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    #1

    push vs prompt

    Dear teachers,
    I hope you can help me with this topic.
    I have already checked the dictionary but I cannot catch if there is a high difference (is it correct "high difference"?) between "to push someone into doing something" and "to prompt someone to do something", because, on the basis of what I have read they mean quite the same but I do not know if you, native speakers, use them with different shades of meaning:

    - I made up my mind about going to a gym after I saw myself in a picture taken during my holidays. I had got fat and that prompted me to go to the gym.
    - I made up my mind about going to a gym after I saw myself in a picture taken during my holidays. I had got fat and that pushed me into going to the gym.

    - My sister prompted me to carry on studying Maths even though I used to struggle in Maths when I was at school.
    - My sister pushed me into carrying on studying Maths even though I used to struggle in Maths when I was at school.

    1) They all mean that someone recommend someone or forces someone to do something...is it correct? is it more a recommendation or a costriction?
    2) do you use them with the same meaning? If you don't could you help me understand the difference, please?
    3) I have also seen that "push" admits too constructions: "to push someone into doing something" and "to push someone to do something". Do you use both in everyday's English? Any difference in meaning?

    Thank you very much for you help.

  1. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: push vs prompt

    First of all, it's a "big" difference, rather than a "high" difference.

    The difference between "prompt" and "push" in this context is really one of emphasis. To prompt someone [or oneself] is merely to remind them, or suggest to them, to do something. To push someone to do something is to apply some sort of pressure or coercion to them to do something. So it's easier to ignore a "prompt" than a "push".
    Also, giving a "prompt" tends to be a single, one-off, action. On the other hand, pushing someone to do something can cover a series of actions over a period of time. For example, "My sister pushed me into doing this. She kept prompting me to get on with it until I gave in and did it".
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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    #3

    Re: push vs prompt

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    First of all, it's a "big" difference, rather than a "high" difference.

    The difference between "prompt" and "push" in this context is really one of emphasis. To prompt someone [or oneself] is merely to remind them, or suggest to them, to do something. To push someone to do something is to apply some sort of pressure or coercion to them to do something. So it's easier to ignore a "prompt" than a "push".
    Also, giving a "prompt" tends to be a single, one-off, action. On the other hand, pushing someone to do something can cover a series of actions over a period of time. For example, "My sister pushed me into doing this. She kept prompting me to get on with it until I gave in and did it".
    Thank you very much. Any difference between "push someone to" and "push someone into..."?

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    #4

    Re: push vs prompt

    Quote Originally Posted by caesar1983 View Post
    Thank you very much. Any difference between "push someone to" and "push someone into..."?
    You push someone to do something and you push someone into doing something.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: push vs prompt

    To me, "push" is possibility too strong for your original sentences, and "prompt" is too weak. I'd use "encourage".
    "My sister [strongly] encouraged me to carry on studying Math ..."

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