aim at or aim to

Lio-from-ch

New Member
France - French
Could anybody tell what is the rule for using rather aim at vs aim to.
in this example for instance, what's best?
"This presentation highlighted the results of a project that aimed to promote the dissemination of business-oriented information through rural radios"
OR
"This presentation highlighted the results of a project (that) aimed at promoting the dissemination of business-oriented information through rural radios"

Thanks for your feedbacks.
 
  • nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Could anybody tell what is the rule for using rather aim at vs aim to.
    in this example for instance, what's best?
    "This presentation highlighted the results of a project that aimed to promote the dissemination of business-oriented information through rural radios"
    OR
    "This presentation highlighted the results of a project (that) aimed at promoting the dissemination of business-oriented information through rural radios"

    Thanks for your feedbacks.
    Hello, welcome to the forum:)

    There's a great thread called "aim to/aim at" if you search the forum:)
     

    Lio-from-ch

    New Member
    France - French
    Thanks for the link Thomas Tampion
    I've checked it but then I'm not sure I'll get any clearer :confused:
    Could it be that aim at + ing is more something used in the UK and aim to more used in the USA?
    In the other forum, royi provided a link where there are lots of examples, and all those with aim at+ing are extracted from UK documents...
    For me, I'll keep on using altrernatively one or the other :D
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    As I understand it, Aim to is an informal expression meaning to intend to do something: I aim to be on time. I didn't aim to hurt you.

    "This presentation highlighted the results of a project that was aimed at promoting the dissemination of business-oriented information through rural radios"

     

    CARICANESE

    Member
    argentina español
    Hi everybody!
    As fas as I know the correct form is "aim to". Although I am not a native speaker, I´ve been learning english for years and I always use that way.
    Bye!
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    If you think of the origins of the phrase "aim at" it will give some clues on its usage.

    "Aim at" is from target shooting (archery or gunnery).

    So you aim at (point to) something.

    You aim for (strive for) something.


    And that is how I would generally use these phrases.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you think of the origins of the phrase "aim at" it will give some clues on its usage.

    "Aim at" is from target shooting (archery or gunnery).

    So you aim at (point to) something.

    You aim for (strive for) something.


    And that is how I would generally use these phrases.
    Do you find this use of aimed at correct, Packard? It works fine in BE.

    "This presentation highlighted the results of a project aimed at promoting the dissemination of business-oriented information through rural radios"
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Do you find this use of aimed at correct, Packard? It works fine in BE.

    "This presentation highlighted the results of a project aimed at promoting the dissemination of business-oriented information through rural radios"
    I wold say it is fine. "For" would not work here.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Lio-from-Ch

    Your second sentence (without the that) works fine in BE and AE. Your first one works fine in BE; I can't speak for AE, but I suspect it works there too. There is a slight difference of emphasis: that aimed to promote, to my ear, has a slightly more grandiose feel than aiming at promoting, which seems practical and workmanlike.

    I feel the rest of the sentence is too wordy and cluttered; it needs simplifying. You only asked about the aimed/aiming bit.
     

    mally pense

    Senior Member
    England, UK English
    Putting aside the linguistic choices between to for and at, the first sentence to me implies that the project has finished: The projected aimed to promote etc - and it has now finished. The second sentence implies a project that is ongoing: it is aimed at promoting etc and I would infer from this that is is still aiming at doing this.

    Because the first part of the sentence implies that the project is over (highlighted the results ), to my ears there is a logical inconsistency in the second sentence: the project is over (here are the results) but it is ongoing because it is STILL aiming at promoting something. Hence I very much prefer the first option.

    Note: This analysis is based on the parenthesised (that) not being present. With 'that' present, the second sentence does not sound right to me in any case.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Putting aside the linguistic choices between to for and at, the first sentence to me implies that the project has finished: The projected aimed to promote etc - and it has now finished. The second sentence implies a project that is ongoing: it is aimed at promoting etc and I would infer from this that is is still aiming at doing this.

    Because the first part of the sentence implies that the project is over (highlighted the results ), to my ears there is a logical inconsistency in the second sentence: the project is over (here are the results) but it is ongoing because it is STILL aiming at promoting something. Hence I very much prefer the first option.

    Note: This analysis is based on the parenthesised (that) not being present. With 'that' present, the second sentence does not sound right to me in any case.
    I'm interested in this view, Mally, but I must have missed a trick somewhere. You say that the project is still ongoing because it is still aiming, but the sentence specifies a project (that) aimed at promoting; doesn't that mean that the project was aimed at promoting, not that it is still aiming?
     

    mally pense

    Senior Member
    England, UK English
    I don't know the grammatical terms from a theoretical point of view (that's not my background), but "aimed at" here is a descriptive term rather than a verb ASSUMING that the "(that)" is dropped. This is an important assumption. If the "that" is still included, then perhaps "aimed" becomes a verb again, but then to me the sentence definitely doesn't sound right anyway.
     

    mally pense

    Senior Member
    England, UK English
    To clarify, "aimed at <doing something>" is a descriptive term defining the purpose of something, what it's intended to do, not what it is actually doing. In this case, "aimed at promoting the dissemination of business-oriented information" means (to me) that the purpose of the project is to promote the dissemination of business-oriented information". My inference from this that the project is ongoing is perhaps a little weak, but nevertheless it does open up an ambiguity not present in the first option.

    Incidentally, "aimed at" can also describe what something is targetted at, as in "aimed at young people" for example, but that doesn't apply here.
     
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