Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Collocations

I just translated a document which had questions of the form:

how much does it prevent you:

prevents a lot
prevents a little

In Chinese this is perfectly OK, but obviously it's not appropriate in English. I normally just add a subject to the verb, so for example something like: prevents me a lot.

But sometimes you don't get the initial line in the text, so you just get given:

prevents a lot
prevents a little

Here you've no idea whether it refers to me, him, her or whatever. So in this case I would either change the form to a noun: very preventative, quite preventative. Or perhaps use a similar verb which does not require an object.

This is something which experience is helping me deal with much quicker. I remember in the past I would look at things like this for ages before I thought of a solution!

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