undermine

am786706

Member
USA
English
The discussion arose while speaking with my girl friend. When debating whether or not she should tech English in Spain with me this year and I said,

"You should not undermine the opportunities you might have...."


She argues that I used "undermine" incorrectly. Any ideas?
 
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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    she argues that i used "undermine" incorrectly...any ideas?
    Yes, you should learn from her and hope she stays. :)

    What did you mean to say? That will help us figure out the right word. (Your explanation might even offer the right word.)
     

    am786706

    Member
    USA
    English
    As in her family telling her it was not a good idea, as in her idea that it might not work out the way she hopes and eventually get the job she hopes for. I just do not understand why this word is wrong and do not agree with you Copyright. Please tell me explicitly why I can not use this word and when I can.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Other people might undermine (in your examples), but probably not you; for example: Don't let them undermine your determination/self-confidence.

    Basically, you don't undermine
    opportunities... in my experience.

    That's not to say you can't undermine yourself, of course -- He undermined what little confidence he had by constantly seeing himself in the wrong, even when he was right -- but it doesn't sound natural here. I might expect something like this: You should not (lightly) dismiss the opportunities you have.
     
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