drive/ propel ahead

s21d

Senior Member
hindi
The aim of the teaching is to drive/ propel your pupils ahead.

Is the phrase 'drive/ propel your students' correct if I want to mean that a teacher should encourage his students to move ahead in life?
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Propel is rather a violent word (think of propeller, propellant), so it would hardly be suitable in your sentence (I assume you made it up:)).

    Without knowing what kind of teaching is involved, I don't really know what is mean by drive ahead. It should mean something like to move your pupils further along the road of knowledge. Nor do I really understand in practical terms what is meant by move ahead in life.
    The aim of the teaching is to equip the students with knowledge that will enable them to get a better job (one interpretation). You don't encourage people to do this, you enable them.
     
    Last edited:

    s21d

    Senior Member
    hindi
    The meaning which you gave of ' drive someone ahead' that to move someone further along the road of knowledge. This is what I want to mean :)
     

    Rejsi

    Senior Member
    US
    English - US (Midwest)
    The aim of the teaching is to drive/ propel your pupils ahead.

    Is the phrase 'drive/ propel your students' correct if I want to mean that a teacher should encourage his students to move ahead in life?
    I'm with e2efour on this. It sounds a bit strange. Also, you definitely need to get rid of the word "the."

    The meaning which you gave of ' drive someone ahead' that to move someone further along the road of knowledge. This is what I want to mean :)
    Hmm...I can think of several options here, but none of them seem them seem to be exactly what you want.

    Maybe something like these:
    "The aim of teaching is to guide/lead your pupils to the road ahead." - This emphasizes getting the pupils on the right track for their future.
    "The aim of teaching is to motivate your pupils for the road ahead." - This emphasizes getting the pupils excited for their future.

    The first one probably works the best in this case.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Propel is rather a violent word (think of propeller, propellant), so it would hardly be suitable in your sentence (I assume you made it up:)).

    Without knowing what kind of teaching is involved, I don't really know what is mean by drive ahead. It should mean something like to move your pupils further along the road of knowledge. Nor do I really understand in practical terms what is meant by move ahead in life.
    The aim of the teaching is to equip the students with knowledge that will enable them to get a better job (one interpretation). You don't encourage people to do this, you enable them.
    Do you mean "propel" are always confined to be used in launching a spacecraft?
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    No, but there is usually an idea of moving someone or something forward using some force. For example, you can propel (or drive) a boat through the water with oars.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    No, but there is usually an idea of moving someone or something forward using some force. For example, you can propel (or drive) a boat through the water with oars.
    If we use this to show a person's determination, e.g. He propels himself forward, would it be exggerated and therefore incorrect?
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It would sound very odd to me. "He pushes himself forward" is what I might say (in the sense of pushing himself forward from a group of people). Or "he drove himself day and night, trying to learn the irregular verbs".
    You cannot use incorrect since we can always use words metaphorically. But you can use unnatural.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    It would sound very odd to me. "He pushes himself forward" is what I might say (in the sense of pushing himself forward from a group of people). Or "he drove himself day and night, trying to learn the irregular verbs".
    You cannot use incorrect since we can always use words metaphorically. But you can use unnatural.
    I see. Is it natural to say propel something, but unnatural to say propel someone?
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Not necessarily. For example, He was propelled to alcohol (=he was driven to drink) or (from the BNC) It was probably the affairs of the East India trade that propelled him into politics (=drove him into politics).
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Not necessarily. For example, He was propelled to alcohol (=he was driven to drink) or (from the BNC) It was probably the affairs of the East India trade that propelled him into politics (=drove him into politics).
    I see. I notice the key to understand the usage is that you cannot use propel to mean encourage or boost.
     
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