Keep/make writing, homework neat

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Lun-14

Banned
Hindi
If one of my students' writing is not neat, is it correct to comment on his notebook this way:
Keep/make your writing neat.
As this is his homework, is it also correct to say:
Keep/make your homework neat.


Thanks a lot.
 
  • Lun-14

    Banned
    Hindi
    My understanding:
    Keep your homework/writing neat -> You do your homework neatly/you write neatly. You just need to continue writing/doing your homework neat. Don't spoil your writing in the future.

    Make your homework/writing neat -> You don't do your homework neatly/you don't write neatly. You just need to make your homework/writing neat in the future.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    If the writing is already neat you don't need to comment except to congratulate so as far as I'm concerned the question is unreal.
    But there's one very important difference between 'making something + adjective' and 'doing something + adverb'.

    -I can't read your writing, so you must make it legible
    -I can't read your writing! Please write legibly.

    'Make your writing neat/neater' is possible and not wrong, but it's not something I would say. That would be 'Write neatly/more neatly'.
     

    Lun-14

    Banned
    Hindi
    But there's one very important difference between 'making something + adjective' and 'doing something + adverb'.

    -I can't read your writing, so you must make it legible
    -I can't read your writing! Please write legibly.
    I can't perceive the difference; these both sentences mean the same to me.:(
    Could you please explain what difference you've in mind?
     

    Scrawny goat

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    My understanding:
    Keep your homework/writing neat -> You do your homework neatly/you write neatly. You just need to continue writing/doing your homework neat. Don't spoil your writing in the future.
    No. It’s more like ‘keep your room tidy’. ‘Keep’ does not (in this usage) mean that it is tidy. It relates to a habitual action, which is to work to have a tidy room.

    Your student needs to work habitually to keep his/her writing neat.
    Make your homework/writing neat -> You don't do your homework neatly/you don't write neatly. You just need to make your homework/writing neat in the future.
    No. Your logic is good, but English is not logical. We don’t use that form in your situation. You need ‘Keep your handwriting neat’. (Only if choosing between just the two options you’ve suggested. You already know several better ways to say it, so please do not now ask if this option has become better than them. It hasn’t. )
     
    Last edited:

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    No, my question is different here in this thread.
    Are you saying you're asking about "Keep" and "Make" here rather than "neat"?

    I agree with the answers above on the use of those words and I'm surprised you're still using "neat" as an adverb. I thought the earlier thread explained why it isn't used as one.
     

    Scrawny goat

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    Are you saying you're asking about "Keep" and "Make" here rather than "neat"?

    I agree with the answers above on the use of those words and I'm surprised you're still using "neat" as an adverb. I thought the earlier thread explained why it isn't used as one.
    :thumbsup:
     

    Scrawny goat

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    But Hermione (#8) said that this form is possible.



    If something is possible and not wrong, then why do you native speakers wouldn't use it?
    I'm confused...
    :(
    Because we are all individuals with free will which we exercise based on our own experience, judgement and wishes.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    If something is possible and not wrong, then why do you native speakers wouldn't use it? What's the point of not using it?
    There's NO discrepancy between Scrawny Goat's post and Hermione's. You have misread. Hermione says (my underlining and bold words):
    'Make your writing neat/neater' is possible and not wrong, but it's not something I would say.
    That means that it's NOT something that'd normally be used.
    It is absolutely possible for something to be possible but still not something that's regularly used. That's true of Hindi as well.
     
    Last edited:

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I wrote
    'Make your writing neat/neater' is possible and not wrong, but it's not something I would say. That would be 'Write neatly/more neatly'.
    Lun wrote
    If something is possible and not wrong, then why do you native speakers wouldn't use it?
    Why on earth should we use something that's 'only possible and not wrong' when we can use natural and correct English?
    I was not disagreeing with those who advised against using 'make'. I said 'it is not something I would say'
    You really need to read more carefully.
     

    Lun-14

    Banned
    Hindi
    No. It’s more like ‘keep your room tidy’. ‘Keep’ does not (in this usage) mean that it is tidy. It relates to a habitual action, which is to work to have a tidy room.

    Your student needs to work habitually to keep his/her writing neat.
    Keep your writing neat.


    Is the meaning of the above sentence same as, for example, this sentence (italicised bold):
    Note to native speakers/learners: Keep a friendly environment on the forum by talking politely/patiently to each other. -> Do it habitually/on daily basis. Don't insult/ridicule a native/learner even on a single day. If you work habitually to have the forum environment friendly, only then you can keep the forum environment friendly.

    Have I understood correctly what you said in the part that I've quoted here?
     
    Last edited:

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I haven't read any of the above but I've been asked to comment on #23. All I would say is that as far as I'm concerned "keep" in the sense of keeping your handwriting tidy or keeping a forum friendly (I wouldn't word it as in #23) can be paraphrased as "ensure that it stays".


    PS: Yes, keep the forum environment friendly. Love it! :D
     

    Lun-14

    Banned
    Hindi
    Thanks so much all who have answered. :thumbsup:I've got the answer. :)

    To #19, #20, #21 and #22:
    Thanks to you. Yes, that's what we call "idiomatic" usage. I now understand. :)

    PS,
    I don't always misread; sometimes the confusion is on the part of native speakers - they write their posts in a somewhat confusing way. :oops::D


    Thanks, again, to all of you, very Respectable People. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::)
     
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