to certificate/to certify

< Previous | Next >

Siberia

Senior Member
UK-Wales - English
I have a bit of a doubt regarding the usage of these two verbs.
On a certificate which testifies the achievement of a candidate on a training course or in an exam do you say:

This is to certificate that John Brown has passed the XYZ course
or
This is to certify that John Brown has passed the XYZ course????

The first one sounds rather odd to me. I would use "certificate" in the following way:
The XYZ course certificates John Brown to teach Key stage 2.
What do you think?

Siberia
 
  • Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    This is to certificate that John Brown has passed the XYZ course :cross:
    or
    This is to certify that John Brown has passed the XYZ course???? :tick:


    The XYZ course certificates John Brown to teach Key stage 2. :cross:
    What do you think?

    Siberia
    Certificate (noun) is a document that certifies (verb) something.

    Or at least, that how I know it :D
     

    Siberia

    Senior Member
    UK-Wales - English
    To certificate does exist as a verb but it means to present a certificate or to authorise by certificate.

    See link from dictionary.com
    verb (used with object) 5.to furnish with or authorize by a certificate. 6.to issue an official certificate attesting to the training, aptitude, and qualification of: to certificate a teacher.
     

    Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    :eek: I just checked the dictionary. You're right.

    Now I'm still unsure whether a course can certificate someone, or only humans are allowed to do that :D

    Really now, it's a tricky question for me.

    The council hereby certificates John Dough [as a?] teacher.
    The course certificates teachers...
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    The XYZ course certificates John Brown to teach Key stage 2. (Siberia)
    I know we Brits are always making verbs out of nouns without changing the form of the word, but I have never heard of to certificate. I would simply say qualifies J.G. to... , which you can be sure is correct. Moreover, a certificate is a qualification.
    By the way, to certify can also mean, as you are no doubt aware but others perhaps not, to legally declare someone insane (He is certifiable).
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    If you don't tell, we won't tell. Certificate used as a verb to certify somebody is pretentious. As soon as this thread is finished let's all pretend that Siberia never saw it. The meaning seems to be very narrow. Further, it was adopted in 1884 and I'd certainly like to find out why it was etiologized. The next thing we know, doctors will be going around saying that they are going to spondylolethize a patient. I would not use certificate in any form or shape of the English language except as a piece of paper confined within a frame.
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    Hi again Harry! In all fairness to Siberia, I should say that I have heard the term certificated teacher on the BE teaching scene for several decades, but I agree I would not talk about certificating somebody.
     

    Siberia

    Senior Member
    UK-Wales - English
    Thanks to all especially Harry, of course.
    I saw it on a certificate today and as I said in my first post found it odd. Harry, I wonder why?
    Exact words:
    This is to certificate that John Brown passed the XYZ course.
    Siberia
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    This is to certificate that John Brown passed the XYZ course.
    Siberia
    It is what is known as a back formation. The noun certificate is misused for a purpose already fulfilled by the verb certify from which it was derived. The same or similar phenomenon has occured with the noun loan which is gradually pushing out the verb lend from which it came, and I have heard a headmaster say at an athletics conpetition, "Spectators should confine themselves to spectating", when watching would have down the job much better and more correctly.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I suppose someone will tell me that the XYZ course that John Brown has been certificated as having passed was a course in teaching English ... ... ...
    Exit panj, retching and in despair.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top