insist and persist

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quietdandelion

Banned
Formosa/Chinese
1. Mp3 users insist/persist that there is nothing illgal about using the technology to download music for free.
2. He insisted/persisted that he had nothing to do with robbery.


Insist and persist are pretty close in meanings; how could I tell them apart? Which should I use in the above two sentences? Thanks.
 
  • killahbabe

    New Member
    Belgium - Dutch
    persist: to continue to do sth, although it's hard or other people oppose it

    insist:to say firmly and often that sth is true, especially whe people thinks it is not.
    (source: longman dictionary)
     

    Kman2025

    Member
    Enlgish
    Persist and insist are actually considerably different in meaning. Both sentences you have given would only take "insist". Insist means (roughly) "to strongly claim something", in simple terms. Persist means (again roughly) "to not give up in an action". I am not sure if my definitions are too helpful as I am over-simplifying the meanings,but I will give some sentences to try and help you.

    1.

    "He insisted he did not steal the car" - He is strongly claiming he didn't steal the car

    2. "The woman refused to date him, but he persisted, and eventually dated her." - Persisted in this sense means he kept trying, he was continous.
     

    killahbabe

    New Member
    Belgium - Dutch
    persist in the first one MP3 users keep on doing it
    insist in the second phrase: he keeps on saying that he has nothing to do with it

    hope it helped you a bit
     

    Kman2025

    Member
    Enlgish
    I believe that you should use insist for both sentences but it is dependent on what you want to say. Persist would make sense, but I think that insist would be clearer.
     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    I'm sorry, my friends. Here are the answers:

    1. Mp3 users insist:tick: /persist that there is nothing illgal about using the technology to download music for free.
    2. He insisted/persisted :tick: that he had nothing to do with robbery.

    The second example is from a dictionary. I think they are confusing and that's why I post them here.
     

    Kman2025

    Member
    Enlgish
    I think you should try to learn the meanings of these words and you will then understand there are no correct answers without the context. You would use "Persist" in the second sentence if the robber had continually claimed he had nothing to do with the robbery but "insist" would also work. If you want any further explanation feel free to ask me.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Both of your sentences require insist as mentioned above. If you want to use persist, consider the below.

    1. Mp3 users insist/persist that there is nothing illegal about using the technology to download music for free.

    Mp3 users persist in their downloading of music for free on the premise that there is nothing illegal in the practice.


    2. He insisted/persisted that he had nothing to do with robbery.

    He persisted in his contention that he had nothing to to with the robbery.

     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    Both of your sentences require insist as mentioned above. If you want to use persist, consider the below.

    2. He insisted/persisted:tick: that he had nothing to do with robbery.

    He persisted in his contention that he had nothing to to with the robbery.
    Thanks, Packard, but the secod sentence is from a dictionary, and it uses persisted. Why do you say it doesn't fit?
     

    AWordLover

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi All,

    persisted. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved April 23, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/persisted

    per·sist
    (pər-sĭst', -zĭst') Pronunciation Key
    intr.v. per·sist·ed, per·sist·ing, per·sists

    1. To be obstinately repetitious, insistent, or tenacious.
    2. To hold firmly and steadfastly to a purpose, state, or undertaking despite obstacles, warnings, or setbacks.
    3. To continue in existence; last: hostilities that have persisted for years.
    I'm guessing that Packard was briefly focused on definition 2 instead of 1.

    Best Wishes,
    AWordLover
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Thanks, Packard, but the secod sentence is from a dictionary, and it uses persisted. Why do you say it doesn't fit?

    "He persisted"

    He continued in existence? No.

    He continued in existence that he had nothing to do with the robbery? No. Not intelligible.

    He continued to contend (or say) that he had nothing to do with the robbery. Yes. Fully intelligible.
     

    dobes

    Senior Member
    US English(Boston/NY)
    Packard is absolutely right! You absolutely definitely CANNOT write "he persisted that he had nothing to do with the robbery." But the problem is not so much in meaning, but in the surrounding grammar.

    You "insist that" something is true or "insist on" doING something. You "persist in" doING something. You cannot persist THAT. The grammar is all wrong.


    Here, the word 'that' follows the blank space. Therefore, only 'insist' fits the space.
     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, my friends.
    I did check my dictionary again, and it does write:
    He persisted that he had nothing to do with robbery.
    Btw, it defines to persist as to say repeatedly or persistently.
     

    moo mouse

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I have never seen or heard of this use of persist, quietdandelion, but the many splendid ways of the English language never cease to amaze me.

    I wouls only ever use it to mean 'to carry on doing something', and would always use insist in your examples.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Thanks, my friends.
    I did check my dictionary again, and it does write:
    He persisted that he had nothing to do with robbery.
    Btw, it defines to persist as to say repeatedly or persistently.

    Check to see if this is a highly recommended dictionary. It is a mistake to believe that all dictionaries are competent. And amongst the competent ones, there is a large variation on how they deal with defining words. There is usually a description of how the dictionary has been compiled in the front of the dictionary. I would read that before I bought any dictionary.

    My former employer used a substandard dictionary when he translated his purchase order from English to Italian. The error that ensued cost him $40,000.00. So selecting a quality dictionary is worthy of the effort.
     

    dobes

    Senior Member
    US English(Boston/NY)
    I agree. The dictionary is plain wrong, I would stake my reputation as a native speaker and ESL teacher on it. My students often use dictionaries that are really awful -- I tell them to go to Oxford or Merriam-Webster or another reputable English-only one as much as possible.

    BTW, I don't disagree about the definition. I disagree about the grammar, the way it is used. "He persisted that..." No.
     

    0stsee

    Banned
    Indonesian
    Perfect thread to post my question! :D

    Packard is absolutely right! You absolutely definitely CANNOT write "he persisted that he had nothing to do with the robbery." But the problem is not so much in meaning, but in the surrounding grammar.

    You "insist that" something is true or "insist on" doING something. You "persist in" doING something. You cannot persist THAT. The grammar is all wrong.


    Here, the word 'that' follows the blank space. Therefore, only 'insist' fits the space.
    How about "persist on"?

    I wrote to a friend:

    making it clear to him that you just want a friendship and not a relationship, and just persist on your decision, without giving him the impression that you care less about him, as a friend.
    Should I have rather used "insist"?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I think you want "persist in" if you mean that the friend should "hold on to/ continue to act on" the decision. You should use "insist on" if you mean that your friend should "persuade the other person that the decision is correct / make sure that the other person abides by the decision."

    I hope that others with different opinions will correct me if I am mistaken.
     
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