assist

Discussion in 'English Only' started by werni, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. werni New Member

    russikon, switzerland
    switzerland, german
    Hi,

    What is the proper prepostion on this sentence

    I was assisting in/on/at/by the modification of the power plant.

    Tks Werni
     
  2. Meysha

    Meysha Member

    Brisbane, Australia
    Australia, English
    "I was assisting with the modification of the power plant."

    This means that you helped modify the power plant.
     
  3. Meysha

    Meysha Member

    Brisbane, Australia
    Australia, English
    Or do you mean that you were physically there when the modifications happened?

    This would be something like:
    "I was present during the modifications..."
    "I was at the modifications...."
     
  4. mjscott Senior Member

    Pacific Northwest, USA
    American English
    I was assisting in/on/at/by the modification of the power plant.

    "I was assisting in the modification of the power plant"--(If you were an engineer and that was your job, and you were explaining to someone what you did at the reactor site for the last 3 years....)

    "I was assisting on the modification of the power plant."--(If the modification of the power plant was a project that pre-existed before you became a part of it....)

    "I was assisting at the modification of the power plant."--(If the assisting was a one-time deal called "the modification of the power plant" and you went to that event and assisted....)

    I was assisted by the modification of the power plant. Normally people on an individual basis are not assisted by the modification of a power plant, but gramatically it would be correct.

    "I was assisting by the modification of the power plant" is not correct. I have corrected it above to create a gramatically correct sentence, but I can't think of when I would use it in context, as usually people are not assisted by a modification of a power plant.
     
  5. Nick

    Nick Senior Member

    Western USA
    USA, English
    Actually, I think it is correct. For example, if "the modification of the power plant" was a drawing or a scale model of the power plant building, you could go assist by ("in close proximity to") it because assist can be an intransitive verb. I know that you can say "I was sitting by the modification of the power plant", so surely you can say that you were assisting by it. ;)
     
  6. mjscott Senior Member

    Pacific Northwest, USA
    American English
    Thanks, Nick. Yeah, I suppose that if there were a power plant, and if that power plant had a modification that people knew as "the modification of the power plant," and you were somewhere nearby assisting with something (sort-of like, "by the river" ) you could be assisting by the modification of the power plant. I spoke too soon to say it was not correct.
    "Nick assisted by the erred modification of the wordreference forum."
     

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