to do/make/give an example

Einstein

Senior Member
UK, English
Split from this thread.

About "example" and verbs:

Do an example
Give an example = Fornire un esempio (come in questo thread).
Set an example = Dare un buon esempio da seguire.
Make an example (of someone) = Infliggere una punizione esemplare a qualcuno.
 
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  • joe86

    Senior Member
    Not to contradict you Einstein...but I checked with a couple of natives before posting. As far as I got told to give an example is definitely more common (and I'm right there with you so far) but to do/try/think of an (another) example are also possible (in the sense of fare un esempio of course, as the other two have completely different meanings)
    Now, not being a native my opinion doesn't count as much as yours, but perhaps it's just a matter of taste in this case, as they explained it wouldn't sound incorrect.

    What do you make of that? :)

    Joe
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Do an example is perfectly fine in AE, especially in the context of working on/analyzing an example (problem), often in a group.

    For example, in a classroom the teacher might say, "Let's do one more example." It might be a problem that the teacher and students do together, or it might simply be the teacher going through one more example by himself for the class.

    So Joe's do another example in the other thread was perfectly idiomatic to me:

    In any case, let's do another example: [...]
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Not to contradict you Einstein...but I checked with a couple of natives before posting. As far as I got told to give an example is definitely more common (and I'm right there with you so far) but to do/try/think of an (another) example are also possible (in the sense of fare un esempio of course, as the other two have completely different meanings)
    Now, not being a native my opinion doesn't count as much as yours, but perhaps it's just a matter of taste in this case, as they explained it wouldn't sound incorrect.

    What do you make of that? :)

    Joe
    Yes, there are other possibilities, as you say (I'm not sure about "do an example", though), but my point was to explain the real meaning of "make an example". I didn't want to limit the possibilities to the three verbs that I mentioned.

    PS I agree with Brian about "do an example" when "example" means "problem" (in maths, for example:D).
     
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    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    PS I agree with Brian about "do an example" when "example" means "problem" (in maths, for example:D).

    Hmm.. maybe this is the only reason it sounds okay to me--I got my degree in mathematics, so I'm used to it.

    We'll see what other AE speakers say.
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I'm with Albert on this one:)
    'Do an example' is fine in a lot of ways, but I think subconsciously I will always find another verb to use to avoid using it, though it sounds fine in joe's context, but it's not really my taste? (BE Einstein, we seem to agree here)

    What about to try some more examples? and to think of another example?
    Exactly! This is what I would probably use without thinking, another way to express it,
    In any case, we need to establish that 'make an example' is quite strange and not preferable to the other ways we can explain it.

    With 'example' I'd use do/try/go through/give/think of/look at ...

    When explaining a concept, and introducing a new example (like we all do lots on here when explaining concepts) I would nearly always use give... (Right, now I'll give you another example ['let's look at / let's go through' fine as well]) though this 'give' doesn't always work, like when you 'go through' or 'look at (analyse)' I guess they can be used always with 'example' and maybe these are probably the best things to teach...

    If we look at a few more examples
    If we do a few more examples
    If we have a look at a few more examples
    Can we look at a few more examples Miss?
    I want Martin to come and go through some examples with me
    I think we should look at some more examples

    Yeah, I think those options work well:)
     
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    qay

    Senior Member
    German
    Could the following verbs work too (instead of give)?
    Or does the meaning change?

    Cite an example.
    Qote an example.
     

    joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Hi bearded man - I'm an AE speaker and I've never said nor heard "I am doing a mistake" so I don't know what your statement is based on.

    In answer to qay's question - cite an example and quote an example, could both be OK, depending on context. Do you have a sentence to translate?
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    Hi bearded man - I'm an AE speaker and I've never said nor heard "I am doing a mistake" so I don't know what your statement is based on.

    In answer to qay's question - cite an example and quote an example, could both be OK, depending on context. Do you have a sentence to translate?

    Hi joanvilla
    In a New York restaurant some years ago , an American waiter said to me: 'Sorry, your check is not correct: I did a mistake'. From his accent, I guessed he was a Manhattaner.... But what is your opinion about 'making' an example ?
     

    joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    He may have been a Manhattanite ;) but probably of a different language background than English. Wouldn't be at all unusual.
    Making an example - depends on the sentence. As pointed out in post #1 it has a very specific meaning in the phrase "to make an example of someone" - otherwise it is not correct as a synonym of "give an example."
     

    qay

    Senior Member
    German
    example:
    What is the difference between the USA and Europe? Give/ cite/ quote / make some example.
     
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