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Thread: Consist in

  1. #1
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Question Consist in

    Can I write "This process consist in sequential developing of following plant characters."?
    What is the meaning of the phrase "consist in"?

    Thanks,
    Nyggus

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Consist in

    It sounds wrong to me; I'd use 'consists of'.

  3. #3
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Consist in

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    It sounds wrong to me; I'd use 'consists of'.
    Ok, here is another sentence, is it correct? "My work consist in sending and receiving letters." Should it be "consist of", too?

    Best

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Consist in

    Consists of again

  5. #5
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Consist in

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Consists of again
    It's 2:0 for you! Then, please give me two or three examples when I should use consist in explicitly (i.e., using of consist of will change sense of a sentence).

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Smile Re: Consist in

    i think this example will probably help u :
    happiness consists in trying your best to fulfill your duty

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Consist in

    Opening thread

  8. #8
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Consist in

    Thanks for re-opening the thread, Tdol.

    I don't understand why "consists in" shouldn't be used in those sentences. Aren't we trying to say what the essential character of "the process" and "my work" is?

    From this page:
    consist have its essential character; be comprised or contained in; be embodied in; "The payment consists in food"; "What does love consist in?"
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 31-Jan-2011 at 10:29.

  9. #9
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Consist in

    The advice following may help, especially the words I have underlined, but this was written over seventy years ago.

    'Consist of' = 'is made of; 'consist in' = 'is'. 'The trifle consists of fruit, cream and jelly'; 'Goodness consists in being honest, true and kind'.

    It follows that (i) consist 'of' is always followed by the name of a stuff or material, and (ii) the substitution of 'is' or 'is made of' is an effective test. Thus in the first sentence 'is' would makes sense, but is not idiomatic; in the second, 'is made of' would scarcely make sense.

    In the following sentence [...] the 'is made of' test reveals the error: 'The most exceptional feature of Dr. Ward's books undoubtedly consists of the reproduction of photographs.'

    Treble, H A and Vallins, G H (1936) An ABC of English Usage, Oxford:OUP

  10. #10
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Consist in

    So what you say is that "consists of" can't be used in any of the sentences?

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