affect who you are eating for.
    Wow jmichaelm! This is absolutely clarifying!!! (am i using it correctly here? ) LOL
     
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