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  1. #1
    dqdqf is offline Newbie
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    advantage to/in vs. advantage of

    Hi teachers,

    I would be grateful if you would explain the differences in usage between advantage of and advantage in/to to me. Please take a look at the following examples from Unit 129 of English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy.

    1. The advantage of living alone is that you can do what you like.
    2. There are many advantages in/to living alone.

    They make sense to me, but I can't seem to be able to explain why I can't use these prepositions interchangeably.

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

    dq

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: advantage to/in vs. advantage of

    They're just patterns- if we use there are, then we tend to use to/in. Prepositional usage is a matter of collocation and often defies explanation.

  3. #3
    RobMasters is offline Junior Member
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    Re: advantage to/in vs. advantage of

    Quote Originally Posted by dqdqf View Post
    Hi teachers,

    I would be grateful if you would explain the differences in usage between advantage of and advantage in/to to me. Please take a look at the following examples from Unit 129 of English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy.

    1. The advantage of living alone is that you can do what you like.
    2. There are many advantages in/to living alone.

    They make sense to me, but I can't seem to be able to explain why I can't use these prepositions interchangeably.

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

    dq
    As with many of such tangles of the English language, it helps if you try to expand the meaning between the lines.

    As in . . ."the advantage (to you) in (the situation of) living alone is that you can do what you like."

    Then if you start swapping prepositions you'll find that some aren't appropriate.(F'rinstance "the advantage (to you) to (the situation of) living alone is that you can do what you like." is perceivably incorrect.)

    "There are many advantages (for the young adult male) in (the situation of) living alone."
    (Try this using "to" and it's obviously wrong, as an advantage TO a situation sets off alarm bells. )

    We unthinkingly contract (as in shorten) the formal usage of language all the time without even being aware of it and sometimes it helps to expand it back out again!

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: advantage to/in vs. advantage of

    What is wrong with There are many advantages to living alone? It's sounds fine to me.

  5. #5
    RobMasters is offline Junior Member
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    Re: advantage to/in vs. advantage of

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    What is wrong with There are many advantages to living alone? It's sounds fine to me.
    "There are many advantages (for the young adult male) in (the situation of) living alone."
    (Try this using "to" and it's obviously wrong, as an advantage TO a situation sets off alarm bells. )


    Use of the correct preposition?

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: advantage to/in vs. advantage of

    The original sentence was not your expanded version, and the expansion is meant to shed light on the choice of preposition. Therefore, I am afraid that I don't see how the expansion helps that process. Are you saying that you cannot have (there are) advantage(s) to + gerund?
    Last edited by Tdol; 02-Jan-2012 at 08:31.

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: advantage to/in vs. advantage of

    Quote Originally Posted by RobMasters View Post
    ."There are many advantages (for the young adult male) in (the situation of) living alone."
    (Try this using "to" and it's obviously wrong, as an advantage TO a situation sets off alarm bells. )
    It's not obviously wrong to me.

    I think Murphy was having one of his 'I must think of a difference here' days.

  8. #8
    dqdqf is offline Newbie
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    Re: advantage to/in vs. advantage of

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    They're just patterns- if we use there are, then we tend to use to/in. Prepositional usage is a matter of collocation and often defies explanation.
    So when advantage is pluralized, we use "in/to" instead of "of"?

    If "advantage in/to" and "advantage of" are mere collocations, what are the common patterns?

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    dqdqf is offline Newbie
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    Re: advantage to/in vs. advantage of

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    It's not obviously wrong to me.

    I think Murphy was having one of his 'I must think of a difference here' days.
    LOL...

    In his book, he wrote "there is an advantage in/to" is for doing something. As in, "there are many advantages in living alone". I am confused by what he meant by "doing something", like an action? Hmmm...

    Unfortunately no explanation was offered for the use of "advantage of" in the book, only an example which was "the advantage of living alone is that you can do what you like".

    Do you agree with him? As in "advantage in/to" is for doing something?

    "The advantage in/to living alone is that you can do what you like" also sounds right to me...is it wrong?

    Or was he really having one of those days...

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