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  1. #1
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    Is my teacher adeqate?

    My teacher of the English language has been working in a secondary school for almost 30 years but falls short in English. For example, she claims that "apparent" and "obvious" are the synonyms and has never heard of the verb "devise"! Is she adequate for her position?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    'Apparent' and 'obvious' are synonyms!

    As for your teachers competency, we would need to know more information about her background and credentials.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Salieri_Bar View Post
    My teacher of the English language has been working in a secondary school for almost 30 years but falls short in English. For example, she claims that "apparent" and "obvious" are the synonyms and has never heard of the verb "devise"! Is she adequate for her position?

    Thank you.
    I disagree with amigos that "apparent" and "obvious" are strict synonyms (not many words are); but at least this is evidence that at least one native speaker thinks so.
    Given that some English teachers from various parts of the world have trouble putting a correct English sentence together (search this site for examples), it is not immediately apparent or obvious that your teacher is 'inadequate'.
    No one is perfect. She is obviously not to be trusted as the final word in English vocabulary, but it's still possible that she's good enough to teach basic English to native Serbian speakers.
    What level is she teaching at?

  4. #4
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    Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    It's easy to catch any teacher out in a lapse (real or imagined); what matters is whether they can teach.

    b

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    Did she say they were always synonyms or were synonymous in a particular context?

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    Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    I had an argument with my classmate. He was claiming that both words have the same meaning but I disagreed so we decided to ask our teacher. My classmate asked her if both words were synonyms (in general) and she answered: "Yeah, both words are completely the same".

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    Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I disagree with amigos that "apparent" and "obvious" are strict synonyms (not many words are); but at least this is evidence that at least one native speaker thinks so.
    Raymott, why aren't 'apparent' and 'obvious' synonyms? The following indicates they are synonymous:

    Obvious Synonyms, Obvious Antonyms | Thesaurus.com

    apparent: West's Encyclopedia of American Law (Full Article) from Answers.com

    Amigos
    Last edited by Amigos4; 18-Aug-2010 at 00:06. Reason: Spelling correction

  8. #8
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    Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    Raymott, why aren't 'apparent' and 'obvious' synonyms? The following indicates they are synonomous:

    Obvious Synonyms, Obvious Antonyms | Thesaurus.com

    apparent: West's Encyclopedia of American Law (Full Article) from Answers.com

    Amigos
    There's overlap. It all depends on what you mean by synonym - and what you mean by the words in the definition. Some people say synonyms have 'the same or nearly the same meaning' and then disagree about the meaning of 'nearly'. Raymott used the expression 'strict synonym', and said - I agree - that in real life 'strict synonyms' are very rare. Web-sites and books that list 'synonyms' aren't strict.

    b

  9. #9
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    Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    Raymott, why aren't 'apparent' and 'obvious' synonyms? The following indicates they are synonymous:

    Obvious Synonyms, Obvious Antonyms | Thesaurus.com

    apparent: West's Encyclopedia of American Law (Full Article) from Answers.com

    Amigos
    "Apparent" means "to the appearance", "on the evidence in front of us".
    1. "It's apparent that you haven't thought about this." This means that it seems that you haven't. It appears that you haven't.
    2. "It is obvious that you haven't thought about this." This is a stronger statement. This means not only is it apparent, but I believe it is true. I infer from the appearance (and perhaps something further) that it is true that you haven't thought about it.

    This is how I've always understood these words. Saying, "Obviously you are wrong" is a stronger statement than "Apparently you are wrong". This latter leaves open the possibility that there might be something beyond current appearances that would prove you not wrong.

    Note that your own dictionary makes this distinction by giving a definition of 'obvious' as 'quite apparent' thus strengthening the meaning.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/obvious
    Last edited by Raymott; 18-Aug-2010 at 02:51.

  10. #10
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    Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    Raymott, with all due respect, I stand by my statement that 'apparent' and 'obvious' are synonyms.

    The original post did not ask if the two words were 'strict' synonyms. To me, a 'synonym' is a 'synonym' whether it is strict or not.

    Nonetheless, questioning the inadequacy of a teacher because she believes these words are synonyms seems like a very shallow litmus test! As for the teacher not knowing that 'devise' is a verb, if the non-native speaker pronounced 'devise' (verb) as 'device' (noun), I can see where some confusion might exist!

    In any event, based upon these two examples, I think it is extremely unfair for us to pass judgement on the adequacy of an individual who has been teaching for three decades.

    Amen!

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