give up on getting that new job

  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Helen has real perseverance; she won't give up on getting that new job.



    Is it better to omit "on" in the underlined part or to keep it? And why? Thanks.
    No, "on" needs to be there. In this context, when you're talking about tenaciously hanging on to something, you're not giving up on it. You wouldn't say "...not giving up it".
     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, Dimcl.
    It's tricky but I think I get it now. To make sure I use it right, I'll make a few examples of my own:

    I won't give up on mastering English, though it's extremely hard.
    It's the most miserable thing to give up on one's hope.

    Correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Thanks, Dimcl.
    It's tricky but I think I get it now. To make sure I use it right, I'll make a few examples of my own:

    I won't give up on mastering English, though it's extremely hard.
    It's the most miserable thing to give up on one's hope.

    Correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.
    The first sentence is correct but the second one is questionable. You do not give up on hope - you give up hope. You may have a very specific hope that you have given up on... I had always hoped to be an astronaut but I've had to give up on that hope. I have not, however, given up hope that I will still lead an exciting life, astronaut or not.
     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks for the correction again, Dimcl.

    If I change the second sample into "It's the most miserable thing for some of my fellow people to give up on their hope of learning English well," does it sound right?
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Some more about using "on" as in "not giving up on it." The on acts as an elision meaning ''[not giving up ] what effort is needed in [getting it.]
     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, Harry, for the deep extra info.
    I know every word of your post, but the whole post is over my head. Would you say it in other way so that I could learn it? Thanks.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    QD Try a similar sentence this way, not using on. Instead use the words that on replaces. "Helen is saving $1,000 a month to keep alive her hope to buy a new home."

    If you had used on, "Helen is saving $1,000 a month on her hope to buy a new home.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    QD Try a similar sentence this way, not using on. Instead use the words that on replaces. "Helen is saving $1,000 a month to keep alive her hope to buy a new home."

    If you had used on, "Helen is saving $1,000 a month on her hope to buy a new home.
    Would you truly use that phraseology, Harry? I can't say that I've heard it before. I would expect to hear "Helen is saving $1,000.00 a month in the hope of buying a new home".
     
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