outdo you / surpass you

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ridgemao

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
Hello:

I told my daughter: Although your English is the best in your kindergarten, your classmates will outdo you if you refuse to have any English lessons.

1. Your classmates will outdo you.
2. Your classmates will surpass you.

I think "surpass you" and "outdo you" are correct here, but "surpass you" sounds formal.

Am I correct? Thank you.
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I don't have a difficulty with 1. but 2. seems a little strange. You seem to be using "surpass" in the sense of "overtake", which is close but not perfect as a synonym.

    Overtake does not need any qualification or modification by a phrase: we know the person who overtakes is ahead.

    However, surpass is usually used with a phrase describing an amount or quality: "Your classmates will surpass you in fluency/in their results."

    Surpass is not commonly used with a person and nothing else as the object.
     
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