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  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default ensure, need and retain

    Dear teachers,

    I have three quesitons to ask:

    No.1
    Today hotels are using ""yield management the same system airlines use to _____________ full flights.
    a. insure b. ensure
    The key is 'b'. But 'a' is American spelling of 'ensure' so it should also be correct. Is that right?

    No.2
    Do you know how many glasses of milk it ____________ to get your daily calcium?
    a. requires b. takes c. needs
    The key is 'b'. Could you please explain why 'a' and 'c' are not correct?

    No.3
    You can help ___ your bones by eating foods containing vitamin D.
    a. retain b. maintain c. keep
    the key is 'b'. But both of them mean "keep or continue to have something". How to distinguish them? And why 'keep' isn't correct?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: ensure, need and retain

    No.1
    Today hotels are using ""yield management the same system airlines use to _____________ full flights.
    a. insure b. ensure
    The key is 'b'. But 'a' is American spelling of 'ensure' so it should also be correct. Is that right? No, it's 'ensure'.

    No.2
    Do you know how many glasses of milk it ____________ to get your daily calcium?
    a. requires b. takes c. needs
    The key is 'b'. Could you please explain why 'a' and 'c' are not correct?
    'It takes' is correct, 'are required' or 'are needed' would also be correct.
    No.3
    You can help ___ your bones by eating foods containing vitamin D.
    a. retain b. maintain c. keep
    the key is 'b'. But both of them mean "keep or continue to have something". How to distinguish them? And why 'keep' isn't correct?
    If you say 'keep your bones' it suggests that there is a danger of you losing them, the same applies to 'retain', so 'maintain' is correct.

  3. #3
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: ensure, need and retain

    Dear bhaisahab,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. I understand No.2 and No.3. But I don't understand No.1. I shall simply memorize the key.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    No.1
    Today hotels are using ""yield management the same system airlines use to _____________ full flights.
    a. insure b. ensure
    The key is 'b'. But 'a' is American spelling of 'ensure' so it should also be correct. Is that right? No, it's 'ensure'.

    No.2
    Do you know how many glasses of milk it ____________ to get your daily calcium?
    a. requires b. takes c. needs
    The key is 'b'. Could you please explain why 'a' and 'c' are not correct?
    'It takes' is correct, 'are required' or 'are needed' would also be correct.
    No.3
    You can help ___ your bones by eating foods containing vitamin D.
    a. retain b. maintain c. keep
    the key is 'b'. But both of them mean "keep or continue to have something". How to distinguish them? And why 'keep' isn't correct?
    If you say 'keep your bones' it suggests that there is a danger of you losing them, the same applies to 'retain', so 'maintain' is correct.

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: ensure, need and retain

    1. transitive and intransitive verb cover something with insurance: to agree formally that, for a sum of money paid to a company, the company will pay compensation or costs if a particular harm or loss occurs to somebody or something
    insured the ring for $5,000

    Definition of 'insure' from MSN encarta dictionary North American edition.

    make something certain: to make sure that something will happen or be available
    ensure a supply of fresh food
    We must ensure that the environment remains a central concern.

    Definition of 'ensure' from the same dictionary.

  5. #5
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: ensure, need and retain

    Dear bhaisahab,

    Thank you so much for your explanation. I don't mean to offend you but the following is from Cambridge Dictionary online:

    ensure, US ALSO insure Show phonetics
    verb [T]
    to make something certain to happen:
    The airline is taking steps to ensure safety on its aircraft.
    [+ (that)] The role of the police is to ensure (that) the law is obeyed.
    [+ two objects] Their 2-0 victory today has ensured the Italian team a place in the Cup Final/ensured a place in the Cup Final for the Italian team.

    According to the above explanation they mean the same thing when they mean 'to make something certain to happen'. I think my problem is with understanding the above definition.
    Could you please further explain that to me?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    1. transitive and intransitive verb cover something with insurance: to agree formally that, for a sum of money paid to a company, the company will pay compensation or costs if a particular harm or loss occurs to somebody or something
    insured the ring for $5,000

    Definition of 'insure' from MSN encarta dictionary North American edition.

    make something certain: to make sure that something will happen or be available
    ensure a supply of fresh food
    We must ensure that the environment remains a central concern.

    Definition of 'ensure' from the same dictionary.

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: ensure, need and retain

    In BrE 'ensure' is the correct word and spelling for your sentence. As I am not an American I can't explain why they have a different way of using it, sorry.

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: ensure, need and retain

    The US has two spellings for what others refer to as "insure" (insure, ensure), and two spellings (the same) to refer to "ensure".

  8. #8
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: ensure, need and retain

    Dear Raymott,
    That mean both choices are correct.

    Jiang


    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The US has two spellings for what others refer to as "insure" (insure, ensure), and two spellings (the same) to refer to "ensure".

  9. #9
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: ensure, need and retain

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear Raymott,
    That mean both choices are correct.

    Jiang
    Only if you're being tested in an American system. If you're not sure about your teacher's affiliations, it's probably best to assume traditional English.
    For example, disinterested and uninterested seem to mean the same thing to some people these days, but if you had a choice in an exam, you would choose "disinterested" to mean "impartial", rather than choosing uninterested.

    From my experience with these tests, the English textbooks overseas tend to be very conservative, and so do these tests.

  10. #10
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: ensure, need and retain

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Only if you're being tested in an American system. If you're not sure about your teacher's affiliations, it's probably best to assume traditional English.
    For example, disinterested and uninterested seem to mean the same thing to some people these days, but if you had a choice in an exam, you would choose "disinterested" to mean "impartial", rather than choosing uninterested.

    From my experience with these tests, the English textbooks overseas tend to be very conservative, and so do these tests.
    I agree, in my experience AmE only works in the US and a bit in Canada.

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