Insist instead of claim?

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New Member
I'm preparing for the CAE exam, so I think I'll come up with many doubts. After doing the first mock exam, I have a question. In the sentence "Companies are _____ that secretarial staff should already be highly trained in..." Why do I have to put "insisting" instead of "claiming"?
  • whatonearth

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Because those each of those words give the sentence a completely different meaning.
    If you used 'insisting' -> the companies are demanding that secretarial staff must be highly trained (a prerequisite)
    If you used 'claiming' -> the companies are saying secretarial staff should be highly trained, suggesting some are not or it is in doubt whether they are - although used in this context it is a little awkward

    Hope that helps!


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    "Companies are _____ that secretarial staff should already be highly trained in..."

    What secretarial staff?
    There seem to be two possibilities, either their current secretarial staff, or people who are seeking to become their secretarial staff. I can't tell which from this sentence alone, but alexwvm may know from the wider context in the exam (this could be a gap-filling exercise in a paragraph of text).

    But look at "... staff should already be highly trained ...".
    If the sentence is about existing staff then the companies know what training the staff have had; that part would have read "... staff are already highly trained in ...".

    So the sentence is about potential staff, perhaps from agencies.

    Now, could the companies be claiming something about these staff?
    No, not at all, they know nothing about them.

    Could they be insisting something about these staff?
    Yes they could, they could be insisting that the staff they take on have to be highly trained in ... .

    Ms Missy

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Something that someone "claims" may or may not be a fact. It may or may not even be true. "The company claims that their product is the best on the market." However, to "insist" is much stronger, and gives the context an entirely different meaning.

    1. The doctor claims that your son needs to lose weight.

    2. The doctor insists that your son lose weight!
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