A student of mine, who recently returned from her year in Canada, "warned me that she had used the term "to conquer a task" in her exam paper, just in case I did not know it.
Well, I did not and even though one can google it, I find it striking that it does not appear in dictionaries.
Is it so new? Is it established usage or divided usage? Where does it come from?
The way the girl used it in her paper was to say that nobody knows if Obama can "conquer all the tasks he has to carry out".
Thank you very much in advance.
Last edited by emsr2d2; 04-Nov-2011 at 18:20. Reason: typo
Sorry for my late reply especially since you responded so immediately the other day. (Which I never would have expected. Thank you very much.)
I have been very busy correcting papers, one of which was the above-mentioned exam paper. I am quite sure that my student was talking about what "everybody" had "said" in Canada.
I also understand from what I "googled" that the expression is used in context with medical topics and it also seems to be the name of a software company. Only it does not appear in online dictionaries, let alone in any dictionary I have at home.
So I wonder if it is a new expression that is becoming more and more popular and that I should accept or does it sound rather awkward so that I should advise the student to wait until it has become "official" and use the other (much nicer) collocations in the meantime?
If you were personifying the "task" as a something that needed to be overcome, I could see this working as a metaphor. It would work better if it were a "challenge" instead of a "task." An enemy to be met on the field of battle, and defeated!
I think this was, to be charitable, a very "creative" use of the word "conquer."
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
Thank you very much both of you. I am glad I found this website.