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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default enjoy doing sth or be interested in doing sth?

    Michael Swan says in his PRACTICAL ENGLISH USAGE that we use 'be interested in doing sth' when we want very much to do something that we haven't done before.

    But in one of China's senior middle school textbooks there are two sentences with 'interested in doing' that don't match Swan's advice:

    1. He is greatly interested in observing the movements of stars.
    2. Stephen Hawking has always been very interested in learning about everything around him.
    The actions in both sentences seem to be in progress, rather than something that they haven't done and want very much to do in future.

    If someone is collecting stamps and enjoys stamp-collecting very much, can we say 'He is very interested in collecting stamps'?

    Could you help and solve my puzzles? Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: enjoy doing sth or be interested in doing sth?

    [quote=joham;239240]Michael Swan says in his PRACTICAL ENGLISH USAGE that we use 'be interested in doing sth' when we want very much to do something that we haven't done before. But did he say you could not use it in other situations?

    But in one of China's senior middle school textbooks there are two sentences with 'interested in doing' that don't match Swan's advice:

    1. He is greatly interested in observing the movements of stars.
    2. Stephen Hawking has always been very interested in learning about everything around him.
    The actions in both sentences seem to be in progress, rather than something that they haven't done and want very much to do in future.

    If someone is collecting stamps and enjoys stamp-collecting very much, can we say 'He is very interested in collecting stamps'? Yes, you can.

    quote]
    2006

  3. #3
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: enjoy doing sth or be interested in doing sth?

    Dear 2006,
    On December 11th I asked about 'interested to hear or in hearing'. One of the example sentence was by Swan:
    I'm interested in working in London. Can you help me?
    My question was: If I'm now working in London, can I say 'I'm interested in working in London'? Horsa (from UK) kindly gave me the answer that I couldn't say that. She said that I should convey my idea as 'I enjoy working in London'. So when I read the two sentences in my textbook and found that they didn't fit in Horsa's advice. Well, I feel puzzled. Is that one of the differences between British English and North American English? Could you further explain it to me?

    Thank you very much.

    Yours,
    joham

  4. #4
    aggelos is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: enjoy doing sth or be interested in doing sth?

    Horsa gave you a good explanation and some good advice.

    The example with S. Hawking is different. It all depends on the meaning of being interested, which can mean two different things:
    a) have an interest (=curiosity) in something
    b) wishing to/wanting to do something

    So, I'd be interested in working in London (before you started working there) means that you'd like to work in London. It expresses your wish to go and work there. It doesn't mean you're curious about what it would be like to work in London (at least not primarily). On the other hand, S. Hawking is greatly interested in observing the movements of stars means that he has an ever-lasting interest (=curiosity, along with the pleasure of searching) in that, because there are always new things to discover and learn.

    You cannot say I'm interested in working in London (when you're already working there), because that is neither a wish any more (your wish has been fulfilled) nor curiosity (you know what it's like working in London).

    By the way, I understand that what you mean by I'm interested in working in London is actually I find working in London interesting/it's interesting to work in London (interesting here means that you never get bored), and this is a good way to express it.

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