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    #1

    Correct choice of words

    When he was five months old, his family migrated to Singapore in search for a better life and his father found work as a clerk for the British Royal Navy.

    1. I wonder whether 'migrated' is the correct word. I think 'immigrated' is a better word.

    2. Als for 'in search for', I wonder if it should be 'in search of''.

    Am I on the correct track?

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: Correct choice of words

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    When he was five months old, his family migrated to Singapore in search for a better life and his father found work as a clerk for the British Royal Navy.

    1. I wonder whether 'migrated' is the correct word. I think 'immigrated' is a better word.

    2. Also for 'in search for', I wonder if it should be 'in search of''.
    [Not a teacher]

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Correct choice of words

    In 1., I disagree with the other contributor Bob. You only say "immigrated" if you are actually in Singapore. Everywhere else, you would say "migrated"; in the sailor's country of origin, you might use "emigrated." But immigration is only relative to the country you're living in.
    Last edited by konungursvia; 22-Jan-2012 at 21:09. Reason: Capital B on Bob.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Correct choice of words

    I agree with Konungursvia, "migrated" is the correct word. However, you are right about "of".

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    #5

    Re: Correct choice of words

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    In 1., I disagree with the other contributor Bob. You only say "immigrated" if you are actually in Singapore. Everywhere else, you would say "migrated"; in the sailor's country of origin, you might use "emigrated." But immigration is only relative to the country you're living in.
    I'm confused, who is the "you" here? I'm trying to understand the subtlety of location of the speaker.

    And merriam-webster says IMMIGRATE : to enter and usually become established; especially : to come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence

    whereas MIGRATE : to move from one country, place, or locality to another

    Migrate just means to move; immigrate infers purpose (to become established, for permanent residence), which is what I believe "in search for a better life" is suggesting.

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Correct choice of words

    No, "imm-" means into. You can't immigrate from England. The three words are like depart, fly, and arrive. You couldn't 'arrive from' Heathrow and then 'depart into' Lee Kwan Yew.

    What I mean was the general "you" as in "one" or "they," or, as English speakers, "we."

    If the sentence Elaine was talking about was in a Singapore newspaper, "immigrate" would be the right word. If she's in Hong Kong, she should write "he migrated to Singapore."

    But I do see your point. The pragmatics of the speaker's location seemed to be what you weren't thinking about. Most English speakers are not in Singapore, so we would most correctly use "migrate" in the case in question.

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    #7

    Re: Correct choice of words

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    No, "imm-" means into. You can't immigrate from England. The three words are like depart, fly, and arrive. You couldn't 'arrive from' Heathrow and then 'depart into' Lee Kwan Yew.

    This is all true, but no one suggested using "immigrate from".

    If the sentence Elaine was talking about was in a Singapore newspaper, "immigrate" would be the right word. If she's in Hong Kong, she should write "he migrated to Singapore."

    But I do see your point. The pragmatics of the speaker's location seemed to be what you weren't thinking about. Most English speakers are not in Singapore, so we would most correctly use "migrate" in the case in question.

    I've never ever heard of this distinction, and as Iíve mentioned, Iíve always understood immigrate over migrate as a function of purpose of the relocation, over the locality of the speaker (which, as I said, Iíve never known). Iíll keep my eyes peeled for examples.
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    #8

    Re: Correct choice of words

    Thanks to Bob,,Bhaisahab and Konungursvia for your help.

    It is correct that the sentence was extracted from a Singapore newspaper.

    If I wrote that sentence, I should write "he migrated to Singapore." I would like to ask if I could write "he emigrated to Singapore". I wonder which verb is more appropriate, or is either fine?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 23-Jan-2012 at 03:06. Reason: amendment

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    #9

    Re: Correct choice of words

    Yes, if you're not in Singapore, and if your reader is also outside Singapore. If you were there, you'd choose immigrated. Particularly if you were in the country he left (the UK).

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