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  1. #1
    sunsunmoon is offline Member
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    Default assign somebody to do something

    This week I assigned my students to write a notice based on the following situation:
    (From
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ask-teacher/155516-notice-english-speech-contest.html)

    Is to write incorrect but is "the task of writing" correct? The example below makes me think that to write is correct too?

    ▪ They assigned me the job of cleaning the equipment. = They assigned the job of cleaning the equipment to me. = They assigned me to clean the equipment.
    (From
    http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/assign)

  2. #2
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    Bennevis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: assign somebody to do something

    All three are correct.

  3. #3
    sunsunmoon is offline Member
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    Default Re: assign somebody to do something

    Hello emsr2d2,


    Could I ask why you've changed "to write" into "the task of writing"? I'm just curious whether your version sounds better.

  4. #4
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: assign somebody to do something

    Quote Originally Posted by sunsunmoon View Post
    Hello emsr2d2,


    Could I ask why you've changed "to write" into "the task of writing"? I'm just curious whether your version sounds better.
    I think this refers back to a different thread but if I remember rightly you wrote "I have assigned my students to write..." and I changed it to "I have assigned my students the task of writing..."

    In my opinion, you don't "assign + verb".

    I personally disagree with bennevis that "They assigned me to clean the equipment" is correct. I would have changed that to "They assigned me to the equipment-cleaning team" or "They assigned me the task of cleaning the equipment".

  5. #5
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    Bennevis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: assign somebody to do something

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I think this refers back to a different thread but if I remember rightly you wrote "I have assigned my students to write..." and I changed it to "I have assigned my students the task of writing..."

    In my opinion, you don't "assign + verb".

    I personally disagree with bennevis that "They assigned me to clean the equipment" is correct. I would have changed that to "They assigned me to the equipment-cleaning team" or "They assigned me the task of cleaning the equipment".
    It's actually not me you disagree with. It's the creators of that dictionary. I presume they were born in an English-speaking country. Have you followed the link above?

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    Default Re: assign somebody to do something

    The following year the New Yorker assigned him to write about the Grand Ole Opry, which inspired him to put together his own show and the first A Prairie Home Companion was broadcast later that year.

    Nicholas Wroe
    The Guardian, Saturday 6 March 2004

    Is it possible you just didn't know we could say it this way?

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: assign somebody to do something

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennevis View Post
    The following year the New Yorker assigned him to write about the Grand Ole Opry, which inspired him to put together his own show and the first A Prairie Home Companion was broadcast later that year.

    Nicholas Wroe
    The Guardian, Saturday 6 March 2004

    Is it possible you just didn't know we could say it this way?
    Anything's possible and I have always been more of a "use of English" teacher than anything else, that is to say, I teach what is most commonly used in day-to-day English by the majority of English speakers.

    I apologise for having said I disagreed with you. I was reading these posts on my phone and the links don't show up, it simply appeared that you had written "All three are correct".

  8. #8
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    Default Re: assign somebody to do something

    to assign

    to provide a person for a particular task or position
    assign somebody (to something/as something) They've assigned their best man to the job.
    assign somebody to do something
    British forces have been assigned to help with peacekeeping.

    You don't have to apologize. I do notice that in dictionaries the passive voice is used in such cases.

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