Saturday, October 23, 2010

영어 Hint of the Day (비지너스) #10: The very useful phrase "with respect to"

영어 Hint of the Day (비지너스) #10:  The very useful phrase "with respect to"

This is a VERY useful phrase that can eliminate English errors, especially in business situations.  One difficult thing to communicate in English, for Korean native speakers, is to compare one thing to another.

There are two very good situations to use the phrase "with respect to."
1.  Comparing things from different perspectives.  Sometimes there are many different factors in a decision, and you would like to mention them all.  If you use the phrase "with respect to," there will be no errors with respect to tense or number. 

(o)  With respect to price, LG is usually cheaper than Samsung.
(o)  With respect to prestige, Samsung is usually superior.

Look at the alternatives.
(x)  LG is usually cheaper than Samsung.  (The reason that I would avoid this is that the word "cheaper" can also be known as 사구려 in everyday usage)
(x)  Samsung is more prestigious.  (Again, does this mean that LG is not prestigious?  Maybe, or maybe not.  It is left ambiguous.)

2.  "With respect to" can also be used when simply describing one single thing from a variety of different perspectives.
(o)  With respect to quality, this product is perfect.  There are almost never any defects.
(o)  With respect to features, this product is unmatched. 
Here the idea of another product existing is implied, but not named.  It doesn't matter, "with respect to" is used without error.  In addition, the points are clear, and perhaps most importantly, the fact that you haved changed the topic (from quality to features in this case) is also clear.  That is very important when speaking or writing, especially in a second language.  Using "with respect to" has made it clear that you (the speaker/writer) has changed the topic slightly.

Funny point:  "with respect to" is a formal phrase, and is used to speak professionally or academically.  It isn't used to describe people. 
(x)  With respect to face, So-Hee is cute.
(x)  With respect to body, Il-Gook is hot.

Anyways, back to the point.  This is a key phrase because it fits one of The Lost Seoul's key points:  make fewer errors by speaking and writing clearly.  There is no need for extra words because extra words means MORE MISTAKES.  By making fewer errors, you can improve your English today.

Good Luck.


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