Hi. I have a question about a word 'consider'
We plan to register new usernames and passwords for our subscribers once the repair is finished, as we _ _ _ that
other passwords have also been lost.
Can I put the word 'consider' in this sentence?
I looked up on Dictionary.com and the third meaning is to think, believe, or suppose.
And putting a word think in the sentence also makes perfectly sense to me.
So could you help me? Thanks as always.
"Consider" doesn't seem right. Maybe something like "we must assume that ..."
Thanks, but can I ask you one more thing?
Then, putting a word 'think' or 'believe' also could be wrong? And if it is, could you tell me why? Because it also makes sense to me.
And one more thing, the answer in my book was 'suspect'. Do you think it's much better answer? If you choose answer between suspect , believe and consider, would you choose suspect?
Sorry for so many questions.
Last edited by AndyJung; 07-Mar-2012 at 07:24.
I like "suspect" the most of the options. This is because it means you think, but are not sure, that something has happened, and it also usually implies that the thing-that-might-have-happened was a negative event. One rarely "suspects" a happy event of occuring!
If you are really quite strongly sure something has happened (but don't have proof) "believe" is good, but doesn't have the idea of what has happened being negative in the way that "suspect" might.
"Think" is not incorrect, but also the most neutral of the choices - you'll rarely be wrong using it, but there's often a better choice.
"Consider" sounds wrong to my native speaker's ear; it usually implies a long thought-process about different options, which has brought you to a decision.
A few examples to help clarify:
"OMG I think I've won the lottery, quick, check my numbers for me!"
"I don't think we've met before, have we?"
"I think it's just gone two o'clock but my watch has stopped so I'm not sure."
"I believe my IT skills and fabulous personality make me the right choice for the job."
"Having tested ten different brands, the panel considered the best soy sauce to be the cheapest!"
"He suspected his wife was cheating on him."
Last edited by Tullia; 07-Mar-2012 at 14:10.
Thank you so much everyone especially Tullia.
Now I understand that suspect is perfect answer to that queston.
But you said that consider is simply wrong so I'm really confused.
I found some examples.
We consider that you are not to blame.
I consider that he ought to help me.
I consider that I've been completely vindicated.
He did not consider that such an arrangement was practicable.
I can see that there should be long thought-process to use that word. And there're some different options such as "blame, or blame not", "help or don't help"
But, in my question 'As we consider that other passwords have also been lost.' is it wrong because there is no other option?
Because I think there is long thought-process here.
I really don't know what is different between my question and those examples I found.
Could you help a little bit more, please? I really want to understand that word completely, Thank you.
Last edited by AndyJung; 08-Mar-2012 at 02:31.
Hmmm. I'll try and be a bit clearer about it :)
I didn't say that consider *was* wrong, I said it sounds wrong to my ear. You could use it and it would be perfectly understood, but I also don't think it would be the natural choice for a native speaker. This is an interesting question, it's making me really think. One of the things I love about English is the wide vocabulary which really allows for shades of meaning, but of course that is one of the hardest things for a non-native speaker! Thank you for asking the question.
When you consider something, the outcome of that consideration is (usually) an opinion or a choice. You make a judgement about which soy sauce you like the most, or which girl is prettiest, or perhaps after considering all the options, you decide you will do X instead of Y. "Considering" something allows for the fact that other people may disagree with you, or that other people would have made a different decision as the result of their own consideration process. In your examples above, the speaker(s) are allowing the possibility that someone else might blame the person/not think the speaker has been totally vindicated/think the arrangement is perfectly practicable etc. It's not really possible to prove any of the opinions
In your original sentence, the question you are faced with is a matter of *fact* not opinion, either passwords have been lost or they haven't, so, to me, consider doesn't really fit the situation. If you want to use consider, to reassure your membership that you are taking the matter seriously and have spent time thinking about it, you could try saying:
as, having considered the situation, we believe/suspect that other passwords have also been lost.
This would be using meaning (1) of consider as defined here.
In order to use "consider" in place of believe or suspect and have it sound natural I think you would need to change "have also been lost" to "may have been lost" to open up the possibility they haven't been lost a little more.
as we consider that other passwords may have also been lost.
I still don't like it very much though, if I'm to be 100% honest.
I'm sorry there isn't really a simple rule I can point you to here to help, but this is all to do with subtle shades of meaning; I think your standard of English is good enough to take it though.
Shades of meaning, that's most difficult thing for me. And your explanation was amazing.
Thank you so much!