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  1. #1
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default "advancement" or "advance"?

    Dear teachers,
    Yesterday afternoon, after class a student of mine asked me to help her improve her short essay writing. I discussed with her my thoughts about what ideas, words and sentence structures could be added to or deleted from her writing or corrected. But there is still one problem remaining unsolved. When I noticed that at the beginning of her essay she used the expression "with the advance of the society", I pointed out that before "society" no article needs to be used and I also told her that my instinct told me that "advance" should be changed to "advancement". Anyway, at that time I was not sure whether it would be right to change "advance" to "advancement". When I got home yesterday evening, I looked up the two words in my physical dictionaries and online ones but those dictionaries did not seem to help me get clear about the difference between the two words-or rather, they seemed to hint that these two words can be used interchangeably. Then I browsed the web and read some articles in which either "with the advance of society" or "with the advancement of society" is used, and some Q & A's concerning the uses of the two words. However, my problem remained unsolved since some guys claim that these two words can be used interchangeably while others suggest that they should be discriminated but unfortunately they did not explain clearly how to discriminate. Worse still, it is very difficult for me a non-native speaker of English to determine whether the author of a certain article or the answer provider is a native speaker of English whose linguistic intuition I can always rely on if they do not tell that they are a native or a nonnative.

    Please help me with the problems: Which one do you native speakers of English use, "with the advance of society" or "with the advancement of society"? How to distinguish the two words? And which of the two should be used in the expression of "with the___ of technology"?

    Thanks a lot.
    Richard
    Last edited by ohmyrichard; 20-Mar-2013 at 08:43.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: "advancement" or "advance"?

    "With the advance of society ..." tends to suggest "as society advances ..." to me.
    "With the advancement of society ..." tends to suggest "As we/someone advances society ..."
    A full sentence would be a better example. But I don't think "advancement" belongs with 'society'.

  3. #3
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: "advancement" or "advance"?

    I agree with Ray. I used to believe "advancement" was not a word, until a private school I attended began calling their fundraising and donations department the "Advancement" department. I suppose it is a word then.

    To me, as with Ray, "advance of society" means the forward movement of the community; but unlike Ray, I find that "advancement" of society sounds like a snapshot of the state of progress, not the actual movement. Something like the temperature or height of the body technological.

  4. #4
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default Re: "advancement" or "advance"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "With the advance of society ..." tends to suggest "as society advances ..." to me.
    "With the advancement of society ..." tends to suggest "As we/someone advances society ..."
    A full sentence would be a better example. But I don't think "advancement" belongs with 'society'.
    Thank you, Raymott.
    The whole sentence is: Along with the advance of society, more and more problems are brought to our attention, two of which are whether we need to tell our children so much about sex and at what age they should first receive sex education.

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: "advancement" or "advance"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    Thank you, Raymott.
    The whole sentence is: Along with the advance of society, more and more problems are brought to our attention, two of which are whether we need to tell our children so much about sex and at what age they should first receive sex education.
    Why is "the advance of society" a problem? I would have thought of it as a good thing.

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: "advancement" or "advance"?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    To me, as with Ray, "advance of society" means the forward movement of the community; but unlike Ray, I find that "advancement" of society sounds like a snapshot of the state of progress, not the actual movement. Something like the temperature or height of the body technological.
    No, I don't see it as static. How about, "By promoting you, I hope to be part of the advancement of your career." ie. the process of advancing your career.
    A snapshot shows "the state of advancement", ie. how advanced society is - the current state of the dynamic advancement/advance of society.

  7. #7
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default Re: "advancement" or "advance"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Why is "the advance of society" a problem? I would have thought of it as a good thing.
    If you a native speaker of English think of "the advance of society" as correct, then I will take it.

  8. #8
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: "advancement" or "advance"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, I don't see it as static. How about, "By promoting you, I hope to be part of the advancement of your career." ie. the process of advancing your career.
    A snapshot shows "the state of advancement", ie. how advanced society is - the current state of the dynamic advancement/advance of society.
    Yes, for that part I said "unlike Ray".

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