English base instruct

Dictionary entry: instruct


Senior Member
UK English
The example sentence "Kate had instructed the authorities where she had last seen her car" is misleading. We would not usually use "instruct" in this case, as it suggests that the person doing the instructing is in a role of authority, whereas Kate is simply providing information.

An English speaker might say this - we say all kinds of things - but it is not a good illustrative use of the verb "instruct" and shouldn't have equal place in the dictionary with the other examples, which are more accurate reflections of usage and of what the verb means.
  • DrD

    Senior Member
    Dictionary Editor
    England English

    Thank you for your message. I agree that it wasn't a great example, and I have changed it to something more suitable. The new sentence will be included in a review project that will go to our translation teams. Once they have reviewed it and made any necessary changes to their translations, it will appear the next time the dictionaries are updated.