deep and superficial thinking

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jokaec

Senior Member
Chinese - Hong Kong
When you read an article, you need to think deeply, because superficial thinking can't help you understand the idea of author.

Is my usage of 'think deeply' and 'superficial thinking' correct? Thank you!
 
  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Hmmm ... now I have to do some deep thinking. :)

    I'm not a big fan of N-grams, but I did this one:
    Google Ngram Viewer

    It's seems there's no significant difference between "superficial thinking" and "shallow thinking".

    I think I use "shallow" to contrast it with "deep", due to the water reference. Not sure.

    I can't say way, but I wouldn't use "think deeply" and "think shallowly" (though I think they are technically correct). I would use "deep" for "deeply". For "shallowly", I'd probably write around it.

    Back to your original sentence, I might write:
    When you read an article, you need to think deep, because superficial/shallow thinking can't help you understand the ideas of an author.

    You need more opinions, though! :)
     

    Rhye

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I don't mind your usage of "superficial thinking". I've been thinking for a little while and I can't seem to come up with a more idiomatic and concise alternative. While "shallow" is the antonym of "deep", I don't think that relationship extends to well into that set, metaphoric usage. Of course, "shallow thinking" would be understood as you intended it to be, but it sounds rather awkward to my ear. I would even prefer terms such as "rudimentary" or "simple" to "shallow".
     

    jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    Thank you, perpend and Rhye
    I just don't understand why "think deep" is grammatical. It's supposed to have an adverb to follow a verb instead of using an adjective. Same thing happens when I saw "drive safe". It's supposed to be "drive safely". Why?
     

    Rhye

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Yes, you are quite correct—neither "think deep" nor "drive safe" are grammatical. "Thinking" is a noun which would would take an adjective like "deep". If you were to use the verb "to think" instead, then you would have to use the adverb "deeply" as you expected. There are some cases when, in colloquial English, we overlook such uses of commonly used adjectives in lieu of more obscure adverbs (though I doubt many of these forum users would admit that :cool:), but I do not find this to be one of these cases, in spite of what perpend said. And, again, in formal English this sort of replacement would be completely impermissible.

    "Drive safe" is another such example of the phenomenon I described. Only "drive safely" is correct, in spite of what countless conversations might imply.
     
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