My job (doesn't) allow me to have

Hello everyone,

I just found on Google: (a) My job allows me to have a much more comfortable life than the one I had. (BBC); (b) This job doesn't allow me to have a social life. (Pressreader). My question: Does ''allow'' (let someone have something) + ''have'' sound natural/usual in the examples that I made up below?

a. I want a job that allows me to have a comfortable life in terms of money.
b. My current job doesn't allow me to have everything I need, i.e., my own house, car, etc.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    You can use the construction “allow [someone] to have or do [something]” in any context where that’s what you want to say. But it’s not an idiom, and arguably it isn’t even a great fit in this context – I don’t find it very natural in the first of those quoted examples. So I see no good reason to try to emulate it.

    If I wanted to make those statements, I’d be more likely to phrase them something lke this:

    I want a job that pays well enough for me to enjoy a comfortable life.​
    My current job doesn't pay well enough to cover everything I need…​
     
    In the two examples you give (a and b) what a job allows or doesn't allow you to have seems to come down to what you're earning. That's okay, but look at the examples you found on Google, and review their contexts. Think of what a job allows or doesn't allow as a matter of what your job facilitates/makes easier (allows) or stands in the way of (doesn't allow).

    Say in your new job, you can work from home. Working remotely allows you to skip the commute, work in your pajamas, take breaks when it suits you, and have more control over your work environment. In short, your job allows you to have a more comfortable life than the one you had before. It facilitates your living a more comfortable life, even though you may be earning no more or possibly even less than before.

    Now say you're a resident in surgery working 90 hours per week. Your job doesn't allow you to have a social life -- it stands in the way of your having a social life.

    Note that in these contexts, what a job allows or doesn't allow you to have is not a matter of money. This is also true of most of the examples in the link to Ludwig @PaulQ gave. More often when you're talking about what your job earnings allow you to have or do not, you will explicitly mention money or your salary (your pay, your earnings), as in the examples provided by lingobingo in #2.

    I asked this question because ''allow to have'' in those quote examples and in my (a) and (b) translate a very important idiom in Portuguese.
    Great!
     
    Thank you very much for your answer.

    More often when you're talking about what your job earnings allow you to have or do not, you will explicitly mention money or your salary (your pay, your earnings)

    "I am able to afford a full-time driver and maid, luxuries I never imagined I'd have while growing up in the US," said Shah. "My job allows me to have a much more comfortable life than the one I had". (job allows me to | English examples in context | Ludwig)

    In this particular case, the author of the text clearly refers to ''earning more money'' and uses ''allow to have''.
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It may be worth noting that context is important as "allow" has two meanings: To permit and to enable, and they are quite distinct:

    Policeman: "My job does not allow (permit) me to take a part-time job." - policemen are forbidden from having second jobs.
    Policeman: "My job allows (enables) me to have a comfortable life." - policemen are relatively well-paid.
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    a. I want a job that allows me to have a comfortable life in terms of money.
    b. My current job doesn't allow me to have everything I need, i.e., my own house, car, etc.
    What I don't like about A is the last 4 words. It's a verbose way of saying "I want a job with a good salary". Take those out 4 words out and it's better.

    B is just over-complicated and oddly vague. I mean, how does it not allow those things? Maybe they tie you up after work and lock you in the office, which is why you can't have a house, car etc.
     
    In this particular case, the author of the text clearly refers to ''earning more money'' and uses ''allow to have''.
    Yes, and that's fine. Money is explicitly mentioned, so we know what the speaker means then they say "my job allows me to have".

    I wanted to steer you away from thinking that the expression is mostly used in the context of wages, earnings, etc., as both of the examples you gave ((a) and (b)) were in that context.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I agree with Tegs about b.

    b. My current job doesn't allow me to have everything I need, i.e., my own house, car, etc.

    The job doesn't prevent you from having those things.

    An improvement would be to mention salary.

    b. My current salary doesn't allow me to have everything I need, i.e., my own house, car, etc.

    But even that seems odd to me because it sounds too much like permit. And no permission is needed.

    b. On my current salary I can't afford everything I need, i.e., my own house, car, etc.
     
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