become a convert/convert to

Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

I am wondering which way of using the word "convert" is idiomatic:


He became a convert of vegetarianism a few years ago.
He converted to vegetarianism a few years ago.


Thanks a lot
 
  • ribran

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Hi,

    I am wondering which way of using the word "convert" is idiomatic:


    He became a convert of vegetarianism a few years ago.
    He converted to vegetarianism a few years ago.


    Thanks a lot
    He became a convert to vegetarianism a few years ago. :tick:
    He converted to vegetarianism a few years ago. :tick:

    I would most likely say,
    He became a vegetarian a few years ago. :)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I don't quite like 'convert' in this context, as I usually restrict this to religious conversion. Vegetarianism is not a religion. In Ribran's first two suggested sentences,

    He became a convert to vegetarianism a few years ago.
    He converted to vegetarianism a few years ago.
    I would understand 'convert' to be metaphorical. Ribran's last example is the most natural in English.

    He became a vegetarian a few years ago.
     

    MilkyBarKid

    Senior Member
    British English
    Use 'a convert to...' if you want to emphasize that they embraced this with fervour.

    see, for example

    Shaw (1856-1950), Gandhi (1869-1948) and Vegetarianism
    Shaw became a convert to vegetarianism in his early twenties, after listening to a lecture by H.F.Lester.(7) He remained a staunch practitioner of ...
    www.shawsociety.org/Sri.htm
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Well, my original sentences work.

    Because when NAT mentioned religion, it also reminds me that someone says football is his religion.

    Here, obviously, it's not about religion but something about enthusiasm.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Obviously the simple statement is "became a vegetarian", but I agree with MBK and Silver that a metaphorical use of "convert" or "religion" is fine and not at all bothersome if you want to observe someone's confirmed devotion to something. I think it gets the idea across well. In fact, "convert" and "conversion" are often used to describe political figures' changes of party or their position on public issues.
     
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