seek your assistance "in" developing

springlovesword

Member
China, Chinese
Could you please explain to me the usage of "in" in the sentence below?

"could I seek your assistance in developing a draft memo?" Could it be "to"?
 
  • Gordonedi

    Senior Member
    UK (Scotland) English
    The word "in" signifies that you and I are working together in the task of developing.

    You might also say "Could I seek your assistance with developing a draft memo ?". This has broadly the same meaning, but suggests slightly that I will be doing most of the work and you will be helping me.

    If the word "to" is used, as you suggest, then the sentence form becomes :
    "Could I seek your assistance to develop a draft memo ?". The meaning is the same as when "in" is used, with the emphasis on the final goal rather than the work required to achieve it. This is a subtle difference.
     
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