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  1. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #1

    Question "engage in" and "get involved in"

    Hi,
    I'd appreciate it if someone could help me with this. Can they be used instead of each other? Does either of them convey a negative sense?


    So many thanks in advance.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "engage in" and "get involved in"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Hi,
    I'd appreciate it if someone could help me with this. Can they be used instead of each other? Does either of them convey a negative sense?


    So many thanks in advance.
    They have similar meanings; whether they are interchangeable is a matter of context. Neither has an intrinsically negative sense. It's a matter of collocation. I'd expect 'He engaged in terrorist activities' rather than 'He got involved with terrorist activities'; but I'd be quite happy with 'He got involved with terrorists' - though maybe 'He got mixed up with terrorists' would be more likely. (Excuse the example - I've got the news on in the background ) And 'He got involved with the bell-ringers at the local church' would be more likely than 'engaged in'.

    b

    PS Incidentally, 'engaged in' is right here. But a cog (File:Gears animation.gif - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) engages with another cog, and 'engage with' is increasingly used metaphorically to refer to involvement with a set of ideas/issues/values. In a school staff room you might hear 'It was a really good lesson - they all engaged with the material.'

  3. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "engage in" and "get involved in"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    They have similar meanings; whether they are interchangeable is a matter of context. Neither has an intrinsically negative sense. It's a matter of collocation. I'd expect 'He engaged in terrorist activities' rather than 'He got involved with terrorist activities'; but I'd be quite happy with 'He got involved with terrorists' - though maybe 'He got mixed up with terrorists' would be more likely. (Excuse the example - I've got the news on in the background ) And 'He got involved with the bell-ringers at the local church' would be more likely than 'engaged in'.

    b

    PS Incidentally, 'engaged in' is right here. But a cog (File:Gears animation.gif - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) engages with another cog, and 'engage with' is increasingly used metaphorically to refer to involvement with a set of ideas/issues/values. In a school staff room you might hear 'It was a really good lesson - they all engaged with the material.'

    Thanks for the great examples. Cheers!

  4. Khosro's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "engage in" and "get involved in"

    1-He engaged in terrorist activities.
    2-He got involved with terrorist activities.

    Is not the first sentence more formal than the second one?

    And another question: can other meanings (uses) of "engage" and "involve" help us to chose between the two sentences above? is the first one only more formal than the second one (if it is at all) and nothing more? No other difference between the two sentences which could be explained?

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    #5

    Re: "engage in" and "get involved in"

    I am not a teacher.

    To engage in an activity is to actually do it. To get involved in an activity does not necessarily mean that you do it yourself. For example, a trainer can get involved in football without ever touching a ball if all he ever does is tape ankles. If we must do terrorism, if you engage in terrorism, you set off bombs and the like. If you get involved in terrorism, you might be funding it from a distance or writing articles in favor of it.

  5. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "engage in" and "get involved in"

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolfootluke View Post
    I am not a teacher.

    To engage in an activity is to actually do it. To get involved in an activity does not necessarily mean that you do it yourself. For example, a trainer can get involved in football without ever touching a ball if all he ever does is tape ankles. If we must do terrorism, if you engage in terrorism, you set off bombs and the like. If you get involved in terrorism, you might be funding it from a distance or writing articles in favor of it.
    Thanks. And if we wanted to differentiate between them in terms of intention, would it be alright to say that if we are involved in something, it's more likely that there is some kind of external force than when we engage in it? (What I mean is whether the first one is more intentional.)


    Cheerio!

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    #7

    Re: "engage in" and "get involved in"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Thanks. And if we wanted to differentiate between them in terms of intention, would it be alright to say that if we are involved in something, it's more likely that there is some kind of external force than when we engage in it? (What I mean is whether the first one is more intentional.)


    Cheerio!
    I am not a teacher.

    I would say the the word "involved" does not even imply that all by itself, but in some contexts it could be used that way, whereas "engaged" could not: "Diana got involved with smugglers while on vacation, not knowing what they were." If she had engaged in smuggling, she would have no excuse.

    "In her twenties, Diana had been involved in smuggling" is a polite way of saying she was engaged in smuggling then.

  6. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "engage in" and "get involved in"

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolfootluke View Post
    I am not a teacher.

    I would say the the word "involved" does not even imply that all by itself, but in some contexts it could be used that way, whereas "engaged" could not: "Diana got involved with smugglers while on vacation, not knowing what they were." If she had engaged in smuggling, she would have no excuse.

    "In her twenties, Diana had been involved in smuggling" is a polite way of saying she was engaged in smuggling then.

    Brill! Ta!

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