persistently / persistent high unemployment

anan9

Member
Vietnamese - Vietnam
Hello,

There was a question in my English test which puzzled me a lot:
The country faces __________ high unemployment, especially among its youth and a need for more flexibility in the workplace.
A. persistent
B. persistingly
C. persistence
D. persist
While A seems to be the most correct answer, I wonder if "persistently" sounds more natural in this case. I tried to look it up and the only answer I got was "persistently high unemployment".

Thanks in advance,
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Welcome!

    I think either works.
    adjective use: persistent (high unemployment)
    adverb use: (persistently high) unemployment
    Both mean high unemployment that persists.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I agree. JS explains why both are correct.

    A is much more common. It is common to talk about "high unemployment", as a problem or a condition in society. If this is a "persistent" problem, or a problem that "persists", then it is "persistent high unemployment". All these words are common in AE.

    "Persistently high unemployment" is gramatically correct. But in AE, the word "persistently" is rarely used. I would be surprised to see this phrase.
     

    Fled From Nowhere

    Member
    Spanish - Perú
    If the adverb 'persistently' is used, it'll affect the adjective 'high'. That is, you'll be saying that the type of unemployment that the country is facing is one that is persistently high (this emphasizes the fact that the high rate of unemployment is not changing or is difficult to change). I'm thinking of 'persistently' as meaning 'consistently'. The 'highness' of the unemployment is consistent, it doesn't change.
    If the adjective 'persistent' is used, it'll affect the entire noun phrase 'high unemployment'. That is, you'll be saying that the type of high unemployment that the country is facing is one that is persistent. This lacks the emphasis on the fact that the high rate of unemployment is persistent, but means virtually the same.

    With 'persistently' the sentence is definitely grammatical, as an example in this dictionary entry shows persistently adverb - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com
    'persistently high interest rates'
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    If the adverb 'persistently' is used, it'll affect the adjective 'high'. That is, you'll be saying that the type of unemployment that the country is facing is one that is persistently high (this emphasizes the fact that the high rate of unemployment is not changing or is difficult to change). I'm thinking of 'persistently' as meaning 'consistently'. The 'highness' of the unemployment is consistent, it doesn't change.
    If the adjective 'persistent' is used, it'll affect the entire noun phrase 'high unemployment'. That is, you'll be saying that the type of high unemployment that the country is facing is one that is persistent. This lacks the emphasis on the fact that the high rate of unemployment is persistent, but means virtually the same.

    With 'persistently' the sentence is definitely grammatical, as an example in this dictionary entry shows persistently adverb - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com
    'persistently high interest rates'
    Looks like you agree with post #2 :D
     

    Namha

    New Member
    Vietnamese- VietNam
    hi, I'm a new comer here and 've just come across your question. I want to ask that why your question can't be answered with "persistingly" ? As I've checked the definition of it and found there was nothing. So I'd like to ask that if this word had meaning?
    Thank you and sorry for my bad english
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Hi, Namha!

    I speak AE (American English), which is a little different from BE (British English). I have not heard "persistingly" in AE. I don't think it is correct in AE.

    When I searched for "persistingly" on-line, I found BE dictionaries that define it as "a variant form of persistently". So I think it is correct in BE. But is it a common word in BE? I don't know. Maybe one of the BE speakers in this forum knows.

    It often takes a few hours to get all the replies to a question, so you should wait and let other people make comments.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It is listed in Random House (in the Wordreference dictionary) so I presume that it is sometimes used in AE - but probably about as infrequently as in BE. The OED puts it in frequency band 2, which means it is about as common as "decanate, ennead, and scintillometer (nouns), geogenic, abactinal (adjectives), absterge and satinize". The only one of those I have ever seen is "scintillometer".

    I don't think I could find a reason to use "persistingly" when we have "persistently". But as an answer to the multiple choice question in the OP it is actually correct.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top